Everest 2017 - Promoting the Extraordinary
This month's Meet The Blogger post is particularly special, as I've known Kate for almost 14 years. We went to secondary school together. It didn't take long for us to become friends, bonding over choir, books (especially Harry Potter), and the fact that we both felt excluded from school sports because we weren't part of the 'popular crowd'. Games lessons soon became something to be dreaded.
But while I'm still shockingly unfit (hence a number of exercise-related items on my 32 things to do before I'm 30 list), Kate is now something of a fitness wonderwoman, with her eyes set on the highest goal of them all...
Kate Stewart, 25, from Penrith is seeking to summit Everest, the world’s highest mountain (8848m) through two years of fundraising and extreme endurance challenges. Kate is supporting the National Autistic Society, and has already completed the Lake District 3000ers (Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn, Skiddaw, linked by 60 miles of cycling) in 19 hours. On May 16th 2015 she also completed the Fred Whitton cycle sportive (112 miles including all the Lake District passes) in 9 hours 27 minutes. Her plans for the rest of 2015 and 2016 include an Ironman triathlon, a record attempt for the 3 peaks challenge, and a climb up Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America.
An interview with Kate Stewart: Everest 2017 - Promoting the Extraordinary
Was there a single moment when Everest first reared its head in your imagination? If so, when was it?
Funnily enough, not that I can put my finger on. Well, I always found physical challenges particularly difficult, but I was more than ordinarily determined to overcome them. My family went on several skiing holidays as I was growing up, and because of my poor balance and coordination I was always the worst. I hated the fact that that held me back, when skiing itself was so freeing and gave me an enormous buzz. I think I’ve always been the kind of person who has to overcome a lot of adversity to feel any sense of achievement.
There’s a film with Leo Houlding and Conrad Ankre in it, and they free climb the second step of the North face. “The Wildest Dream”, it’s called. They go to find George Mallory’s body and for most of the way up they’re wearing hobnail boots and clothes from a century ago. I’d had a bit of a normal sheltered life up until that point – well alright, my idea of adventurous was maybe walking up Scafell Pike. I’ve never been able to stand the idea that I’m missing anything, and this got me thinking, wow. What would it be like to live right out there on the edge, and know you can make it? Perhaps no dream should be too wild.