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TA Loeffler is making her second attempt up Mount Everest


TA Loeffler, showing her crampons and Tibetan prayer flags behind her, is making her second attempt up Mount Everest this month.

By Mandy Cook

Professor of Human Kinetics and Recreation and adventurer Dr. TA Loeffler has begun her journey around the world in her quest to summit the planet’s highest mountain.

Mount Everest is the second to last peak on Dr. Loeffler’s pursuit of the highest peaks on each of the seven continents – known to climbers as the Seven Summits. After Everest, only Antarctica’s Mount Vinson remains.

In 2007, Dr. Loeffler climbed three quarters of the way up Everest but was forced back down due to a severe giardia infection. Now, at an increased level of fitness – thanks to dragging car tires by a rope up Signal Hill as well as guidance from her colleagues at the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation – she is determined to stand on top of the world at 8,850 metres above sea level.

Now, she and her trekking team – comprised of systems administrator Marian Wissink of the Department of Computer Science and School of Human Kinetics and Recreation graduates Jacinta McGrath, Nadia Schenk, and Natelle Tulk – began their adventure on an arduous 10-day trek from Kathmandu, Nepal, to Everest’s base camp on April 1.

From there, the trekking team will return to Kathmandu while Dr. Loeffler makes acclimatization forays up the mountain. After an intense month of climbing, she will retreat to a lower altitude to rest before making that last push to Everest’s summit from May 15-24.

Climbing in honour of her grandmother Frida’s lifelong love of learning and also to raise funds for a student award here at Memorial, Dr. Loeffler is encouraging everyone to climb with her in spirit by taking action in their own lives.

Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador has partnered with Dr. Loeffler in challenging the entire province to “Step UP to the Summit.” The physical activity challenge can be found at www.recreationnl.ca which allows participants to track a wide variety of physical activities while trying to maintain pace with Dr. Loeffler’s efforts up the mountain.
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