Mount Everest: A true test of human strength

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TA Loeffler, MNSU graduate of the Master’s Experiential Education program, has pulled out of her third ascent of Everest.

On day 26 of her journey, medics flew her to definitive care in Kathmandu. Since the beginning of April, Loeffler was plagued with a cough, which only grew stronger as she climbed to higher altitudes.

In her last audio update before hospitalization, Loeffler’s voice shook and at times split into coughing fits. On her blog post, she said that the scene was set for an attack from HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) and HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema). In a blog post from the hospital, she described herself as feeling “discombobulated and devastated” about her endeavor, though still somewhat hopeful she could continue.

After she reached Kathmandu, Loeffler took several days to recover, and reported that she was feeling more alert and more like herself. However, less than a week after her hospitalization, she announced that she would be heading home. Health problems were what held Loeffler back on her first two attempts as well. However, she had completed two expeditions in Nepal since her current attempt with no illnesses, so she began with good feelings about the physical requirements of the trip.

Unfortunately, her paralyzing dizziness and thick head did not allow her to make her third attempt her first ascent.

Loeffler, also a professor of Outdoor Education and Recreation at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, an author, and professional speaker, set a goal to climb all “Seven Summits,” which are the highest peaks on each continent.

Everest is the last peak she must climb to attain her goal. She could still plan another ascent, but time will tell as to whether she plans a fourth climb. First, recovery is in order. “So much has happened in both the past week and month that the travel bardo will be welcome,” she wrote, in a post from May 11.

Loeffler expressed deepest thanks to all who followed and supported her during her journey. “Here’s to bringing the mountain home,” she said.

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