Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Everest - every mountaineers dream

As a young soldier I was fortunate enough to visit the Himalaya's as part of a mountaineering expedition. A team of 20 including 12 soldiers who were under 18 climbed Mera Peak. The young soldiers also visited Everest Base Camp whilst a smaller team (including myself) climbed Lobuje Peak.

I had read some books about climbing in the High Ranges, by the likes of Bonnington but I also took two books with me about the successful 1953 expedition. One by the leader John Hunt and one by a former Officer in my Regiment, Wilfrid Noyce. Reading those two books whilst following their long walk in was an unforgettable experience.

Made even better when I found out that they climbed Lobuje as a training peak for Everest. It is amazing how they climbed it with ease in 53 when we had difficulty in 1989 even with all the latest equipment. I even came close to death after falling on the decent.

I have not been back to Nepal but after today I am determined to return. I visited the Hooper Gallery in Clerkenwell, London. They currently have (till November 25th) on show a number of photographs from the early Everest expeditions right up to the 53 trip. The faces of those mountaineers seem to have so much to tell, Hunt, Hillary, Shipton, Mallory and Tenzing Norgay, each picture has so much much detail. So if in London get along and visit and just a couple of doors down is the pub, the 3 Kings - try the French sausage sandwich - completes a great day out.

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