Everest Blonde Interviewed!
Blonde, axe-wielding, Everest summiteer Annabelle Bond answers your questions on food, climbing, being photogenic and lots more besides.
When we first mentioned Annabelle Bond's attempt on Everest this
spring, we had no idea of the level of interest she'd provoke,
particularly among certain male OUTDOORSmagic members who seemed
particularly taken with her 'blonde with an ice axe' publicity shots.
Perhaps we should have guessed...
Born in Singapore, brought up in Hong Kong and educated in England
and Switzerland, it's fair to say that she's not quite an average
lass. Before she started mountaineering, she was a keen and obviously
very fit runner who moved on to trekking and then to
She's set herself the challenge of climbing the Seven Summits, the
highest peak on each of the world's continents. The first was
Argentina's Aconcagua, the next was Everest which she attempted with
a Chilean team this spring and successfully summited on 15 May,
filmed by the Discovery Channel no less.
She's now back from the mountain, resting up, planning her next
mountains and working on getting an 'edgy' adventure travel TV
programme together. She kindly took some time out however, to answer some OMers' questions, kindly put together by Dave Mycroft. The questions are Dave's except where stated otherwise.
Those pics... www.annabellebond.com
Oh, one last thing, you might assume that Annabelle's an
archetypal 'little rich girl' playing at mountains, but one thing
she's done in conjunction with sponsor HSBC, is to set up an
Annabelle Bond Education Trust. This is in conjunction with the Edmund Hilary Education Trust which will pay for the children of her seven high altitude Sherpas to be educated up to the age of 18. It's her way of thanking the Sherpas for the hard and dangerous work they put in on the mountain. Good call and congratulations to Annabelle on reaching the top.
Given the way altitude reduces appetite how do
you make yourself eat enough once you're in the higher
I actually didn't have any appetite reduction at all
amazingly enough I think I was the only member of our team
that didn't loose any weight! I just knew it was very
important to keep my body "fueled" so to speak, and if I had
lost weight I would have put protein powder in my cereal to
try and keep the weight on.
Do the climbers mix with the trekkers at Base
Camp, or are their tents in a separate area?
If we were at base camp (we were obviously on the
mountain a lot of the time) and trekkers come to our camp we
were pretty hospitable - we had a bunch of trekkers come to
our camp for lunch or tea. It's nice to see some different
faces and hear a more recent update as to what's going on in
How do you cope with the bottleneck at the
Hillary Step? Are there separate ascent and descent fixed lines?
Luckily I was one of the first people on the summit this
year so I didn't come across any bottlenecks at the Hilary
step. Although, I think it could be a problem causing serious
time delays which you really don't want up at that altitude.
On the fixed lines, its chaotic. It was like a huge fishing
net up there, old ropes from numerous past expeditions - you
just grab the whole lot and heave yourself up the rope and
hope for the best. There were no separate descent fixed
lines which would definitely help reduce traffic (there
weren't any when I went for the summit anyway)
Will you be doing a lecture tour/ writing a
book like so many other summiteers?
Yes I will, I'm putting together a talk and I would like
to write a book some time soon.
I'd like to know how she pulled off being
filmed for the Discovery channel, considering there was a race
between two Irish women going on to be first to the top, and the
first Irish woman to reach the summit (I think that is correct)? Does
she think that her being photogenic (being polite here) had anything
to do with it?
Firstly I would like Darren to know that I didn't look
remotely photogenic when I was in Nepal!! I met two of the
climbers trekking in, and as we were one of the first teams
on the mountain (as were Discovery Channel) they asked me to
feature in their documentary, they also liked the angle that
I was a fairly inexperienced climber, only been climbing for
three years and wanted to see how I fared. The Irish girls
arrived at very different times; Sam arrived two weeks after
Claire so the competition was never that prevalent as it was
always assumed Claire would go for the summit way before
Sam, which is what happened.
A fellow team member approaches
the summit of Everest, taken with a disposable camera
Has she ever faced a moment when she thought
her time had come, it's all over, and what is the most unusual and
useful piece of kit she has ever owned? (Ian)
I didn't have a moment where I thought it was actually
over, however there were a lot of times on the mountain
especially in the Khumbu icefall and above 25,000ft where
that objective danger risk is high. I had to confront a lot
of my inner fears throughout the climb.
My most useful kit was my hand warmers. Unusual kit,
probably something girly that I took onto the mountain that
the guys would give me grief about!!
Does she get frustrated when well-meaning
menfolk help her with things that she'd rather do for herself to
clarify her feminine strength and independence? (Jeannie)
There is not a huge amount of offering going on during
the climb. As I mentioned I think both men and woman find it
tough and it's very much an each to their own kind of deal.
If I needed help I generally asked for it.
I'd like to know a bit about your previous
climbing experience - what else have you done - and whether Everest
was what you expected. (Jon)
I hadn't done a huge amount of climbing prior to Everest,
I climbed with the Chilean team about four peaks in Chile
and two in Ecuador- all around 6,000m. I had also climbed
Aconcagua and a few in the Tetons etc, nothing like Everest.
It was way more difficult than I thought it would be, it's a
More About Annabelle
You can find Annabelle Bond's Everest journals and photographs at
Discuss this story
Just goes to show money talk's.
Even had the cheek to throw in a charity cover story.
Personally I can't see the fun in laying seige to a mountain with bottled oxygen!
No doubt she will keep the middle class happy, at the kendal film festival!
Ill be in the hill's with working class people......and happy.
Want to be noticed let her do a commando course may be she will get a paper pass? The last one did.
Publicity hunter's ars*h*loe's....
Posted: 23/06/2004 at 16:56
Is it a crime being middle class? NO
Posted: 23/06/2004 at 17:30
See more comments...
Experienced the hooray henry's first hand. Oraganised an evacuation once utilising a helecopter to the tune NO appreciation.
Cant stand the way SOME of them TRY too look down there nose at people.
Oh, and the way they arrive at a pub and everyone get's to know there buisness whether you like it or not, sound familiar?
Ive worked hard for what i have pal, and never looked down at anyone, if anything its nice to give other's a hand now and again.........
Come to think of it they can be exellent value to rip in to after a few pint's of Northern Glory.
P.s Dont take anything to heart you will get all upset.....
(4th generation ex-soldier.......)
Posted: 23/06/2004 at 18:00