Adventure Guide works with a number of partners to draw upon expert knowledge and skills to enhance the expedition, to co-ordinate logistics and make the experience run smoothly from start to finish.
King’s School Worcester gave me the freedom and support to explore the world with groups of Sixth Formers. The school’s expedition pedigree is the envy of many schools around the country. Nick Robertson, the first former pupil who successfully climbed Everest in 2009, became a Patron of King’s Himalayan Club.
Another OV, Jon Bracey, who was on my first Himalayan expedition in 1993, featured in Alastair Lee’s latest film ‘The Citadel’. The stunning new mountain film for 2015 from multi-award winner Alastair Lee and the Posing Productions crew, shows UK alpinists Jon and Matt Helliker as they attempt the stunning NW ridge of the remote peak ‘The Citadel’ deep in the Neacola range, Alaska. The world’s first mountain film shot entirely in 4k, a stunning visual treat reveals alpine climbing like never before.
KSW Nepal Trust grew out of the King’s Himalayan Club and provided a means for the club’s expeditions to support projects in Nepal. The charity was wound up in 2013 but the school still supports Nepal through the Himalayan Trust UK.
Although I am no longer actively involved in King’s School activities, I hope that the legacy I created is continued and that the school continues to stretch children both physically and imaginatively in an outdoor environment. I shall watch with interest.
Karnali Excursions are one of my links in Nepal, and especially the director Hira Dhamala who has a wealth of trekking and organisational experience as well as an extensive and sensitive knowledge of culture, religion, geography, geology, flora and fauna. His enthusiasm and good communication skills enhance any trip.
Access Himalaya is a small trekking company run by two very close friends, Gill Spilsbury and Pradip Rai. Gill was a colleague at King’s and joined me on the first adult trip in 1997, shortly after her husband had died. Gill immediately fell in love with the country and shortly after returning from the trip, handed in her notice, gave up teaching and travelled out to Nepal. There she joined forces with Pradip, whom I first met in 1996 as a fresh faced 16 year old who joined the Sherpa team as we trekked up to Everest Base Camp. Gill soon brought Pradip to Worcester, where he enrolled on a degree course at Worcester University. This then led to him completing a Masters at Birmingham. While all this was going on, Gill and Pradip set up their own trekking agency, Access Himalaya, and have developed a successful business which has not only focused of catering for western trekkers but also contributed a significant amount of time, effort and money to help those in Nepal in most need. Their work and determination following the earthquakes is to be admired and commended. It is a pleasure to not only know them but to work with them.
I was introduced to the Himalayan Trust soon after I formed the Himalayan Club and George Lowe, the then Chairman of the trust, became Patron to King’s Himalayan Club. We have always supported the work of the trust in Nepal and in 1996 I became a trustee myself.
The Himalayan Trust is a direct legacy of the British 1953 Everest expedition that put Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Everest. Without the support of the Sherpas, Everest wouldn’t have been climbed, and Sir Ed wouldn’t have had half as much fun climbing in the Himalayas following Everest as well. It was Sir Edmund Hillary and his NZ companion George Lowe who first felt a compulsion to give something back to the Sherpas who had so enriched their lives. Sir Edmund Hillary’s vision led to the first support for the Everest region.
The Himalayan Trust UK was set up to support Sir Edmund Hillary’s work for the Sherpas in Nepal, in 1989. Lord Hunt, leader of the 1953 expedition, was patron of the Himalayan Trust UK until his death in 1998, and the Trust is proud to have maintained its Everest 1953 connection to this day. The two Georges – Lowe and Band – both Everest 1953 climbers, were actively involved from the start, with George Lowe, who sadly passed away on 20 March 2013, as inaugural chairman until September 2003, and George Band taking the helm as chairman until his death in the summer of 2011. The Trust was delighted that Michael Westmacott, who played a key role pioneering and maintaining a route through the treacherous Khumbu Icefall in 1953, accepted an invitation to be a trustee, until he sadly passed away in 2012. It has been a year of great loss for The Himalayan Trust UK, and for Everest, but happily members of three 1953 Everest families are still actively involved today, with George Lowe’s widow Mary continuing her stoic work as secretary, and George Band’s widow Susan and John Hunt’s daughter Sue Leyden as dedicated trustees.
Click on the link above to find out more about the work of the trust.
As a Fellow I have access to many of the services that the Society provides in terms of research facilities etc. The fundraising lectures form part of the Society’s Midland Region programme.
Albania – Outdoor Albania http://www.outdooralbania.com/
Vietnam – Asia Aventura http://www.asia-aventura.com/
Slovakia – Rajec Travel http://www.rajectravel.sk/en/
Kyrgyzstan – Asia Mountains http://asiamountains.net/
Mongolia – Altai Expeditions http://www.altaiexpeditions.com/hiking.html