Last month Angel Robledo swapped the sunny shores of Cayman for the snow-capped peaks of Alaska’s Mount McKinley after the veteran climber raised money for the families of 16 Sherpas who lost their lives in April’s avalanche on Mount Everest, the worst accident ever reported on the world’s highest peak.
The Cayman bartender, who hosted a fundraiser at Karma restaurant before she left to climb the highest peak in North America, raised almost $250 for families in need. The Nepalese government, for its part, had provided the victims’ families a total of $400 each.
As for her own adventure on the 20,237-foot peak in Alaska, Robledo said spending 26 days on Mount McKinley was not an easy feat.
“We were stuck on 14,000 feet for a week waiting for good weather to move up to high camp at 17,200 feet. We had moved to high camp on day 14 and tried a first attempt…There were very strong winds on the ridge and we decided to turn around.
“On the same day there were other parties trying to get to the summit who had to be rescued from the ridge and got back with frostbite,” Ms. Robledo said.
“I could feel my brain freezing up and I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it, but when we got to the summit ridge, the weather opened up and luckily we stood on the summit with blue sky and a beautiful day.”
Ms. Robledo also shared her experience at XQs on Monday for those with an interest in climbing or who had questions about her adventure.
“I want to give back to the people who have helped me on this journey financially or emotionally. It was an experience for a lifetime,” Ms. Robledo said.
“This wasn’t a trek or just a climb trip, it was really an expedition. It was intense.”
Ms. Robledo has also been to Mount Everest base camp, as well as climbs through New Zealand, Peru, China, Tibet and Nepal.