|At seventy-seven years of age, Dame Julie Andrews has become the first person to summit every single mountain peak in the world ... The Academy Award winner's incredible climbing ambition started forty-eight years ago, during production of the 1965 hit movie The Sound of Music. "I had just finished the 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain' scene with Mother Abbess," she said, "and I was alone in the dressing room. After doing a couple dozen takes, I couldn't get those song lyrics out of my head. 'Climb ev'ry mountain. Ford ev'ry stream.' Suddenly I heard a deep, booming voice, a man's voice. Yet it wasn't coming from a man. It was coming from inside my head. And it said, 'Hey, Julie, wouldn't that be grand if you actually did climb every mountain?'"
From that moment on Andrews listened to the man's voice in her head. She spent the next three years systematically climbing every mountain in the United Kingdom ... As her mountaineering skills improved she steadily conquered the greatest peaks of the world, including New Guinea's Puncak Jaya, Mont Blanc in the Alps, Africa's Kilimanjaro, and Mt. McKinley in Alaska ... By 1986 her quest for every mountain started inspiring periodic newspaper and magazine articles in England. But throughout the '90s she focused on climbing lesser known peaks, and interest in her story slowly fizzled ... Even her near-fatal 2001 summit of Mt. Everest went practically unnoticed, mentioned in only one obscure newsletter published by a Nepalese man obsessed with Mary Poppins ... "My achievement was ignored," Andrews explained, "because some blind bloke named Erik Weihenmayer climbed Everest the same day as me. Apparently a blind bloke on Everest is more interesting than a famous movie star climbing every bloody mountain in the world."
Since Everest, Dame Andrews has been tediously scaling minor peaks around the globe, such as those found in the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California. "Just the other day," she said last month at a Hollywood fundraiser for homeless children, "I hiked to something called Potato Mountain, essentially a wart on the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. And when I reached the top, I noticed that the locals had littered the area with raw potatoes. This is the sort of inconsiderate, childish behavior I've been experiencing all around the world for decades. In Australia there is a place called Mount Buggery, and, believe me, you don't want to know what the kids do for fun up there. Seriously, though, we need to help these homeless children get off the mountains and into some homes."
Andrews later apologized for her inappropriate, drunken remarks. But, like her mountain climbing adventures, nobody really cared about her apology either. Nobody, that is, except Poonyeah Pun, publisher of the Mysterious Mary Poppins newsletter in Nepal. "After strange Hollywood apology," he writes in the April 1st edition, "Mary Poppins sexy spend next weeks climbing in South Americas. For March 30 she hike last mountain on list, Roraima, in honor of hero with funny name, Sir Everard im Thurn. He first one climb mountain in 1884. Good job, Mary! You finally climb ev'ry mountain. Now you ford ev'ry streams!!! Ha, ha!"