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Author Topic: Mighty Mums on seven summits for sight projects  (Read 4599 times)

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Mighty mum
May 3, 2007 11:26 AM

By Brad Forrest

Magic mums: Eileen Robberds with fellow Sydney climber Meerie Barkle after conquering Mt Elbrus in Russia. Robberds is one of a group of six Australian mums who are attempting to climb seven summits.

JUST two years after taking up mountaineering, 58-year-old Kirrawee resident Eileen Robberds is preparing to climb the highest mountain in the southern hemisphere, the 7000-metre Mt Aconcagua in South America.

This climb is part of a historic Seven Summits bid by the ''Mums Kick Seven Summits Team'' from Sydney, raising money for charity. Robberds is the eldest of this unique group of six Australian supermums - and the least experienced.

The women have already climbed the highest mountains in Australia, Europe and Africa, with Mt Aconcagua their fourth and most dangerous climb before they take on the highest mountains in the remaining three continents, culminating in the ultimate mountaineering summit, Mt Everest.

In December, Robberds will take on the night wilderness with a 20-kilogram backpack to achieve her goal of climbing Mt Aconcagua, encountering extreme altitude, blizzards, freezing temperatures and winds of up to 100kmh.
Robberds and her group will also be required to live above the ''dead zone'' for several days, to reach the top. While she risks her life - and Robberds accepts the danger involved in climbing 7000 metres, let alone for someone well past her youth - she is hopeful her sport can inspire others not so sprightly.

''My husband [former Sylvania squash champion Greg Robberds] is my greatest supporter and my children are supportive but my mother thinks I should stop while I'm ahead,'' she said. ''Yes, it is very dangerous, but I'm enjoying the sport and the company of the other women.

''We are also raising money for the Fred Hollows Foundation to restore sight and, therefore, life to Africa's poorest blind people. And it is good advertising for others aged more than 50 not to give up doing or trying to do something they always dreamed of doing just because they think they are too old.''

The Mums Kick Seven Summits Team started off with 15 women who regularly headed off into spider-, leech- and tick-infested bush in pitch darkness with head lights, maps, and trekking poles to guide and protect them. But only six are attempting the Seven Summits.

Robberds got into the sport almost by accident. She started off adventure walking with the women on Sydney's North Shore, after she and her husband faced serious business problems a few years ago. ''Within a few months, they were talking about climbing Africa's famous Mt Kilimanjaro,'' she said. ''I just got into it after training with them.
''Fortunately I have not had a fall. But we continue to do self-arresting courses, learning to turn over in a fall and stop yourself going further using your ice axe.''
Group leader Diane Westaway said Robberds and the mums had shown exceptional commitment to their rigorous training. ''Between all of them, they've juggled 35 kids, careers and husbands to get to training up to six times a week and raise money for poverty stricken communities,'' she said. ''And they have raised more than $100,000 for charity.''

 For just $50 sent to the Fred Hollows Foundation, you can restore sight to a blind person in Africa. If you are interested in sponsoring Eileen Robberds and the fund-raising activities, phone her on 0414561026. Details: www.fitfa.com and/or attend the fund-raising dinner with Gabby Hollows, St Patrick's Church, Manly, July28.

(from http://www.theleader.com.au/2007/05/80_mighty_mum.php )
« Last Edit: May 3 2007, 13:59 by 7summits »
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"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
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