We are the Pilgrims, master: we shall go
Always a little further: it may be
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow,
Across that angry or that glimmering sea,
White on a throne or guarded in a cave
There lives a prophet who can understand
Why men are born: but surely we are brave,
Who make the Golden Journey to Samarkand.
Rob Gauntlett and James Hooper, aged 19, are the youngest Britons to summit Mount Everest. After a three year campaign, they reached the summit at 7:45am on 17th May 2006. Rob and James climbed for Cancer Research UK, because cancer sufferers provided such a deep motivation for both of them. They also climbed with a strong message for young people, climbers or not, to follow their dreams, and to encourage trust in the abilities of youngsters and those individuals involved in working for them.
The story of the ascent and the long build-up to the expedition can be found on this site, as well as more about Rob and James and their other mountaineering, rock climbing and cycling expeditions.
Following on from their success on Everest, Rob and James are currently planning a new expedition: travelling from the North Pole to the South Pole by human and natural power alone. They hope to continue to support young people and to raise the profile of the issues surrounding global warming and carbon emissions. The ten month project is on completely different scale from the Everest expedition.
Rob Gauntlett and James Hooper plan to become the youngest Britons to climb Mount Everest (8850m), a record that was last broken by 21 year old Jake Meyer in 2005. They are both most likely to be just 19 if they summit: indeed Rob’s birthday falls on 10th May, which is historically the most summitted day. The last few years have been spent in preparation, both training and raising the extensive funds, culminating in their departure to Nepal on 2nd April 2006.
They are hugely grateful to have been given this opportunity by all their sponsors and their support team: now they will spend time acclimatising and preparing at the Tibetan base camp before their summit attempt in May. News updates on their progress will constantly be posted on this site and sent out by email.
Rob and James are climbing for Cancer Research UK, a charity who are of great significance to them through their own personal experiences. More information about the charity and this most important aspect of the project can be found here: any support would be very much appreciated by them and by Cancer Research.
They are very young to have got so far in a world that is so often dominated by older climbers, and their achievements and setbacks are testimony to their wisdom and experience beyond their years, and their deeply held principles of mountaineering practice. Hugely grateful for the opportunities that were entrusted to them, the trip carries an important message for placing trust in young people, and for young people to place faith in their own dreams.
Over the last few years Rob and James have climbed in the Karakoram, the Nepali Himalaya and extensively in the Alps, as well as travelling all over Britain from Swanage to Stanage and the Scottish winter, for which Everest is claimed to be good training! They are also experienced expeditioners in other fields: marathon runners, long-distance cyclists and triathletes, and in their short years in the climbing fraternity have gained interest and respect from a host of well established Himalayan climbers who are keen to see them on the summit of Everest.