Everest 2010 – 8,848m/29,035ft
“I wish Geordie all the success and safety in this epic challenge. It is an endeavour that will take him to the limits and probably beyond, and that sort of commitment is hard not to admire!”
- BEAR GRYLLS
I trained hard; mentally and physically I felt as ready as I could be for all the obstacles I thought I would face on this gruelling 7 week expedition. After travelling from Kathmandu I was finally in view of the imposing and beautiful north face, the same image that had been a picture on my wall for the past 3 years.
Getting to the summit was a three-stage process where we first ascended to Camp 1 at 7000m before retreating to Base Camp at 5300m. Prior to returning to Base Camp again in preparation for our summit attempt, we reached 7500m up the North Ridge. After battling a throat infection for three weeks, unfortunately those sorts of problems do not heal at that altitude, it is about pain management, we all set off from high camp at 8300m in our attempt to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. I had visualised this moment for 3 years and had dreamed of holding aloft my Union Jack at the highest point on earth.
I got to within 120m from the summit of my dreams before turning around, despite still feeling strong, because time was at a premium. I was heavily delayed on the ascent after helping a Sherpa and two teammates who were all suffering from severe altitude sickness.
As if I hadn’t been completely aware before, human life is far far more important than the summit of any mountain. These delays however, compromised my summit attempt.
Everest is now unfinished business for me and I intend to go back in 2011 in aid of The RNLI and sponsored by The University of St Andrews & Knight Frank Estate Agents. I should have made the summit this year but sadly it was beyond my control. I am now even more focused and more prepared to make the top than ever before. In any walk of life, things do not always go to plan. It is, however, the way we react to these incidents that matter the most.