This is just one of the many responses of gratitude we have received from the beneficiaries of our staircase challenge funding. For our partners Mercy and Grace, they have used the opportunity to venture in to the slums to seek out and support more children by providing them with some simple resources to enable their volunteer educators to teach.
However, it was clear following the funds donated from the first staircase challenge summiting the equivalent of the 3 Peaks that our global partners would need more money to assist in their home schooling efforts during the pandemic lockdown. There was only one thing for it…to go higher and further…
Friday May 29th, 2020…67 years to the day that Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary became the first to summit Mount Everest and it was my turn to have a go at climbing 8,848 metres, albeit in slightly different conditions! My aim…was to complete the Everest Staircase Challenge reaching the same height elevation on the staircase up to the office in the barn by going up and down it 4,023 times – my target…was to achieve it in under 24 hours. Training had gone well but I was anxious about my knees and whether general fatigue would determine that I needed to take a sleep break. After six and a half hours, I knew I would be in uncharted territory but without frost bite, altitude sickness, jet stream winds or depleted oxygen levels to contend with, I really had nothing to worry about. The first four segments of 610 flights of stairs each (more than four summits of Ben Nevis) were long and tough at almost three hours each, and that final segment just to get to base camp at 5,345m above seal level was easily the hardest. My knees ached at this point so I took a longer break of 45 minutes, elevated my legs, iced my knees and it did the trick. The ache didn’t worsen, the segments from base camp to the summit were more varied and although my pace slowed, I reached the faux summit at 2.50am on the Saturday morning, 22 hrs and 25 minutes after setting off. Several people called in to the barn to show their support (from a distance of course) which undoubtedly helped ease the monotony and of course, watching donations roll all just made it all entirely worth it. Huge thanks to everyone who supported the lockdown staircase challenges – the beneficiaries and the team here are so, so grateful.