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Go, Lori!

The Guideposts editor-in-chief shares his excitement on Lori Schneider about to reach the Mt. Everest summit.

I’m having trouble writing this blog. That’s because I’m still thinking about Lori Schneider, the American climber who is attempting to be the first person with MS to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain. I’m checking her progress through various web sites, blogs and alerts.

Last I heard Lori and her team are getting ready to leave Camp IV on the South Col for the final, punishing summit push. Lori hopes to be back down to base camp in time to celebrate World MS Day on May 27. She plans to plant a World MS Day flag on Everest’s peak.

If she makes it up. That’s a big if, even for the most accomplished alpinists. From their camp on the desolate, wind-swept South Col at approximately 27,000 feet, the team still has 2,000 feet to go, a distance that can take as much as 12 hours to cover. Imagine, that’s less than half a mile in close to half a day. Even with supplemental oxygen, the air is so thin that Lori may have to pause as long between steps as it takes to make each step. Progress is agony.

The cold is almost unbearable, the danger of falling 6,000 feet straight down into Tibet from the summit ridge ever-present. Yet these climbers push own, for personal glory or for something more, like Lori.

I am lost in admiration for her. And a bit nervous as I imagine her getting ready for that final, dangerous effort and the deadly obstacles she’ll be facing like the Hillary Step, a 100-foot nearly vertical notch in the mountain just below the summit that requires exhausted climbers to negotiate some of the most demanding technical climbing on the route.

This weekend I’ll be checking a lot on the reports from base camp and from her Dad, Neil Schneider, in Janesville, Wisconsin. You can check on Lori too, by coming to Guideposts.com where senior editor Evan Miller will be updating us on Lori’s progress. And there is one thing we can all do—say a prayer for Lori that she safely reaches—and returns—from the very top of the world.

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of GUIDEPOSTS Publications.

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For Lori’s story and previous updates, go to her Everest Climb page or check out her team website.    

Plus: Would you ever climb Everest?

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