If you can dream, and not make dreams your master;
If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same...
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And, which is more, you'll be a man, my son.
Check back here frequently as we will keep this page updated with developments as they happen.
There was a huge party of family and friends at Heathrow airport to greet Rob and James off the plane last night, with a cheer that filled the terminal building and huge smiles all round. They went home to a small party and a much deserved night's rest, and everyone is very relieved to see them home safe, albeit thinner and currently without much of their baggage! They now hope to get in touch with so many of those who have supported them, carry out interviews, prepare presentations and generally begin to readjust their lives around their future as holders of the record. We wish them a good few days' rest first though... We also discovered that they are the 2nd youngest non-Sherpas in the world to have summitted the mountain, and we think around 10th if Sherpas are included.
Rob and James arrived safely back in Kathmandu last night. They have quite a lot to sort out, but in keeping with the tradition of Everest summitters, they are going to Rum Doodle to claim their free meal... They are leaving Kathmandu on Sunday 28th, and flying back home via Delhi to arrive in the evening.
Rob and James have now arrived back down at the main base camp, where they will stay for a few days, recovering from the climb and clearing up. They hope to be in Kathmandu on the 24th May, and the fly home a few days after that. They continue to do interviews on the satellite phone and are appearing on television, radio and in newspapers back home in recognition of their achievement.
The whole team have arrived successfully back down at Advanced base camp (6400m). They will have a much-needed rest here to recover and sort out their equipment before returning to base camp and clearing the mountain. We should be able to talk to Rob and James here, so more news to follow.
The website was offline for several hours this evening due to the sudden increase in visitors. It is now back and should remain so. We apologize if anyone was unable to check on Rob and James' progress as a result.
The whole Adventure Peaks team have made it back to camp 2 at 7800m (seven of them summitted in total: Congratulations). Rob and James phoned from their brief food and drink stop at camp 3 (8300m), and were exhausted after 32 hours of climbing even then. They were still in a positive frame of mind, and were hugely appreciative so many touching messages they have had following their success on the summit. They informed us a little more about the climb, which was quite technical with temperatures falling as low as -34 centigrade during the night, and they are looking forward to getting off the mountain. They should arrive at ABC tomorrow night, where they could rest for a day before proceeding to base camp.
Rob and James phoned their support team from on top of the world at 3:15am. Congratulations to them on becoming the youngest Britons to climb the mountain. They were tired and apprehensive of the descent, but inspired by the panorama of snow-capped peaks and by achieving their three-year dream. They wanted to push their message for young people, and to encourage everyone to donate to Cancer Research for them. They summitted at 8am in the morning in Tibet, having left Camp 3 at 10pm and climbed through the night, and they hope to get back to Camp 2 at 7800m in the remaining part of the day. They expressed their heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported them. We wish them the best for the descent and look forward to hearing from them safe and well at advanced base camp on Thursday night.
Wonderful news from the mountain that Rob and James have just reached camp 3 successfully. At 8300m this is the the highest campsite in the world, higher than most of the world's highest mountains, and the final stop before the summit. They are recovering and rehydrating in their tent for their overnight summit push, for which we wish them all the best.
Fresh news from the mountain that Rob and James, with the rest of the Adventure Peaks team, have arrived safely at Camp 2 (7800m), where they will be spending the night. Apparently there have been no problems and the pace was strong all day. Experience counts this as one of the hardest days mentally, and the expedition leader reports that 'everyone is in a really strong frame of mind to keep up the good pace'. The team will start to use bottled oxygen tomorrow, which should be a shorter day up to the final camp at 8200m. They are still on course for summitting on Wednesday morning, which hopefully marks the start of a two day weather window of calmer wind.
Rob and James have both arrived safely at the North Col, where they will spend the night at 7000m. They seem to have made quite good time on this part of the ascent, and thre are no reports of any problems for either of them, although sadly another member of the team has had to drop out for the moment. The next stage takes them to 7800m for the night, which is reported as being psychologically quite difficult: a long grind up a consistent steep slope, and still two days from the summit. The predictions for summit day weather remain stable, and in addition Rob and James have a chance of meeting Rhys Jones on the summit, who also hopes to become the youngest Brit. He has left base camp on the South side, and we send our best wishes to him for the climb: we hope it could be quite a day for British youth. Back home, the press release for Cancer Research has been picked up by the BBC, the Guardian and the Observer, and a number of regional papers, which we hope to build upon for Wednesday.
After a long day walking up the East Rongbuk, Rob and James have arrived at Advanced base camp (6500m), where they will spend a day resting and preparing for the summit push. More details have come through about the projected summit day, Wednesday 17th, which will involve leaving camp 3 at 10pm the previous night to climb through the night and arrive before the wind gets up later in the day.
