The final mountain I attempted before starting at the University of St Andrews was the highest in Europe, Mount Elbrus, located in Western Russia.

The timing of this expedition could not have been worse seeing as conflict between Russia and Georgia started the day before departure and with Elbrus literally a few miles from the Georgian border it added an extra dimension to a climbing expedition.

I was in a team of five others, all of whom summitted, and without any major complications I made the top on the 17th August and was a step closer to achieving my ambition. Having climbed two smaller acclimatisation peaks in the surrounding area, Andirichi and Krumrichi, a two day push combined with a long summit day brought us all safely to the top of the highest mountain in Europe.

For me it signified the end of 12 months of hard-work and training which resulted in successful attempts of the highest mountains in South America, Africa and Europe and the realisation that my dream is an accessible one