Local nurse ready to summit Everest | SummitDaily.com

Local nurse ready to summit Everest

FRISCO – Longtime local and Frisco Medical Center nurse Colleen Ihnken will be among those to attempt to summit Mount Everest today.

Ihnken, 39, lives in Alma and is a nurse at the Summit Medical Center in Frisco.

Last year, she won Montezuma’s Revenge – the famously brutal 24-hour mountain bike race that traverses the Continental Divide and summits Grays and Torreys peaks. She broke the women’s record by riding 123 miles and covering 24,224 feet in elevation in 23 hours and 41 minutes.

Jody Thompson, Ihnken’s friend and colleague at the medical center and fellow Everest climber (she came within 200 feet of the south summit last year when she was part of a similar promotional climb on an all-women’s team), received a postcard from Ihnken Tuesday that Ihnken had written from base camp last week.

“She had just finished her last rotation,” Thompson said. “She said she’s hanging in there and she’s going to give it her best shot. She’s excited. She said there were some ups and downs with adjusting to the altitude, which, there definitely are. She was way psyched.”

In addition to working at the medical center year-round, Ihnken volunteers at Summit County public nursing, works for Keystone’s ski patrol in the winter and is pursuing her nurse practitioner’s degree. Last summer was her second Montezuma’s Revenge victory, and she has won several other High Country snowshoe and bike races.

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