(MountEverest.net) What would happen if you rope together a Palestinian Muslim and an Israeli Jew on the slopes of Everest? According to Lance Trumbull theyll work as a team and put their life in each others hands.
Like in The Lord of the Rings
I have always felt a little like Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, said Lance, who came up with the idea while climbing in Ladakh in 2002. Lance, a US citizen and Buddhist, faced some pretty incredulous climbers (and sponsors). Against all odds, he fought for 40 months to put together a team of climbers from different cultures and creeds who in the end Lance believed would at one or another bow to Chomolungma, the Mother Goddess known as Everest.
Despite years of ups and downs, Lance stuck to his Three Ps motto (Passion - Persistence Patience); and as far as this American Buddhist is concerned, it paid off. The cross-cultured, multi-creed team departs for Everests North side in April.
Seven countries, five religions, one goal
The team consists of Palestinian Muslim Ali Bushnaq, Israeli Jews Micha Yaniv and Dudu (David) Yifrah, American Christians Tonya Riggs and Jerry Price, Indian Hindu Gautam Patil, and South-African Christian Selebelo Selamolela. Much like Lance, the expedition's sirdar and the high altitude Sherpas are Buddhist.
Finally, as climbing director and co-leader is New Zealander Jamie McGuinness an Everest regular. Jamies outfitter Project Himalaya is providing the expeditions logistics; as a peace climber, McGuinness figures as an atheist.
Any Pakistani lady climber interested?
Lance Trumbull says the team would be perfectly complete if they had a Muslim female climber from Pakistan. Any experienced female climber interested in switching the Karakorum spires for the roof of the world this spring should hurry up and contact Lance (check contact on the expedition's website).
As for team leader Lance, after three and a half years working to get the expedition going, he cant help but feel relieved: now all we have left to do is climb Everest!
Except for Jamie, the team members have no previous experience on 8000+ meters peaks. However, all of them are regular climbers. For instance, Tonia has summited Ama Dablam, Selebelo has summited Aconcagua (and hopes to be the second black African to reach the summit of Everest), Micha is a climbing trainer for the Israeli Army, and Dudu has summited Aconcagua twice, plus Mt. Kamet. Jerry will be 72 years old when he climbs Everest if he summits, he would become the oldest person to achieve the feat.
Jamie McGuinness has lived in Kathmandu, Nepal since 1995. He has been trekking in the Himalayas since the early 1990's spending about 10 months of every year on expedition or trekking in the area. He has done 5 ascents of Cho Oyu, 4 ascents of Shisha Pangma, one ascent of Broad Peak and one ascent of Mt Everest.
The team will climb Everest North Col route, using supplementary O2 and full Sherpa support.
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