Produced by Michael Maitland, Harbinger Films.

Michael Maitland has captured the essence of our journey in this short video. Press the play button to view the video.

Make sure to visit our gallery to see pictures and videos of our adventures.

Rise Above Barriers

The Rise Above Barriers Society is an organization focused on rising above the barriers experienced through disability. It was formed in order to research, plan and implement a trekking journey in the Nepal Himalaya with a person living with a disability.

In November of 2007, using a modified wheel chair called the TrailRider, Pippa Blake and the Rise Above Barriers Team (Team MS Fits) will embark on a three week trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp.

Click here to learn more about the Rise Above Barriers Society and our objectives.

Pippa Blake on the TrailRider.

The Dream

By Ollie Blake

"Where there's a wheel, there's a way..."

As long as we can remember my mother has wanted to trek in the Nepal Himalaya. In the late 80’s, we got our shots and we were going to Nepal. Ok so Pip’s idea of planning is finding a place on the map and buying a ticket. And that's why we didn’t make it to Nepal and ended up having a two year "working holiday" in New Zealand. Unfortunately between then and now she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and has been terrorizing Collingwood and Victoria in her power wheel chair.

As many of you know, Pip is not one to sit back and let life pass her by, especially with MS. Even though the mountains in Collingwood are smaller than those in B.C. and Nepal, Pip was determined to make her way up Osler Bluff every day during lunch. This continued even after she was diagnosed with MS, with each climb up Osler becoming more and more like a trek up Everest. She went through various canes and walkers and fortunately had many great friends that were her "Sherpa". At times, to descend, she was dragged down the service road on a raincoat!

Pippa is always ready to take on a new adventure as long as she has her commode and a couple of beanbags to keep her warm. There was the time she got me sky diving lessons for my birthday with one condition - that she would come along too! Most recently, she visited Africa on safari with "two wheelchairs and a bucket" and was carried to the areas that she could not access by Masai Warriors!

Finally, after a few years of idle threats and random planning (the apples don’t fall far from the tree), we have decided to take on the Nepal Himalaya this November (2007) with our mum.

Nepal here we come!

Our New Logo!

What's New

Visit this website regularly to follow us on our journey to Everest Base Camp. We will be posting updates often. Click on the news items below to see what we've been up to.

02/10/08 - Robinson's Presentation
It was a packed house at Robinson's Outdoor store on January 29th as Pippa, Karun, and a few others from the team held a slideshow presentation to members of the public.
Read More
01/11/08 - Media Coverage
Our trek continues to capture media and public attention since our return from Everest Base Camp.
  • CHUM/CTV News Clip [view]
  • Whistler’s Pique Newsmagazine [view]
  • Rendezvous (Multiple Support Program) [view]
  • RIV News (Recreation Integration Victoria) [view]
  • Gizmo Newsletter (Tetra Society of North America) [view]
  • Island Bushwhacker (Alpine Club of Canada) [view]
  • Kimberley Daily Bulletin and Cranbrook Daily Townsman [view]
  • Take a Hike (British Columbia Mobility Opportunities Society) [view]

01/09/08 - MS Society Presentation
On Tuesday, December 18th, Pippa and members of the Rise Above Barriers team shared photos and stories of their trek to members of the MS Society's Capital Region Chapter in Victoria. It was a full house. The audience joined the trekkers in experiencing the laughter, tears, hardships, and victories of the journey as Pippa recounted tales of life on the trail. Pippa's story left audience members inspired with her message that incredible things are possible when you dream. The presentation was very well received and we would like to thank all those who came out to share in our adventure.
12/29/07 - Adventures With Robinson's Slideshow Presentation
Come join us for our "Where there's a wheel, there's a way" slideshow presentation at Robinson's Outdoor Store (1307 Broad Street) on Tuesday, January 29th, 2008. Doors open 7:00pm and the slideshow starts at 7:30pm. There will be great prizes to be won! Tickets are $5 and registration is recommended. To register, phone (250) 385-3429. click here to see the full advertisement.
12/16/07 - Pippa's Reflections On The Journey
Pippa Blake shares her thoughts on what it was like to realize the dream of reaching Everest Base Camp and her feelings about the team that helped to get her there. Please click here to read the article. She has also written a thank you poem to our Nepali friends. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to read it.
12/15/07 - Media Coverage
Checkout the latest media coverage of Rise Above Barriers.
  • Victoria Times Colonist, Nov 22nd [view]
  • The Province, Dec 2nd [view]

12/04/07 - Congratulations from Carole James, MLA
The accomplishments of Rise Above Barriers have been officially recognized by Carole James. To read the letter addressed to Pippa and the Members of the Rise Above Barriers Team from Carole James, please click here. Carole James is the MLA for Victoria - Beacon Hill and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia with the New Democratic Party of British Columbia.
12/01/07 - Gallery Updated!
Our gallery has been updated with photos from our journey. Please click here to see the photos.
12/01/07 - A Journey Of A Lifetime
Jasper Blake provides his perspective on a dream come true for his mom Pippa. Please click here to read the article.
11/30/07 - Pippa Arrives To A Warm Welcome
Friends and family greeted Pippa and Penny as they arrived home to Victoria, British Columbia on November 29th. CHEK TV was there to capture the moment. Please click here to view the video.
11/19/07 - Mission Accomplished!
Team "Rise Above Barriers" reached Everest Base Camp (5364m) with Pippa Blake on November 14th, 2007 at 1:06pm.
Read More
11/05/07 - Namaste From Namche Bazar!
Everyone arrived safe and sound in Lukla - some by foot and others by a spectacular flight through the mountains of Nepal. In a flurry we assembled the TrailRider and organized our gear and were off to Phakding. On the first day we actually dropped 230m in elevation, an enjoyable start to 3 weeks of trekking!
Read More

A Million Dhanyabads

By Pippa Blake

A million dhanyabads
To all of you so true
For being kushee all the time
And always dalayu

You hauled me up the ukalo bato
In weather bitter jado
You cooked our meals and cared for us
As to Sagarmatha we did go

So balyo
And ramro good
You made our team complete
Namaste and love to you
Until next time we meet

Thanks to our Nepali "Dream Team".