Freedom Climb 2013 – On the Way Home!

By – Celia Shortt

The Freedom Climb team is leaving Kathmandu and each climber is on the way to her home! Click on the link below to see a video of them summiting Kala Patthar Peak.

Now that the climb is finished, the real work begins, continuing to raise awareness and funds for women and children all over the world who are oppressed, enslaved, and trafficked. Continue to pray for these women that they would use this experience wisely in that purpose. For more information on what they’re doing and how you can get involved with the Freedom Climb, go to the Freedom Climb Website.

Freedom Climb 2013 – Everyone is Back in Kathmandu!

By – Celia Shortt

Today, all the climbers are back in Kathmandu! Everyone of them made their flight from Lukla to Kathmandu. The weather was great, and the skies are still clear! All are thankful for the experience but glad to be off the mountain and anxious to get back home.

Christina and Pat

Christina and Pat

 

“We made it down the valley back to Kathmandu, we are healthy and mostly in one piece. An incredible adventure where we left everything (literally and figuratively) on the mountain, but I think I speak for the group when I say we are excited to be going home where we are without a doubt thankful for the friends and family who have supported us. As well as the little things like being able to walk to a warm bathroom barefoot, sit down toilets that flush, and ice cubes that don’t make you sick.” – Christina Taylor

Becky Barnhart

Becky Barnhart

 

“Back in Kathmandu…bittersweet to leave Lukla and the Himalayas this morning. Ready to be home, but also sad to leave. God has definitely met me on this journey, and I am forever grateful and blessed for the opportunity.” – Becky Barnhart

 

After reuniting with the prayer team, Tina Yeager, found out one of the most powerful parts of the climb happened in Kathmandu while her team was summiting Kala Patthar.

Tina and other climbers on Kala Patthar

Tina and other climbers on Kala Patthar

“The same day that we summited, in Kathmandu, the newspaper reported that that day ten traffickers were arrested. The article listed the traffickers’ names, and the prayer team talked about how they wrote down those names and prayed over each individual who was arrested to break their chains because the same bondage that holds these children and women is the same bondage that the enemy, who holds these sick people in bondage, uses. So our prayer team reacted in love towards these people, in prayer for these people, and in intercession for these ten people that they would be delivered.” – Tina Yeager

The team is spending another day in Kathmandu before flying out tomorrow evening (early evening our time). Thank you for all the prayers and everything each one of you has done. Continue to pray for the travels and that those who have been sick would continue to get better. Check back here, the Freedom Climb Facebook page, and website for more details, pictures, and videos of the climbers.

Freedom Climb 2013 – Back in Lukla

By – Celia Shortt

All of the Freedom Climbers are back in Lukla! The last of the climbers made it there this afternoon. Their trek today had much less snow than the last few days. They are enjoying the clearer weather and being one step closer to home.

Last Trek!

Last Trek!

Last Trek!

Last Trek! – Tina Yeager, Anette Sky, and Autumn Ross

Sue trying to lift a really HEAVY basket

Sue trying to lift a really HEAVY basket

Anette tried, too!

Anette tried, too!

God's Beauty in the Scenery

God’s Beauty in the Scenery

Beautiful Trek

Beautiful Trek

Last time crossing the bridge!

Last time crossing the bridge!

“I did this with my daughter. Twenty-five years ago when I gave birth to her, I never ever imagined that she and I would be trekking through the Himalayas together. And it’s just been such a wonderful experience — spiritually, physically, emotionally. We’ve hit it all.”       – Kristy Allan

Kristy Allan and her daughter, Lindsay.

Kristy Allan and her daughter, Lindsay.

Tomorrow, all the climbers head back to Kathmandu. The weather forecast says snow could be coming when they are supposed to fly out. So far, the weather has been clear. Pray that it stays clear, and everyone is able to fly out of Lukla and back to Kathmandu tomorrow (late night here). Check back here, the Freedom Climb Facebook page, and website for more details, pictures, and videos of the climbers.

Freedom Climb 2013 – Lots of Snow!

