Ottawa woman recounts treacherous Mount Everest climb
Published Monday, June 4, 2012 10:35AM EDT
An Ottawa woman is back on Canadian soil after what she called a treacherous and horrific climb up Mount Everest.
"Emotionally, I and everyone on my team were a wreck," said Sandra Leduc.
Climbing isn't new for Leduc. She has summited five out of seven summits, the seven tallest mountains on each continent around the world.
It took five days for Leduc to reach the top of the tallest mountain in the world.
She said summiting Everest was not only the hardest climb, but the worst night of her life. On the way up the mountain, Leduc passed the bodies of four climbers who had died.
"The very first girl I saw was a woman my age," recalled Leduc.
"Her face was frozen solid. She was being lifted by about five members."
Another victim was 33-year-old Shrya Shah from Toronto. She made it to the top, but died on the way back down.
It's believed she died of exhaustion and altitude sickness after weather prolonged their climb.
Leduc documented her journey and its challenges on Twitter.
One Tweet read "There's lots of dead or dying bodies. Thought I was in a morgue."
"People assume it's a walk, that it's easy to do, that they don't need training," said Leduc.
Friends and family gathered at the Ottawa airport to welcome Leduc home.
"She did it. It's her tenacity. Her will to get to the top," said Jess Dutton.
"I'm enthusiastic that she is home and alive," said Camille Forget, Leduc's aunt.
Leduc said the way to the top wasn't easy.
"You have a very concrete goal in mind. You don't necessarily think about it," she said of the climb.
"As a mountaineer it's one step in front of the other and shutting out any emotional response," Leduc said.
While Leduc says she's extremely exhausted, she's already looking to the future.
She plans to climb Mount Vincent in Antarctica.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Stefanie Masotti