isn't about (me),'' Hommer told the Duluth News
Tribune in March. "This is about the
capabilities of the human spirit and what any of
us can accomplish.''
of the American/Canadian Mt. Everest Expedition depart
Thursday, August 9, for their 10-week journey to the
summit of the world's highest mountain. What makes
this expedition unique is expedition organizer Ed
Hommer, a double amputee from Duluth, Minn. Hommer
would be the first double amputee to summit the more
than 29,000-foot Mt. Everest.
and expedition members Kelly Raymond of Sault Ste.
Marie, Ontario, Canada; Scott Anderson of Two Harbors,
Minn.: and Tom Halvorson, Cloquet, Minn., depart on Northwest
Airlines flight #295 at 11:20 a.m. on Thursday, August
9, from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Five other expedition members will join them in Los
Angeles for the trip to Kathmandu, Nepal.
you ask Ed, who is a commercial airline pilot as well
as a mountaineer, what drives him to attempt a summit
of the northern face of Mt. Everest, hell wax
youre involved in a big climb, youre totally
focused for so long that soon nothing matters but the
mountain and the remote wilderness around you.
Although you suffer both mentally and physically
you leave the mountain feeling purified.
quick to add, It also convinces my kids that their
old man is a bit nuts.
typical of Eds attitude toward life: a sincere
appreciation of the opportunities offered, coupled
with a wry sense of humor about the challenges
was Eds positive attitude that enabled him to
survive a harrowing plane crash on Mt. McKinley in
December 1981, in which rescuers werent able to
reach him for five days. By the time help arrived,
Eds feet were so badly frozen they had to be
amputated. That same determination carried Ed through
15 months of intensive rehabilitation and made
possible a return to flying and mountain climbing.
will be the only climber with a disability in the
group leaving for Mt. Everest, but he isnt
concerned about his ability to keep up. In 1999,
Hommer became the first double amputee to summit North
America's highest peak, the 20,320-foot Mount
McKinley. And hes already conquered towering
heights in the Himalayas.
rest of the team is made up of mountaineers and
professionals from across North America. They include:
Anderson, Two Harbors, Minnesota
Bronstein, Basalt, Colorado
Halvorson, Cloquet, Minnesota (Ed's prosthetist as
well as a climber)
McCullough, Talkeetna, Alaska
Raymond, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Swanson, Talkeetna, Alaska
Sturgis, Keller, Texas
Wickwire, Seattle, Washington (Expedition Leader)
to arrive at base camp by August 20. The summit
attempt will be made from the Great Couloir route on
Everest in early October.
will be a featured Expedition on EverestNews.com.
note Jim Wickwire returns !!!