You may remember from his previous blogs that Sam had set himself the challenge of climbing Mount Everest in aid of raising money for Cure Rett and how he’d been using his POWERbreathe to help strengthen his breathing muscles for the challenges that the altitude will place on his breathing.
Well we are delighted to announce Sam’s success! He actually reached the summit on the 22nd May, but he didn’t really have the opportunity to write about his experience until later after the expedition.
Sam stumbled into high camp (8,300m) at 2pm on the 21st May saying, “I was exhausted, the three days of climbing from ABC as well as the altitude had taken its toll. Despite this exhaustion I knew that I was in good shape. I had no hacking cough and no signs of altitude sickness. I just needed to be careful not to make any stupid mistakes.”
He goes on to say, “High camp is just that, high. It is higher than most places in the world, with only 5 peaks that stand at a higher altitude – and the top is still way in the distance. We were now well inside the infamous ‘death zone’ – a height above which your body can’t function properly and is slowly dying.
To me things seemed normal, when I took off my oxygen mask I could breathe ok, the wind was still blowing and the clouds were still floating by. It almost felt I could stay there for ever.”
Sam’s blog is hard-hitting and it sounds as though the challenge is not just a physical one, but a mental challenge too. He shares his experiences which certainly remind us of what a dangerous challenge he has set himself.
“At the top of the rocks I was now on the final snow slope that ran to the summit. I could just make out the prayer flags in the distance. I knew this was it. As the summit approached I felt a huge sense of relief. I dragged myself to the prayer flags at the top, sat down and cried. I just couldn’t believe it, I was on top of the world.
Looking back on the experience it still seems like a formality, like we were meant to summit. But then, thinking about all those that tried and failed, I know it just wasn’t that straight forward. I have some fantastic memories of not just the summit but the whole experience, I understand I am incredibly lucky to have been able to step on the top of the world, something I think will stay with me forever.”
We’d like to congratulate Sam on this incredible achievement and look forward to hearing more from him and his fundraising. If you’d like to send your congratulations to Sam too, then please feel free to leave a comment here.
Read more about how POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) could help prepare your breathing muscles for the rigours of breathing at altitude, however if you’re already using POWERbreathe for this reason, or have used it in the past to help cope with breathing at altitude then please leave a comment here on the POWERbreathe Forum, as we’d love to hear from you. You can also read more about POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training for breathing at altitude on our blog.