By Allison Riese
Gonzaga friend and benefactor John Rudolf has arrived home safely after attempting to reach the summit of Mount Everest and become the 105th person to climb the world’s seven highest peaks. After seven weeks, and having reached Camp 3 at 23,000 feet, Rudolf had to abandon his push for the summit due to multiple gastrointestinal viruses.
In a reflective and personal final blog post from Katmandu, he noted, “I just hate to quit on anything.” With typical good humor and relentlessness, Rudolf also encouraged people to support Gonzaga’s Zags in Zambia program, one of several initiatives being promoted throughout the climb.
Just as Rudolf arrived home, Gonzaga students and faculty were arriving in Zambia to begin their academic and community service work. Three Zags in Zambia programs, in various locations around the country, take direct action to address economic, environmental and educational challenges. Student participants represent various ages and academic disciplines, including engineering, nursing, education, business, sociology and psychology. All share an interest in learning about the challenges facing our local and global communities. Some are blogging about adventures in Chimfunshi and Zambezi.
John Rudolf is an inspiration and an example of a True Zag: finding, living and sharing his passions. And having fun along the way. He convinced guide Garrett Madison to take Spike with him to the summit of Mount Everest (during the climb Rudolf filmed some humorous Spike videos and a staged Spikenapping) and promised photo posters of “Spike as King Kong ‘saving’ JR” to all who donate to Zags in Zambia.
Read more about the summit attempt and Gonzaga’s programs in Africa by visiting www.johnrudolf7summits.com/zags.aspx. Please, join us in congratulating John Rudolf on an inspiring journey, safe arrival home and for demonstrating his personal motivation to “Live Life Large and Get Involved!”