MS Mountaineer Lori Schneider Takes a Leap of Faith

Lori Schneider on Mount Everest

Lori Schneider on Mount Everest

On May 23, 2009, fifty-two-year-old Lori Schneider became the first person in the world with multiple sclerosis to summit Mount Everest. Lori is also the first person with MS to complete the “Seven Summits” by scaling the highest peak on each continent.

I video-interviewed Lori twice before in earlier posts. Click here to watch our first interview. Click here to watch our second interview.

Lori may have completed her Seven Summits goal but her mountaineering days are far from over. On July 10, she will be leading a Leap of Faith Adventure to Tanzania, Africa. Fourteen adventurous men and women with Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease will make the journey, along with fifteen climbing companions, assisting and supporting them every step of the way.

In an e-mail to me, Lori wrote:

We will be climbing Kilimanjaro, then going on safari, culminating with a balloon ride over the Serengeti. My 79-year old-father will be my climbing partner again. We climbed Kili together in 1993 and made it to the summit on my dad’s 61st birthday. It will be a great trip!

Here is more trip info that Lori sent out to Leap of Faith Adventure participants:

Hi Team, Here is a schedule of our days in Africa, that I posted today on the Empowerment Through Adventure Facebook page. It is a good summary of where we will be during each calendar day, for you to share with family and friends. With the help of Jeff Rennicke, along with our amazing sponsorship support team, we will be posting daily updates and photos on Facebook, Twitter (to be set up soon), the Empowerment Through Adventure site, and additional updates from AlpineAscents, the company we’re partnering with.

So the anticipation builds for our 2011 KILIMANJARO Leap of Faith climb! 15 days and counting until our departure date of July 10th. We have 10 people living with MS, 4 people living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and 14 amazing companion climbers living to give us emotional support and encouragement every step of the way. Go Team Kili! Hiking 39 miles (63 km) in 7 days, with 16,077 ft. (4,891m) elevation gain to the 19,344ft (5896m) summit on Kilimanjaro!

Here is our schedule while in Africa:

July 10-11 Fly to Arusha, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania
July 12 Gear checks, briefing, meeting our team of 28 brave souls!
July 13 Climb Kili Gate-Machame Hut 6mi/10km 9,900ft/3000m
July 14 Climb Machame Hut-Shira Hut 5mi/8km 12,500ft/3800m
July 15 Climb Shira Hut-Barranco Hut 6mi/10km 12,900ft/3900m
July 16 Climb Barranco Hut-Karanga Valley 3mi/5km 13,300ft/4055m
July 17 Climb Karanga Valley-Kosovo Camp 3mi/5km 15,600ft/4760 m
July 18 SUMMIT DAY Kosovo-Uhuru Peak 4mi/7km 19,344ft/5896m
July 19 Descend-Mweka 8mi/13km Shower time! Celebration dinner!
July 20 Safari-Tarangire National Park
July 21 Safari-Visit Masai village & Ngorongoro Crater
July 22 Safari-Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti National Park
July 23 Sunrise Balloon rise over the Serengeti plains, Homeward bound!
July 24 Home-Sleep for a week, revel in the accomplishment, smile forever!

Click here for a more detailed Alpine Ascents itinerary summary visit.

I humbly bow before your adventurous, indomitable spirit, Lori. My very best wishes to you and your party of intrepid climbers for this awesome expedition. You are truly an inspiration, not only to those who are battling serious health challenges, but to everyone on the planet.

Safe journeys!

Lori’s story is told in great detail in The Promise of Hope, a book by Guideposts‘ Editor-in-Chief Edward Grinnan. I read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Click here to order it for yourself.

Click here to view all my posts about Lori Schneider.


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