Ultimate bucket list item: Hansen travels to Everest


Photo courtesy Laurie Hansen

Megan Aller, Visual Arts Managing Editor

Many “bucket lists” are created, but only a few are completed. Mount Everest was one of Laurie Hansen’s goals. Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world; approximately 4,000 people attempt to climb it each year, but only 600 successfully make it. The weather can range from negative 80 degrees and jet stream winds blowing over 200 miles per hour to temperatures going over 100 degrees in the Western Cwm, the weather is unpredictable. English teacher Laurie Hanson went to Asia last June to Base Camp.

Hansen and former history teacher, Brian Croone had been taking bucket list trips since 2008 with government teacher, Kathleen Ferguson and her husband. They rotate picking places to travel every summer. Unfortunately, Ferguson and her husband could not make it to this years trip to Mount Everest.

Hansen had always wanted to go and see it after reading the non-fiction novel, Into Thin Air, written by Jon Krakauer. Hansen spent a month traveling in Asia. At the very tip of the mountain, it is five and a half miles above sea level. Hansen went up 16,450 feet above sea level at Everest Base Camp, North Face.

“When walking up it, it was really moon shaped. Up above the tree line, it looks really rocky.”

— Laurie Hansen

It all started one day in 2009, a student asked Hansen if she would ever consider climbing Mt. Everest.

“Maybe back is my 20’s and 30’s I would have, but now I do not know if I would be in-shape to climb all the way to the top. I would at least like to see the mountain before I die,” said Hansen.

Usually, Mt. Everest is cloudy, and you can not see much. The morning they went, there were clear blue skies. Even though base camp is bare, Hansen was still excited to see where the climbing expeditions had began although it was not the same base camp from Krakauer’s novel.

“When walking up it, it was really moon shaped. Up above the tree line, it looks really rocky. The mountain had a spectacular gray landscape and with the tips of the mountains were white, covered in snow,” said Hansen.

Being in nature comes easily for Hansen. She truly has a great appreciation for nature.

“It was amazing to see the tallest mountain in the world. It was very awe inspiring. It definitely was one of my top favorite places I have traveled,” said Hansen.

On Hansen’s bucket list, she has completed trips going South Africa, China, Tibet, Peru and Mt. Everest. She still has a few to complete, such as going to New Zealand, Scottland, Australia and somewhere in the world where she can see tigers. It will be exciting to hear where they all travel next.

Bryan Croone makes his way through the valleys of Mt. Everest. He has a long journey ahead of him.