5 APRIL 2021, 18:52 –

Hi

Currently at the airport with noelhanna.com

– excited and calm.

Thanks in Advance for your support.

Some interesting info to give you an idea of what’s going on ahead of time:

For weather info. Scroll down and you’ll see the weather at different heights on the mountain

7 APRIL 2021

A wrap up of one day in #kathmandu. Breakfast, followed by a briefing on the trek to base camp. Then the streets to get a local sim, change money, and buy gear.
Gear stores are a plenty and I could find everything I wanted plus even do some gift shopping and have coffee and cheesecake at Himalayan Java with @traveling_baba_g_

Then some re-packing of the bags because tomorrow we fly to Lukla very early (6am) and start the trek to EBC. One bag goes along the trek, and the other straight to base camp.

Dinner was with some of the other trekkers and climbers among whom was @lukas.jasensky and @mikeposner and @coster.arnold as well as @noelhannaadventure
Of course.
Feeling humbled by some really experienced climbers amongst us.

8 APRIL 2021

EBC trek day 1. Lukla to Phakding. Despite the fires 🔥around kathmandu (only heard about it later) we could take off from KTM and land in Lukla pretty easily.
The funniest thing about the flight is that there’s an air hostess on a really cramped tiny plane and almost all she could do was tell us to wear seat belts and that there’s no service due to Covid. 🤣 I don’t remember any pre covid service anyway.

Waited in Lukla for our bags while drinking milk tea and getting lazy. After about two hours we could start hiking slowly towards Phakding. Lunch was fried veg noodles and again the lazy feeling set in.
After an hours walk with the Dudh Kozi river on our left, and finally crossing it, we reached our lodge at about 3pm right before the rain.

Happy to see a proper coffee machine here so first thing I had was a cappuccino. Facilities have changed a lot since 2015.

 

8 APRIL 2021

A short video of some of the trek today from Lukla to Phakding. Thanks @gerritgtp, it (the #gopro) worked really well on the trekking pole.

The climate was really great, neither hot nor cold, and we just missed the rain.

 

9 APRIL 2021

Phakding to Namche

Gopro footage of today’s walk from Phakding to NB at 3440m.

 

9 APRIL 2021

15:15 – Hello from Namche Bazaar, 3440m.

We left Phakding at about 8:15 am and walked along slowly crossing many bridges over the Dudh Kosi (milk river).

We passed through Tok Tok, Monjo, and then had brunch (veg, egg fried rice) at Jorsale.

From there was the big bridge crossing (don’t look down) and then up and up and up through a forest, finally into Namche between 2 and 3pm.

Straight to an Illy coffee shop where we may have had more than one cappuccino and cake slice😝 and Mike Posner arrived with his guitar and played a couple of songs.

Wifi isn’t great so I’ll keep trying to upload media.  That’s the best the wifi could do. Enjoy🤗

Really beautiful day🤩

 

10 APRIL 2021

Arriving in the beautiful Namche yesterday.
This is one of the biggest towns in the route and sort of the last outpost of “civilisation”.

Hi friends.

Today was a rest and acclimatization day from Namche Bazaar to gain 400m elevation and back down.

Round trip was about 3 hours including a stop at a tea house.

Once back in NB lunch was soup and potatoes with veg and yak cheese.

Then shower, washing, a nap and now coffee and sweet things again😝

Tomorrow we leave NB, and relative civilization.

10 APRIL 2021

Coffee first! Walked down from Moonlight lodge in Namche to #sherpabaristanamche for an Illy coffee while savouring the amazing view.

Walked in from Phakding yesterday along the river, crossing it many times, some of the bridges too scary to look down from.

From the last high bridge it was just uphill through a forest then finally into Namche just before 3. Namche is 3440m high and a bit of a central town or the last outpost before moving on. We’ll spend another night here to acclimatize.

We’re accompanied by Pema Sherpa, and along with the other climbers who are heading to Amadablam, @dawalamasherwa.

 

10 APRIL 2021

Acclimatization walk from Namche up the hill to gain 400m elevation.

We passed a waste recycling centre on the way, being built for a few years now, but explains why everything is much cleaner than in the past.

From the lodge we stopped at for tea we could see Amadablam on the right, Lhotse and Everest in the middle and Tawache on the left. Beautiful vistas.

Back down to Namche to have lunch, shower, rest and chill.

#firstascentsa
#ENDUREN
#heliocaresa
#garminsa
We’re spending another night here.

 

11 APRIL 2021

Arrived in Debuche, which is just 30min past Tangboche (which has different spellings) – where the big monastery is.

Was a proper walk uphill after lunch.

My photos from today are up on my @mollyandthemts insta stories because there is no wifi here and I’m just using my data on my Nepalese sim.

Today was spectacular, so have a look and enjoy the views with me.

💫🤩

 

12 APRIL 2021

10:06 –  Hi All

We walked about 11km today, for about 3-4 hours.

Gained 400m or so elevation. Straight for  Lavazza coffee here after ordering lunch.  (I had momos)

Just now we’re going to walk up a hill for acclimatization,  the wind is chilly today.

As you can see we’re now above the tree line.

I’m now on Everest link wifi,  which will last until Gorak Shep.

________________________________________________________________

Beautiful day yesterday from Namche to Debuche.
Spectacular views of Everest and Amadablam all morning and Stunning weather.

What a privilege to be here💛🙏

Savouring every step and taking it one day at a time. There’s still a lot ahead and a lot to do but breaking it down into simple steps and smaller milestones makes it easier.

#firstascentsa
#garmin_sa
#ENDUREN
#heliocaresa
#salomongtx4

 

12 APRIL 2021

This mornings walk from Debuche to Pheriche.

We left the tree line below and entered grass, dust and rocks which make up the higher elevation above 4000m.

It was a relatively easy walk but the weather definitely became cooler.

At Pheriche we were excited to see a Lavazza sign and have some real coffee.

 

13 APRIL 2021

08:13 – Good morning from Lobuche, about 4900m.

