What are your best and worst memories?
I think one of the best memories was arriving at Everest for the first time – and I wasn’t even at the summit. But I remember seeing it for the first time on a trip to Ama Dablam which evoked such a mixture of excitement and fear of the unknown.
On the flip side, I think flying out of Annapurna Base Camp having summited was pretty epic. It has a pretty high fatality rate (33%) and summits are far and few between, so I wasn’t going to Annapurna expecting to summit. Jumping in a heli and flying out having summited and survived was an incredible relief! Awesome experience!
I think the worst experience must’ve been in the Earthquake in 2015. I was on the Tibetan side of the mountain when the earthquake happened. It was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky and I was at basecamp in my tent. The whole ground shook and then it was over. Still incredibly peaceful. It was only after when I started getting the notifications on my phone from the news channels did I realise the scale of it.
There were almost 9,000 people killed in the earthquake and 22 on the mountain. Before arriving at Everest, the team had trekked through the Lantang Valley. But being on the Tibetan side of the mountain, you could see Everest and you could see the devastation but there was nothing you could do – a horribly surreal yet humbling experience.
Who have you met along the way?
I have worked with some very cool people in the past. But I recently climbed Annapurna with Nims Dai. It was the first mountain of his ‘Project Possible’ expedition where he planned on climbing the 14 highest mountains in 7 months. It was an absolute pleasure to climb with him especially being his first mountain on his journey. He was so optimistic at a time where people thought it wasn’t happening he cracked on and I have huge respect for that. He made it happen.
Follow Rupert’s story at @rupert.jones.warner