Reaching New Heights

Summer. It’s a time that students and teachers enjoy the most. A time to unwind, reset and try new things.

For most college students, they know that after graduation, those summers will be vastly different trying to sneak away for long weekends instead of months spent on the beach.

With her last year at the University of Delaware in front of her, Nadia Khoury of the track & field team wanted to make sure to get the most out of her last “real summer”.

Khoury has spent most of June and July exploring and climbing places all over the United States.

“I knew that this would be the last real summer and time to do a trip like this. It was something of a last hurrah before heading to graduate school for physical therapy next summer,” Khoury said. “I wanted to challenge myself and do things I never thought I could accomplish.”

Khoury has done that and then some.

Her trip started in Colorado and included sport and traditional routes in the Flatirons and Clear Creek Canyon and continued into the City of Rocks in Idaho and onto Leavenworth in Washington.

Khoury’s first real mountaineering experience came at Reynolds, where alongside a group of friends, they bushwacked their way to the base of the mountains through five miles of terrain. After that, the group climbed several thousand feet of snow to reach a sock scramble with a 360 view of the surrounding landscape.

However, the Midlothian, Va. native has found a way to keep things a light hearted during a challenging trip.

“It really has put all of our track workouts in perspective,” Khoury laughed. “I’m not sure you’ll ever catch me complaining about running stadiums after doing some of these climbs!”

Khoury’s biggest reward came at the stunning Mount Rainier in Washington.

“Most parties take three days to reach the summit, setting up camps at different points along the way,” Khoury said. “We knew it would be difficult to get a permit to camp at this time of year and we were trying to avoid having to carry heavy equipment, so we decided to push our limits a bit.”

Khoury and the group did exactly that, ascending and descending over 18,000 feet in a 24-hour period. Starting from the trail parking lot at 7 pm on a Saturday night in June, they reached the summit at 9 am the next morning, only to return to the parking lot by Sunday night at 7 pm.

“I probably won’t ever do something like that again, it was incredibly humbling, challenging and rewarding,” Khoury said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to do it and accomplish something I never thought I could.”

Khoury’s trip continued throughout the end of June and July and gave her a perspective and views that she’d never imagine.

“I knew this trip would be something I’d never forget, but I don’t think I realized how much personal growth I would take from it,” she added. “Rock climbing and mountaineering can be scary endeavors and I’ve definitely been challenged both physically and mentally. I’ve been exposed to elements and pushed out of comfort zone, which has been incredibly important to my personal development.”

Safe to say Khoury made the most of the last real summer and truly reached new heights.

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