Fiennes On Everest
Sir Rannulph Fiennes writes about his mission to climb Everest in the Telegraph.
Posted: 24 August 2009
Sir Rannulph Fiennes
has been writing about his mission
to climb Everest
in Saturday's Telegraph
explaining, among other things, how a polar explorer with missing
fingers and a fear of heights ended up on the roof of the world.
Fiennes admits that he had no desire to climb any mountain, but his
curiosity was aroused in 2003 when he received a letter from Sibusiso
Vilane from Swaziland, the first black man to reach the summit of
Everest asking the Briton to partner him for an attempt on the northern
side of the mountain.
Fiennes turned the invitation down, but a year later, after his wife
had died of cancer, he decided to confront his fear of heights and
attempt the mountain with Sibu and Jagged Globe. Starting from scratch
he underwent serious alpine training in the Andes including an ascent
of Chimborazo before heading out to Everest base camp.
By then he'd remarried and honeymooned at base camp, something he says
he wouldn't advise, due to the close proximity of other tents. On that
first attempt on the mountain, the seriousness of what he was trying
was brought home by the presence of bodies on the route and recent
deaths on the mountain.
Fiennes was fortunate himself after he suffered serious chest pains
high on the mountain and survived thanks to GTN (Glycerine Tri-Nitrate)
pills that gave him enough of a window to get back down the mountain.
Remarkably, he chose to return in 2008 and failed once more, then using
techniques from equine endurance training, or so he claims, returned
once more and this time successfully summited.
It's a long but interesting read and well worth a look if you have a
spare ten minutes and some interest in Fiennes and Everest.
Discuss this story