Isabel Suppé in 2010 was climbing Ala Izquierda in Bolivia, with Peter Wiesenekker when Peter slipped, causing both climbers to fall 400 meters to the bottom of the face. Peter was killed as a result of the fall. Against all odds, Isabel survived and spent two days and nights dragging herself severely injured with a dangerously exposed fracture over the ice at 16,000ft. She was eventually rescued and had to undergo fourteen highly complicated surgeries so as to achieve something seemingly impossible: saving her right foot.
Soon after Isabel was told that she would never walk normally again or climb.
Two months after her last operation, when she was still unable to carry any weight at all, Isabel climbed Dos Conos on crutches after she pushed her gear up to high camp on her bike. One month later she completed the first female solo ascent of Mount Cachi, one of the highest mountains in the Andes.
“I decided to continue. To keep on dragging myself over the ice, maybe for nothing. So as to at least not to die without having fought to the last; to have a chance as tiny as it may be to live”
Isabel’s book Starry Night tells the story of her accident and much more. It has been a finalist for the prestigious Desnivel Award for Literature in Spain. Since the climbing accident Isabel’s ankle joint has been deteriorating at a devastating speed, and she was advised to cycle as much as possible and undergo more surgery in Spain.
She borrowed her German grand-mother´s bike and solemnly named it ‘Rocinante,’ after Don Quijote´s noble horse. On Rocinante, Isabel then crossed the Alps, the Pyrenees, Switzerland, France and Northern Spain in the middle of winter for surgery. Later she continued south, crossing over to Africa, climbing Morocco´s highest mountain and ending up in in the Sahara desert.
The surgery in Spain did not succeed in restoring her ankle joint. Isabel requires a highly complex form of bone transplantation, a surgery that is only done in the USA. This accident was not covered by her insurance company and she has been raising further funds through her book, speaking and by cycling across the USA from Monterey California to New York.
Isabel presents in French, German, English, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish and welcomes international travel.
'I attended Isabel's speech in San Diego and found it to be both inspiring and entertaining. Listening to Isabel speak has helped me in re-evaluating my own life and adapting a new attitude and approach in handling the problems of life we all encounter from time to time. She has come through a mountain of adversity (literally) and continues to see her life as a grand adventure. Hearing Isabel's story was one of the high points of my year!'
'Thank you so much for giving up on your time on Monday 27th October to be our guest speaker at the MSI International Conference in Rio de Janeiro. The conference delegates found your story of survival fascinating and I for one was very taken by your harrowing story. The feedback that we have received shows the group was very interested in the story you told and I hope this was shown by those members who spoke with you after the talk and also bought your book. I was glad to hear also that your talk may have opened up the possible opportunity for future presentations. I wish you all the very best with your future endeavours.'
'Le quiero dar las gracias por haberme dado la opurtinidad de conocer a una verdaderamente mujer extraordinaria. Ha sido un verdadero placer poder haber estado con ella aqui en Nuremberg. Nos ha fascinado su historia y su fuerza de superacion. me despido con un cordial saludo.'