In a climb they began on April 1, the pair reached their goal after several setbacks along the way, including the temporary confiscation of equipment while the Olympic torch relay was on Everest.
This also means that they are the first mother/daughter team to complete the Seven Summits – the world’s highest mountains on each continent.
The pair has already climbed to the top of South America’s Aconcagua (6962 metres), North America’s McKinley-Denali (6195 metres), Africa’s Kilimanjaro (5895 metres), Europe’s Elbrus (5642 metres), Antarctica’s Vinson Massif (4892 metres) and Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko (2228 metres).
In between finding time to climb, lawyer Cheryl Bart says, “I just really love these mountains. They are so beautiful. And the challenge of it all makes life and my head feel sane again.”
Cheryl is an ambassador for the Peres Centre for Peace.
Her business interests include serving as Chairman of the South Australian Film Corporation, the Adelaide Film Festival and Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund. Cheryl is a non-executive Director on a number of boards.
Her past directorships include Sydney Ports Corporation, EOS Ltd, Soccer Australia, Basketball Australia, Australian Sports Foundation and the Defence Industry Advisory Board.
She has always been involved in a range of pro bono and charitable activities, in addition to a strong interest and support in the Arts, Cheryl’s climbing partner, her daughter Nikki is a medical student and has just finished her fifth year of medical school. Nikki is the co — chairman of the Medical Student Aid Project, which donates medical equipment and pharmaceuticals to developing world hospitals.
In addition she is very involved in the leadership of the medical student council, being a fifth year representative and intercampus liaison officer. Nikki is also involved in a number of volunteer programs, from leading yellow shirts, an orientation program for first years’ campus wide, and charity work.
When not climbing or studying Nikki enjoys outdoor sports from skiing and snowboarding to adventure racing such as Oxfam trail walker and the Geoquest.
The Bart’s blog on Bigpond recounts their adventures. For instance when they tackled Vinson Massif the highest mountain of Antarctica, located about 1,200 km (750 miles) from the South Pole, first conquered in 1966 by Nicholas Clinch and party and the last of the seven summits to be conquered.
The Chicks reflection: “Not only were the winds incredibly powerful but visibility was also very low. Often you could only see a few metres in front of you. In amongst the enveloping whiteness, the outlines of team-members looking like smudges on an artist’s canvas.
After seven hours tramping uphill at minus 40°C, we reached the ‘top’ of Antarctica. We were now at the coldest point of the coldest continent on Earth. Despite the elation of reaching this milestone, the stop at the summit was only brief as the weather was not overly conducive to a lazy picnic lunch.”