For us, climbing Mount
Everest has been a dream that began about 10 years ago when we
both first got a taste for mountaineering.
We are often asked the “WHY?” question - why put
our lives on hold to focus entirely on this one
pursuit, subject ourselves to freezing temperatures
and lack of oxygen for long periods of time, not to
mention the immense physical challenge of the climb.
So we thought we’d attempt to articulate our
For us, Mount Everest represents the ultimate
test of one’s physical and mental endurance –
demanding extreme physical fitness and capability,
courage, and strength of character. Although there
are some mountains which are considered to be more
technically demanding than Everest, there is no
dispute that Everest is the highest physical point
on the planet, the roof of the world, and the
supreme symbol of human-kind versus nature’s
greatest powers. Hence Everest has seduced both us
and thousands of other climbers around the world.
Climbing Mount Everest represents doubts and
fears overcome, the accumulation of an enormous
amount of hard work, and a larger than life
indication that literally anything is possible.
In a sense, it is a metaphor for all the challenges
we face in life (ever noticed how many songs mention
mountains?). Making it to the top of Everest would be an
amazingly empowering experience (“If only my PE
teachers could see me now!” Fi).
“But aren’t we scared of the risks? Haven’t we
seen that documentary or read those books?” say our
friends and family. Of course we are nervous - we'd
be fools not to be. And it's certainly true
that that climbers do die
on Everest almost every year. There is no doubt
in our minds
that Everest presents significant risks (although
the reasons behind some of the tragedies are often presented with journalistic
simplicity). However, it’s interesting to ask
ourselves why a few deaths on Everest evoke far more
empathy and emotion (and often criticism) than deaths caused by
other natural disasters, road accidents, drug
problems or illness. Is it because we all relate to
adventure in some form; the predetermined,
articulated goal of a climber, sailor or balloonist
will naturally capture our human emotions?
Not least of all, we also believe attempting to
climb Mount Everest will provide us with a
tremendous adventure. Regardless of whether we make
it to the summit or not, Everest is sure to provide
experiences that broaden our perspectives, build our
characters and provide us with the memories of a
lifetime. (Still not sure why all the
character-building experiences have to be difficult
Our Everest, is in fact Everest. But all the same
could be said for whatever your Everest is and we
hope that our adventure might just inspire you to
dare to work towards your own wildest dreams.