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Former Cougar Climbing Mount Everest
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 04/10/2000
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April 10, 2000

PULLMAN, Wash - Former WSU midfielder Kristy Olson, now Kristi Woodmansee, and her husband Mike are currently scaling Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak.

Through the years, Mount Everest has proven to be one of the most difficult climbs in the world. The peak crests at 29,028 feet and only 675 of the 4,000 attempts to reach the peak succeed, making the success rate at less than 20 percent. Through 1996, 142 people have died while attempting the glorious feat.

Prior to leaving for Northeastern Nepal on March 26, Kristy and Mike, both of Mount Vernon, Wash., trained seven days each week. Three times a week, two hours a day, the Woodmansees did aerobic exercise, worked on machines and ran. They lifted two days each week and climbed on the weekends. The two also spent time reading, planning their ascent and preparing mentally.

Kristy and Mike have climbed more than 100 peaks combined, including Mount Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in South America. Mount Aconcagua has a peak of 22,850 feet.

The first successful climb of Mount Everest occurred May 28, 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. The first attempt was tried in 1921.

The first married couple to climb Mount Everest was Andrej and Mariga Stremfelj from Slovenia on October 7, 1990.

The expedition has been expected to cost the Kristy, a P.E. teacher in the Sedro-Woolley School District, and Mike, administrator of Skagit County, nearly $60,000.

Olson was a midfielder for WSU from 1992-94, receiving two letters after transferring from New Hampshire College. She scored eight goals and had four assists in her two seasons at WSU for a total of 20 points. Olson had three game-winning goals as a senior for Coach Lisa Gozley.

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