Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Kilimanjaro Climb a Northwoods Team EffortSubmitted: 02/25/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Kilimanjaro Climb a Northwoods Team Effort
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Climbers usually gather at base camp.

And if the climb is Kilimanjaro, base camp means Africa.

But for one Northwoods woman, the climb started well before that - at a Lac du Flambeau school.

"It started out as sort of my dream," says Mary Poer.

"My dream" became "our dream".

Mary works for the Lac du Flambeau public school.

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro became a team effort - with the entire school behind her.

"When I thought of her climbing the mountain, I thought she must have been crazy," says Lilith Schuman, an eighth grader at the school.

Even so, three weeks ago, Mary made it the 19,341 feet to the summit.

The idea started while chatting with her family.

"We started comparing bucket lists for turning 50. Once I thought of Kilimanjaro, I couldn't quit thinking about it, and I decided I had better do something about it," she says.

She started training for the journey last October.

But how do you get in shape for climbing a mountain in dead-flat northern Wisconsin?

"I felt rather sheepish about it. I live near the Bearskin Trail, and I would put on my backpack, and I would put rocks in it, to be a lot heavier than what I would actually be carrying."

The way up Kilimanjaro was far from a smooth ride.

In what's called the Lunar Saddle, her group ran across a plane that had crashed in 2008.

"It was sobering to realize, okay, we're in a high altitude now, and this is serious business," says Mary.

"I was pretty confident she was going to make it. She seems like a person that wouldn't give up," Lilith says.

She didn't.

On February 7th, Mary reached the summit.

"It's bright. It's so bright up there, but lunar-like. Really lunar-like. It was like you were on the moon," remembers Mary.

She knew that thousands of miles away, the students at Lac du Flambeau were behind her for every step.

"Realizing that I had made the summit, I was actually thinking of all the kids here, because at points, I wanted to quit."

Her climb was not only a check off the bucket list for Mary, but an inspiration to grade schoolers.

"That we could make a world record or something," thinks Lilith.

And she returned to the school with a hero's welcome.

"Absolutely grand. I don't know how else to describe it. I'm blessed. I'm blessed to be amongst these young people."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - A Wisconsin-themed outdoor landscape will soon accompany the new Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River.

The library reopened in December after a $2.8 million renovation and expansion project.

On Monday, volunteers started creating a rain garden and planting native flowers and grasses on the grounds.

"You have a new outside, you have the building, a new inside of the building, and we wanted to make sure that the landscaping complimented it," said Quita Sheehan of the Vilas County Land and Water Conservation Department.

+ Read More

Play Video

WOODRUFF - Black bear sightings become more common this time of year.

As bears come out of hibernation, they tend to be pretty hungry.

+ Read More

Play Video

WATERSMEET - With every species of insect Rachel Hovel finds, she gets a better picture of the water quality at Wildcat Falls near Watersmeet. 

"We're actually finding really good representation of the mayflies, the stone flies, caddisfly which are the three most sensitive, which is a great indication of good water quality," said Hovel. 

Hovel was one of about a dozen people that spent their Saturday searching, identifying, and cataloging all the different species of plant and animal life on the property.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander organization wanted to celebrate young adults making a difference in their community. 

Forward Rhinelander announced the first-ever "Top 40 Under 40" winners last week.

+ Read More

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - A man robbed a store in Wisconsin Rapids at gunpoint Sunday night.

The police were called around 9:00 p.m. to Jimmy Johns on 8th street.

A man came in, showed his gun, and demanded money. The employee handed over the cash.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's new mayor wants to start a conversation outside rather than inside city hall. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The new "central hub" of Associated Bank in the Northwoods opened its doors Monday. 
 
Back in late-October, the bank broke ground on its new facility on the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue. The new building brings employees from the other two buildings in downtown together. 

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here