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Climber with Disability to Lead Unique Team to Mount Everest in 2003


AUSTIN, TEXAS April 24, 2002
The Team Everest ’03 Expedition has announced the first five members of its Challenge Trek to Mt. Everest base camp in spring 2003. The initial team members all live in Austin, TX and represent a diversity of disabilities: Chase Bearden and Gene Rodgers are persons with quadriplegia, Mark Gobble is a person with a hearing impairment and Joe Paschall is a person with a visual impairment. Chris Costello will be the expedition interpreter. “Team Everest ’03 has a powerful message; it models how society can open the door of opportunity to all people, regardless of their ability or disability,” says expedition leader Gary Guller.

Team Everest ‘03 spotlights the potential of people with disabilities and is led by Austin mountaineer Guller, a climber with only one arm. The event is promoting 50 years of progress in improving the lives of those with disabilities while paralleling the 50th anniversary of the first summit of Everest. Guller will lead this unique team of individuals and supporters on the three-week Challenge Trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp at over 17,500 ft. before himself attempting the 29,035 ft. summit.

The Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (CTD) kicked off this dramatic 18-month campaign in February. “We are continuing to accept applications for people with and without disabilities for the Challenge Trek. Those who are interested in being a part of Team Everest ’03 should contact CTD,” says Dennis Borel, executive director of CTD.

For more information about the Team Everest ’03 Challenge Trek, the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities or Gary Guller, please contact Dennis Borel at (512) 478-3366.

Photos and media kit available upon request.

Press Contact:
Dennis Borel
Project Director
(512) 478-3366