I flew to Nepal for the umpteenth time on 29th March 2015 this time to climb Mt Everest and Lhotse. Just under a month later, on Saturday 25th April an earthquake of 7.9 in magnitude struck Nepal causing death and destruction through a huge area of the country and with us at Everest Base Camp. I was lucky, we were lucky. I was with my guide, friend and climbing buddy Rolfe Oostra at Camp 1, which at 6100m is 800m above base camp. Camp 1 is known to be a slightly dodgy place at the best of times but on this occasion someone was definitely taking care of us and we were safe.
The earthquake was terrifying and the realisation of what had been happening at base camp whilst we were shaking in our boots was shocking. 3 of our trusted Sherpa team had lost their lives in those terrifying moments along with 16 others at base camp.
So much happened in the days following the devastation but we are committed to returning to Nepal and showing our support.
Rolfe and I are returning this year, 2016, to climb again. I will be heading out with a Discover Adventure Everest Base Camp Trekking group on 19th March and will meet up with Rolfe on 5th April in Kathmandu. We’ll head up again, climbing Island Peak and Lobuche East before arriving at EBC late April.
Please read below why I decided to climb in the first place, check out the Support4Sherpas page, the Place2Be page and follow me/us on Facebook.
One life – live it, love it, do it – just don’t waste it!
Climbing Mount Everest… Why?
I get asked a lot by clients…have you climbed Everest? I have always said ‘no, why would I want to do that?! There are too many people on the mountain, it’s too crowded and then there are the ladders, why would you want to walk across those ladders!!’ This may sound familiar to those who know me, so what has changed?
Climbing Manaslu in September 2013 changed my thinking. This was my first 8,000m peak, the world’s 8th highest mountain and I am the 3rd British woman to reach the true summit. There are fewer mountaineers who have summited Manaslu since the first successful ascent in 1956 than summited Everest in 2013 alone. I never thought I would climb Snowdon once, let alone Kilimanjaro 20 times and counting and higher still on Mera Peak, Aconcagua and then Manaslu.
However, one successful 8,000m peak does not mean I have a right of passage to summit Everest. I am fully aware of the risks, the hardship, the fear, the endurance, and the physical and mental strength needed to go the distance on a 2-month expedition. This Mother of all Mountains is one tough cookie. Yes, there are too many people on the mountain, it’s crowded and why on earth would you want to walk across those ladders but I want to turn the ‘why’ into a ‘why not’. I am not doing it for the bragging rights or to be just another bod on the mountain, but to test my capabilities, face my fears and to do it for everyone who I have had the pleasure of leading up a mountain, in the UK and abroad.
I am doing this for all of you who have been told ‘you’re not capable, you couldn’t possibly do that’ which is something that I was told 12 years ago when I signed up for my first challenge. How wrong I have proved that person, and many more! Everyone has his or her own mountain to climb, this just happens to be mine, for now.
Thank you in advance for your support x