News & Updates

Visit us often for the latest news and updates.

02.10.08 - Robinson's Presentation

It was a packed house at Robinson's Outdoor store on January 29th as Pippa, Karun, and a few others from the team held a slideshow presentation to members of the public. Karun did a wonderful job of conveying the stories and emotions from the trek. The show was a great success and many people shared their enthusiasm with us for what we had accomplished in reaching Everest Base Camp with Pippa and, as Pip likes to remind us, in getting her back again! Thanks to everyone who came. We are especially grateful to Gayle Robinson and the crew at Robinson's, who worked very hard and late into the evening to setup the store for us. Once again they have demonstrated their commitment to giving back to the community.


01.11.08 - Media Coverage

Our trek continues to capture media and public attention since our return from Everest Base Camp.

  • CHUM/CTV News Spot [view]
  • Whistler's Pique Newsmagazine [view]
  • Rendezvous (Multiple Support Program) [view]
  • RIV News (Recreation Integration Victoria) [view]
  • Gizmo Newsletter (Tetra Society of North America) [view]
  • Island Bushwhacker (Alpine Club of Canada) [view]
  • Kimberley Daily Bulletin and Cranbrook Daily Townsman [view]
  • Take a Hike (British Columbia Mobility Opportunities Society) [view]


01.09.08 - MS Society Presentation

On Tuesday, December 18th, Pippa and members of the Rise Above Barriers team shared photos and stories of their trek to members of the MS Society's Capital Region Chapter in Victoria. It was a full house. The audience joined the trekkers in experiencing the laughter, tears, hardships, and victories of the journey as Pippa recounted tales of life on the trail. Pippa's story left audience members inspired with her message that incredible things are possible when you dream. The presentation was very well received and we would like to thank all those who came out to share in our adventure.


12.29.07 - Adventures With Robinson's Slideshow Presentation

Come join us for our "Where there's a wheel, there's a way" slideshow presentation at Robinson's Outdoor Store (1307 Broad Street) on Tuesday, January 29th, 2008. Doors open 7:00pm and the slideshow starts at 7:30pm. There will be great prizes to be won! Tickets are $5 and registration is recommended. To register, phone (250) 385-3429. click here to see the full advertisement.


12.16.07 - Pippa's Reflections On The Journey

Pippa Blake shares her thoughts on what it was like reaching Everest Base Camp and her feelings on the team that helped her to realize a dream. Please click here to read the article.


12.15.07 - Media Coverage

Checkout the latest media coverage of Rise Above Barriers.

  • Victoria Times Colonist, Nov 22nd [view]
  • The Province, Dec 2nd [view]


12.04.07 - Congratulations from Carole James, MLA

The accomplishments of Rise Above Barriers have been officially recognized by Carole James. To read the letter addressed to Pippa and the Members of the Rise Above Barriers Team from Carole James, please click here. Carole James is the MLA for Victoria - Beacon Hill and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia with the New Democratic Party of British Columbia.


12.01.07 - Gallery Updated!

Our gallery has been updated with photos from our journey. Please click here to see the photos.


12.01.07 - A Journey Of A Lifetime

Jasper Blake provides his perspective on a dream come true for his mom Pippa. Please click here to read the article.


11.30.07 - Pippa Arrives To A Warm Welcome

Friends and family greeted Pippa and Penny as they arrived home to Victoria, British Columbia on November 29th. CHEK TV was there to capture the moment. Please click here to view the video.


11.19.07 - Mission Accomplished!

Team "Rise Above Barriers" reached Everest Base Camp (5364m) with Pippa Blake on November 14th, 2007 at 1:06pm.

As we trekked to Everest Base Camp, we surpassed the altitude of most Canadian Mountains including Mt. Assinaboine, Mt. Robson, Mt. Columbia, Mt. Waddington, and Mt. Athabasca.

Each team member arrived at Everest Base Camp with Pippa. This is notable, since over a quarter of the team was sick during the ascent. This is the first group of its size led by our guides that did not have a member descend due to illness or injury. It is amazing what can be accomplished by a group with a common goal and vision.

It is also astounding what can be achieved with great teamwork. We have an amazing team from both Canada and Nepal that safely moved with Pippa across the difficult, steep, and ever-changing terrain to reach base camp. Those that were well had to take additional shifts pulling the TrailRider for those who were sick.

Along our travels, we met many people that were interested in our expedition and the TrailRider. Our guides are now proficient with the apparatus and are eager to take others living with disabilities trekking through the Nepal Himalaya.

