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Huntly couple conquer Everest dream

By Chris Saunderson

A DREAM trip to reach the base camp of Everest was an “amazing experience” for a Rothiemay couple.

Hayley and Jamie celebrate reaching the Everest base camp.
Hayley and Jamie celebrate reaching the Everest base camp.

Hayley Forbes and Jamie Riddoch scaled the 17,500 feet ascent in 12 days, and took just two days to come back down.

Hayley said: “The trip was an experience that I will never forget. For me it was more mentally challenging than physically.

“Don’t get me wrong it was physically hard too but mentally, just putting one foot in front of the other on some days was tough. It almost felt like you were walking on the moon.”

Everest has claimed the lives of 11 climbers in the last few weeks, highlighting the extreme risk of the world’s highest mountain.

Hayley and Jamie, both 25, were part of a 12-strong team to tackle the challenge and the couple had trained for a year for the trip.

“We looked out for each other and if I’m honest I think that’s what got us all safely to base camp. We pushed each other and encouraged each other in our own way.”

Hayley was struck down by altitude sickness, with extreme nausea and severe headacheleaving her thinking she could go no further, but she overcame it to complete the challenge.

“We made some amazing friends, people I hope to be friends with in years to come. We conquered one of our dreams – after over a year of planning, saving money, buying clothing and equipment, and slowly waiting for it to come round.

“We almost find it sad that its all over and are now desperate to get something else booked and on the cards.

“It’s been an adventure from start to finish. The support we have had from family and friends has been amazing and I cannot thank them enough. Especially my girls at Huntly RFC.”

Hayley has raised £1876 in sponsorship which will go to the Princes Trust which supports young people to start up in business.

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