Some brilliant news has just come in from base camp that Rob and James will be leaving tomorrow to begin the final summit assault. They will move to advanced base camp tomorrow, then rest there for a day, and then continue upwards spending nights at the North Col, Camp 2 and Camp 3 before hopefully summitting on the 17th May. 5 Koreans have just summitted, so the weather window is thankfully opening, contrary to the signals that have been coming in for the last few days. They are both feeling fit and strong and are spending today making the final preparations. Indeed Rob celebrated his birthday yesterday, and they have both been inspired by all the messages of support, so keep them coming in!
Four of the Adventure Peaks team have now finished their acclimatisation, including Rob and James, and they are now resting and recovering at base camp. For Rob and James this includes at the moment the difficult logistical task of setting up lots of media interviews for their Cancer Research appeal. They are however both at the moment in good health and high spirits and are most likely to leave base camp on Thursday or Friday, although obviously this could change. A report on how the lads performed on the climb, which should give them a lot of confidence, can be found at www.adventurepeaks.com.
Rob and James have just arrived at Advanced Base Camp after climbing to 7300m, the highest either of them have climbed before, and a height that marks the final height of their acclimatisation schedule. They previously spent two nights on the North Col at 7000m, and they will return to the main base camp tomorrow to rest and wait for a summit window. Having climbed close to the 7500m that was planned, they were turned back by a storm, an indication that the weather might still be unpredictable. However 5 sherpas have already summitted from the North Side, on April 30th which is unusually early. From Rob and James' point of view, a little time at base camp waiting for a more complete weather window would be ideal for recovery and preparation. Congratulations to the sherpas for this, and to Rob and James for completing their acclimatisation, and we look forward to hearing more from them at base camp, and hopefully seeing some pictures which we will post on the site.
Rob and James have made it to the North Col: they are both feeling recovered from their illnesses and apparently had an excellent day climbing up to 7000m. They returned to advanced base for the night, where they will be resting today, before returning to the North Col for two overnight stays and a trip to Camp 1 at 7500m. This will complete their acclimatisation, and at the moment the rumour mill amongst expeditions at base camp favors an early weather window for summitting thereafter: If it is so early, they will not return all the way to the main base camp.
Rob and James both returned to base camp slightly prematurely last week, Rob through an illness that caused a complete loss of appetite, and James a few days later as a result of a chest infection. Both however are now recovered well, and have two more days left at base camp. Illness is part of Everest expeditioning, and fortunately it has not affected their acclimatisaton: they both made wise decisions to return to base and recover. They will leave base camp on Friday to return to ABC and the North Col, which they will climb twice, once on Sunday and once to sleep two nights there on Tuesday and Wednesday. The latter trip will involve climbing above the col to 7500m, completing their acclimatisation. They have a series of media interviews via sat phone coming up in the next couple of days and upon their return to base camp, whilst waiting for the summit weather window.
Rob and James have finished nearly a week at base camp, where they have been on acclimatisation walks, meeting lots of climbers from other expeditions and preparing themselves for the more intense stage of acclimatisation. Today they left base camp for advanced base camp on the East Rongbuk Glacier, where they will arrive tomorrow. They will then spend nearly two weeks at ABC, first climbing Lhapka Ri and then the North Col (both about 7000m) before returning to base camp. They will spend a night at the North Col also. So far they are acclimatising with no problems, not even the usual headaches, although the next couple of weeks will be crucial in this regard.
Rob and James haved arrived at base camp on the Rongbuk Glacier, reunited with their kit, and they are in process of setting up what will be their home for a substantial amount of time. They will spend nearly a week there before moving to Intermediate and Advanced base camps, and then acclimatising on the North Col (see their route and itinerary here). Their last day of travelling from the small village of Tingri was through the 'cold, dry and extremely remote' Tibetan moonscape, over a 5200m pass, and blessed with 'stunning views of Everest, Cho Oyu and Shishpangma'. They accomplished another acclimatisation walk with no problems for either of them. Base camp also looks directly up to the summit.
The expedition group were caught in a brief incident of Maoist crossfire, having to shutter down for a while in a roadside cafe. However on this route it was more likely on this route to have been a Maoist publicity coup than anything dangerous. Everyone is safe, and they have since crossed the Chinese border at the Friendship bridge, and in grey weather are staying the night in Nylam.
Rob and James arrived safely in Kathmandu, after their flight was delayed for five hours. Sadly Gulf Air had not managed to get their bags on the same flight, and a worried day was spent until they were finally traced and delivered after a holiday in Bahrain. Currently they are appreciating Kathmandu once again, meeting the expedition group, and preparing for the drive into Tibet.
