February 7th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Training for Everest: My week of Winter Mountaineering in Scotland!

By Matthew Dieumegard-Thornton

In 2012, I am aiming to become one of the youngest British climbers to summit Mount Everest. Climbing via the Northeast Ridge from Tibet, to the summit at 8848 meters above sea level.

After years of training, my vision and determination has always been to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain, and in doing so, raise money for disadvantaged children around the world.

A challenge this dangerous and extreme is not something to be taken on lightly, and as such, I am completing a grueling training regime. Most recently, I went to Scotland for a week of winter mountaineering!

The first morning of the trek, we drove out to Glen Coe, but after realising the snow was far from ideal, we drove back up to the Fort William Ski Centre, and took the Gondola up to about 700 meters to begin practicing the basic boot work skills. This then progressed to the famed ice axe arrest, with all the possible variations, including the possibility of being handed an axe whilst hurtling down the mountain at break neck speed. Eventually, we donned crampons, and with great aesthetics, plodded up to Aorrach an Nid, the high point of the day, before eventually descending to the van, and meeting a guy from the SAIS, who told us the snow pack was ‘one finger, pencil, four fingers’.

The second day saw the introduction of a rope, to protect on steeper ground. This day also saw the introduction of the infamous walk-ins, which by the 4/5th day, I actually began to enjoy!

To read the rest of Matthew’s blog and to check out what else he is up to in preparation for his Everest expedition visit: http://blog.matthewdthornton.com/

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