About 200 people gathered at the Prestige Lakeside Resort Thursday night for Reach Your Peak that featured guest speaker Isabel Suppé.
Men and women from young adults to senior citizens gathered to socialize, browse booths set up by local businesses and then, listen to adventure-seeking Suppé tell about a dramatic climbing accident with lasting impact.
The author of Starry Night spoke with humour and apparent true love for “rocks, ice and high altitude” even after falling from a Bolivian glacier and shattering her foot.
“Lying in death’s embrace,” she spoke of devoting all her mental and physical energy to surviving that fall and after rescue, getting back into climbing, a true passion.
The climber shocked doctors tending to her broken foot, bones protruding, when she begged them not to cut away her very expensive climbing boots.
“I needed to return to the mountains,” she said.
Several times as she spoke of her rescue, Suppé said she’d “come to far to give in.”
Today, with her foot finally fused, Suppé walks without pain and has plans for her next climbing adventure, another solo mission. In the mean time, she travels speaking about her life, often by bike and with her tent her only home.
“The story keeps adding to itself,” she said.
Suppé said she’d learned that having a physical problem doesn’t put an end to a person’s dreams — “you just have to try harder and use creativity.”
And “dreams and hope are the most precious thing we own,” she said.