After a few weeks of intense campaigning, training and preparation, Rob and James have finally flown to Kathmandu with Adventure Peaks for their attempt to become the youngest Britons to climb Everest. The opportunity for them to even get their chance on the mountain has taken four years, and we look forward to their news from Nepal and base camp in Tibet as they take the next month to acclimatise and prepare. Full information on their itinerary and route can be found on this website.
Rob and James have signed up with Adventure Peaks to climb from the North side of the mountain, with their Base Camp on the Rongbuk Glacier, and they are flying out to Nepal on the 2nd April. They have given further radio interviews and local newspaper features, and spent their days on the phones and visiting local businesses to raise the deficit left by a sponsor pulling out. They have also released a presentation on the Everest project including a video from their Ama Dablam expedition, which will be be available on the site, soon. We all remain optimistic for their departure on schedule in a week's time.
Rob and James gave a press release that was picked up by the BBC (Visit the Article) and other media channels. They have associated the trip with Cancer Research, a charity which holds a great personal significance for both of them, and they hope to raise as much money and awareness as they can for them (click on the link above). They have spent a few weeks giving interviews in newspapers and on the radio, and searching for companies to provide the necessary sponsorship, totalling £45,000. This is now a full time job for both of them, in addition to the increasing training schedule, and with a lot of avenues of research they are beginning to work through a few crucial leads: it is a stressful element of this sort of mountaineering that requires a great deal of personal resilience. They are still looking for sponsorship in any capacity, so if you are interested or have any ideas please contact them through this website. They cannot look this sort of failure in the face at this stage.
Rob and James have returned safely from Nepal after a few days to explore and discover Kathmandu. They have returned to their training schedule and their work to earn money for subsequent training expeditions, and they are devoting much of their free time to searching out funding opportunities, including giving presentations about the Ama Dablam expedition (see full report and photos on this website). They are planning a winter of climbing in the Alps and Scotland, and will spend Christmas working very hard writing to lots of Santas in the hope that Mount Everest fits into their stocking.
Fresh news from Ama Dablam base camp that Rob and James successfully summitted Ama Dablam (6856m) earlier than expected and are now on their way down to Namche Bazaar and ultimately the celebrations in Kathmandu. This is a sure sign of their independent capability at a relatively young age in the climbing world, and is perhaps the most important step on the hard road to becoming the youngest Britons to summit Everest next year. This achievement on a technical and exposed peak should establish them as serious and not opportunistic climbers and should help generate more fruitful interest in their Himalayan experience and abilities. Congratulations! A more detailed report of the expedition and of future training to follow shortly.
A filming session at Craggy Island climbing centre in Guildford resulted in more BBC coverage and another press release concerning the Everest 2006 project and preparation for Ama Dablam in Oct 2005. Some kit sponsorship has been offered by Karrimor. Preparation for Ama Dablam expedition, led by Everest summiteer Tim Mosedale (www.timmosedale.co.uk), is well underway, including technical rock climbing in Swanage and Stanage and daily brick-filled pack walks to get used to steady load-carrying at high altitude.
Rob and Richard Lebon successfully completed their 2700 mile cycle ride from Bibao, Northern Spain to Istanbul in six weeks. They cycled from Mont Ventoux over mountain passes the length of the Alps, and were able to experience a hugely diverse and valuable cross section of Europe, including the young former Yugoslav nations of Bosnia and Serbia with James, then Northern Greece and Turkey via Kosovo and Macedonia.
Rob and James made a press release on March 2nd to publicise the Ama Dablam expedition and Everest beyond that, and gave interviews on radio stations, Sky News and both local and national BBC news. There has been some interest in making a documentary of their Everest expedition next year. Rob and James are continuing their preparation for their summer cycling and climbing and ultimately for the Ama Dablam attempt.
Rob and James have just returned from some difficult technical ice climbing in Scotland, where they have also been teaching some other school children to climb in winter. The conditions varied, but it will certainly have provided them with useful technical experience in cold and difficult conditions.
Spent Christmas doing some basic routes in the French Alps, that was beneficial in refining ropework techniques and spending time performing the fiddly operations of fixing gear in cold and exposed conditions.
Rob and James have just returned from Islamabad and their expedition in Pakistani Kashmir to climb Spantik (7027m). They were forced back above 6000m by heavy snowfall and a irreconcilable avalanche risk beyond camp 2, but they both maintain that on their first high altitude peak this could be the most important lesson to learn at such a young age: they were both wise enough to know when to turn around whilst captivated by the lure of the summit, showing a wisdom and sense of the autonomy of the mountain as taking priority over the dreams of the climber. The trip also gave them vital experience of high altitude acclimatisation and weather conditions and solidified necessary ropework and teamwork skills.