By – Celia Shortt

Today, both Freedom Climb teams continued their descent down the mountain. Cathey Anderson’s team headed to Monjo. The team that summited Kala Patthar headed to Namche. Both teams are still experiencing some crazy winter weather.

“The descent to Namche was cold and rainy with snow gusts. Currently, it’s a winter wonderland.” – Tina Yeager

Snowy Descent to Namche

Snowy Descent to Namche

Snowy Descent to Namche

Snowy Descent to Namche

Even with the crazy weather, they are pressing on to finish the climb well. One climber, Ana Lucia Berndt da Luz, from Brazil says this about this entire experience:

“It has been such an overwhelming experience. We can feel the spiritual welfare. Every time, we can see God’s hands over us, protecting us, providing everything we need. Many of us got sick, but everyone understands that our suffering connects us to the people we are climbing for — how they suffer, how they can’t bear their struggles. And we are here coming down, happy, getting better and better. And we are feeling victorious.”

On Kala Patthar

The View from Kala Patthar

Tomorrow, both teams will meet in Lukla where they will fly back to Kathmandu. Please pray for good weather. The forecast says there will be snow. If there is, they will not be able to fly out to Kathmandu. Continue to pray for their health and safety as they trek down the mountain. Check back here, the Freedom Climb Facebook page, and website for more details, pictures, and videos of the climbers.

Freedom Climb 2013 – Strong Helping the Weak

By – Celia Shortt

Yesterday, Cathey Anderson’s team had another surprise after they had settled into their camp…snow…in April! Their guide, Paul, says that he has never seen snow like this in April before.

“Looks like a white Christmas! Won’t have to worry about dust today!…Here’s a thought! We can see all this snow, and say, “Lord, REALLY???” Or we can say, “Lord! Really!!!!” Two of the ladies are so blessed because this is the first time in their lives they have ever seen snow! All in the perspective!” – Cathey Anderson

Snow in April!

Snow in April!

Some of the climbers also gained a perspective on this entire experience.

“One of the things I’ve seen in this experience is how important it is for the stronger people to be able to help the weak. And I’ve needed that. I don’t have good knees, so I needed  people to stick by me while we’re walking down. Cathey stuck by me all day. She could probably run down the mountain by herself. Thinking of the people who we climb for and how much they need the help of the Body of Christ, we have to stick by them.” – Joanne Hummel

Joanne and her  "special" bag after the flight

Joanne Hummel

Cathey’s team also took some much deserved time to celebrate Bama’s birthday (today)! Not only is Bama doing the Freedom Climb on her birthday, but she is also seeing snow for the first time in her life :)

Happy birthday, Bama!

Happy birthday, Bama!

The team that summited Kala Patthar is also headed down the mountain. To get to that summit, they had to deal with frigid temperatures and winds strong enough to knock them over. In the midst of those struggles, they were able to experience the presence and voice of God in a new way and identify even more with the women and children for whom they were climbing.

Autumn Ross

Autumn Ross

“We were struggling to get up there. It was so windy, and He was telling me that all you have to do is have faith, and I will finish this for you. So then I began to pray, and I asked the Lord to wake up all the prayer warriors. I felt that as they prayed that the Lord dispatched warring angels as well as ministering angels…I felt buoyed up by the angels, literally. And I felt like they were just lifting us up that last step.” – Autumn Ross

“Yesterday, when we were doing the summit day, it was so hard and physically painful. The whole time I kept thinking this really is symbolic of the pain those women and children are going through. It is a completely different kind of pain, but it was brutal. We just wanted to be done with it. Just thinking about the women and children who can’t be done with it, and they have to just live with it…I think we all have that on our minds and hearts when we’re climbing.” – Sarah Bradfield

Sarah Bradfield

Sarah Bradfield

Cathey’s team is headed Monju tomorrow, and the other team is headed to Namche. Continue to pray for their health and safety as they trek down the mountain. Check back here, the Freedom Climb Facebook page, and website for more details, pictures, and videos of the climbers.

Freedom Climb 2013 – Another Summit!

By – Celia Shortt

Ten out of the 16 climbers on Cathey Anderson’s team that is heading back down the mountain successfully summited Ama Dablam Base Camp! The ladies hiked up for 5 hours and then about another 1 1/2 back down to their camp at Dingboche.

Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam

“The hike was long, vigorous and victorious at the end. At times, we stopped. We had tea. We had panoramic views of all the mountain peaks around us. It was just amazing and beautiful. It was very exciting to stand at the summit as a group. What has kept me going? Just being a team and encouraging each other.” – Judy Hart

Judy Hart

Judy Hart

This group is staying in Dingboche tonight. Their next stop is Namche where each one is looking forward to a hot shower :) Continue to pray for their health and safety. Check back here, the Freedom Climb Facebook page, and website for more details, pictures, and videos of the climbers.

Freedom Climb 2013 – They Made it to the Summit!

By – Celia Shortt

“Praise God we made it! Our team summited! The Freedom Climb 2013 is at the top of Kala Pattar, and we’re praising God for His protection with our whole heart…Thank you for all your prayers and your love!” – Tina Yeager

They made it to Kala Patthar!

They made it to Kala Patthar!

Tina and climbers

Tina and climbers

The Freedom Climb team successfully made it to Kala Patthar Peak early this morning (early afternoon in Nepal)! The scenery was beautiful, but the weather was cold. Right now, they are trekking back to their campsite at Loboche. They need to reach it before dark. Tomorrow, these ladies begin their three days of  hiking down the mountain to Lukla.

Continue to pray for their health and safety. Check back here, the Freedom Climb Facebook page, and website for more details, pictures, and videos of the climbers.

Freedom Climb 2013 – God’s Glory, Not Ours

By – Celia Shortt

Yesterday, the Freedom Climb team decided to divide into two different groups. One would start their descent down the mountain, and the other  would continue on to summit Kala Pattar. Neither team would make it to Everest Base Camp.

“What we ended up doing is we said, we just stay safe. We identified those who were weakened or had been sick for a long time, and we’re just giving them two extra days to go down. The sad thing is a lot of the ladies were so disappointed, just lots of tears. And I just looked at them, and I said you have to trust me on this because altitude will hit fast and hit hard.” – Cathey Anderson

Cathey Anderson

Cathey Anderson

Cathey is leading a team of 16 — 13 of the climbers who came down with her and the other 3 who had already stayed behind. Even though are heading down the mountain earlier than they had planned, they will still be able to summit Ama Dablam Base Camp.

Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam

Becky Barnhart

Becky Barnhart

“Elevation 1, Becky 0. Got altitude sickness at 14,500 ft and turned back with about 15 others, making our way back to Lukla to arrive on Sunday, I think. Still got a long journey back. I’m feeling better but not at 100%. God is still sooooo good and it’s been an amazing journey. What a privilege. Thanks for your continued prayers.”- Becky Barnhart

The other group of climbers headed to Lobuche and will be camping there tonight. Tomorrow morning (tonight here), they will trek to Kala Pattar Peak, summit it, and head back down to Lobuche. After Lobuche, they will have three days to make it down the mountain.

Kala Pattar Peak - with the Himalayas behind

Kala Pattar Peak – with the Himalayas in the background (Photo by OMer and Freedom Climber, Nancy Byrne)

Sign to Kala Pattar (Photo by OMer and Freedom Climber, Nancy Byrne)

Sign to Kala Pattar (Photo by OMer and Freedom Climber, Nancy Byrne)

Even though the climb is not going as planned, God is still glorified through it. Despite their circumstances, these women are still climbing to raise awareness and funds for women and children who oppressed, enslaved, and have no way to climb out of their circumstances. Their purpose and reason has not changed.

One climber said it best:

“For me, the favorite part of this hiking has been to link my experience here with the people who are suffering.” –Gildelia Moromisato

Continue to prayer for the health and safety of these women.

Pray that those who have started down the mountain will continue to feel better.

Pray that those who are going on to Kala Pattar would stay healthy and energized.

Pray that all the women will not be discouraged because of their circumstances but will continue to press on for their purpose.

Continue to check the Freedom Climb Facebook page and website for more updates, pictures, and videos.

