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Journey to the Top of the World

Journey to the Top of the World
18 February 2013 No comments

One year ago today Mollie Hughes, based in our Covent Garden store was in the final stages of training for an adventure that would push her mind and body beyond anything she had ever experienced before. Mollie explains: I was aiming to become one of the youngest British women to summit Mount Everest, at the age of 21.

This ambition came about while I was day dreaming in the library during my final year at university. I was attempting to write my dissertation in the area of sports psychology. It struck me that if I had to write 10,000 words on a single subject I am going to have to make it an interesting one or this is going to be a struggle! So I decided to investigate the "Psychological experience of climbing Mount Everest". For this I interviewed 7 amazing guys who had all summited Everest and explored their psychological experience on the mountain including areas such as motivation, self-belief, pressure and fear.  It must have been within 20 minutes of my first interview I had decided that Everest was something I needed to experience for myself and soon.

I spent the next 11 months training, increasing my mountaineering experience, finding a sponsor and putting everything in place to achieve my goal. At the end of March 2012 I found myself on a plane flying to Kathmandu, nervous, excited and slightly disbelieving that I was finally about to embark on my mission.

The next two months on Everest were incredibly challenging. We spent a long time going up and down the mountain to acclimatise to the extreme altitude, getting our bodies used to the lack of oxygen. All this was to prepare me for summit day when I climbed in the 'death zone' for over 18 hours. This is the name for the area above 8,000m, where there is too little oxygen to sustain life for very long and the human body is in a state of serious deterioration. This was a tough day! However, Mount Everest is also an incredibly enchanting place; witnessing the millions of stars at night from basecamp, watching the sun set from half way up the Lhotse face or seeing the shadow that Everest throws onto the stratosphere when the sun rises behind it on summit day, were all totally magical experiences.

I am now working in Ellis Brigham’s Covent Garden store and looking forward to doing a series of talks exploring just what it takes to reach the Top of the World at the age of 21.

If you’re planning a big expedition, then please do come into the Covent Garden store for a chat about the kit you will need. Or why not come for a session on our indoor real ice climbing wall with me? 

More information about my expedition and speaking can be found on my website - www.molliehughes.co.uk.