AT THE AGE OF 23, I SET OUT TO BREAK TWO WORLD RECORDS ON MOUNT EVEREST.
UNFORTUNATELY, SIX WEEKS INTO MY EXPEDITION, AN EARTHQUAKE STRUCK NEPAL KILLING 19 PEOPLE ON THE MOUNTAIN AND I WAS FORCED TO ABANDON MY ATTEMPT.
IN 2018, I REVISTED THE MOUNTAIN AND SUMMITED EVEREST ON MAY 17TH. HOWEVER, MY DOUBLE SUMMIT ATTEMPT WAS THWARTED WHEN MY OXYGEN WAS STOLEN.
INSTEAD OF GOING BACK A THIRD TIME, I AM NOW TAKING ON THE BIGGER CHALLENGE OF CLIMBING WHAT IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE HARDEST, MOST COVETED AND MOST DANGEROUS MOUNTAIN ON THE PLANET – ANNAPURNA.
This year I was invited to be part of an incredibly strong team to take on ANNAPURNA. The tenth highest mountain, and by far the most coveted of all the mountains above 8,000m. To be part of an expedition like this is a real honour and a privilege. It may seem quite soon to be jumping on another expedition having only finished such a massive project less than a year ago, but when I got the invitation, I thought I would be a fool to turn it down...
The whole Everest project was an incredible journey and a massive undertaking. It’s not over but for the moment it needs to take a back seat. I put three years of graft into that project and despite not having the outcome I had hoped; I learned a huge amount along the way. As people say, its not about the summit, its about the journey. It’s a cliché but its true.
^ The Western Cwm, Everest 2018
The biggest challenges weren't the high altitude, the lack of oxygen, or the freezing conditions; it came from behind the scenes. It came from constant rejection again, and again - and again. Over the years leading up to 2018, I sent over 2,000 emails to people hoping they would support the expedition and try and make it actually happen. Most of them were unanswered. However, despite the huge amount of rejection, there was also a huge amount of support along the journey from friends and family and even people I hadn't met. These people got me to the top of Everest. Everyone I know went above and beyond the call of duty in making it happen and I will always be incredibly grateful for that help and support.
Everest may not have been the success I had hoped, but it was a success and with the help of everyone we managed to raise over £30,000 for Chestnut Tree House and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. That’s pretty impressive.
It feels slightly distasteful jumping straight into another project so soon when it only feels like yesterday when everyone was trying to make my dream of Everest become a reality. But this Annapurna expedition is an incredible opportunity with a very talented group of people. It’s an incredible mountain with a lot of history and tales of triumph and tragedy.
^ The summit ridge, Everest 2018
I will be climbing with a man called Nirmal Purja MBE. If you haven’t heard of him yet, by next Christmas he will be a household name. Having just left the military with an illustrious career in the Ghurkas followed by the Special Boat Service (SBS), and already holding records on Everest, he is about to climb the 14 8,000ers back to back. A feat never achieved before. I am lucky enough to be starting Annapurna with him and watching him make history. Opportunities like this don't happen everyday, and I feel I need to grab this by the bollocks and just go for it!
This is the expedition page for expedition funds. I have already put a huge amount of my own money into this but am shy the final £9,000k. Once I have covered the costs of the expedition then all further funds will go towards the Alzheimer’s Society. That page will be set up IF I get the funds for this sorted!
Thanks for the support!
^ Final steps to the summit, Everest 2018.