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Park City mom Jenn Drummond eyes Everest Summit as training run for ‘Second Seven’

Jenn Drummond 'practices' ladder crossings on Mount Everest. (Photo courtesy of Jenn Drummond)

MOUNT EVEREST — Local Park City mom Jenn Drummond is looking to become the first woman in history to summit the second tallest peaks on all seven continents. To date, that achievement has only been accomplished by two other men.

So far, Drummond has already summited Ojos Del Salado in South America (last December) and Mount Kenya in Africa (this past February).  

In the course of the next few months, she’s hoping to get to the top of what’s widely considered the most difficult mountain on earth to climb, K2 in the Himalayas. So, as part of her training, she’s going to use Mount Everest to help her train for the neighboring K2.

Drummond joined Tim Hughes on the KSL Outdoor Show live from Everest’s Base Camp with an update after making it up to Camp Three at the lofty height of 23,950 (which is already almost 4,000 feet higher than any mountain in North America.)

Utah mom Jenn Drummond on track to become first woman to climb the “Second Seven”

Here’s the full conversation from the Outdoor Show as well as an uncorrected transcript. 

Tim Hughes
Welcome back to KSL Outdoors Radio, Tim here along with Russ and Navi still hanging in now we will have your fish bites coming up in a minute. All right. This is the segment that we’ve dedicated over the last couple of weeks to Jen Drummond, of course, the Park City mom who has this goal of being the first woman to summit each of the seven second summits. That’s the second-highest peaks on each continent entry through Mount Everest in there jokingly as a way to train for her trip up K2, just a training session. But let me tell you, we knew this was going to be an adventure. But it’s turned out that even just making the connection has been an adventure. Here’s how things went this early Thursday morning. Hello.

Jenn Drummond
Hi, how are you?

Tim Hughes
Oh, Jen! I’m glad we connected!

Jenn Drummond
I’ve been trying to call for like the last like little bit. It’s just not stuff that like I don’t know, satellites are not in the right range.

Tim Hughes
Yeah. Well, give us an update. And if we drop again, just try a couple of more times, and then we’ll call it good. How are you doing?

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jenn Drummond (@boldbravebeautifullife)

Tim Hughes
And I’m only catching about every third word from you, Jen. So it’s hard to understand what you’re saying. Alright, so that’s the second attempt at connecting. We waited, I don’t know, five or six minutes. And she got through again. All right, Jen. I’m still recording. So where are you?

Jenn Drummond
I’m at base camp. We got back yesterday. And we had gone up to do a rotation. So we went to Camp One, Camp Two, touched Camp Three, came back to Camp Two and just got down to Base Camp.

Tim Hughes
This is the altitude the acclamation that we talked about the last time we connected you sound strong.

Jenn Drummond
I know I feel good that I suppose really big and long this year. They’re doing us like having us go up and down the crevasses instead of across on ladders.

Tim Hughes
so in baseball terms, we’d be close to striking out here. We gave it a few more minutes and she called again. I’ve still got you Okay, so you’ve seen the Khumbu Icefall? Yes.

Jenn Drummond
Yes, we’ve seen it, we’ve been through it. It’s changed every single time we’ve gone into it because of an avalanche that’s happened. You can see where the ropes where it used to go. And now we have new ropes to where we’re supposed to go. It’s a big year for the icefall doctors, for sure, they’re going to be busy.

Tim Hughes
Describe that for listeners, because it sounds like it’s the most frightening part of the mountain.

Jenn Drummond
It is. It’s the most dangerous part of them out because this part of the mountain moves three to six feet a day, when we go through it, we go through it in the middle of the night, because then it is as cold and as strong and sturdy as it can be. There’s years longer, because they’re not using as many ladders because they’ve had so many ladder dangers in the past. So they’re trying to have you go up and around and down. And every which way, which is harder on us. It’s safer. I guess overall.

 

Tim Hughes
The outbreak of COVID has gotten some national attention here. We talked a bit about it last week, have you seen a decline in the number of people that are on the mountain at base camp?

