"Hello I'm Mary Woodbridge; I'm 85 years old and I'm going to climb Mt. Everest, along with my dog Daisy, of course. Im sure we can make it to the top of Mount Everest. We both go for a walk every day and keep ourselves very fit." (click to enlarge).
I'm not really into this whole camping thing - so Daisy and I will choose a direct route from the Base Camp to the Top. We have decided to go without Sherpas." The yellow line shows normal South Col route; the red one is Mary's planned route (click to enlarge).
"Since we are training very hard, we don't expect to need additional oxygen on our ascent - There are no oxygen masks for Daisy anyway! (click to enlarge).
ExWeb plans to be a proud tech sponsor of the expedition: An eyepiece will sit under Mary's wig for transmissions, a pill will be fed to Mary in collaboration with NASA to monitor Mary's heart rate live online (the walking stick is a perfect antenna) - the lot powered by ExWeb's new ultralight solar panel mounted on Daisy's back. All images courtesy of Mary's website (click to enlarge).
Everest 2006: Mary, 85 and the essence of British mountaineering
Posted: Feb 10, 2006 01:55 pm EST
Go, Mary, go, chant neighbors and friends as she walks the streets of Greenfield with her dachshound Daisy. The whole town or "my supporters" as she calls them are behind Mary. Shes gonna make it, shes got the power, yells a leather clad biker with a convincing thumbs-up.
Dressed in a grey skirt and signature yellow gore-tex jacket Mary Woodbridge is a woman on a mission. The movie clip on her homepage says it all: Hello I'm Mary Woodbridge; I'm 85 years old and I'm going to climb Mt. Everest, along with my dog Daisy, of course."
Im sure we can make it to the top of Mount Everest. We both go for a walk every day and keep ourselves very fit!
Pure alpine style
Mary agrees that she's not a typical Everest climber: I'm not really into this whole camping thing, she said. So Daisy and I will choose a direct route from the Base Camp to the Top.
Style is important and Mary knows how to carry herself. The route she has chosen is very cool: She will climb a vertical, avalanche-prone wall to the left of the Khumbu Ice fall in order to reach the ridge, which she and Daisy will follow to the top. You might recall the spot - an avalanche buried 60 tents there last year.
Mary and Daisy will be entirely unsupported: We have decided to go without Sherpas. Poor guys! I can certainly carry my own food (I have prepared a solid Irish Stew and Power Crunchies!) and the few cans of dog food for Daisy.
Since we are training very hard, we don't expect to need additional oxygen on our ascent - There are no oxygen masks for Daisy anyway!
Become a sponsor!
On her expedition website there are cool videos, amazing pictures of Mary and Daisys training, details on her plans and words on her idols - like Robert Scott, of who she declares: I still believe that he is the real discoverer of the South Pole! No way Amundsen was cleverer than the British explorers.
In fact, Mary has it all figured out except for the usual problem - sponsors. She has offered her services to them all, from National Geographic to Climber's mag - but received no love. NG wrote:
"Thank you for your pre-application expressing interest in a grant from the National Geographic Society's Expeditions Council. We appreciate the opportunity to review your request for support for your project, 'First Everest Expedition.' While we understand the importance of your efforts, regretfully, we must decline participation."
And from Climber mag:
"Thank you for contacting Climber magazine. Unfortunately we do not sponsor climbers but I wish you the best of luck with your expedition and hope that you return safely."
What about ExWeb?
For some reason, she hasn't approached ExplorersWeb. That's just too bad - we already have a number of cool new tech ideas for Mary. An eyepiece under the wig for transmissions, a pill provided in collaboration with NASA to monitor Mary's heart rate live online (the walking stick is a perfect antenna) - the lot powered by ExWeb's new ultralight solar panel mounted on Daisy's back.
We expect to get plenty of media on Mary. The websites guestbook is nearing 500 entries from all over the world. Most are very supportive.
This is what separates the British from the rest of the world, their guts, calls out an inspired reader. Mary, I wish you and Daisy all the best! This courage and drive should be an example to us all, writes another.
But there are skeptics, too:
Mary - your dog will die. His little lungs will give up. You will also die. Soon.
ExplorersWeb have requested an interview with Mary. Stay tuned...