Team EVEREST 2019: Brendan ~ My Toughest Challenge...

Published Saturday, 22nd June 2019

β€œOn the 21st May, at around 5.30am, I summited the highest mountain in the World!

I have finally received a couple of photos from the Sherpas as my down-suit zip was frozen and I was unable to reach my phone to take any photos!

This has been the toughest challenge for me, both physically and mentally, especially after a very emotional split from Rich at 27000 ft, then continuing to climb through the night with Tengee and Namgya Sherpa.

After a tough climb to Camp 4, we only had a few hours before we continued on our summit push.

The constant worry about Rich's descent drained me mentally.

Finding it difficult to go on I began thinking about my family, and my two friends who took their own lives last year due to their own struggles with mental health.

With each step I started naming them repeatedly to give me the strength and determination to push on...

After 9 hours of climbing through the dark I looked up to see the shadow of Everest in the distance.... and the summit finally in sight!

With tears in my eyes, struggling with emotions from leaving Rich behind, I pushed on for another hour and a half with Namgya by my side.

Seeing Scott and Joe, then Tom and Eli, descending from the summit gave me such a lift to push on for the final section, in -55*C windchill, to the top of the World!

Thank you Richie for doing what you set out to do, and lead a team to the summit of Everest! Your brave and selfless decision to turn around and descend at 27000 ft enabled the rest of the team to continue.

You should be extremely proud of yourself.

Thank you Leesa for everything you have done. Keeping everyone informed, especially loved ones back home, during the final section. You give up your time to help others.... Truly inspirational!

Thank you to my top team mates Rich, Tom, Scott, Joe, and Eli... Time to relax with a beer!

Thank you Namgya and Tengee Sherpa for all your help and keeping me safe on that summit push - my mother would like to meet you 😊

Thank you again Namgya, and all your incredible staff at Grand Himalaya Trek and Expedition for taking care of us for the last 2 months. There will be a warm Welsh welcome if any of you visit Wales.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to The Royal Marines Charity, sent messages, liked or shared our page to raise more awareness of 65 Degrees North, and break the stigma regarding mental health.

Thank you to all the Sponsors and supporters who helped make this project possible, and enable 65 Degrees North to provide opportunities to wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women to participate in challenging adventures.

Thank you to all my friends who came to the Everest fundraiser at Pontarddulais RFC, supporting 65 Degrees North and raising over 5k!

Finally, a huge thank you to Andrea, Cai, Troy, Mam, Dad, Tam, Ash and Brads for all your support and helping me up that hill! I cannot wait to give you all a big cwtch... See you soon! X”

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