On Tuesday the 25th of September, Dan Ison, a mountaineer, came to talk with Year 6 after hearing about their curriculum theme on mountains. He has climbed an astonishing five mountains in his lifetime, including Everest Base Camp, Mount Kilimanjaro and more!
In 2002, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, which stands at a mind-boggling 5885 metres! He told us the funny story about how at one point, his wife was wearing 16 layers! It seems very unnecessary but, obviously, up on the mountain it can get very cold. Astonishingly they scaled up and down the mountain in only 8 days.
He also explained how, earlier this year, he took on the Three Peaks Challenge which involves climbing up to the top of the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland in a 24-hour period. Dan climbed Mount Ben Nevis (1344m), Mount Snowdon (1085m) and Scafell Pike (978m), part of which was trekking between the mountains themselves. He did this to raise money for charity and he managed to complete it with 35 minutes to spare.
What impressed me the most was his trip to Base Camp Everest earlier this year since it is approximately 2/3rds up the tallest mountain in the whole world! Due to the fact that Everest is an extremely tall mountain, yaks (long-haired, short-legged ox-like mammals) had to carry food, water and supplies for the climbers. In their climbing party, they had six different people in charge of different aspects of survival – for example, mountain guides, a cook, and a technical expert.
There were so many crevasses on all the mountains, Dan and his team on Everest were climbing on a path that was so narrow it was barely the width of their feet placed vertically next to each other. To ensure their safety, the climbers had to hang onto a rope placed above them that could tear if they were not careful.
Dan explained beautifully about how you need to prepare for climbing a mountain, physically and mentally. In order to prepare, you must do a lot of leg exercises so your legs can be ready for the tiring trip, and most importantly, to avoid being injury-prone via your legs.