Cambridge woman reaches the top of Mount Everest
A Cambridge woman is climbing Mount Everest, as her husband is back home cheering her on.
Debbie Bulten began her trek up the world’s tallest mountain in late March.
Communication with her husband Dave Bulten has been limited, with few checkpoints along the way.
“And in the beginning I'd be like ‘Oh is she – it's been three weeks. Is she ok? I wish I could communicate,’" Dave told CTV News.
Dave said preparing for the expedition was no joke. In the months leading up to her ascent, Debbie and her weighted backpack, went to Chicopee Ski Hill almost daily.
“And she would go up and down Chicopee and we'd all think 'Oh yeah, she'll go up and down Chicopee.' No, we're talking 5, 6 hours,” Dave said.
No matter the preparation, he admitted it is hard to eliminate all worries, knowing how tough the climb can be.
“There's a thing called the death zone where you are dying. She explained it to me, you can't drink -- it doesn't do anything. You can't eat. And you don't go to the washroom, you are shut down and dying,” Dave said, explaining one of his biggest fears.
But finally the message he had been waiting for came.
“She communicated just this morning, because there was some worry,” he said.
Not only did Debbie reach the top of Everest, she summited Mount Lhotse as well. Two summits in 24 hours.
“I'm so proud of my wife,” Dave said.
Debbie's goal of climbing the ‘Seven Summits’ is now complete. The next task will be the descent and she is expected home next week.
“Any climber that comes back from Everest is forever changed – physiologically and psychologically for the rest of their lives,” Dave said. “It’s going to be the same wife – just better.”
It was Debbie and Dave’s 33rd wedding anniversary on May 19. But with his wife roughly 12,000 kilometres from home and 29,000 feet above sea level, Dave spent it alone.
“I went to Burger King for a Whopper,” laughed Dave.
CAMBRIDGE COMMUNITY CHEERS HER ON
A Cambridge viewer told CTV News he is supporting Debbie’s climb by writing a message for her on his lawn.
“This women is remarkable and I have a tribute to her, cut in my lawn. This could put Cambridge on the map,” said the resident.
“Go Deb,” reads the message in his grass located on Rosecliff Court.