We left Pheriche this morning and walked up and up through very Rocky,  desolate looking terrain. Had tea at Thukla, then up a steep pass through the “graveyard ” at the top.  It’s a sobering memorial site, dedicated to those who have died in high places such as the famous Scott Fischer etc.  Then onwards to Lobuche which in 2003 was called “hell on earth” because it’s cold,  sparse and the lodgings were shocking.  It’s somewhat better now,  so we’ve gone straight to the “worlds highest bakery” for cappuccino.  More like heaven in here😁

One night here then on to BC tomorrow.

________________________________________________________________________________

A walk up the hill from Pheriche to get some elevation in. (12/04)

We got to around 4600m. It was windy and chilly so I had a couple of layers on over my @firstascentsa luxor shirt and thermal jacket.

Views towards Dingboche and up the Kumjung Valley towards Lobuche, where we are headed today.

After the walk we had cups of coffee, tea, and dinner was “chicken steak” with chips and veg.
Had a good night’s sleep after having a bit of a headache. It’s around minus 4.

13 APRIL 2021

Namaste 🙏 from Lobuche, about 4900m.
We left Pheriche this morning and walked up and up through very Rocky, desolate looking terrain.
Had tea at Thukla, then up a steep pass through the “graveyard ” at the top. It’s a sobering memorial site, dedicated to those who have died in high places such as the famous Scott Fischer etc.
Then onwards to Lobuche which in 2003 was called “hell on earth” because it’s cold, sparse and the lodgings were shocking. It’s somewhat better now, so we’ve gone straight to the “worlds highest bakery” for cappuccino. More like heaven in there😁

 

13 APRIL 2021

Up and away to Lobuche. Nearer to base camp and further from the tree line.
It’s Rocky, dry and desolate looking.

Still surrounded by majestic peaks, but the view changes constantly. Different mountains can be seen now – Lobuche, Nuptse, Pumori.

Sleeping here tonight.

14 APRIL 2021

Will be on less comms from now on.

Thanks for all the love

 

15 APRIL 2021

06:43 – Hello

We reached base camp at about 2pm on the 14th. We were welcomed at the mouth of BC by a Nepali with a flask of ginger lemon tea and digestive biscuits. From there we walked across the glacier, to our camp, which was about 40 min. We’re a situated close to the ice fall. The camp is beautifully laid out with a huge dome for our dining – with tables, chairs and even a heater. We each have large tents to ourselves with a mattress and pillow inside. Next to us is a charging/comms tent, the generator runs in the afternoons so we can charge everything, then sleep with it in our sleeping bags so the batteries remain charged. There are two shower tents. You get a bag of hot water and that’s your shower. Also at the edge of the camp two toilet tents, which are basically a long drop into a barrel.

It was Nepali new year on the 14th, their year 2078, so they were very festive, and beers were passed around as well as some dancing. You could quickly see who was acclimatized and who wasn’t 🥴

After dinner (soup, pasta, fried chicken, and then cake) we met our climbing sherpas, Nima and Tshering.

We also met some famous Nepalis -Kam Rita who has climbed E 24x. And then later Noel and I went to Nims ( @nimsdai) tent where they were also having a party. He is famed for climbing the 14 8000ers in record time.

It was pretty 🥶, and headaches are common.

Today is a lovely day. I’ve had a shower and washed my hair and some small items of clothing which feels great. It’s sunny out and really warm in my tent.

We are going to rest over the next few days which includes walking to Gorak Shep for wifi, going up Kala pattar for acclimatization, some ice climbing training and so forth.

Maybe start moving up to C1 Monday. The ice fall looks really daunting😱 but apparently it’s easier than previous years with only one or two ladders. I’ll try and photos and videos when wifi allows.

I’m feeling better today than yesterday but every movement spikes the heart rate and leaves you breathless, which coincidentally is the name of our large dome🤣

 

18 APRIL 2021

02:11 – Hi everyone. Apologies for the silence but wifi at Base camp is very expensive = R3000 for 10 gb and it hadn’t been working for most people.  So I was waiting to see if it improved.  It’s 6am here and it’s probably working because no one else is awake and on it😂

Last night was 4th night in BC. Sometimes the sun shines and its hot and you can be in a t shirt and no socks,  then later it’s snowing and freezing.

We have had

Rest day

Walk to Kala pattar for acclimatization to 5545m and Gorak Shep for wifi (didn’t work,  it was snowing)

Rest day – I walked around BC to find my friends in other camps.

Afternoon ice climbing refresher.

Today we intend going up to Pumori high camp to get to 5800m for acclimatization.  Tomorrow is probably the Puja ceremony and Monday to Wed we intend going thru the ice fall.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Yesterday’s Ice climbing refresher training in the glacier at Base camp.
Nima was very cool and we practiced jumaring up and abseiling down a couple of times till everyone was comfortable that I’ve got this.

It took the whole of Sunday to load this video

 

18 APRIL 2021

Base camp life.
A tour of the camp and especially the kitchen.
There are about 24 people in our “international camp” with #sevensummittreks and they cook and bake amazing meals.
At breakfast we often have some sort of egg and flapjack, lunch is a version of rice/potatoes/noodles with spam often on the side, dinner starts with popcorn and then soup followed by something similar to lunch and then tinned fruit for dessert.
We’re well looked after.

 

18 APRIL 2021

Base camp life.
A tour of the camp and especially the kitchen.
There are about 24 people in our “international camp” with #sevensummittreks and they cook and bake amazing meals.
At breakfast we often have some sort of egg and flapjack, lunch is a version of rice/potatoes/noodles with spam often on the side, dinner starts with popcorn and then soup followed by something similar to lunch and then tinned fruit for dessert.
We’re well looked after.

 

18 APRIL 2021

Some ice climbing training photos from @noelhannaadventure

24 APRIL 2021

14:27 – So today I packed my backpack with my down suit and minus 40 sleeping bag along with some other bits and pieces. The intention was to leave for C1 in the early morning. However, our sherpas have only just returned and will need a rest day. So the plan is now to leave for C1 and rotate between C1 and C3 from Monday morning.

28 APRIL 2021

13:56 – Brace yourself it’s a long update. 

Camp 2 6400m

I can’t anymore.