Jenn Drummond
There is a decline in the number of people here for sure. I know I think we learned here that there’s 17 foreigners that have been diagnosed with COVID right now. [uninteligable]

Tim Hughes
So we’ve now connected three or four times and it’s 433 in the morning. So this has taken about 17 or 18 minutes, just to give you a little idea of what it’s like behind the scenes when you’re dealing with satellites at that kind of altitude. Dude from that kind of distance, but still to be able to talk to someone live on Everest is still one of those pinch me moments and hope you’re enjoying us, at least trying to get you a little information from what’s going on there. Hopefully she’ll call us back one more time. Yeah, she was unable to call us back again. And by this time, you know, I’m getting ready to go on the air with Utah’s Morning News. She sent me a text now this is fascinating. We were having trouble getting a satellite but she could get a text out on her phone. She could record her answers to certain questions and then send them back to me and the ironic thing is the audio was so much better.

Jenn Drummond
The plan for the next week is to recover as low as possible. Originally, we were planning on going to Kathmandu but with the COVID outbreak, we are not going there. Nom che is this little town above Luccla, that we might head there. We would be the only team staying at this hotel and would have to quarantine there. But it would allow our bodies to recover better and be ready for the summit push.

Tim Hughes
Alright, so then my next question to her was related to the weather and weather that had been a problem or a concern on the mountain this year compared to others.

Jenn Drummond
It has been unusually cold the season, so that’s been a little bit harder to adjust to. We had a lot of snow come in on Camp Two. When snow happens it makes the ice fall a little bit more dangerous because you can’t judge the edge of the crevasses as well. It also adds layers of heaviness. So avalanches are more frequent. We’ve , you hear them all the time, they kind of sound like thunderstorms, but no one’s been injured or hurt due to them. We have had to have changes made in the ice field and ways to navigate up and down due to avalanche danger, which is due to the warm days and the increased amount of snow.

Tim Hughes
Alright, one of my favorite questions to ask climbers whenever we have them there is about how they are enjoying the food. What’s the cuisine on Mount Everest.

Jenn Drummond
Meals and the mountain are not my favorite. We usually have some version of like a porridge or an oatmeal or muesli. And they always use hot milk cold milk is not available. And then for lunches, we have ramen noodles, pasta, potatoes, anything that’s high carb. A lot of times they’ll do some chicken or some tuna. And then when we get back to base camp, we have lots of options. So base camp food is like going to a restaurant almost. So very lucky there. I had my birthday up at Camp Two, you’d be amazed at how good of a chef these guys are and how they can whip out an amazing cake that high of altitude. I couldn’t do it at sea level.

Tim Hughes
So we got the chance to at least say happy birthday via text to Jenn Drummond. While she’s on the mountain. I then asked about whether she was aware if there were any summit’s of the mountain yet this season.

Jenn Drummond
No one has summited yet the lines are still only set till Four at Camp Four. So we are thinking there’s teams up there right now they’re gonna probably set lines this next week. And we could see some first summiters as early as the beginning of next week, the Bahrain military team is in and they paid a lot of money to Nepal. So most likely they’re going to be the first team that’s going to go up and summit. Our goal is not to be one of the first to summit, our goal is to be towards the middle or the end. And just so that we do not have to worry about all the traffic jams that we are seeing in 2019.

Tim Hughes
Yeah, and we’ve had climbers tell us about what a problem that was the people actually, their systems, their bodies were failing while waiting just to get to the summit or waiting to get down. And then my last question to her before we signed off for the morning was just about how she’s feeling.

Jenn Drummond
My spirits are high, my team’s spirits are high. Nobody sick, we’re feeling good. We really spent a lot of time together. Everybody’s really supportive of each other. Nobody’s trying to set any world records on speed. So it’s really just enjoying the journey up. It was a big day for me to go from Camp Two to Camp Three, because I’ve been here the least amount of time, I was only at base camp for two days before we went up. And everybody else had been here for a couple weeks. So I struggled. But I know that struggle means that red blood cells are being produced and I’m feeling better now. And going up to Camp Three gives you that confidence of like, okay, I only have to get to Camp Four and then to the summit and then down to Camp Four, Three or Two wherever I can get to, which is pretty exciting. We think we’re going to push for some and then another week or so it just depends on what the weather’s doing.

Tim Hughes
Alright, so that’s the way our conversation wrapped up on Thursday morning as we made our contact with Jen Drummond on Mount Everest. Now back at Base Camp but pretty exciting stuff. The next time we give it a try either on the sad phone or doing it the way we just did it with me texting her questions and then her recording answers on her end and sending them back could mean that she’s making a push for the summit. You’ll want to be tuned in next week at the same time. For more from Mount Everest. Gotta love it. And our thanks again to Jen Drummond for being willing to share this so we can all live vicariously we’ll take another break. We’ll come back when we do Navi’s here with a look at your fish bites this morning. So stay with us