‘Darkness, a heavy, thick, all encompassing darkness. There are no stars or moon tonight, nothing to light my way but the thin beam of my head torch. I hear the hard snow cracking under my feet and the rasping of my strained breath. Inside of my massive down feather suit, behind my goggles, balaclava and oxygen mask, I exist. Completely encompassed in this lonely world, I am experiencing my own personal struggle. I could be anywhere, the darkness covers everything.’

 

During the night of the 18th May 2012 I slowly and painfully edged my way closer to the top of the world. I had left camp four at the South Col over 9 hours ago and had spent every one of those hours willing and pleading with my body to keep moving, to keep gaining height, one small step at a time.

 

I stopped to catch my breath, sucking oxygen from my mask, I turned around to see how my friend and Sherpa guide Lhakpa Wongchu, was getting on behind me. The route up ahead of us was still dark, but as I turned around I saw the most amazing sunrise I think there probably is in this whole world. A thick orange line spread across the whole horizon, it felt like the world was waking up below us, thousands of meters down below us.

 

Spurred on by the light and warmth from the sun I climbed higher. At 8am on the 19th May 2012 I had the honour and the privilege of standing on top of the world, there was no where else for me to climb and the whole world was just there sprawled out below me. I was 21 years old when I summited Mount Everest for the first time, I climbed from the South Side via Nepal.

 

 

Mount Everest has been such a huge part of my life for the past six years. From the amount of effort it took to get there, to train and raise the huge amounts of sponsorship I needed, to the actual struggle of the climb itself.  And today, I spend a lot of my time sharing my story as a motivational speaker at school and corporate events. However, I can’t shake the feeling that I have only experienced half of this mountain.

 

Everest lies right on the border between Nepal and Tibet, in fact the border runs through the mountain itself. In Tibet, on the North side on the mountain, there is this whole other route to the summit. A route steeped in history, from the early expeditions in the 1920’s and the fateful story of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine’s ambition to be the first people to stand on Mount Everest’s summit.

 

In spring 2017, supported by Tiso, I am returning to Mount Everest and attempting to climb it from the North Side via Tibet. If I am lucky enough to once again stand on the summit, I will become the youngest British person to climb Everest from both sides at the age of 26 and also the first English woman to achieve this.

 

Tiso have been supporting my return to Everest every step of the way. The company and the family, have a long history on the mountain dating back to the 1970’s. It will be an honour for me to once again attempt to put the Tiso flag on the top of the world.

 

Follow Mollie's Everest 2017 expedition here.

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