I can’t lie down.  I can’t try sleeping.  The coughs that wrack my chest are just too much when I lie down. I’ve been struggling with my chest for days now and it’s made getting to 6800m pretty difficult. 

It’s difficult without a cough.

Monday morning we woke up at 1:30am and forced some tea and rice pudding down our throats.  Put on our harnesses and backpacks and off we walked to crampon point – a part of the ice fall where you put your crampons on over your climbing boots and set off into the Khumbu overall.  “I’m actually climbing Everest” I think.  Focus on every step,  and every movement Thsering makes ahead of me.  It’s proper climbing,  you’re constantly using your safety and often your jumar or just rope technique to get up and down sections of ice.

 It’s impossible to get a rhythm,  and just a bit of effort to get up and over an overhang leaves me and others,  doubled over,  gasping for breath,   heart pounding. There are only about 3 short ladders,  and every now and then you have to simply jump over a crevasse,  trying not to look down into the icy blue jaws of the earth.

Heart pounding Again. 

At one stage in the ice fall there was an avalanche above is and instantly Noel and someone else protectively jumped over me.  It was touching.  Fortunately it didn’t reach us.

The ice fall was much much longer than I thought.  Just where you think it tops out it actually continues and there are more tricky sections,  one leaving a climber ahead dangling, breathless for about 15 min fighting an overhang.  Reserve judgement, because I’m next and the queue behind me is watching.  It’s harder than it looks.  Finally,  after 9 hours we reach camp 1. I crawl into the tent I’m sharing with Jozette (a strong Swiss mountain guide) and the coughing begins.

But I’m not alone,  it’s an echo of coughing,  splattering and hacking around me.

Dinner is served in our tents,  noodles and soup. 

Sleep eventually comes and the coughing goes away for a few hours.

Morning comes and we’re served tea and porridge in our tents. At about 9 when all our gear is on we move to camp2.

We’re in the western cwm, which can become really hot in an expanse of whiteness. 

I bump into Remy,  a climber from cape Town.  I’m slow.  Anything over a 4 second step leaves me breathless and coughing.  I’m frustrated with myself for 5.5 hours of more crossing of crevasses and walking ever upwards.  It is snowing by the time we reach camp 2 and thankfully my sherpa (Nima) came to relieve me of my bag.  He asks me if I’m sick.  I guess the answer is yes. 

Eventually make it into camp and Noel and I shovel some noodle soup down our throats on the dining tent.  The helicopters are really busy from camp 2 and we hear the Bahraini team are all flying out from here to BC. 7 of us get to use their dining tent and are surprised to be joined by the prince himself who let his team go ahead of him and by now the weather was too bad for helis.  What a gentleman!

Today,  Wednesday we needed to reach the lhotse face.  After breakfast,  we leave camp at 9 and trudge upwards. The weather is beautiful and I’m overdressed. Fortunately I felt better and performed stronger than yesterday (makes no sense) and we stop at 6800m (took about 3 hours) because there was a rescue of two sherpas from a crevasse higher up and its not ideal to go there.

We rest briefly,  take some pics and then for the first time in days get to high tail it downhill in less than an hour.  Some people are short roped and their sherpas are doing everything for them.  Frightening.

Others who steamed past me yesterday turned around way before me and some even turned around and went back to BC.

We hear the stories about Covid but there’s nothing we can do about it.

Back in camp we have lunch and try to rest in our tents. 

Tomorrow we descend to BC.

A heli pilot in our camp has offered noel and I free flights to Namche.  My chest should recover there,  I’m grateful!!

29 APRIL 2021

Today in the ice fall.
We were descending from camp 2 (6400m) and often couldn’t even see the tracks we were meant to be walking in. Never mind that the areas are heavily crevassed. Having fallen into a crevasse on #denali before, I certainly didn’t want to repeat the experience.
Tshering was amazing, making sure we were safe and I didn’t look up much, just put my feet into his footsteps all day.

We reached camp 1 at about 12 and were treated to a hot bowl of noodles in the kitchen tent.
Not long before that we passed a female climber sitting in the snow. She’d given up, surrounded by 3 sherpas who were saying the heli was coming. It broke my heart that she was sitting there like that expecting a rescue when it was clear none was coming in this weather. We forced her to get up and keep walking to at least camp 1. Just heard she got there and will be rescued tomorrow. Not sure what was wrong but it was quite distressing.

Noel and I are safely back at BC, thanks to Tshering. Now we rest

#ENDUREN
#firstascentsa
#heliocaresa
#hellyhansen

I guess that’s the way it goes in the mountains.

30 APRIL 2021

Up a tricky ladder and tunnel like section behind Tshering with his huge load.
This was the ice fall on Monday in beautiful weather.

You watch other people struggle until you get to the same spot and understand why.

It’s hard work, demanding on the body and mind.
My legs cramped when I took my boots off at camp 1 after 9 hours of the ice fall.
They say it’s easier or at least quicker the second time round….

#firstascentsa thermal jacket and shell pants
#enduren energy drink and honey sachets
#heliocaresa #fernblock
#dermalogica skin care
#STEPtosummit
#climbing
#7summits
#everest2021

 

30 APRIL 2021

Today is a Rest day in my yellow #kailas bubble.
Back to the last few days from BC (left camp Monday morning 3a.m) up the ice fall to C1.
No joke that ice fall!!

One night at C1 about 6100m
Up to C2 6400m
A night there and then acclimatization walk up to 6800m.

Back to C2 to rest (dinner with the prince of Bahrain)

Down to C1 and back thru the ice fall to base camp yesterday in snowy weather with poor visibility.

Tshering in front leading the way, a real super star, and @noelhannaadventure behind me.

Currently resting in BC on antibiotics for my dodgy chest. Listening to music.
Eating
Chewing up the wifi

This is the mountain life.
#firstascentsa
#ENDUREN
#STEPStosummit

 

1 MAY 2021

A walk down to Pheriche today.
16km, mostly in some snow and chilly weather in our faces.

Stopped in Lobuche for coffee and cake then on downwards through Rocky terrain, yaks out to pasture and finally the lodge.

