Climbing Challenges & Adventures

Autumn, 2015 - Rebuilding Dalchoki School, Paldorje Education Foundation, Nepal
With its rolling green hills, winding roads and panoramic views of cloud covered mountains, the small picturesque village of Dalchoki is typical of many rural Nepalese villages.   On April 25th, 2015 the lives of the villagers Dalchoki would change forever. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook the earth as thousands of homes crumbled to dust and the mountains sent rock and ice tumbling down over the villages below. When the earth settled beneath the country, over 9,000 people were dead, over 25,000 injured and 2.5 million people were left homeless or displaced. In Dalchoki, over 90% of the houses collapsed. Those that were left standing were left with long jagged scars, painful reminders of the great quake. Those that crumbled buried the dead and trapped the injured.  Education in Nepal is key to providing hope for the future. Dalchoki’s main secondary school was destroyed in the earthquake leaving its 447 students and 17 teachers without a place to provide the educational foundation for the future. In October 2015 I will begin to oversee the rebuilding of Dalchoki School... a proverbial mountain rather than a literal one for a change..! No doubt this will be one of the biggest challenges that I've ever taken on.

Spring, 2015 - Shishapangma, Tibet
Shishapangma is the fourteenth highest mountain in the world at a height of 8,027metres / 26,335 ft). Located completely in Tibet, Shishapangma is known as 'Goddess of the Grasslands'. I'll be climbing Shishapangma as part of a two-mountain climbing project so the timing of the ascent will be critical. The initial 3-4 weeks of the expedition will be spent acclimatising on Shishapangma, allowing my body enough time to acclimate to the thin air of higher altitudes while working with my Sherpa to set up the three higher mountain camps - Camp 1 at 6300m, Camp 2 at 6900m and Camp 3 at 7300m. Conditions dependent, my intention is to climb the East Peak which is the true summit. The exact date of our summit push will depend on the weather window, marked by the decrease in summit winds which historically take place around mid-May.

Spring 2015 - Cho Oyu, Tibet
Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world. After climbing Shishapangma my Sherpa and I will descend and immediately travel overland across the historical Tibetan plateau, stopping 20kms west of Mount Everest to make the most of the short weather window and begin our ascent of Cho Oyu. Cho Oyu is 8201metres (26,906 ft). From our Base Camp of 5,650m we’ll move steadily up through the three mountain camps, making the most of the ‘pre-acclimatisation’ from the 3-4 weeks spent ascending Shishapangma. On our ascent of Cho Oyu we’ll pass through the high mountain camps of Camp 1 at 6,400 metres, Camp Two at 7,000 metres and Camp Three at 7,400 metres.  The summit climb from Camp Three will involve climbing through a short rock band just above the top camp before heading into an open couloir, which in turn leads to the 8201m summit plateau.

Winter, 2015 - Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcanic mountain in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895m or 19,341 feet above sea level (the Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak). I'll be climbing Kilimanjaro for my 3rd time with a team of 13 other colleagues from PwC to raise money and awareness for the womens' health charity, Wellbeing of Women.

Summer, 2014 - Damavand, Iran
Mount Damavand, the highest point in the Islamic Republic of Iran, may not be an obvious first choice for an expedition but should certainly not be overlooked. Damavand is located about 50 miles north of Tehran, close to the Caspian Sea and dominates the Alborz mountain range. It’s a technically easy climb following a well-marked trail to the crater summit, but it does demand a good level of fitness. While you’re in this fascinating part of the world, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the bustling city of Teheran and its historical bazaars and mosques as well as indulge in Iran’s gastronomic delights in the comfort of the cozy teahouses.

Spring, 2014 - Alpamayo and Quitaraju, Peru
Alpamayo is one of the most conspicuous peaks in the Cordillera Blanca of the Peruvian Andes.  It is a steep (sixty degrees), almost perfect pyramid of ice, one of a number of peaks that compose the Pukarahu massif, the northernmost massif of the Cordillera Blanca. Although smaller than many of its neighboring peaks, it is distinguished by its unusual formation and overwhelming beauty. It actually has two sharp summits, North and South, separated by a narrow corniced ridge. On July 1966, on the German magazine "Alpinismus", a photo made by American photographer Leigh Ortenburger, came together with an article resulting from an international survey among climbers, photographers, etc., making the choice for Alpamayo as "The Most Beautiful Mountain in the World".

Spring, 2014 - Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcanic mountain in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895m or 19,341 feet above sea level (the Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak). I'll be climbing Kilimanjaro with a team of 8 other women to raise money and awareness for the womens' health charity, Wellbeing of Women.

Spring, 2013 - Lhotse, Nepal
At 8516m / 27,940ft, Lhotse (meaning 'South Peak' in Tibetan) is the fourth highest mountain in the world. Situated alongside Mt Everest, the Lhotse ascent route follows the Khumbu glacier on the same line of ascent (including the infamous Khumbu Icefall) as Everest’s South East ridge to a final camp high on the Lhotse face. From there the climb ascends steeply through Lhotse’s narrow summit couloir leading almost directly onto the summit. Like all 8000m peaks, Lhotse presents a demanding challenge and will surely push both mind and body to their absolute limit. It was first climbed in 1956 by Fritz Luchsinger and Ernst Reiss of Switzerland. 

Autumn, 2012 - Makalu, Nepal
At 8463m, Makalu is the world's 5th highest mountain. The North Side of Makalu, the route taken by the French on the first ascent in 1955 and climbed by the British Services Makalu Expedition in 2008.The mountain has had less than 300 ascents by individual climbers and fewer than 10 British ascents. Attempting to climb Makalu is both a challenging and serious undertaking and its remoteness and difficulties make it a big step above many other 8,000m peaks. Just 22Km east of Everest and 80Km west of Kangchenjunga, Makalu (meaning "great black") has a distinctive pyramid shape, with its South East and North Western ridges being most prominent. The latter provides the 'normal' route of ascent for the majority of climbers attempting the summit. 

Autumn, 2012 - Ama Dablam, Nepal
Ama Dablam, 6812m (22,493 ft), meaning "Mother's necklace“ is one of the most stunning peaks in the Himalaya and one of the most impressive mountains in the world. The route is made up of an ever changing environment of rock towers, ice humps, snow and ice platforms, and terminates upon a ramp of steepish ice and snow before rounding off to a spectacular summit mound where the views of Everest and a multitude of other peaks abound. It is an ultimate dream for all mountaineers.

Spring 2012 - Cholatse, Nepal
Cholatse, 6440m, is a mountain in the Khumbu region of the Nepalese Himalaya. Cholatse is connected to Taboche (6,501m) by a long ridge. The Chola glacier descends off the east face. The north and east faces of Cholatse can be seen from Dughla, on the trail to Mount Everest base camp. There is a lake just below this pass to the east, and in Tibetan 'cho' is lake, 'la' is pass, and 'tse' is peak so Cholatse means literally "lake pass peak".

Autumn 2011 - Kyajo Ri; Island Peak, Nepal
Spring 2011 - Mt. Everest, NE Ridge, Tibet
Spring 2010 - Mt. Everest, NE Ridge, Tibet
Winter 2010 - Aconcagua, Argentina