In 2006, Fiona and Paul tackled their long-term goal of climbing Mt Everest. It was a huge adventure, but not everything went to plan – with Fiona reaching the summit but Paul missing out.
We already had a reasonable amount of mountaineering experience and we trained hard for about a year prior to tackling this huge challenge. Most of the climb went really smoothly and until summit day, we climbed the whole thing together, along with the two personal sherpas we hired.
On summit day, we climbed separately due to differences in speed. After a long and difficult climb, Fiona was able to reach the summit. Unfortunately, even though Paul was ahead and climbing faster, his oxygen ran out and he was forced to turn around – just 100 vertical metres from the summit! He tried again the next night but was exhausted and felt the dangers were too great to continue. Although there was some disappointment, he was extremely grateful to have escaped a possibly nasty situation and get back down to basecamp safely.
After trekking out and spending a couple of months traveling and recovering, he decided to return to Mt Everest the next year…
See all of our posts from Everest 2006 here.