KATHMANDU — Each couple feels on top of the world on their wedding day. But the Northern California couple just made that metaphor a reality… by literally getting married on top of the world.
Ashley Schmieder,32, and her husband James Sissom,35, — whose first date was an overnight hiking trip in Yosemite National Park — trekked for three weeks, threw on a wedding gown and tux, then got married at base camp on Mount Everest, a top of the world becoming the first couple to ever successfully do so in traditional wedding garb.
Sissom’s condition was so bad the couple and their crew almost decided to scrub the mission the day before the couple’s wedding day, just feet from the base camp where they were going to tie the knot.
But on the big day, their guide deemed Sissom able to go on, thanks to an oxygen treatment. The couple got married that day at 17,500 feet elevation.
Schmieder, an executive assistant, became infatuated with Everest after reading Into Thin Air, author Jon Krakauer’s telling of a deadly 1996 storm on the mountain.
“This was kind of a bucket list trip for us,” Schmieder explained. “This is already something we had planned on doing in the future, but not necessarily for a wedding.”
The wedding was as much their idea as it was that of their wedding photographer Charleton Churchill, who dubs himself an “adventure wedding photographer.”
“Both James and Ashley made for great trail partners,” Churchill recounts on his website.
“We were like a family. Ashley is tough girl who crushed it on the mountain trail and maintained a great pace. James is a great man who took care of Ashley, always looking after her needs. Plus he’s a comedian who made us laugh often. It can be difficult after a few days on a long mountain trek with all the pressure and lack of resources to maintain a smile, but we did well.”Follow @gorkhapost