Should spend 3 nights here to recover.
Oh the simple things in life:
No longer in a tent
A warm stove
Toilet in my room – big yay 🤣
Choice of food from a menu
Excellent wifi

#firstascentsa
#heliocaresa
#enduren

 

2 MAY 2021

Mind the gap😳🤣☠
Some images from gopro footage (Thanks @gerritgtp) of climbing the ice fall last Monday.
Sometimes you have to leap across a gap (1.. 2..3… jump)

Other times you climb across a 🪜 (bum slide it on the way back down)

Then there are some tricky overhangs and vertical sections that simply leave me (and some others) hanging there, breathless.

And this isn’t a short thing, it goes on and on, zigzag this way and that. Under, over, through some ice….

It remains the entry way to Everest and this year it seems to be longer than previous years, in the name of safety.

One rotation (up and down) has been done through it by Noel and myself. If our plans succeed we will rotate through the ice fall one more time in May.

 

2 MAY 2021

I saw @tashi8848.86 massaging someone else in the tent… wasn’t sure if he was joking around but up went my hand as if to say “me next please”

And so I was honored to get a great massage from this special mountaineer🤣😇 who just today we involved in a rescue in the ice fall.

Sometimes when you put your hand up for something you get more than you asked for. In my case, a really good massage!!
Thanks @tashi8848.86
🙏💫💥

Be brave, and put your hand up to new experiences.

 

3 MAY 2021

Time.
Something mountaineers have a lot of.

Patience.
Something mountaineers need.

I have both, and am enjoying the simple things in life down in a tea house in Pheriche.
Watching the colours change in the mountains.
Watching yaks graze. Watch yak dung dry for the stove to heat us up at evening time.

Time to eat apple pancakes, drink tea and coffee, rest, sleep, listen to music. The lodge owner practices playing. Or listen to #deezer.

We watch and wait.
Watch the weather, wait for summit windows.
Wait for health and recovery. Watch the ice fall be re routed.
Watch some leave the mountain and others arrive.
When everything aligns we make our move.

#firstascentsa
#Enduren
#hellyhansen
#heliocaresa
#7summits
#Everest2021
#mountaineering
#STEPStosummit

 

6 MAY 2021

What’s life at Base camp like?
It’s moving from tent to tent – personal tent to dining tent to toilet tent.
It’s managing yourself, your basic needs, and the highs and lows of Temps.
The tent can be like a sauna despite it snowing outside. It’s too hot to sleep but you’re sleepy. You strip. Open the tent. Nothing works.
Suddenly it’s cold again.

Everywhere it’s a cacophony of coughing – the famous khumbu cough. Or maybe it’s something more sinister.
We have some sort of routine:
8:30 am breakfast
Wifi and mid morning nap. Often too hot in the tent to sleep
12:30 lunch
Afternoon attempt at a nap
Listen to music.
16:30 tea and biscuits
18:30 the warm towels are delivered for our hands
Soup, main course and dessert. We often try guess what’s being served.

Tea.
Tonight whisky with cloves and honey.

20:00 we get sleepy and count down the time to go back to our personal tents for sleep on what’s now a sloping mattress.

Sounds idyllic right??

#firstascentsa
#Enduren
#STEPStosummit
#7summits
#Everest2021
#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering

 

6 MAY 2021

Is base camp making me crazy?

My friend Eugene tasked me with making a snow angel. Snow, although in steady supply, also melts away within seconds.

So, today was sunny. We were bored, and there’s a pond nearby with more ice than snow on it.

So there you have it… a snowy icy angel.
🤣🤣🤣🤣

In my #keynote talk I speak about E for Enjoy.
You have to have some fun during the journey of achieving your goals.

@noelhannaadventure didn’t think this was very clever🤣

#firstascentsa
#arcteryx
#Everest

 

14 MAY 2021

12:31 – We spent a night at C4 on oxygen and then descended to C 2 (9 hours) in the worst weather.  My mental narrative was “Molly don’t die today”. Couldn’t see anything beyond a few steps.  I fell a few times.  Lost control of some bodily functions.  Was scared a lot of the time.  Our one sherpa only had use of one eye.

I could barely see because of the severe wind driving snow into our eyes.

It was extremely taxing mentally and physically. 

A night at C2.

Today 6 hours climbing down to BC.

Now I can claim the summit because I’m safely down.  I’m grateful to be both alive and uninjured.

I have a lot to process.

Thanks for all the love and care and support. ❤️

12:36 – Sorry everyone,  first message taking longer to come through…. it has a photo of me on the summit attached

12:44 – Hey. 

First message without photo:

Apologies for the lack of communication.  Summit photo 8:20 am 12 May.  It was brutal.  You have to dig deep and then LOT deeper.  I’m not going to sugar coat things and say it was easy or lie about what really happened.  It was an 18 hour day on top of other very long days.  I spent most of the summit push hoping I didn’t get frostbite or the person in front of me who was going so slowly wouldn’t be the death of me.  Yes,  I made it to the top of the world. Yes I achieved my goal.  Yes I saw the dawn break from the highest point on earth and the shadow Everest casts over other peaks. But it was a choice between photo or fingertips.  I choose fingertips.  There is no Elation on top because as you know,  it’s halfway and usually on the descent that people die.  Unfortunately that was true in our case,  and  two people from our camp,  one who was with us since kathmandu and had become a friend died. Others sustained severe frostbite and snow blindness. 

14 MAY 2021

Summit of Mt Everest. 12 May.
8:20 am.
 It was brutal.  You have to dig deep and then LOT deeper.  I’m not going to sugar coat things and say it was easy or lie about what really happened.  It was an 18 hour day on top of other very long days.  I spent most of the summit push hoping I didn’t get frostbite or the person in front of me who was going so slowly wouldn’t be the death of me.  Yes,  I made it to the top of the world. Yes I achieved my goal.  Yes I saw the dawn break from the highest point on earth and the shadow Everest casts over other peaks. But it was a choice between photo or fingertips.  I choose fingertips.  There is no Elation on top because as you know,  it’s halfway and usually on the descent that people die.  Unfortunately that was true in our case,  and  two people from our camp,  one who was with us since kathmandu and had become a friend died. Others sustained severe frostbite and snow blindness. 

