On Thursday 28th August 2014 two wishes that I have had for two years manifested.
The first being summitting Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England (978m), having already summitted Snowdon and Ben Nevis in previous years.
The second was meeting Tim Mosedale, four times Everest summiiteer. Whilst trekking in Nepal Himialayas in 2012 I wanted to meet an Everest summiteer but it wasnt to be, and found Tim on You Tube doing an amazing panaroma of the summit of Everest, after the video was an advert of Tim’s Bed and Breakfast in Keswick, Cumbria, Lake District, where he lived with his wife and children, I knew that I had to meet him.
Marilyn Hart my friend and I met Tim on the morning of the climb, he was to lead us up the mountain. At first I didn’t recognise him as had only seen him with a beard in photos. We shook hands and agreed to head off to Scafell Pike after breakfast as rain was predicted mid-day.
We went in Tim’s car to Seathwaite about 20 mintues away. The weather was bright with just a few scattered clouds.
We commenced the climb towards Scafell Pike with rucksacks on our back containing water, lunch and waterproofs, with trekking poles at the ready. Marilyn and I were eager with excited anticipation.
I had a million questions I wanted to ask Tim about climbing the highest peak in the world, and he was very obliging and interesting when answering my questions, he was obviously passionate about mountaineering, especially Everest which was his favourite mountain.
One thing that I was curious about was the mind set of an Everest Summiteer and Tim explained that there were many aspects to consider when climibing Mount Everest. The first and foremost you must have a burning desire to climb the mountain, also a strong feeling of self belief that you can do it, and to be emotionally strong and positive enough to make decisions in extreme conditions and the one big mistake people make is compromising their safety, by still going ahead when its not safe to do so.
During the time I was chatting to Tim Marilyn was at the back listening, and she forgave me for not getting a word in edgeways. She was doing well climibing up the initial part of the mountain, she had never climbed a mountain before, but was a keen walker.
The views en route were spectacular and I was taking pictures all the time. We could see Derwent Water in the distance, set amongst the valley. The varying colours of the mountains set amongst the blue sky was breathtaking.
We headed up to Stockley Bridge over to Esk Hause and round the back of Great End, past lllCrag and Broad Crag. It was mid-day and we were heading towards the misty cloud and it started to rain as predicted, Tim said it was time to put on our waterproofs.
The clouds loomed in the distance hovering over a black mountain with a small piece of blue sky inbetween, it looked very dramatic like something out of a horror film, I watched in awe at the bleak scene before me and marvelled at the sudden change in weather conditions.
We headed towards Scafell Pike and came across what looked like a vertical wall of bolders, which was the final leg up to the mountain. Tim told us a story about a lady called Margaret who had taken up Scafell Pike and at this point broke down and said I cant do it, to which Tim said you can and reassured her enough to reach the summit.
This could be The Hillary Step on Everest, the final 30 foot of vertifcal rock prior to the summit, I thought. The imagination is a wonderful thing.
We reached the summit of Scafell Pike and I could smell egg and bacon, and there was a man cooking egg and bacon, I joked that there is a cafe up here after all.
We were elated to have reached the summit, albeit tired. It was still misty and raining, but in a way added to the adventure, it felt eerie and mystical and what mountains should be. The magnificent views prior to reaching the summit made up for the lack of visibility at the top.
I wanted some photographs and asked a young man nearby if he would take a picture of the three of us, which he obliged. Him and his friend were from Exeter and doing the three peaks in a week. I bragged on behalf of Tim and said he was a four time Everest Summiteer, they were well impressed, we bid them farewell.
I wanted one last photograph of me holding my poles in the air, I asked Tim and he managed it with my phone camera in a plastic bag as it was raining. We had a bit of lunch and headed down, which for me is always the tricky bit, and where the poles come in the most useful. You have to select every bolder and stone you are going to step on so as not to stumble.
We headed down the Corridor route passing Piers Gill to Styhead Tarn, and with Marilyn’s consent I tell this story. We came to an area where Tim said we must climb up, Marilyn froze and became tearful as she had a fear of steep drops. The rock face looked shear as it was wet, but as Tim explained if you looked at it from the side there were steps to climb up. Marilyn said with tears in her eyes “I cant’t do it” she was out of her comfort zone and the fear gripped her.
Tim took all the six poles up to the ledge, came down and explained about the rock being like a stair case and you wouldn’t freeze on a stair case. I put my gungho positive oar in and said “you can do it” but decided to keep stum and leave it to the expert. To make matters worse there was a rescue helicopter circling above, we joked about it.
Tim guided Marilyn up the rock face step by step, she was scared and crying at the same time “I can’t do it” I was behind her. A few more careful steps away and she was on the ledge.In that moment Marilyn knew she had to overcome her fear, and she did with such courage, she had conquered her fear and rose above it, what an achievement, I was so proud of her and so was Tim.
We headed on down the mountain the weather was sunny again, we took off our waterproofs. We were tired but elated at our very own conquest of the highest mountain in the country, our very own Everest.
Tim lead us up the mountain in a very professional manner, and he was everything I expected of an Everest Summiteer, knowledgeable, strong, positive, assertive, humourus. A family man who chose to watch his children grow up rather than spend his days doing mountain expeditions, leading only two expeditions a year, running a B&B with his wife who was a nurse and appeared to be juggling it all very well. A very inspirational man indeed.
Have a great day