Ed Webster, author of Snow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Everest spent the day at Thaddeus Stevens School sharing slides and stories, of three Everest ascents. The final ascent, with a team of only four climbers, in 1988 carved a new route up Everest. The four-member team had no bottled oxygen, no sherpas, and no radios. Students were spellbound as he demonstrated how he saved himself from what would have been a fatal fall. He used the actual ice axe and re-enacted how he drove his ice axe into the ledge and flipped himself upright. Webster then spent the rest of the day with the seventh grade in their outdoor science classroom as they discovered how to measure the age and health of the trees in the forest.
“You have to always try to do what you want,” he told the students. “If you put forth the effort; just take that first step, you will succeed in achieving your dreams.” An eager fourth-grade student, Kalie Foley-Rutherfurd, purchased Webster’s book and held it tightly in her arms. “I was amazed that he went where no other climbers had gone,” she said. “I’m gonna do that.”