An intestinal infection had left her feeling sicker than ever, and once again Gary Medvigy and Christine Ping tried to persuade their daughter to not climb Mount Everest.
Doctors said Army Capt. Elyse Ping Medvigy was more likely to die than reach the top, let alone safely descend.
Talking to her parents via a satellite phone late last week from a camp about 21,000 feet up Earth’s highest mountain, Ping Medvigy said she was not stopping.
"We didn’t know if it would be our last conversation together," her father said.
Three days later, another call came.
At 7:48 a.m. Everest time Tuesday, through bitter cold and blistering wind, Ping Medvigy stood on the 29,029-foot summit.
The Fort Carson captain from Sebastopol, Calif., started up the mountain’s north — and most challenging — side on April 25 as part of a team of current and former soldiers. They took on the mission for U.S. Expeditions and Explorations, a nonprofit that aims to raise awareness of the mental pain military members face every day.
Ping Medvigy was soon joined on the summit by 2nd Lt. Harold Earls. About an hour later they were joined by Dave Ohlson, a filmmaker documenting the ascent, and Chad Jukes, a retired Army staff sergeant from Ridgway who 10 years ago lost his right leg during combat in Iraq.
The nonprofit believes Ping Medvigy,…