Freedom Climb 2013 – Pressing on in the Midst of Difficulty

By – Celia Shortt

“Everyone seems to be getting healthy. They’re just getting tired.” – Cathey Anderson

Cathey Anderson

Cathey Anderson

Today was another scheduled acclimatization and rest day for the Freedom Climb team. The climbers spent today hiking around Dingboche, adjusting to the higher altitude, and visiting with people there.

Hiking with the yaks

Hiking with the yaks

Hiking over Dingboche

Hiking over Dingboche

Their campsites!

Their campsites!

Their new friend from Dingboche saying hello

Their new friend from Dingboche saying hello

Getting ready to go to the top

Enjoying the scenery

Beautiful Clouds

Beautiful Clouds

Tea time!

Tea time!

Woohoo!

Woohoo!

At the top of their hike!

At the top of their hike!

Since preparing to leave for the trail, the Freedom Climb has not been easy on the climbers. They were still able to climb despite falling ill right before their departure to Lukla, and the past few days have been gone well and been encouraging. But there are still some on the team who are really struggling. Despite these struggles and things not going as planned, the team had a special moment today when they reflected on the reason they were climbing.

“As we have started our journey with great difficulty, the Lord has prevailed, and we are heading up the mountain. And just as the children don’t oftentimes have a choice in what transpires in their lives when they’re born or what caste system they’re born into, God will be glorified. And in this climb, he will be glorified in helping to bring that freedom to them so that they will have those choices.” – Tina Yeager

Tina Yeager

Tina Yeager

Ten of the climbers are really struggling. After much prayer and discussion with the guides and porters in regards to these struggles, the Freedom Climb leaders decided to have those climbers who are struggling start their climb back down the mountain. This means that the team is being re-organized into different teams. Cathey will lead the team that is heading back down the mountain. Tina and Esmarie will lead the rest of the climbers on.

“I think everybody will be really pleased that they are going at a more comfortable pace. But, obviously, it’s sad because people have bonded, and they have great times together. So, just another exercise in flexibility and adjustment.” – Cathey Anderson

Continue to pray for the health of the climbers.

Pray those who are struggling would have no problems going down the mountain.

Pray that those who are continuing on will remain healthy and strong.

Pray that they will all have wisdom as how to proceed.

Pray that the weather will not hinder any of the teams.

Continue to check the Freedom Climb Facebook page and website for more updates, pictures, and videos.

Freedom Climb 2013 – Steeper and colder on the way to Dingboche

By – Celia Shortt

Today, the Freedom Climb hiked 8 hours to the village of Dingboche. This village is located at about 14,800 feet in altitude and is above the tree line of the mountain. That means the weather is much colder, and the conditions are getting a little bit more difficult.

“The first half of the day was just beautiful, sunny, warm, but the mists and clouds started rolling in just before lunch time. Then when we stopped for lunch the temperature dropped pretty dramatically. So we all, with everything we had in our packs, got them on our bodies just to try to stay warm.” – Cheryl Bell

Cheryl Bell

Cheryl Bell

Eating breakfast before leaving for Dingboche

Eating breakfast before leaving for Dingboche

Trekking to Dingboche - see the clouds....

Trekking to Dingboche – see the clouds….

With their new friend who turned 80!

With their new friend who just turned 80!

The Yaks carrying their supplies and gear.

The Yaks carrying their supplies and gear.

Yaks have the right of way on the trail :)

Yaks have the right of way on the trail :)

Tea break

Taking a break

The Team, yaks included, crossing the bridge.

The Team, yaks included, crossing the bridge.

Time for tea :)

Time for tea :)

Tomorrow, the team spends the day in Dingboche, adjusting to the altitude and resting. From there, they will head to Lobuche and spend the night before trekking to Base Camp. Each day, their hikes get steeper and more difficult as the conditions grow colder and more difficult.

Please continue to pray for their health, especially as the weather has grown colder. Three climbers had to stay back in a village because they weren’t feeling well and are hoping to meet up with the team tomorrow.
Pray for wisdom as they determine how to proceed due to the delays they’ve experienced.
Pray that they would adjust to the altitude and rest well tomorrow.

Continue to check the Freedom Climb Facebook page and website for more updates, pictures, and videos.