I’m a mixed bag of emotions. Lots to process.
Grateful to be alive.
#sevensummittreks
#bikerswarehouse
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #m0unteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #summit #goals #performancecoach

15 MAY 2021

Do you think my eyebrows need some work? 🤣🤣
#sorbet

The summit of #Everest was cold and windy.
It was a moment I can barely remember because it was a literal turning point.
You have to have a whole lot of resilience to still get back to C4 safely.
Some didn’t have it. They died, like the body lying close to the summit, whose head you pass just inches from.

I found it somewhere. Dig deeper than deep. Sometimes you count your steps.
Sometimes the mental narrative was “Molly don’t die today”.
Whatever it takes to get you through the hours and hours of stepping and breathing. Of managing your oxygen mask.
Managing your fear.

Sometimes you peek outside of your bubble of self management to look at the views. Your focus is drawn quickly back to your rope work and safety.

Thanks to Nima and Noel and Tshering for their guidance and support.

#Everest #bikerswarehouse
#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #m0unteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #summit #goals #performancecoach

 

15 MAY 2021

A brief video from the summit of Mt Everest, looking over into Tibet.
It was a few mins on a patch of snow on the highest mountain on earth.

Grateful to Nima, Tshering and @noelhannaadventure for taking the journey with me.

Congrats to all who summited 12 May 2021.

Saddened and traumatized by the Loss of Abdul, and seeing those with mountain injuries.

#mountaineering
#Everest2021
#climbing
#Everestofficial
#everestsummit
#arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000

 

16 MAY 2021

Let’s rewind.
What did the trip to the top of THE big #mountain entail?

As Zig Ziglar says “You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great”.

Often the hardest part of climbing is getting out of your warm sleeping bag at crazy hours of the night, getting all your gear on, and getting going.

On 8 May 2021, we got up at 1 a.m and put on our goretex, harnesses and big boots (amongst other things), and after rice pudding for breakfast, departed for Camp 2.

The climb through the ice fall was much quicker on this second round, and we took an hours rest at Camp 1, sipping tea and stripping off layers as the sun heated up the W Cwm. It’s unbelievable how warm it can get.

Due to the heat and as @noelhannaadventure
Says “No rush” we took a couple of good breaks to hydrate and soak up the beauty.

Step by step we finally reached Camp 2 (6400m) after 13 hours.

Want to reach your #goals?
Start!
Get up and gear up.
Rest along the way if necessary and appreciate how far you’ve come.

#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficials
#14mount8000 #ospreysouthafrica #salomon_sa #sevensummittreks

 

17 MAY 2021

Day 2 of summit push:
Sunday 9 May.
Rest day at Camp 2 on Everest

Visit Camp 2 with me at 6400m.
You can see it for a long while while climbing towards it in the western cwm, but it somehow never seems to get closer.

Here we each had individual tents and some sort of a dining tent and noodle soup was the staple. It’s also the highest point helis fly to and people would be evacuated from.

Sleep becomes difficult, and I personally would cough terribly at each C2 visit (up and down).
Eating was even worse, I could never finish a plate of food, even under the watchful eyes of @noelhannaadventure

We ate with the Bahraini team one night, and wished them well on their summit push one day ahead of ours.

#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficials
#14mount8000

 

17 MAY 2021

Skin care!!
You have all seen those awful post summit pics of people. I’ve seen the faces first hand.

As a skin therapist, and working for @sorbetgroup, I made sure I took care of my skin on Mt Everest.

Daily Sunblock thanks to @heliocaresa – remembering the tips of my ears, and in my nostrils etc because of the reflection from the snow.
@dermalogicasa Super rich repair and climate control was a life saver.
@sorbetgroup facial cleansing wipes (when they weren’t frozen 🤣) were a daily staple.

For everything else, a buff is awesome!

#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000

 

18 MAY 2021

Camp 2 to Camp 3 on Everest. 10 May 2021.

Beautiful weather made this an enjoyable day of climbing.

Left C2 at 11 and arrived at C3 (7300m) at 15:15.
This was officially the highest I’ve ever been!!

Lots of jumaring up the lhotse face, a couple of gnarly spots of blue ice. Sometimes snowballs come pelting down the face.

In my STEPS to Summit #keynote talk, the E in STEPS is to Enjoy
The journey in reaching your goal.
Look around, do whatever it takes to ensure you find something to Enjoy and keep going.

#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #enduren
#sevensummittreks

 

18 MAY 2021

10:31 – Hi from Kathmandu

An update:

Noel has been in hospital with frost related injuries.

(His wife posted about it so I feel at liberty to do so too now). He’ll be discharged today.

I’ve been in the hotel the expedition uses, trying to eat (lost at least 6kgs), sleep, recover and process.

Unfortunately there has been a ban on international ✈️ and were trying to get out of the country but🤷🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🙆🏼‍♀️

So, like on the mountain, we wait…..

Looking forward to getting home and seeing you all in person🤗❤️

18 MAY 2021

What fuelled me on Everest?

On big pushes I always had @enduren energy drink in my Nalgene water bottle, and a sachet of the honey in my pocket. Here are they thawing out in the sun at camp 2.

The protein bars were great, kept in a pocket close to my body so they didn’t freeze. It’s pretty hard to eat while climbing so it was a great treat when we finally came to a halt.

The rest of the time in high camps it was pretty much just soup and tea you got to eat. Imagine: 18 hours on a bowl of soup!!
Thank goodness I had Enduren in bottle.

If you were given a packed lunch the slightly frozen apple was great. And coke would freeze and bubble like champagne, but was a delicious treat.

My mom’s fruit cake went all the way to the top with me, and was great energy for the climb. Thanks Mom🥰 for the licorice as well….!

Despite this I still lost at least 6 kgs.

Due to the lockdown I’ll probably put all 6 back on by the time I get home🤣🤣

#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000

 

19 MAY 2021

Camp 3 to Camp 4. 11 May 2021.

A 10 hour climb up into the death zone.
We were now continuously on oxygen, at different flow rates depending on whether you’re climbing or sleeping.

