Climber has chilling tales of reaching top of world


Soroptimist International of La Jolla and The Neuroscience Institute will present the amazing story of a mountain climber who at the first rays of dawn, crept across the Tibetan plateau and stepped on to the summit of Mount Everest and into history in 1996.

Ian Woodall is one of a select few to have climbed the world’s highest mountain by both its south and north sides. He will tell his chilling tales at 7 p.m. July 1 in the auditorium of the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla.

Among his adventures, is how during his first ascent from the south, his team was trapped at 8,000 meters during the worst storm in Everest history, which claimed the lives of five fellow climbers. After the trauma and tragedy of the storm, Woodall and his team nevertheless chose to try again, finally reaching the summit as the only ones left on the mountain.

Two years later, while attempting the north side of Everest, Woodall stopped only a few hundred meters below the summit to try and help a dying American climber. The woman’s first words were, “Don’t leave me.” Yet ultimately Woodall had to leave her to secure the safety of his own team.

Nine years later, Woodall returned to 8,600 meters on the north side of Everest to bury the woman he had been forced to leave behind. After wrapping her in the American Flag, he slid her gently down the North Face to join her beloved husband lying somewhere below.

Through his talk, suitable for all ages, Woodall will demonstrate how the insights gained on the mountain can enhance personal goals and dreams, and leadership skills.

Tickets, $10 for adults and $7 for students kids under 18, are available by check (made out to SILJ, P.O. Box 1052, La Jolla 92038), and by Mastercard or Visa — call the La Jolla Village Lodge (858) 551-2001.

If you go

  • What: Photo presentation on climbing Mt. Everest
  • Who: Presented by Ian Woodall
  • Where: The Neuroscience Institute, 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, La Jolla
  • When: 7 p.m. July 1
  • Tickets: $7-$10
  • Contact: (858) 551-2001,