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Schneider reaches summit of Mount Everest

Bayfield's Lori Schneider and her climbing companions are preparing to depart Camp 4 for their bid to reach the 29,035-foot-high summit of Mount Everest.

Bayfield's Lori Schneider and her climbing companions have reached the 29,035-foot-high peak of Mount Everest.

A dispatch from Alpine Ascents International reported that Schneider was among the first team members to reach the peak, the tallest point in the world, about 7:30 p.m. Central time on Friday. Schneider has now stood atop the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents.

Remarkably, she climbed six of them after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999. Schneider is reported to be the first woman afflicted with the neurological disease to reach the Everest summit.

Wendy Booker, another climber who lives with multiple sclerosis, abandoned her effort on the Himalayan mountain Friday.

Schneider trained for her Everest ascent on Mount Ashwabay, the ski hill that rises a few miles off the Lake Superior shore near her Bayfield home. The peak is only 1,286 feet, but Schneider theorized that a step is a step, no matter where you take it.

The 52-year-old carried significant experience into her first attempt to climb Everest, having endured the minus 40 temperatures in a climb of Vinson Massif in Antarctica late in 2008. In the past three years, she has reached four of the seven summits, including Mount McKinley in Alaska and Mount Kosciuszko in Australia.

Her ascent to the roof of the world began about 9 a.m. Central time under a dark and moonless sky on Everest. The report from Alpine Ascents put her at the peak about 7:30 p.m. Central time, hours after supporters hiked up Mount Ashwabay to extend good wishes and energy to their friend.

In her last phone conversations before the final push, Schneider reported she was in terrific shape physically and mentally, despite the arduous acclimatization, and several trips to mid-points on the mountain.

Before setting off for the top, she told her father, "It's up to the mountain now."