I have Hardly any photos for this day, because I was saving my devices for summit day. My reasoning was I’d just get some footage on the way down… little did I know what that would be like two days later!!

How do you pass ten hours of climbing? One step, one breath at a time.
Focus on your rope work.
Step, breathe.
Don’t look at the whole picture, just break it down into the next milestone you have to achieve.

#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #sevensummittreks

 

19 MAY 2021

Camp 3 to Camp 4. 11 May 2021.

A 10 hour climb up into the death zone.
We were now continuously on oxygen, at different flow rates depending on whether you’re climbing or sleeping.

I have Hardly any photos for this day, because I was saving my devices for summit day. My reasoning was I’d just get some footage on the way down… little did I know what that would be like two days later!!

How do you pass ten hours of climbing? One step, one breath at a time.
Focus on your rope work.
Step, breathe.
Don’t look at the whole picture, just break it down into the next milestone you have to achieve.

#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #sevensummittreks

 

19 MAY 2021

Summit day 12 May 2021.
We started our summit push from camp 4 at 7pm 11 May.
It was a long, cold night stepping and breathing slowly, ever upwards.
I kept trying to figure out where the summit was, I was wrong every time.

It played tricks on my mind. So I rather focused on the small area in front of me that my headlamp cast. When the human train stopped I clapped and bashed my hands, and wiggled my toes.

When dawn broke over the roof of the world, I could enlarge my focus area to the next rock or anchor point, whatever I could use as a milestone.

Eventually at 8:20am in minus 40 we could stand on the patch of snow we’d worked so hard to reach. Yes, we had walked past death, and more was still to come😢

At this point it’s up to each and every human to know how much strength they still have to draw upon. The summit is not a finish line. It’s not over. No one hands you a drink or a medal.
You have to take your photos, your memories, and take your leave.

Then descend as quickly and safely as possible.
Mistakes were made, miscalculations in how much reserve left for some, and they sadly went to eternal sleep on the mountain.

I was grateful to reach camp 4 intact and alive.
I live to climb and step and breathe another day.

Thank you to Nima, Tshering and @noelhannaadventure

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000

 

20 MAY 2021

Camp 4: the death zone. 7900m
12 – 13 May 2021.

I returned from summit at 1pm 12 May. The usual thing to do is to return down to camp 2, which is what Nima did.

For various reasons I stayed on, on oxygen and awaited team mates. The weather changed drastically and was now becoming unpleasant, strong winds tugging at the tent, and a big dump of snow later.

It was only that evening that I got some hot water and managed to drink down some soups. Until then, after an 18 hr day it had just been a cup of coffee and an #enduren bar.

You’re in survival mode, doing what you need to do to make it through to another day. One person sadly died in the night. I felt terrible for the sherpa who witnessed such tragedy.

Camp 4 is probably where you see people at their lowest point, while being at such heights.

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000

 

20 MAY 2021

descending from the death zone on Everest

13 May 2021. after summit the day before, the weather changed and we had to descend to from C4 to camp 2 in unfavorable conditions with compromised team mates. it was a really scary day.

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #m0unteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #summit #goals #performancecoach

 

20 MAY 2021

When the going gets tough, I get defiant. Ok, and a little scared.

Descending from the death zone to C3 on 13 May 2021 the weather was different. It was windy, the wind driving snow into my eyeballs. Between the 3 of us we had 2 compromised with either vision or frostbite or both, and me, a tired climber. Naturally I was scared, being the least experienced of the 3.

I was thinking “Molly you’re not going to die today”, unlike two deaths I had experienced the day before. I would not lie down and die, I would fight! The worse the weather, the more defiance I tapped into.

We struggled to see the route, the wind quickly disguising the footsteps of those who had walked before us. Intense focus was necessary, any mistake would be costly. Even taking these videos was risky.
When the wind gusted violently, we’d turn our backs to it and sit it out.

Step by step and hour by hour, after 9 hours we finally got to C2 safely.
Thanks Tshering and Noel!

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #mountain.planet

 

21 MAY 2021

What am I wearing? South African brand @firstascentsa gear, some old, some new.

My “old” gear included a vapourtex down jacket that’s been with me on Elbrus, Aconcagua and 3 Everest expeditions. Under my down suit to the summit and back were my @firstascentsa thick tights that I’ve also had for years and have always provided me with enough warmth no matter the weather. I slept in a Blue Wolf sleeping bag at BC.

New gear: Touch down jacket 650 fill, in green. I wore it nearly every day, especially in night rotations through the ice fall. It’s much less bulky than other down jackets, is lightweight, has perfect inner pockets for Nalgene bottles, and tucks away into its own little bag.
The ladies journey hiking pants were fantastic for lower altitudes, hanging around base camp on warmer days, and now while stuck in Kathmandu.

#mountaineering #garmin_sa #firstascent
#climbing #enduren
#Everest 2021
#7summits
#shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000
#sevensummittreks

 

21 MAY 2021

Crevasses!! This post, about the section down from C2 to C1, is footage from 14 May 2021. (Excuse the khumbu cough please)

Maybe it was the light of day, or because I was seeing it through different eyes, but it was both terrifying and beautiful.

The weather was favorable, actually quite warm.
So, I felt safe and free to get some footage of the different crevasses. Jumping over them was my least favourite, despite my long legs. 🤣🤣 Probably comes from my memory of falling into a crevasse on Denali.

Some short 🪜, always ropes and safety on, ups and downs until you get to C1, and enjoy a couple of cups of tea. Then further descending into the ice fall.

Wishing those on their ascents and descents @anmish_varma and @sevagorlach @remykloos @hanadyalhashmi (that I know of) safe climbing and a good weather window.

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #garminsa

 

23 MAY 2021

May 14th from C2 to Base camp.
Back through a now slush puppy like Ice fall.
It was interesting coming through this area in the afternoon (previous rotations had been at night and in bad weather) and actually seeing the amazing, treacherous ice formations.
Crevasses, ladders, ropes, and fortunately not many people.

One I did meet was @sevagorlach, a South African who is currently (23/05) on a summit push. I wish him and his sherpa well.

The ice fall texture was changing, and it was receding. I see mini “lakes” which was concerning for the next climbers, but who knows, a fresh dump of snow and change of weather could transform it.

