In March 2013 I lead an expedition through the Nepalese side of the Himalayas to Mount Everest Base camp. From there the team attempted the south side of Everest over a forty day period. The concept of the expedition was a continuation of the North South Solo expedition to reach (in my opinion) the three poles of the planet. Over the past few years I have set up educational programmes with the help of Skype linking schools en route to Mount Everest with schools around the globe. This ground breaking journey was to make the link from the extremes of the Himalayas to high climate change issues - to inspire others to understand their own planet and to encourage people to keep on exploring.
"The Skype Mount Everest Ascent Expedition is a symbol of human endurance – Having an awareness of Man’s need to explore and an understanding of our fragile planet is inherent in Mark’s make up. The ever changing environment in the Himalayas is proof of the rapid climate change that is affecting the lives of not only my own people but people around the Globe - we are all connected. I am proud to be the patron of an expedition that is combining exploration with education - I wish all the members the best of luck and encourage others to follow their journey"
Apa Sherpa - in the Guinness Book of Records for climbing Mount Everest 21 times
I connected visually to schools and businesses from remote areas during the ascent, by creating a wifi space via satellites. This allowed me to speak about the problems the Nepalese people face regarding climate change. I invited climate specialists to talk about the shifting glaciers that have a direct affect on the local people and, of course, the rest of the planet. Students and companies were able to talk through the extreme leadership approach to leading teams in high altitude. The Skype link equipment was previously tested on the 2012 Everest ascent training expedition. Additionally I had already contacted schools and companies in Japan, Norway, USA and UK.
Everest has been climbed before, but this doesn't mean it's easy - climbing over seven thousand metres was an still to me. I trained and prepare for the trek, but like all extreme expeditions, Mother Nature and circumstance dictated the eventual possibility of success.