For Immediate Release
MAY 9, 2007
CURRENT ALTITUDE â 7,470 METRES (24,500 FEET)
MEAGAN MCGRATHâS EVEREST ADVENTURE IS THE FOCUS OF EXHIBIT AND PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS
AT SCIENCE NORTH, SUDBURY
MOUNT EVEREST, NEPAL â A Sudbury native and mountain climber has reached another significant milestone on her attempt to summit the worldâs tallest peak. After descending all the way back to base camp and spending several days there to acclimatize, Meagan McGrath climbed back up the treacherous Khumbu Icefall, scaled the Lhotse Face for the first time, and arrived at Camp 3 on Sunday, at an altitude of 7,470 metres or 24,500 feet. Nepalâs Mount Everest is 8848 metres (29,028 feet) tall at its peak.
According to the popular on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia, climbers ascend from Camp 2 up the Lhotse face on [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_rope ]fixed ropes up to Camp 3, located on a small ledge at 7,470 metres. Any climber bound for the South Col on Everest must climb this 1,125m (3,700ft) wall of glacial blue ice. The Lhotse face rises at 40 and 50-degree pitches with the occasional 80 degree bulges.
âIt was hard going after my break at the second tier,â said Meagan of her climb to Camp 3 in her latest dispatch. âI was alone, which was good, because I didn’t have someone tugging on the ropes, but bad because I only had a vague idea of where I was going â [to] tents on the 4th tierâ¦it was really cloudy at this point, too – so I couldn’t even see if there were tents ahead!â
From there, it is another 500 metres to Camp 4 on the [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Col ]South Col at 7,920 m (26,000 ft). From Camp 3 to Camp 4, climbers are faced with two additional challenges: The Geneva Spur and The Yellow Band. The Geneva Spur is an anvil shaped rib of black rock named by a 1952 Swiss expedition. Fixed ropes assist climbers in [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrambling ]scrambling over this snow covered rock band. The Yellow Band is a section of [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedimentary ]sedimentary [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandstone ]sandstone which also requires about 100 metres of rope for traversing it.
On the South Col, climbers enter the [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_zone ]death zone. Climbers typically only have a maximum of two or three days they can endure at this altitude for making summit bids. Clear weather and low winds are critical factors in deciding whether to make a summit attempt. If weather does not cooperate within these short few days, climbers are forced to descend, many all the way back down to Base Camp. At this point, it is estimated that Meagan will make a summit attempt before May 21st.
Meagan is a 29-year old Sudburian, and a Captain in the Canadian Air Force. She is an aerospace engineer and works at the Air Force Experimentation Centre in Ottawa. As a child, Meagan regularly visited Science North and was a regular participant in Science North’s summer camps and programsâ¦and that inspired her to pursue a career in science.
Meagan calls herself an adventurer. She has already climbed six of the seven tallest continental summits. Mount Everest (the 7th Summit) is her latest challenge. If she is successful in climbing the worldâs tallest peak, she will be the first Canadian Forces member (male or female) and the youngest Canadian female to achieve the Seven Summits.
The public can follow Meaganâs adventure via her travelogue on the Science North web site at: [ http://sciencenorth.ca/everest ]http://sciencenorth.ca/everest From Science North to the 7th Summit: Meagan McGrathâs Everest Adventure is also the focus of a fourth-floor exhibit, now open, and upcoming public presentations in June at Science North. Admission to the exhibit is included in science centre admission â free for Science North members. Information on the exhibit and the presentations are available on-line at http://sciencenorth.ca/everest.
From Science North to the 7th Summit: Meagan McGrathâs Everest Adventure is being supported by the following organizations:
Summit Supporter: Science North
Visitor Experience Funded By: Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
Advanced Base Camp Sponsor: MySudbury.ca
Base Camp Sponsors: The Laamanen Group, LaPrairie Incorporated
School Program Sponsor: CVRD Inco
Media Sponsors: CTV, The Sudbury Star, CBC Radio One
The public can also support Meaganâs Everest attempt by becoming a Trek Supporter for only $100. Details on this exciting opportunity are available on-line at http://sciencenorth.ca/everest, along with Meaganâs travelogue.
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