Arlington Heights native Joel Schauer told us about his 2016 ascent to the top of Mt. Everest on May 16, 2016.  His first attempt to go to the top of the world in 2014 came to an untimely end because of an avalanche.  He had previously climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with his daughter and then Denali(also known as Mount McKinley) in 2013.  He described his 2016 $100K experience as “spiritual”.
He showed numerous pictures(think white backgrounds) taken during his climb across and up the various snow and ice covered mountains and flows.  The audience was held in suspense as he displayed his arduous steps to the top and his reference to the “life line” continually by his side.  “There is no safety on the mountain.”
Joel is owner of Fairchild Industries located in Lake Zurich, IL.  For more about his talk and some photos taken of his slide presentation, see More....
He described his preparations for mountain climbing as having been a painter for 4 years while attending college.  However, he found it challenging when negotiating ladders which spanned crevasses which are black at the bottom.  He left unanswered the question “What kind of knot do you use to tie the ladders together?”
“Walking around in camp 3 he described taking one step forward, stop and take 6 breaths” and then repeating the sequence for effect.  “The climb was both physically and mentally challenging.”  “It opens the mind.”
When his group started “climbing” from camp 3 to camp 4(the last camp before the final climb to the top) the wind was gusting 50 mph and it was decided to move out because there is a small window to make it to the top (there are only about 2 times in a year when the top is not wind-blown).  “You have to keep pushing and believe you’re doing the right thing in pushing.”
They started the final climb to the top at 7:00pm in the dark and reached the peak at 6:45am on May 19 - a clear and sunny morning.
[ RP's p.s., A question at the meeting had to do with taking such risks (for his business, family, himself).  He replied that he's not a gambler, he's a risk taker.  His wife added that they believe it's important to live life, that they support each other, and that one will depart when God decides.]