Monday, May 10

Day 27 – Thank you Shishapangma

... for exposing my inner self to me.
It has been a lonely journey requiring an inner strength and a level of self motivation that I did not know I possessed. Those nights up on the “hill” with the wind blowing and snow icicles searing the surface. Those endless steps uphill. The feeling of lack of control wondering where the energy would come from to lift my leg, boot, foot one more time. The apprehension while trying to launch oneself over the crevasses. The waiting for the immanent collapse of the ground beneath one's feet. The endless waiting out the bad weather at ABC – orange madness. The 2:00am Jetboil sessions heating up water-bottles with constant spindrift falling in the tent. The endless planning to stimulate action and to help motivate myself. The loneliness of not being able to communicate with anyone. That slog up to Camp II – I still don't know how I managed those 13 or so steps at a time. In retrospect that was my summit push. I was mighty proud to get up there.

I had (other) reasons in 2006 & 2007 why I did not summit. This year it was only because of me. I am not strong enough to climb, carry loads and the establish the required camps to climb an 8,000m peak on my own. It was one of my main tests to see if I could do just that. I had not though factored in the loneliness. Although I'm fairly independent, this was a level of “independence” that I had not yet experienced in my life.
I just wanted to experience that thrill (feeling) of standing above 8,000m knowing I had got there on my own – that would probably have last 30 seconds – to put that into perspective its now day 27 and I have only achieved camps to half way!

I have though learned an amazing amount about myself and I thank Claire, my Precious, for allowing me the indulgence. Its the end of these significant “solo/unsupported” mountain expeditions for me. I now have the answers to my questions.

I hope to be able to use what I've learnt above the Tibetan plains to help others - whatever their need.

This blog will from now only be updated with a few of the missing days photos but will remain an insight and record of my endeavours.

Thank you all for your support along the way.
Thank you to all those who have contributed to The Rainbow Trust – as promised for each £50 donated, I will offer my time to them for anything they may want me to do. I'm hoping some T-shirts I have ordered for them to raise more funds will be ready on my return to Kathmandu.

Thank you Claire, I'll be home soonish (pending, yaks, strikes, landslides etc). I look forward to hearing what you have planned for us together.

All the very best
Hoseman & Gromit


  1. Anonymous1:28 pm

    What an incredible journey! So brave and courageous - so insightful. What an example you set for all of us to look deep inside ourselves. Thank you and have a safe trip home. Jill

  2. Great done Mark, great decision.
    A big hug from Pamplona.
    Iñaki will be very proud of your effort and inteligence.

  3. Anonymous3:45 pm

    Well done Mark, I can't begin to imagine what you've been through. I admire your courage and emotional honesty.
    By the time you get back to London, braai season will be upon us.
    Safe travels, look forward to seeing you soon.
    Geoff Young

  4. Anonymous9:31 pm

    You have been brave and courageous, but equally smart to have the insight that this one, unfortunately is out of reach. We look forward to seeing you back home safely - Kirti and Sonal

  5. quite an inspiration Mike! Thank you Mike..

  6. On Your Bike1:34 pm

    Mark, it was braver to come down the mountain than to continue perilously up it. It must be a very beautiful experience to wrestle with the forces of nature and concede that mother nature has a grace and power far beyond our mortal comprehension. Is there really a sense of triumph at the top or is that just a tease? My guess is that it took you only half the mountain to learn the humility that the stubborn, in search of triumph, only realise at the top. The real triumph is in allowing yourself to be humbled. Well done on your achievements and we look forward to hearing all about them soon.

    1. haha ... I just realised that this is from your 2010 and not your 2012 attempt! I clicked the wrong link to the blog from your email! Delighted to realise that there is more to this. Good luck!


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