2018-09-04 Rotary Buzz - Evening Meeting
Speaker -Stuart Erskine
Topic -7 Summit Challenge
Lou opened the meeting at 6:00 pm.
Health of the Club -  Betty Mayor is doing well after a fall.  Roy F. is at home but going to the hospital Mon-Fri. to help with his pneumonia.  Jim R. should be back in May.  Elaine Hook is doing much better after some health issues.
  • Gala Update May 5, 2018:
    • Kevin Sorenson will be the auctioneer.
    • 130 tickets sold and we're shooting for 180-200.
    • 60 silent auction items secured but we are hoping to get 100 or more.
    • We have live auction items as well.  Dawn will be collecting the items, so please contact her.
    • Please let Dawn know if you are collecting any gift cards.
    • Ads have been placed in the Morning News, Booster, and The Canadian.
    • Needing volunteers for set up.
  • June 7 Daybreak's Rib Tickler Comedian and Motivational speaker, Alvin lowe.
  • Ray and Elaine Hook have sold their house and if the sale goes well, they will be leaving for Ontario by the end of June.
Paul Harris Fellowship Award
Don Rebus presented Sebastien Deschambeault, owner, and Manager of The Brick, with the Award.  Sebastien has been a great support to Rotary, allowing us to store the wheelchairs and other aides as they are being prepared to be shipped to Mexico.  To date, there have been 2700 shipped to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Sebastien has been invaluable to Rotary with this project.
(Apologies to all as picture got deleted accidentally.  Will pay fine at next meeting.)
Speaker - Stuart Erskine, Seven Summit Challenge
What would make a 40-year old, overweight man go from bringing up the rear in a 3k race to climbing mountains?  I can think of two things: 1. losing your mind (a.k.a. stark raving mad) or 2. mid-life crisis gone sideways.
For Stuart Erskine, a New Zealand transplant, it was neither (so he says).  It was bruised ego, it was a race against kids, and a need to get into shape.  He took up running and trained for 4 months before he did a half marathon in Las Vegas.  It was in his years of running marathons around the world that he ran into a fellow runner, Marshall Aldridge, who gave him a flash drive with the presentation of the Seven summit challenge.  It would be years later when his running came to an end with an injury that he actually watched the presentation and committed to the cause. 
The Challenge is to climb seven mountains on seven continents.  The Summits are Kosciuszko (Australia), Carstensz Pyramid (Indonesia), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Elbrus (Russia), Aconcagua (South America), Denali (Arctic Circle), Vinson Massif (Antartica), and Everest (Asia).
Stuart took a ten-day climbing course on Mt. Rainier to prepare for this, dare I say it, mountainous, undertaking.  There he learned the skills he would need including knot tieing, which he says, "is kind of important."  One also learns ladder skills and foot skills which is tantamount to climbing.
Contrary to what we might think, mountain climbing isn't a one-day event.  One could expect to be there for at least a few weeks.  Stuart tells us when doing the actual climbs, half the time was spent at base camps while you acclimate to the altitude, learning to carry weight (you carry supplies and oxygen) and keeping up your health.  He says a lot of the fatalities that happen are caused by people taking shortcuts.  You need to have the best guides and the best equipment.
Stuart completed the challenge and used Everest as a training ground (because the other 6 were child's play?!) to climb the crown jewel, K2 which lies between China and Pakistan.  It is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent.  
He puts in perspective for us, saying that there are 3% fatalities on Everest compared to 33% on K2.  As well K2 is a very steep mountain, 90% of K2 is climbing rockface.  It will also take you 3-5 tries to actually reach the summit.  Stuart tells us only 26 people have climbed all eight summits, he included.  And he has yet to reach the K2 summit.
Stuart has transformed himself from being middleaged, overweight man to marathon runner to a mountain climber.  What carried him through it all are words we all can live by, "You can do more than you think you can!"
50/50 - $22 was won.  
Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.
Next meeting April 16, 2018 - Noon Meeting 11:45 am.
Speaker - Lyle Johnson
Emmanuel Foundation
Camrose Resort and Casino