It was great we could see base camp, our final destination, which we reached that afternoon to absolutely no fan fare. Returning from summit is just an everyday occurrence here. Safely down, now I could truly call it a summit.

Videos to follow.

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000

 

23 MAY 2021

Ladders, crevasses, snow bridges. All under the watchful eyes of Nima….
A bit of C2 to BC footage of the sections we had to get through to make it safely back to EBC.

The crevasse jumping gave me the worst anxiety🤣 although as you can see 🪜were a second least favorite.
You just have to be super careful not to get your crampon stuck on your own pants leg😳 (never happened to me) or tangled in a rope (Ja, guilty of that) or just trip over your own tired feet.

Last time through the ice fall and to the safety of BC 14 May.

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #garminsa

 

24 MAY 2021

From highs to lows.
Summit of Everest 12 May 8848m, to BC 14 May.

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
Ed Viesturs

The summit is only truly complete once you’re back down safely.
I reached safety between 3 and 4pm on the 14 May.

When a fellow climber (on a different summit push to me) emerged from his tent, heard me arrive, he hugged me and something inside me switched, and my tears flowed.
I cried for those who had died on their summit push, Abdul being one of them, I cried for those who had injuries, and I cried for myself.

I cried out of a mixture of joy, relief and sadness. I cried out of gratitude for being unharmed and alive, and out of pure tiredness. I had kept all these emotions bottled up for 2 days and I set them free.
It was over.

Grateful to those who made this possible, to those who supported me, and those who climbed with me. (Noel, Tshering and Nima)

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garmin_sa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #garminsa

 

25 MAY 2021

Leaving base camp 15 May.
I had the privilege of flying out of base camp by heli.
(Thank you to those who made it possible🥰)

This is leaving BC.
Next stop Pheriche.
Then Lukla
Then Kathmandu

As I gazed down at a region of Nepal I had never seen I dreamt of mountain bike routes winding along the terraced hills. It was amazing to see green again after a long time in brown and white.

We have since spent 10 days in a hotel in lockdown in Kathmandu. The “buffer” time has been good for rest and putting on weight again (🤪), recovering and processing.

Time to get back home!!

“We grow forward when the delights of growth and anxieties of safety are greater than the anxieties of growth and the delights of safety” Maslow

#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000

 

26 MAY 2021

It’s in the eyes.
A battle fought.

They say that inside us is a battle between two wolves. The one that wins is the wolf you feed.

You have a choice, do you feed your fear or your courage?
Your energy or exhaustion?
Your doubts or your confidence?

My last night at Everest Base camp was sleepless.
I was thinking a lot about limits and resilience and goals. As you can see, climbing Everest took a LOT out of the depths of my soul. There’s material out there about achieving goals “at all costs”. No, the cost of your life is too high a price to pay for a patch of snow in the sky.

I’d like to share two things I believe I already knew but have been deeply reinforced:

1. Understand and know your resilience deeply. In order to do so you need to push your limits beyond anything you thought possible. (Do so with a safety net) Then you have knowledge.

2. Success/wisdom is also knowing when you’ve reached YOUR limit ( pt 1.) and that you should quit and not die. It takes courage to do that too.

Get to know your wolves, then feed the right one.

#sevensummittreks
#performancecoaching
#coaching #goals
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #mounteverestofficial
#14mount8000

 

27 MAY 2021

Has climbing Everest changed me?

Many people wrote that Everest would change a person.

I didn’t expect a change but I’d seen it in some people, and saw some personalities act very differently on and off the mountain.
I have also seen a huge gap between people on the mountain and what they posted on social media. That’s been an eye opener.

Am I different?
Yes and no.

Yes I reached down into the depths of my soul, came face to face with what’s there, how deep and dark or light those depths are.
Yes I pushed myself beyond some dark places, I was in the death zone for 36 hours after all.
Does that change me?
Perhaps, at some soul level.
Perhaps change comes later.
I’m changed in that my mind and body is now stretched, what I knew about myself is forever
changed, what I think and would consider possible is wider, like a blank page. Possibility is taller, bigger, ever expanding.

I guess this stretching is the definition of resilience, or at least one definition. Resilience can be defined as the ability to bounce back, like an elastic band. Once stretched, it shouldn’t snap, it bouces back into its original shape. It’s agile, and can be used and stretched in different ways to different sizes.
I’ve been stretched and am back to myself.

On the outside I’m the same, perhaps what has will change is the way you now see me?

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #m0unteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #summit #goals #performancecoach

 

28 MAY 2021

People!!
Surround yourself with the right people.
Trips are made more memorable by the people you share them with. I am so grateful to these people:

Special people with me were @noelhannaadventure
My mountain guide, and friend. His experience, patience, strategies and integrity made us successful. Thank you!!

“The sherpas” Nima and Tshering, so different, yet both solid men whose footsteps we could follow. I called Nima “Nima, let’s go” because he was always in a hurry, but not sacrificing my safety.
Tshering, so patient, self sacrificing, and kind.

“The Argentinians” – Pablo, @lucianoancia @martinmmigueles – warm, generous, and happy people. We didn’t always understand one another, but their expressions and body language spoke volumes, and often had us in stitches of laughter.

“The Prince” @mhd.al.khalifa and the #bahraineverest team. Thanks for your generosity, sharing your dining tent with us at C2, and all the laughter and fun back in Kathmandu.

@mydocintow and @arjunvajpai thanks for the games and laughs.

We all shared a mountain, but each individual had a unique experience.
Thank you all for the role you played in mine.

Of course there are all those in the background, supporting me in various ways. Lots of love and gratitude to you too.🥰🥰

And Abdul 🥺 may your family find peace in your departure from this planet.

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #m0unteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #summit #goals #performancecoach

 

28 MAY 2021

12:01 – https://maroelamedia.co.za/nuus/sa-nuus/sa-vrou-bereik-piek-van-everest/

Hi everyone. It’s probably apt that the first article in the media is in Afrikaans (being a boeremeisie).

I’m finally home with green grass and blue skies. It took a LOT of drama to get onto a ✈️, and I’m glad to be back.

