Edmund Hillary's son Peter and grandsons George and Alexander; are following in their grandfathers footsteps with a growing passion for the world's alpine environments and cultures. George and Alexander are currently on a journey through the Himalayas, visiting schools and hospitals built by their grandfather, as well as attempting climbs on mountains where their grandfather led the first expedition. Here we follow their adventures as they prepare for the next step of their challenge.
Following a reconnaissance expedition to the Mount Everest region in 1950s, my grandfather famously said "I will come again and conquer you because as a mountain you can't grow, but as a human I can".
It is impossible to emulate all the challenges of High-Altitude Himalayan Mountaineering, particularly back home in the city of Melbourne, Australia. But when it comes to preparing for Himalayan expeditions, with a bit of lateral thinking, you can train the various components that you will endure in the thin air of the Himalayas.
The Himalayas isn't just a destination for those seeking an adrenaline rush. Away from the relentless struggle of high altitude mountaineering as well as the chaos that accompanies modern mountaineering tourism, you can always find a taste of normality across the Khumbu.
Climbing expeditions don't always involve ice, snow and bitter cold. Alexander and I decided to do a traditional walk-in approach of the iconic New Zealand mountain, Mt. Apsiring; the blazing sun, wading through rivers and climbing through dense Beech Forest proved to be our first challenge.
Altitude is a silent killer; if you’re unprepared for the height of your lofty alpine objectives it can knock you down in the most horrible and brutal way. Climbing in the high Himalaya isn’t all about alpine skill or even fitness - it’s about your body’s ability to adjust to and survive altitude.
Alexander and I have just spent nine days in Queenstown, using this time to do more climbing training and push ourselves out of our comfort zone before heading back to the Himalayas.
Coming off two summits of Lobuche East at 6119meters, and now sitting below the tree line near Tengboche Monastery, your body thrives. You enjoy long and deep sleeps. Your body craves and easily absorbs nutrients; four to five meals per day becomes the new normal. The beers taste that much better.
Acclimatizing to the tallest mountain range in the world takes time and preparation. Departing the equatorial and at times tropical Kathmandu comes with an amount of trepidation as we flew to the gateway of the Himalaya...