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Local woman crests landfill


Highway 94 -- A local mountain climber has become the first person to solo climb the Waste Management landfill on Highway 94.

On this first ever successful solo trek, climber Anna Gaspus used no supplemental oxygen tanks to protect her from the mountain's odorous altitudes.

But that's not to say Gaspus doesn't have the best equipment money can buy. "You need to use special gear," she said.

"My entire body was hermetically sealed in plastic for the three-day journey," she said, adding that she trained for months in dumpsters around town before attempting the climb.

Though only 7,000 feet high, the landfill is considered one of the area's most challenging ascents.

The dump ascent is part of a national trend in which extreme sports enthusiasts are no longer content with just climbing the world's highest natural wonders.

"We're tired of pristine vistas," said 17-time Everest climber Jans Backlacker. "We want to see strip mines, pollution, cyanide leech ponds, nuclear test craters. The real extreme stuff is man-made these days."

Indeed, Gaspus's hike up Mt. Trash, as come call it, was anything if not thrilling.

During the first day, she fell into a hidden sinkhole, where she spent eight hours in a labyrinth of swampy tunnels and vomited up her first day's rations.

The second day, on a ridge leading to the summit, she was hit with a blizzard of shopping bags and nearly suffocated.

On the third day, she crested the summit, but only after discovering the mummified bodies of four explorers who had perished in bag storms in earlier expeditions.

"It was totally worth it," she said. "The views from up there were incredible. I could see Kansas."

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