Back in July Jack Geldard, George Ulrich and myself had probably the most unsuccessful weekends climbing of our lives attempting a route at the Bat’s Head in Dorset. It was coined ‘Operation Shambolic’ and we literally didn’t climb a thing. However, on that sunny day I had the time of my life paddling around in a dinghy, narrowly avoiding being swallowed up by the briny, and making a catastrophically poor attempt at even getting to base of our prospective line (let alone climb it).
I’ve been thinking a lot about that day in relation to my forthcoming trip to Nepal.
It is easy to become transfixed on an objective, with the success and failure becoming the be-all-and-end-all of the trip. However, coming back from your first trip (or any trip) to the Himalayas having successfully climbed something it is, in my opinion, only part of the picture. I don’t walk much these days, I don’t particularly enjoy it, and yet I am thrilled with the prospect of spending seven days approaching our base-camp. Being in and amongst the Himalayas. Seeing new sights each day. Getting past the foothills and deep into the mountain range. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t childishly excited about seeing Everest for the first time. So many things, so many new experiences. Our attempt on the North Face of Peak 41 will play a major part in the trip obviously, but I will not let that cloud my focus in terms of my overall priority to have fun, with good friends, in an absolutely stunning place.
Coupled with the recent news of tragedy on Manaslu, the plane crash in Kathmandu, and the fact that many of the charities and trusts that have supported our expedition are in memory of active climbers and mountaineers that have died in the mountains it reminds me of perhaps the most important thing of all – come back alive…
Thank-you to everybody that has supported the expedition, we are infinitely grateful for all of your help and for your understanding that it isn’t all about success.
See you all in November.
Thanks once-again to Marmot, DMM, the Mark Clifford Memorial Trust, the Chris Walker Memorial Trust, Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust,BMC, Sport Wales, the Alpine Club, and The Mount Everest Foundation – we couldn’t have done it without you…