Pippa is doing amazingly well. The days are like a dream for her, as she is swept through the mountains with an incredible group of individuals. She is kept warm with hot water bottles wrapped inside her sleeping bag and bivy sac. The nights are long and cold, but thoughts of the day ahead keep her going. It has taken a lot of courage to endure what she has over the past three weeks. With a loss of her independence in this environment, she must trust and rely completely on her teammates. She is truly an inspiration.

We are now on our descent to Lukla from where we fly back to Kathmandu on November 22. We cannot believe that we only have two more days of trekking left, but we are enjoying being back in the lowlands, where it is warmer and the altitude presents less of a challenge. Those that were sick are improving and are becoming strong enough to assist with pulling the TrailRider again. The time has flown by and no one is looking forward to leaving the mountains behind!

We apologize for our lack of communication along our journey as rumours of internet access near Everest Base Camp proved to be untrue. We were trekking in very isolated locations with minimal infrastructure. This is a reality of life in the mountains and it has been our reality for the past three weeks.

Again, thank you to all our sponsors and supporters in Canada. We could not have reached Everest Base Camp without your generosity. We look forward to sharing our journey with you upon our return to Canada!


11.05.07 - Namaste From Namche Bazar!

Everyone arrived safe and sound in Lukla - some by foot and others by a spectacular flight through the mountains of Nepal. In a flurry we assembled the TrailRider and organized our gear and were off to Phakding. On the first day we actually dropped 230m in elevation, an enjoyable start to 3 weeks of trekking!

Day 2 was a shorther day as we climbed from Phakding to Monjo (2610m to 2835m). Most trekkers go straight through to Namche Bazar but, considering the 800m climb we faced on day 3, we decided it would be smart to rest.

Our trip to Namche Bazar began with a quick 200m drop followed by 800m of up, up, up! The highlight was Pippa riding in a basket in a small but steep section that was too difficult to maneuver for the TrailRider. She was carried by Junar and Mila, two of our fearless Sherpas. Besides this small section, the TrailRider is performing very well thanks to great teamwork by everyone. We have even used some local wisdom and parts to modify the TrailRider, allowing it to be carried more efficiently up sharp inclines. Our guides and porters have been incredible and always willing to lend a hand. The Nepalese people are amazing and very generous to our group. Their hospitality is comforting after a long, hard day on the trails.

Today is a day of rest in Namche Bazar before we resume our journey to Everest Base Camp. We should arrive on November 15th. We will update the site if possible before then so check back.

Thank you again to all our generous sponsors and supporters. We would not be here without you!


10.22.07 - Everest Base Camp Here We Come!

The TrailRider is packed and Team MS Fits is on their way to Nepal! Stay tuned as we trek towards Everest Base Camp with Pippa. We hope to provide periodic updates along the way depending on Internet access in the areas we will be visiting. A more detailed update will be done when possible or upon our return.


10.21.07 - Climb With Us In Whistler

Trek with us from Lukla to Everest Base Camp and back in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia. The climb begins on November 2nd at Meadow Park Sports Centre and continues until November 22nd when we fly back to Kathmandu. For more information please contact Christine Suter at csuter@whistler.ca or call 1-604-935-PLAY.


10.20.07 - Media Coverage

Rise Above Barriers Society’s Nepal Project is once again captured in the media.

  • Gulf Islands Online, Oct 9th [view]
  • Vancouver Sun, Oct 20th [view]


10.08.07 - One Last Hike Before The Himalayas

On Thanksgiving Monday, full of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, Team MS Fits explored Mill Farm Regional Park Reserve on Salt Spring Island. The hike was lead by Charles Kahn, who authored "Hiking the Gulf Islands".

We were joined by Derek Emmerson and his family. Derek has been instrumental in modifying the TrailRider for us through the Salt Spring Chapter of the Tetra Society of North America.

The day ended with a sumptuous supper at the Emmerson homestead overlooking the ocean. It was a perfect ending to a great day on the trails.

The group included Ollie, Karun, Pippa, Penny, Derek, Barbara, Lue, Pete, Jasper, Aysha, Cynthia, Purnima, Stephen, Martin, Tim, Sarah, Kali, Lauren, Crissola and Charles.


10.01.07 - Team MS Fits Visit The University Of Victoria

Pippa, Penny and Karun shared our journey with ESL students at the University of Victoria. It was a learning experience for them as well as for the students. According to the teacher: "The students were really taken with all of you. Their participation was the best I've ever seen. I think all of them were moved and inspired. Pippa's answer to the question on giving advice to ESL students was perfect."