Adventures of a mother of 7 – Johanna Gustafsson

Because it's there!

When 8 years old I learned about Mount Everest, and ever since I have dreamed about climbing up there. When I became middle-aged and sensible I thought that it's impossible.

2012 when I turned 50 I suddenly got this crazy idea to fulfill my childhood dream. Now, almost 2 years later, after studying, training, researching & finding solutions, it seems possible!

If things go well I will summit in May 2014, if things don't go well I will hopefully do it another year. If you want to follow me vie e-mail updates you can subscribe to them.

April 20, base camp

The main sherpas are in a meeting thinking about what to do with this season of climbing on Everest. There are rumours in the camp that some teams that lost many sherpas in the avalanche have abandoned their expedition, which is very understandable if it is true.

I would really like to see the higher camps and to try to summit this mountain, I have so been looking forward to that. But I also have mixed feelings about the levels of risks I and especially others working with me may have to take if we attempt to climb.

The paying customer crosses the Khumbu icefall 6-8 times during acclimatization and the final climb, but the sherpas who help us typically must cross 30-40 times to get all the gear, oxygen bottles, food and other necessities up to the high camps. I'm not sure I want my sherpas to do that. I can see/hear continuous avalanches and it was already a close call for Pasang in the accident that happened. 

In my understanding the sherpas who are here really want to do this work, they care about the mountains, they care about us and they enjoy their job. But in the end they mostly do it because of the money that can be life-changing for them. If it becomes our money for their lives it is not right.

I have not taken a decision myself yet on what to do. If it is true that there is more snow than normally the smart thing may be to come back next year. The climbers with an obsession for a mountain, who can't turn back when the risks are too high are the ones most likely killed and also dangerous for others. I will wait for a few days and see how things develop. 

The weather here is good, we will practice in safe areas of the icefall tomorrow and otherwise everything is good. I know there are a couple Finns here, I haven't met them yet so I'll try to find them now.

Johanna Gustafsson – the Everest project