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April 2003:

1 | 3 - 4 | 4 - 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 11-16 | 17-19 | 21 | 22-25 | 27-30

Apr. 8

View from Everest Base Camp    Photo by Erich Schlegel / The Dallas Morning NewsMt. Everest Base Camp at over 17,500 feet is surrounded by the great ice cliffs of Mt. Pumori, Nuptse and the infamous Khumbu Ice Fall. On our first morning here, after a night of sleeping on the ice, we were truly amazed at the wonders around us. We have set up our camp beside the Khumbu glacier and are staring straight up the Ice Fall. The sounds of moving ice and avalanches keep us on guard at all times and remind us of the great people who have ventured into this region over the years, pushing themselves to the limit and inspiring others.

The Lama, our Sherpa friends and several team members prepared the most inspiring and revitalizing Puja ceremony I have ever seen. The sun was shining brightly, the sky was crystal clear and the mountains were sharp, majestic and so beautiful.

Prayer flags at Puja  Photo by Erich Schlegel / The Dallas Morning NewsIn the tradition of the Sherpa culture, we hung Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags and made offerings to the Everest gods for continued safe passage in the mountains. Our climbing gear was blessed by the Lama. We took time to pray and be thankful for all the things we have in our lives. The smoke from the burning juniper released all the good wishes and positive feelings that have felt throughout this expedition to the heavens. The local drink chhang was then enjoyed by all members in true Sherpa fashion.

We read your emails nightly and are truly inspired. We cannot thank you enough for the support that allowed us to push Lama prayers at Puja    Photo by Erich Schlegel / The Dallas Morning Newsthrough not only some of the most extreme natural obstacles, but significant internal barriers, as well, which often prevent people from realizing their true potential.

Your support in accomplishing our goal stands as a true testimony that the freedom to explore is a freedom that can be enjoyed by all. We hiked, rolled, carried, and limped our way to Base Camp, cold and extremely tired. But when people work together as a team, dreams can be realized.

I want to thank the folks we met on our journey to Base Camp - members of the Korean, Japanese, American and French expeditions, as well as all the trekkers from around the world. Everyone has been so supportive of our mission: to show that the potential of all people, regardless of their ability or disability, can never be underestimated.

Although we are at Base Camp, please continue to support the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and Team Everest '03 in every way you possibly can. We need your Emails to keep us going, and we need your financial support to keep the mission alive!

Climbing gear blessed at Puja  Photo by Erich Schlegel / The Dallas Morning NewsWe are about to embark on our next adventure - ice climbing on the Khumbu glacier. The high altitude climbing Sherpas have felt the power of Team Everest '03 and many of them are arriving into our camp with ropes, screws and ice axes. Everyone on our Expedition - and I mean EVERYONE - will get to experience climbing on a very safe part of the glacier. So stay tuned!

See a slide show by Dallas Morning News photographer Erich Schlegel that will completely and utterly blow your mind!

Thank you again on behalf of the entire team. We know that you are here with us.

Signing off from Everest Base Camp,
Gary Guller

TE '03 still needs to raise funds to cover expedition costs. Hope you can attend the Thursday, April 17 Challenge Trek Team Homecoming and fundraiser, from 6-10 pm at Mother Egan's, 715 W. 6th St., Austin. The event will feature top local musicians.

Also on April 17, you are invited to attend a panel discussion and press conference with trek team members at 10:00 am, at the CTD offices. Call 512/478-3366 or Email for details about both events.

Team at Puja at EBC   Photo by Erich Schlegel / The Dallas Morning NewsContact Dennis Borel at 512/478-3366 M-F (other times at 512/431-1656 or 512/443-6038) or for a media kit, sponsorship opportunities and to learn more about TE '03 and the advocacy work of CTD.

The Coalition of Texans with Disabilities is dedicated to ensuring that people with disabilities enjoy equal opportunities to live, work, play, and participate fully in the community of their choice. CTD has consistently delivered important results for persons with disabilities for the past 24 years, and needs your support to fight the discrimination that faces individuals with disabilities in almost every aspect of their lives.



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