Mt. Everest conqueror to speak at BVU Sunday

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Imagine climbing mountains in a foreign country with no food or water, in the most terrible weather conditions. Twenty-seven year old Charlie Wittmack has done that, in seven different countries.

Buena Vista University invites the public to here Wittmack tell about his latest adventure, becoming the first Iowan to reach the summit of the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. "Climbing Mount Everest" is Sunday, September 21, at 7 p.m., in Schaller Memorial Chapel. The program open to the public, free of charge.

"I think what he might teach us most is that we have to believe in ourselves," says Carla Offenburger, academic ACES coordinator. "That's a pretty powerful lesson."

Wittmack's achievement was the culmination of over six years of training that took him around the world on more than a dozen expeditions on five continents, including climbs in the Alps, Andes, Africa, Alaska, Mexico, and the Himalayas. During the expedition to Mount Everest, Wittmack faced the worst weather in the recorded history of the mountain, climbing in 80-plus mph winds and suffering for days without food or water while making three attempts to the summit.

"If we have any sense of adventure, or have any dreams or goals, Charlie Wittmack is living proof that they can come true and be done," Offenburger says.

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