From Buncombe County Schools
“It costs over $70,000 just to get the approved permit to climb Mt. Everest”, stated Ron Sanga, local mountaineering guide who spoke to Erwin Middle students on Wednesday, October 17. During his visit, Sanga shared his 2008 Everest expedition story discussing local culture, climate and training experiences with 7th and 8th graders. Sanga, who has spoken for REI, Boy Scouts of America, outdoor events and local colleges and universities, is a personal friend of 7th grade science teacher, Amy Paksoy.
“We are very fortunate to have Ron available to interact with our students,” says Paksoy. “His real life experiences connect classroom instruction and real happenings in a way that interests and encourages our kids.
It took a team effort to prepare the students for Sanga’s visit. Paksoy is the science teacher on the 7th grade Appalachian State Mountaineers team. She taught the students about atmosphere and altitude in the Tibet region while other team teachers covered their curriculum areas. Ms. Kimlinger, social studies teacher taught about the Nepal and Tibet Flags; Ms Loefler, math teacher led students in comparing geometrical designs of the flags; Ms. McClure, English teacher read excerpts from the book Peak by Roland Smith about a boy who climbed Everest and Kendra Cameron-Jarvis, Literacy Coach provided students with non-fiction articles on Everest to read.
When asked about the hardest part of his journey, Sanga said, “Homesickness. I just missed my family terribly.” Sanga, who has completed 5 of the “Seven Summits” (the highest points on each of the seven continents) is an experienced mountaineering guide and owns Base Camp Excursions, a custom outdoor guide service.