Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
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

ONEIDA COUNTY - Sixty-five species of native mammals call Wisconsin home. The DNR wants help collecting data about all of them.

"Snapshot Wisconsin" is a statewide wildlife monitoring program. It relies on volunteers to host trail cameras throughout the year.

"We ask a volunteer to set the camera out for us and go out and check it periodically, change the camera chip, change the batteries. Then they upload the photos to a central site," said DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz.

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY COURT - A Rhinelander man who apparently tried to shoot and kill a man at an apartment complex could head to trial.

Steven Fletcher, 46, appeared in Oneida County Court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

Prosecutors believe Fletcher broke into an apartment south of Rhinelander about three weeks ago and shot
at another man.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - In a vacant building on 14 acres of property in Rhinelander, Dwight Webb sees potential.

"This area has a lot to offer," Webb said.

Webb grew up in Rhinelander, so he knows all about its tight-knight community, solid schools, and easy access to nature. But what Rhinelander lacks, an old building could fill.

"Not only student housing, it's almost a community building," Webb said.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - After eight years of planning and budgeting, a groundbreaking ceremony finally took place at the Walter E. Olsen Memorial Library in Eagle River.

The 37-year-old building is getting a face lift with the $2.8 million renovation and expansion project.

+ Read More

MADISON - Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he's "generally supportive" of a bill to allow the carrying of concealed weapons without a permit.

Vos told reporters Thursday that he hasn't yet asked Assembly Republicans where they stand on the bill but that they plan to discuss the proposal.

+ Read More

MADISON - The University of Wisconsin, K-12 schools, and the Department of Natural Resources will all be in the spotlight as the Legislature's budget-writing committee completes three days of briefings.

The Joint Finance Committee meeting on Thursday comes after a 14-hour marathon Wednesday that saw Republicans on the panel disagreeing sharply with key planks of Gov. Scott Walker's budget.

+ Read More

MARQUETTE, MI - Northern Michigan University says financial help from the state will boost its effort to extend high-speed educational broadband across the Upper Peninsula.

The university in Marquette is getting $6.5 million from the Michigan Strategic Fund and will contribute $3.2 million in matching funds. The plan is to equip 64 cities and townships over two years.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here