'03 team and supporters "Meet & Greet" at Zilker Park
The Team Everest ’03 Challenge Trek participants, as well
as media, family, friends and supporters of Team Everest made a
3-mile stroll on the accessible trail around Town Lake in Austin.
The hike was followed by coffee and a delicious breakfast prepared
by Project Director Dennis Borel. The event drew local television
news and press coverage.
By Sharon Jayson, Austin-American Statesman, August 25, 2002:
They met for the first time at Zilker Park
for a trek on the hike-and-bike trail - not exactly the rugged terrain
these individuals with disabilities will face next spring.... Nevertheless,
Saturday was a kind of warm-up for the 15 strangers whose common
bond is an expedition organized by the Coalition of Texans with
Disabilities. The group, which includes members in wheelchairs and
others with hearing, visual or learning impairments, are part of
Team Everest '03. The month-long expedition to Nepal will include
a three-week journey more than 17,000 feet up to the base camp of
the world's tallest peak.
"I just love the camaraderie of the people
facing some adversity in their lives and have found a way to overcome
it," says Gene Rodgers, 47, one of four team members who will
attempt the climb [to base camp] in a wheelchair.... Expedition
leader Gary Guller tried to scale Mt. Everest last year. Now the
35-year old, whose left arm was amputated after a climbing accident
in Mexico, aims to climb to the 29,035-foot summit...