Who What Where When How and Why


WHO: I’m part of an 8-member expedition team climbing Everest.  I’m climbing with Summitclimb, an expedition company run by Dan Mazur.  My friend Mitch Lewis, who climbed Denali with me, recommended Summitclimb for Everest and since I trust Mitch completely, I signed the papers a few weeks later.   Mountaineering expeditions generally attract A-type personalities who have accomplishments that run a mile-long.  This trip is no different.  I have only spent a few days with my fellow teammates but so far, I’m humbled by their background.  Jon from the US has a PhD in mountain geography and spent the past summer solo climbing all 14000ers in Colorado.  He’s written a book about it and takes time every day to write posts or link up with Fox-31 Denver news to do daily reports.  I sit next to him a lot, hoping he will motivate me to be a better person (and post more), but mostly, I spend my time shaking my head in awe and envy.  Urs is a Swiss pilot and flies Airbuses around Europe.  I like pilots.  He doesn’t know it yet, but he was my bosom buddy from the moment we first met.  UK Richie is a private security guy.  He spent a lot of time in Iraq and he’s a cross between my Kabul friends Mick and Graham.  One of the first things he said to me is: “Don’t you just hate it when you go home from a place like Afghanistan, and most of the people around you just don’t get what you’ve lived through?”  I liked him immediately.  Then there’s Australian Steve, who also spent time in the military before starting his own leadership development company in the US.  He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and likes getting up at 5am to take pictures.  Another bosom buddy.   The others, I don’t know well yet, but I have weeks to learn all about them.


WHAT: I’m climbing Everest.  Really climbing it – all the way to the top.  I’ll be fitted with crampons, a harness and an ice axe for the better part of a month.


WHERE: There are a number of routes you can take to climb Everest.  The two main routes are the Nepalese (South Col) and the Tibetan (North Col) routes.   Each have their pros and cons.  Going through the Nepalese side means multiple passes through the Khumbu icefall – the most dangerous section of the whole climb, largely due to the risk of ice or serac towers collapsing in the area without warning.  But the Nepalese side is usually about 10 degrees warmer than the Tibetan side, which is the main reason I chose to go from the Nepalese side.


WHEN: Everest takes two months to climb as it’s necessary to climb slowly in order to acclimatize properly.  I left Kathmandu on April 10th and expect to make a first summit attempt sometime mid May.  My expedition ends in Kathmandu on June 6th.


HOW: My expedition team is unguided.  However, and as a kind of insurance policy, I have hired a personal sherpa who will be climbing with me the entire way.  Lakpa Sherpa has climbed Everest seven times already and could sling two of me over his shoulder.  The more I spend time with him, the happier I am that I get to have him as my climbing partner.


WHY: Because I’ve been dreaming about climbing Mt Everest every stupid day for the past twelve years and I finally saved up enough money to do it.

13 thoughts on “Who What Where When How and Why

  1. Julie Marion on Reply

    Allo Sandra, you’ll do great up there! Your passion and strenghts will ensure a successful climb. I love your website and blog. I check if every day for new posts. Looking forward to more news!

  2. Pat on Reply

    Bravo cousine,

    Tu me fais vivre de belles choses depuis que j’ai découvert ton site. Continue, tu es une belle source d’inspiration et je t’admire énormément pour tout ce que tu as fais et ce que tu vas faire. J’ai très hâte de lire le reste de tes aventures Éverestienne. Encore bravo et je t’embrasse.


  3. Greg Lagace on Reply

    Hopefully by the time you get this post you’ll be nicely settled in to Base Camp. As a founder of Soldier On I cannot express in words my sincere appreciation for your support of the ill/injured. The awareness and funds you will raise for Soldier On will go a long way in helping ill/injured adopt an active and healthy lifestyle, and open doors to other life opportunities. I applaud you for your contributions and leave you with this one thought…when faced with adversity, Soldier On!

    Onwards and upwards,

    • Sandra Leduc on Reply

      Thanks so much Greg! I hugely appreciate your comment. I truly believe in Soldier On and think its a hugely important organization. I really hope I can play even a small role in helping raise awareness and funds for the organization. Anything else I can do, let me know.

      Onwards and upwards :)

  4. Ginny Lyford on Reply

    So happy you have Lakpa. He is very handsome as well as strong. I am with you every day as my Everest Rock Star of 2012. Rock on with vigor and great care Sandra!

  5. Zoe Kahn on Reply

    Such an adventure and very cool! I look forward to more photos. Sending all kinds of good thoughts and wishes your way.

    • Sandra Leduc on Reply

      I’m feeling the good thoughts, seriously! Every time I have a difficult moment, I think of you guys, so keep the good vibes coming :)

  6. Mitch Lewis on Reply

    Hi Sandra – today is May 2nd and my excitement for you in the month of May grows every day. I hope and trust that you and Lakpa are as one and that you look out for each other. If you are reading this, you are in Gorak Shep or somewhere safe and warm. My wish for you is to enjoy every day, savor the experience and live in the moment. Good luck and godspeed in your coming weeks. Vinson awaits!

    • Sandra Leduc on Reply

      Hi Mitch! As always, thanks for all your support!! Lakpa was unfortunately injured and helo’d out, but he is recovering now and safe. I’ll be posting about the incident soon as there has been lots of misinformation circulating on the web and at EBC about the incident. Definitely on for Vinson :)

  7. Alyce on Reply

    1. I am totally impressed with the fact that Grace (forgive the familiarity) has red polished toenails. Glad she is keeping up high standards (in addition to what appears to be extreme vigilance in maintaining top toilet standards)

    2. Sound like you people have a worse potty-mouth than me (which is hard to believe)

    3. I am happy for Sandra that she has found such a great and fun team

  8. Simon Mcbedi on Reply

    Waiting !!!!

  9. Pat on Reply

    Je suis tellement content d’apprendre que tu es saine et sauve. Peut importe ta décision je suis sûr que ce sera la bonne. Take care.

    Pense à toi et prend soin de toi.
    cousin Pat

  10. Tammi on Reply

    Nerves are running high right now!!!!!! Thoughts are with you as make your summit attempt once more. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *