Loading

21°F

23°F

20°F

22°F

19°F

24°F

20°F

26°F

19°F

22°F

26°F

20°F
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

Play Video

ST. GERMAIN - The 13th Annual St. Germain Radar Run kicked off on Friday. The event draws thousands of people to St. Germain each year.

"Who doesn't want to see a sled going 135 miles an hour down a track or 169 [miles per hour]? It's a lot of excitement," said Assistant Race Director Amy Greenberg.

"So many people come into town. The motels are full. The restaurants, the pubs are all full," said Race Director Mark Hiller.

+ Read More

NORTHWOODS - The U.S. Forest Service will hire thousands of temporary workers this spring. Leaders at the Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Service want to hire more than 50 temporary employees to work during summer. They're looking for people with diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Firefighters in the Rhinelander area saved a two story home from going up in flames Friday.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Super Bowl Sunday is the holy grail of football.

This time last year, more than 113 million people were preparing to watch the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos battle for the Super Bowl title.

But it's what happens when the game stops that has experts talking.

Game time is primetime for the biggest advertisements of the year, many of which market alcohol with ads targeting teens.


+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Police squad cars get a lot of wear and tear. That's why the Rhinelander Police Department needs to upgrade at least one of them every year.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Many current high school students will need to know how to use the latest technology when they enter the workforce, which means they need to have more than just math, writing, and science skills.

Some Northwoods high schools have started offering different classes that develop 21st century skills.

The Media Productions class at Lakeland Union puts on a live broadcast for the school.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Authorities are investigating reports of beheaded chickens and roosters found in Milwaukee County parks.

The South Milwaukee Police Department investigated a report of a headless rooster found near tea candles at Grant Park.

The station says the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office investigated another chicken that was found with its head cut off at Bender Park, but the scene did not include candles there, just the beheaded chicken.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here