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night’s sleep, and it was hard to call them on certain days so I tried to call them every 4 days. I promised my dad though that I wasn’t going to take one step forward unless I could guarantee that I could take 2 steps back. Apart from Kilimanjaro, I don’t push myself to a point beyond going back. I get close to breaking point but I never get to breaking point; and there’s a very big difference between the two. Being a ‘desert-born’ girl, the cold change was my biggest challenge. Most people who did the climb didn’t really know why the cold was a big deal to me, as they were from the United States and various other places which had exposure to the cold, but the cold was my Achilles Heel. I had expo-

back from Aconcagowa, I didn’t have a single toe-nail, as they all fell off. Wearing boots and walking down hill for 20 miles causes the top of the nail to keep hitting the tip of your shoes continuously, and eventually they fall off. They did grow back really well though (but it’s not a recommended way of rejuvenating your nails)!” It was also really hard to get used to the whole bathroom issue. I don’t want to go into the details but it wasn’t a pleasant experience and I did take a while to get used to. Then there’s also the occasional G.I bug that you can get and your ‘girly days’ don’t help at all either. Everest was a very different mountain to any other mountain. As a general rule of thumb: the higher you go, the worse it gets; food, water, bathroom, living conditions etc. The Everest climb however was assisted, in that we had a lot of Sherpa and many people carrying the cooking equipment and things. This made it easier in comparison to say, Vincent in Antarctica where I was carrying 25kg to 50kg of weight up a mountain yourself. It does take a long time to climb Everest. It took me 2 months from the time I left house to the time I returned back to my house. 55 of those days are hard mountain climbing with the days travel and trekking and sure to the cold from my climb in other things. Antarctica’s Vinson. The summit night however was so cold (around –45 to -50oC) that it started to burn It seems like a ‘Hollywood’ story my skin. It was like being burnt in with a classic Hollwood-drama extreme heat. Drinking water that ending, but in reality, Raha was night and eating was horrible be- trying to stay as close to groundcause you would take your mask level as possible when reaching off to drink water and your lips the summit: “When I got to the top and water would almost immedi- of the summit, or when I get to the ately freeze. I mostly ate electro- top of any summit, what’s going lyte gels which I attached to near through my head is simply the my chest or near my body to keep question, “what’s next?”. Also on it warm, and had to eat really I had heard about so quickly to avoid them turning into Everest, many people dying on the way solid cubes before getting them down so I quickly took my picinto my mouth. Water starts of as tures, put the flag in, and got out boiling water in a thermos and of there. It’s sobering because at eventually turns into ice-cubes. the summit, so many people When it was hot though, I was lov- it to where you are, and weremade feeling it. Everyone else was boiling ing all the emotions that you are, whilst I was in front of the group! but they didn’t make it down, so Not only that, but your body real- you have to get your act together ly suffers as a woman. Coming and celebrate back down the botDec 2013

Profile for Positively Transforming World

PTW: December 2013  

Raha Moharrak and James Saward-Anderson share their stories of climbing Everest and running from London-to-Rome in PTW Magazine. Health, edu...

PTW: December 2013  

Raha Moharrak and James Saward-Anderson share their stories of climbing Everest and running from London-to-Rome in PTW Magazine. Health, edu...

Profile for ptwmag
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