For The Republic
Fifteen feet and 10 minutes of climbing.
That’s all that separated Walter Glover from summitting Mount Elbrus in June 2010 when he was told to turn around because of an electrical storm. When his guide, Sergey, told him that he couldn’t summit, the St. Vincent chaplain was devastated.
“My friend and work colleague, Lori Walton, and I had trained hard to summit Elbrus and 15 feet from our goal, we were going to be denied,” Glover said. “I was so mad at God that I was crying, but he gave me the strength to let the summit go. The guide had authority on the mountain, and he’d decided it was too dangerous for us continue. The clouds had merged with the mountain terrain, and we couldn’t see where to put our feet.”
Just as Glover and Walton turned to begin their descent, they heard a shrill whistle, which halted them.
“We turned around and we saw Sergey motioning us to turn around and come on ahead,” Glover said. “The electrical storm had quickly passed, and we were able to summit.”
Readers can relieve Glover’s climbing adventures in his new book, “Mount Elbrus and Mount Kosciuszko: Seven Mountain Story, Book II.” It chronicles Glover’s journeys to the highest points of Europe and Austraila. After scaling the 18,500-foot Mount Elbrus in March of 2010, Glover climbed 7,810-foot Koscuiszko, also known as “Mount Kozzie” alone in January of 2011.
“My publisher wanted Elbrus to be the next in the series,” Glover said. “There was so much drama in the Elbrus climb, so we think it will do even better than the first book. I’ve also grown as a writer because I put in more detail about each of the climbs.”
The initial volume in the series sold about 2,000 copies, which doubled his publisher’s expectations. Both books are available for sale on Amazon.com and Viewpoint Books.
The drama of Elbrus was a nice contrast to the peaceful trek up Mount Kozzie. Instead of doing a narrative of Kozzie, Glover elected to fill his journal with sensory notes about his surroundings, with an extreme eye for detail.
Glover already has details of his current trek4kids expedition. Accompanied by his friend Greg Scherschel, Glover began Friday climbing 17,000-foot Rainbow Mountain in Peru, which is three hours from Cusco. It opened for tourists in 2015, so it is a new attraction on the climbing circuit.
Glover has dubbed his journey “Expedition FFY” because all funds raised go to benefit Foundation For Youth programs, including part of the proceeds of his new book.
“Ten years ago, I climbed to Everest Base Camp at age 59,” Glover said. “That began a journey that has taken me to five of the seven summits. I wanted to do something to mark that anniversary, but I’d never planned on doing Rainbow Mountain because I’d never heard of it.”
About 140 kids at FFY never had heard of Rainbow Mountain either until Glover and Schersel and ardent Expedition FFY supporter Ed Eckerly did a presentation about the event on April 24. The event was sponsored by health and fitness director Laura Moses. All the kids signed a banner that Glover will carry to the summit of Rainbow Mountain.
Moses and Boys and Girls Club staff member Liz Marthaler have created a program that will coincide with Glover’s climb, which is scheduled to end on Friday.
“This will be a great experience for the kids,” Moses said. “There will be a replica of Rainbow Mountain on display so the kids can track his progress. It will include a banner that Wally, Ed and Greg signed. They will learn lots of things about the culture of Peru, and they will make crafts that will be on display when Wally returns to FFY on May 15.”
The kids also will learn about healthy fitness habits. Glover was amazed at how engaged and interested the kids were in the event.
“They asked many questions, such as where they would go to the bathroom to how high 17,000 feet was,” Moses said.
Glover never has had to question the support of the community of Columbus during his excursions. To make a donation for FFY scholarships, people can visit the FFY website or send donations for scholarships/Trek4Kids to Karina Willats at FFY. Updates also will be available on Facebook.