I’m going to ease myself into normal life.

The few articles on recovering from Everest cite brain cell loss (I can feel that😳🤦🏼‍♀️🤣) besides muscle loss. The weight is back on🤣🤣

I’m looking forward to seeing you all at some stage.

Thank you for your kindness, words of encouragement, interest, generosity, help, love, support etc. I’m grateful! 🙏🏼🥰❤️🙌🏼🥳

 

2 JUNE 2021

Lonely.
Out of the mixed bag of emotions this one comes to the top.
The craving for the warm embrace of a loved one. It’s immediate after coming off the mountain.

The awareness that you’ve experienced something very very few people will truly understand. Yet you don’t hang around with those people in your daily life.

Then coming to home where most people have gone on with their lives and expect you to do the same.
Top questions: what’s next? Or: have you recovered?

What’s next?: nothing for a while please. Perplexed looks.
Recovered? Physically perhaps, but mentally and emotionally… how do I explain?
(Especially when people think I’ve just climbed Kili)

The internal struggle with trying to explain yet not yet having the words, and wondering if you should keep this experience to yourself because it is uniquely your own.

Mountaineering is so complex. Yes, it takes a team, but it’s also a very solo experience.

Beware the “climbers abyss”

#climbing #mountaineering
#shemovesmountains
#7summits

 

6 JUNE 2021

Where the heck am I?
… was my thought when one night I woke up in a panic in a hotel room in Kathmandu. Everything was white, not the yellow I was now accustomed to.

“Am I in a snow cave?”
Confused. Slightly panicked even.

Fellow Mountaineers told me they too had this experience, either in the hotel room back in Kathmandu, or even back home.

It’s been an interesting experience learning how one’s mind and body processes this journey.

Pics are all from the yellow #kailas tents at different camps, in different weather on the mountain over the weeks on Everest.

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #m0unteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #summit #goals #performancecoach

 

15 JUNE 2021

One step at a time.
No-where but the mountains does this advice make the most sense. Literally and figuratively.

On Everest (like in life) I often couldn’t see very far ahead of myself, and thinking about the whole mountain was too overwhelming. So it was one day at a time, one camp at a time, one step at a time.

For everyone who wants to know how to tackle a project, reach a goal, get from A to B, climb a mountain, it’s as simple as that.

 

27 JUNE 2021

Postcards to myself.

My fridge at home has a number of postcards I’ve sent myself from far away destinations.
This was the latest one I sent from Namche Bazaar.
It hasn’t arrived yet, and I’m not sure it ever will.

I do it for two reasons:
1. Life with its responsibilities catches up with me really quickly and it’s easy to forget an expedition and simple times.
The postcard is a reminder of the little things to appreciate in life. (Even if it’s Noel’s insults🤣🤣)

2. It always fascinates me how long it takes for a card to make its way around the world.

What little habits do you have that bring you back to yourself?

#postcards
#travel
#everest2021
#expedition #namchebazaar

 

12 AUGUST 2021

Recognition and processing. Sometimes you got to reach over and pat yourself on the back for something you’ve done and sometimes others remember your achievements – the highs and lows – more than you do.

Today I was reminded to pat myself on the back:

“Today is 3 months since you climbed to the top of the world. 3 months since you had to face the challenge of getting down alive. 3 months since your life forever changed, in ways that have made you the amazing person you are today. 3 months since you stood, on top of the world, knowing you had succeeded in a dream making reality. 3 months since you shared a little piece of earth with a few other people that not many have ever achieved. 3 months since you faced the 2 wolves, 3 months since you beat them. If I recall correctly, you summited about 4am SA time, about 8am on the mountain. Molly, it’s been 3 months since I heard of your achievement and 3 months from the time I have wanted to meet with you. It’s your day today, you have the right to own it, to live it, to love it.”

These kind of people are the most valuable to me.

This is my person.

Who is yours, or can you be this person to someone else?

#recognition
#mteverest
#summit

 

27 AUGUST 2021

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” – Zig Ziglar

Starting is often the hardest thing whether it be the first step towards your new goal, or getting out of a warm sleeping bag at 1am to climb through the ice fall.

Preparing is key.
Write your goal down, share it, make yourself accountable. When the time comes, don’t procrastinate.

Getting out of a warm sleeping bag to face sub-zero Temps and climb for hours in darkness requires taking that first action of unzipping yourself from comfort and launching forth into the cold darkness, bravely and determinedly.

What’s the first simple step you need to take to move from comfort into achieving your goals?

#goals
#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #m0unteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #summit #goals #performancecoach

 

12 SEPTEMBER 2021

On the night of 11 May hopeful mountaineers dressed in their colourful down suits and bulky gear set off from Camp 4 to the top of the world.
I was one of them. It was dark, and it was cold.
I quickly realized I didn’t have enough layers on under my down suit, and we moved too slowly to warm up. I was behind the woman with the purple backpack. I cursed her in my head. She was slow and hazardous.

My sherpa often tried to have some sleeps, which I found strange and disconcerting.
It was also strange not to be able to see an end goal, where was the summit?
I have up trying to find it in the darkness and instead focused on what was immediately in front of me. The rope and the small circle my headlamp cast.
Eventually after 13 hours the summit was reached.

Everyone asks “how did you feel?”.

I didn’t. Feel.
I was acutely aware that this was the halfway mark, not the finish line.
Take your photos.
Turn around and focus on getting back down safely. Then you can feel.
It was a long cold night, and a long, hard day that cost some fingers, and Abdul his life.

My eyes show the depths I was reaching into to get up and get down. I’m still reaching into this depths to uncover everything I’ve learnt from my Everest experience. It is still intensely personal to me, and also strangely humbling.

#sevensummittreks
#mountaineering #arcteryx #garminsa
#climbing #mountainhardwear #enduren
#everest2021 #blackdiamondsouthafrica
#7summits #millet_mountain
#STEPStosummit #firstascentsa
#hellyhansensa#heliocaresa #enduren
#oakley #sunglasshut #shemovesmountains
#womenwhoclimb #m0unteverestofficial
#14mount8000 #summit #goals #performancecoach

 

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