Loading

69°F

61°F

69°F

68°F

70°F

69°F

69°F

68°F

70°F

67°F

68°F

69°F
Search
NEWS STORIES

Kilimanjaro Climb a Northwoods Team EffortSubmitted: 02/25/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


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

MADISON - A Wisconsin prison guard has served a one-day suspension for a joke he posted on Facebook about President Barack Obama and lynching.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - It's been a while since Independence Day fell on a Saturday, but that coincidence of the calendar made for a busy weekend for local firework stands.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - A fire in Eagle River severely damaged a garage on McKinley Boulevard early Sunday morning.

The Eagle River Fire Department said the fire started in the garage just after midnight Sunday morning.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - Parades and marching bands go hand in hand, but Boulder Junction has gone without a band in their Fourth of July parade for more than 20 years. One marching band, though, is changing that tradition.

+ Read More

MIAMI BEACH, FLA - Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless has been arrested for allegedly firing two shots into the air during an argument outside a Miami Beach parking garage.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - A crash in Wausau left one man injured after a van collided with his motorcycle Friday night.

The Wausau Police Department got a call about a southbound crash around 9:00 p.m. on Grand Avenue near Ruder Street.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - Approximately 15,000 people came out to support the Boulder Junction Volunteer Fire Department Saturday as it held its 25th annual chicken barbecue fundraiser.

All the money raised during the barbecue will help the department pay for equipment upgrades and training.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here