Countdown to 28th March 2015.
Well, time has flown by and Andy Clark of Kelsey Plant’s admin department has spent the last year training hard for his summit attempt. He is no stranger to mountaineering and is under no illusion about the seriousness of what he is about to undertake.
“Apart from regularly walking in the hills for up to 9 hours with 20kg on my back, I’m supplementing my training with running, swimming, Versaclimber, cycling and circuit training. Its tough fitting it all in around normal home and work life but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and peak fitness is essential.” said Andy.
Above 7925 metres there is insufficient oxygen to support human life and even with supplemental oxygen the body and mind are under enormous stress. Therefore its very important to be physically prepared to reduce the strain on the body as much as possible. At extreme altitude the body deteriorates and injuries fail to heal. Altitude sickness can strike anyone at any time regardless of fitness levels and avalanches and sudden severe weather changes are very real and dangerous threats.
Why would you want to climb Everest given the risks to life? I hear you ask.
Andy answers “My childhood interest in the hills grew into an adult passion for the mountains. Its the attraction of the outdoors, being out of my comfort zone, the awesome challenge of it all, embracing life itself. To me, life is for living not just sitting on the sofa watching the lives of others. I am fortunate to be in good health and good physical shape and I believe its important not to let life pass you by. When I see a mountain I want to stand on top of it and appreciate its raw beauty and the physical and mental challenge of climbing it. Everest is not the most technical mountain to climb, but there is nowhere higher on this planet so, for me, it’s the ultimate and it doesn’t get better than that! If the risks involved in mountaineering are managed by the right experience, preparation, training, equipment, backup and proper support they are no different to many other activities.”
Follow Andy on Twitter @aceverest
See www.justgiving.com/andyceverest – raising money for SHINE the charity supporting those affected by neural tube defects, spina bifida and hydrocephalus.