Everest expeditions can sometimes be pretty high profile. It can’t have escaped many people’s attention when Ben Fogle got to the magic 8848m for example, and while they may not have made such a splash in the mainstream media, a couple of other teams out at the same sort of time – Tenjing Sherpa and Jon Griffith, and Horia Colibăşanu and Peter Hámor – have certainly had the attention of the climbing press.
Other ascents may not grab so many headlines on the other hand, but of course, that doesn’t stop them being impressive feats of human effort and endurance.
One of those stories is Linda Blakely’s. Not only did she make it through her fears and difficulties to the summit of Everest but, 24 hours later, she reached the summit of neighbouring Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world. She was the first British woman to do the double; in fact, only three women had ever done it before.
When she called our office to start getting her kit sorted, she told us she didn’t want to be too cold, and that she wanted her gear to fit. Neither of those sounded like unreasonable requests! So, we custom made the Omega – our warmest down suit – to her size. As you can see from her photo, she wasn’t too cold: she had to slip the top half off to avoid overheating!
Actually, we have a way to avoid that, if you’re following in Linda’s footsteps: our Expedition Double Suit has a two-piece outer layer you can slip off when it’s too hot. But that’s another story…
It’s probably as well that her trip wasn’t one of the high profile ones, as it turns out: she didn’t tell her Mum about it until she got home, to keep her from worrying. She’s telling the tale now though. You’ll find Linda’s story, in Linda’s words, at linda-blakelys-blog.com.