An Aldbourne man who aimed to be the first over-60 to scale the North Ridge of Mount Everest and only the second to reach the summit has abandoned his bid, because he was unsure he had the energy to tackle the final 20-hour climb.
On the team’s blog yesterday (Wednesday, May 25) Simon Knighton wrote: “I was concerned that the natural deterioration in physical strength and general fatigue that occurs at altitude would not allow me to safely complete the 20 hour+ Summit Day on the 26th May.
“I had expected that the switch to oxygen above 7,500m would provide a boost but after several hours climbing with O2 assistance, I came to the conclusion that unless I used unrealistic amounts, which would have opened up other risks, the safest course was to withdraw.
“It has to be remembered that above 8,000m, in the ‘death zone’ there is no real assistance possible and to be anything less than 100 percent in every way places oneself and one’s team at considerable risk.
“Of course there will be disappointment for us individually, but this will be tempered by the knowledge of what we have achieved so far.
“I have climbed and slept above the North Col (higher than Aconcagua) three times in the last month and every one of us has had the experience of a lifetime.”
By 5am UK time this morning (Thursday, May 26) eight climbers, eight sherpas and two instructors had reached the summit of Everest.