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News

YFU Alum & Trustee Returns to Everest: Update #6

Alicia Kubert

UPDATE #6

We're excited to share that YFU Alum & Board member Andrew has summited Everest!

He's currently on his way down the mountain and on June 1st we'll be livestreaming him on our Facebook Page as he joins us in DC to speak about the experience. Want to help Andrew conquer another goal? Make a donation to his YFU scholarship fund drive and help him cross the finish line in raising $25,000 so young people can take the adventure of exchange. Special thanks to Scheels, Casual Adventure, K&J Jewelry, Abbell Associates and the Hal and Kathleen Gershman Family Foundation for their support and contributions!

If you too believe in the transformative power of studying abroad and experiencing another culture, make a donation to Andrew’s scholarship fundraiser today!


Update #5

For those who have been following along on YFU Alum & Board member Andrew Towne’s journey to reach the peak of world’s tallest mountain, it’s nearly ‘go time’! Weather permitting, this Wednesday, Andrew’s group will attempt to summit Mt. Everest!

“I also feel incredibly supported---not only by the knowledge that you are following along and care about this dream and about intercultural exchange, but also by the myriad emails folks have sent expressing curiosity about the climb, well wishes for our ascent, and solidarity with Youth For Understanding's mission to help teens see the world through another's eyes… Onward! Upward! Talk to you on the other side!!!”

If you too believe in the transformative power of studying abroad and experiencing another culture, make a donation to Andrew’s scholarship fundraiser today!

Andrew testing his oxygen system in preparation to attempt to summit Mt. Everest

Andrew testing his oxygen system in preparation to attempt to summit Mt. Everest


Update #4

For the last six weeks, Andrew Towne a YFU Alum & Board member has been trekking across Nepal with the goal of summiting Mt. Everest. Compared to his attempt in 2015, which was derailed by a 7.9 earthquake, luckily this time, his journey has been much smoother. His group recently ascended Khumbu Icefall for the 3rd time in preparation for a 4th ascent that will likely take place next week, when they will attempt the summit.

“I want to thank you for your interest in this dream. You may have supported YFU via this climb because its mission speaks to you as it speaks to me. And that means the world to me. Thank you.”

Don't forget, if you'd like to receive more in-depth updates from Andrew’s Everest adventure, you can make a donation to his scholarship fundraiser and get added to his dispatch list!

Rapelling down a cliff in the Icefall (photo credit Luke Reilly)

Update #3

YFU Alum & Board member Andrew Towne just sent in his third update from Nepal as he continues his second attempt at summiting Mt. Everest after surviving an earthquake that hit during his first attempt in 2015. 

"We just returned from our first acclimatization rotation up Mt Everest, and everything is going well!! Acclimatization rotations are how we expose our bodies gradually to thinner and thinner air.  Our first rotation involved climbing Lobuche Peak (~19,500'). The second rotation that we just finished took us to the base of the Lhotse face (~21,500'), and our third rotation will take us halfway up the Lhotse face to Camp 3 (~24,000'). On our fourth rotation, we will attempt the summit!"

Update #2

On Monday, Andrew and his group summited Lobuche Peak (~19,500') and are now at Everest Base Camp (~17,500') taking a rest day before doing a 'dry run' up the Khumbu Icefall to get comfortable with its crevasses and ladders. Thanks to your generous support, Andrew’s scholarship fundraiser only has a little over 25% of the way to go to meet his goal in helping deserving youth experience another culture! 

“We spent a couple of days acclimatizing at the base of Lobuche Peak (~16,500'). During that stay, our team shot a music video to Marvin Gaye's 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough.' One of our team members was a former ballerina, and another had a good eye for videography. With me helping to organize and direct the production, we made a pretty hilarious video—complete with Pulp Fiction dance moves and a Sherpa re-enactment of a scene from the movie Titanic.” 

Update #1

Curious how YFU Alum & Trustee, Andrew Towne's second attempt at summiting Mt. Everest is going? We just received his first update!

“Everything is going great so far! We are at the base of Lobuche Peak (~15,500'), about to move up to Everest Base Camp (~17,500') to begin rotations to successively higher altitudes. Tourism has rebounded well since the 2015 earthquake. Teahouses throughout the Khumbu seem busy, and our Sherpa teammates report that all of their homes/villages have been rebuilt. Kathmandu still shows some damage, but the city is as vibrant and welcoming as I remember it. We’re an eclectic group of climbers and trekkers who get along well. We enjoy reading, playing cards, and drinking tea during long, restful afternoons acclimatizing.Thanks to your generous support, we are almost 70% of the way to raising $20,000 to help deserving youth experience another culture!”

In 2015 Andrew Towne a survived a 7.9 earthquake while attempting to climb Mt. Everest. Today, he begins his journey back to Nepal, headed back for a second try. Once again, he'll also be raising scholarship funds that will provide students with the same life changing opportunity he had as a teen - to study abroad!

Learn more and make a donation to his fundraiser to get on his dispatch list to receive periodic updates during the course of his climb!

To kick off his journey, Andrew was just featured in the Grand Forks Herald.