Monday 10th November 2003 2pm GMT
Location - London
This final report comes to you from my home in London.
Since returning from the windswept slopes of Everest on Thursday
my time has been spent catching up on sleep and rest in readiness
for slotting back into a "normal" life.
It is only when you return from such a place having experienced
that adventure that you realise just how much has been achieved.
For example I will never forget until the day I die the overwhelming
feeling of pride and emotion that I felt as I sat beside the memorial
plaque for George Mallory and Andrew Irvine with the North Face
of Everest looming larger than life in the background. For me this
was my Everest no one else's.
In addition the expedition had other high spots, which include
sitting on the roof of the Potala Place in Lhasa, which I suspect
was not only a first for me, but a first for a building that has
stood for thousands of years. Also it was great watching my team
pull together to achieve a common goal and seeing each team member
gain a very personal experience.
Now I'm back in London the expedition is seeming further and further
away almost as if it were a dream. Looking at my slightly battered
hands that worked so hard I can be assured that it was no dream.
Before going to Everest my mind was filled with stories from the
past and present: Ed Hillary for one and more recently stories from
Everest summiteers Rebecca Stephens and Neil Laughton. Also from
Paul Rose, former British Antarctica Survey Base Commander, who
came so close to summiting.
In addition to reflecting on stories of reaching, or almost reaching
the roof of the world I have been thinking about the people that
I met during my journey. These included Rinzin Sherpa and his team
of Sherpas, cooks and our Tibetan drivers without whom the expedition
could not have taken place. All of these people have a special place
in my heart, which is shared with Everest and my expedition team.
With thanks to all my friends, sponsors and supporters who helped
me with my expedition.
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