Toronto's Urszula Tokarska
reached the summit of Mount Everest tonight, becoming the first Canadian woman
to have climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents. She is only the
third Canadian woman in history to reach the top of Mount Everest.
After being pinned down by high winds on May 31, Tokarska and
her team of three other climbers and Sherpa guides left Camp Four Wednesday,
June 1 at 8:30 p.m. Everest time (10:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time). She
reached the peak at 5 a.m. (June 3) Everest time (7:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight
Time). The team is expected to return to Camp Four from the summit at
approximately 5 p.m. (June 3) Everest time.
Earlier Update: Canadian climber Urszula Tokarska of Toronto, begins her
final ascent to the summit of Mount Everest at 10:00 p.m. Everest time (noon
Eastern Daylight Time) today. The final ascent is expected to take 10 to 16
Tokarska, arrived at Camp Two on Friday, May 27 and
started for Camp Three on Sunday May 29. She arrived at Camp Four yesterday
to prepare for her final ascent.
Tokarska is on her way to becoming the first
Canadian woman to climb the highest mountains on the world's seven continents.
If successful, she will become only the third Canadian woman to have reached
the top of Mount Everest.
The team includes Tokarska, Jim Williams and two
American climbers. The team arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal to begin training on
Heavy winds, snow and extreme cold have hampered
climbers from reaching the top of Mount Everest this year. Tokarska started
high altitude mountain climbing in 1998 with a Mount Everest base camp trek.
In January 2001, she climbed South America's Mount Aconcagua. The following
year, she climbed Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro and Europe's Mount Elbrus. In
2004, she climbed Antarctica's Mount Vinson Massif, North America's Mount
Denali and Oceania's Mount Kosciuszko and made an unsuccessful attempt to
summit Mount Everest coming within 70 vertical meters or 30 minutes of the top
only to be turned back by a blinding snowstorm.
Background: Canadian Urszula Tokarska is
trying again to become the first Canadian woman to climb the highest mountains
on the world's seven continents. Last year her climb was a tribute to two
close personal friends, climber Richard Barryman who died in 1998 while
tramping in Ball Pass near Mount Cook in New Zealand and climber Franz Waibel
who died two years later while climbing Mount Athabaska in Alberta," said
Tokarska, from camp four. "I am pursuing their dream to reach the top of the
legendary Mount Everest."
Tokarska attempted Everest last year on a New Zealand
commerical expedition but failed to summit. Tokarska started high altitude
climbing in 1998, with a Mount Everest Base Camp trek. Since that time, she
has lost two friends in back-to-back climbing accidents. The decision to climb
all seven mountains was made in 2002 as a tribute to Richard Barryman and
Franz Waibel, and has turned into a quest to be the first Canadian woman to
climb seven summits.
In 2001, she climbed South America's Aconcagua (6,962 metres).
The following year, she climbed Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 metres)
followed by Europe's Mount Elbrus (5,642 metres). "Urszula
is not only one of the most creative designers I know, she is
also one of the most determined people I have ever met," says Stephen Pile,
Tokarska's business partner. "I have no doubt she will succeed in making all
Urszula Tokarska is a a
licensed interior designer, 41-year old Urszula Tokarska is a partner of
Stephen R. Pile Architect, a Toronto based architectural and interior design
firm. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Arts, a
Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, Poland and is a
member of the Association of Interior Designers of Ontario, the Interior
Designers of Canada and the American Society of Interior Designers.
Tokarska was born in Slupsk,
Poland and immigrated to Canada in 1988. She became a Canadian citizen in
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