Yarwell man 'privileged' to summits Himalayan mountain for Stamford charity Bumps and Beyond
Ultimately the head ruled the heart when Ian Scott’s 28-day Himalayan expedition reached an agonising dilemma.
Ian, 68, flew to Nepal to trek the 6,000m (20,000ft) Lobuche peak and climb the 6,812 metres of Ama Dablam to raise funds for Stamford-based charity Bumps and Beyond.
After six months of preparation, and having summited Lobuche, Ian was within 600m of conquering Ama Dablam when reality bit.
Sapped by strenuous weeks in unforgiving conditions, strong winds then raised the stakes on the tough final ascent, forcing him to turn down a tantalising shot at the summit.
“I made a promise to my family that I would not deliberately or knowingly put myself into a dangerous position so I decided not to attempt the summit,” said Ian, a semi-retired business consultant.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be strong enough to get to the summit and make it back down safely, particularly as the wind was creating a precarious situation.
“I was torn, but at the same time I didn’t sit there with my thumb in my mouth. I just looked up and thought ‘no - this is beyond safe and beyond silly’.”
Only two of the group attempted the summit, but both were forced back by the weather.
However, it had taken an epic feat of endurance and skill to reach that final camp.
Ian’s party had trekked for seven days to get to the base of Lobuche, partly along the Mount Everest base camp trail.
Having climbed and descended that peak on November 5, they trekked for two more days to reach the second peak where the serious climbing began.
It was challenge enough for a seasoned climber, but Ian had no serious mountaineering experience prior to training for this trip which included an intensive summer camp in the Swiss Alps.
“The hardest part was getting from camp one to the final camp,” Ian recalled.
“When we got to camp two the sherpa said it was one of the most technically demanding climbs in the Nepalese Himalayas, with vertical faces and 600m drops.”
He added: “It was minus five to minus 10 in the tents so ice would fall on your face from the sheets of canvas.
“You expect that - you don’t expect five-star hotels all the way up to the top - but it means you’re not getting a good night’s sleep.”
Yet the hardships were far outweighed by the sights, the scenery and close friendships formed.
“It really was amazing,” Ian said. “When you are on the summit and looking around you are hugely privileged.
"The peaks go further than the eye can see.
“When you stand there looking at all of that, something happens to you that is very hard to describe. There’s a huge mixture of satisfaction, wonder and thanks.”
After a further five-day trek back to Katmandhu and a flight home there was the added
He has so far raised £2,700 of his £3,000 target for Bumps and Beyond, for which he looks after the finances and wife Alice chairs the trustees.
To help Ian reach his target, visit: localgiving.org/fundraising/himalayan-mountaineering-challenge
“We have big expansion plans for a bigger premises,” he added.
“We have 70 per cent more clients this year so we need a bigger building.”