UNFORGETTABLE- Mountain climber Lucille de Beaudrap poses at the summit of Mt. Everest this past May. The Edmonton resident was in Red Deer recently to share her experience with the Parkland Cross Country Ski Club

Sharing experience of tackling Mt. Everest

Life-long dream of scaling mountain realized, local club told

Lucille de Beaudrap knew from the time she was just 10 years old that she wanted to scale Mt. Everest.

It’s a long-held dream that came true this past May for the Edmonton resident. de Beaudrap, 45, recently shared her experience with the Parkland Cross Country Ski Club at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre. She’s a member of the Club and credits them with getting her into the back-country for lots of exciting outdoor adventures.

But looking back in her own life, she recalls writing a list of what she wanted to accomplish at that tender age. Climbing Mt. Everest was in the top spot.

“I don’t really know where it came from – probably from a book,” she explains of her desire to scale the world’s highest peak. She was always drawn to the outdoors – even noting as a kid that one day she wanted to live in a house in the woods.

“That was sort of the life I had envisioned for myself,” she adds with a laugh. But through the years, she never wavered in her wish to climb Everest. So two years before embarking on the endeavor she started training which included heading to base camp at the foot of Everest to check things out.

Last year, she also climbed Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina and Mt. Logan, and this past year before reaching Everest she was training between 15 and 20 hours per week. Most of it included climbing up a 33-storey building with a 45 lb. backpack.

Other training included running, cycling, running stairs and hill walking with up to a 90 lb. pack – no small feat for the petite de Beaudrap who is less than five feet tall and weighs in at about 125 lbs.

She finally reached base camp for final preparations this past spring. “It’s exciting being at base camp – there is all this energy and you’re wondering how you’re going to do.” At first, it’s all about acclimatizing. Climbers journey up to camp number two, spend the night, then it’s back down to base camp to rest for a few days once again in an effort to increase oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

She also remembers seeing what’s called Memorial Hill – a burial site for some of those who have lost their lives attempting to scale Everest. It’s a sobering place, and does make one ponder the journey awaiting them. But de Beaudrap knew there was no turning back.

Before climbers begin their arduous climb, they have to cross what’s called the ice falls. Huge crevices are crossed with ladders, and it’s certainly not an experience for the faint-hearted. Talk of avalanches and such doesn’t help much to bolster the nerves, but at this point it’s about keeping one’s eyes on the goal, she explains.

After hours of non-stop steep climbing, de Beaudrap reached the top of the legendary peak on May 7. Prior to getting there, she recalls feeling utterly drained. “I said to my partner my legs are done,” she recalls. “But I wasn’t turning around.”

Actually reaching the top of the mountain was without doubt a powerful moment. There isn’t much time to soak it all in before a person has to start descending. But for de Beaudrap, it marked, in a way, the end of one journey.

The entire expedition lasted seven weeks – shorter than the planned-for 10 weeks thanks to an early summit window, she said.

She said this year there was a short weather window from May 6-7. The next opportunity would have been on May 17, which would have been somewhat more crowded. About 100 people were aiming for the top of Everest that day.

“We were the only ones that took advantage of this summit window, so my climbing partner and nursing co-worker Domhnall O’Dochartaigh and our sherpas were the only ones on the mountain that day.”

de Beaudrap has been nursing for 20 years, mostly in critical care. She currently works in ICU, and has been a flight nurse working for STARS for the past 13 years.

de Beaudrap explains that climbers head to camp number one, sit for a few hours then head back down to base camp for several days.

Being back at home has brought opportunities to share her experience. She’s spoken at several schools and urges listeners to go for it in terms of accomplishing major goals. It’s a rare and wonderful gift when one takes the step to do so, she says.

“I’m hoping to be an inspiration to them to reach for their goals. That’s been my highlight. I tell people to talk about what their dreams are, and what they want to do. I also tell them to give themselves permission to follow their dreams.”

mweber@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Central Alberta dancers ‘shimmy’ for a great cause

Shimmy Mob will take place in more than 169 locations all over the world

Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities play The Vat April 27th

Moose Jaw band is on a 39-day national tour from Quebec City to Vancouver

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

WATCH: Second annual Our Best To You Craft Sale on now

Red Deerians can expect over 150 artisans, makers and designers

Red Deer RCMP look for James Holley on warrants

Holley is believed to be in possession of firearms

WATCH: ‘Battle of the Badges’ event raises money for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deerians get together at charity hockey tournament April 20th at Servus Arena

Fake bottom in container nets cocaine, meth: RCMP

Maskwacis RCMP traffic stop leads to trafficking charges

UPDATED: Arrest made after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Police are not saying what is the extent of injuries yet

Kinder Morgan bungled pipeline public relations: poll

The survey suggests 58 per cent of Canadians believe the company is to blame for poor perceptions

Royal baby: It’s a boy for Kate and William

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child, a boy weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

Trump says North Korea agreed to denuclearize. It hasn’t.

Trump is claiming that North Korea has agreed to “denuclearization” before his potential meeting with Kim, but that’s not the case.

Suspect in deadly Waffle House shooting still being sought

Police say Travis Reinking is the suspect in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant Sunday in Nashville that left four people dead.

G7 warned of Russian threats to western democracy

Ukraine foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin warns G7 of Russian war against Western democracy

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Most Read