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SmashMouth 08-21-2010 10:25 AM

New Orleanian Monica Kalozdi returning to Mount Everest

In 2005, Monica Kalozdi became the only known New Orleanian to summit Mount Everest. The expected course of action after that feat would be decompression and recuperation, allowing the brain to recover the capacity for short-term memory that can be compromised in the oxygen-depleted altitude.

But three months after standing atop the highest peak in the world, Kalozdi found herself trapped with her family on their roof in Lakeview while Katrina's waters ravaged their home and business inventory.
Whereas Kalozdi had planned an October trip to Katmandu to be honored as one of the first 100 women to summit Everest (she was the 97th), she was instead exiled to a rented bingo hall in Fort Walton, Fla.
"It was tainted, " Kalozdi admitted of her post-Everest experience. "Emotionally, I wasn't able to work through the experience because I was thinking about the survival of my family. I wasn't able to enjoy any of the rewards."

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