Good-bye and thank you

After years of dreaming, months of planning, training and fund-raising, tomorrow morning at 9:10AM I will takeoff for Kathmandu, to start my journey to Everest.
Working right up until the day I leave has made things hectic. I feel rundown.  I will leave for Kathmandu tomorrow requiring some quality recovery sleep.  In the last four weeks I have been to India,  Bangladesh, China and Indonesia.  Coupled with trying to keep up with my training program, spending time with Stephanie, getting my gear prepared, fund-raising and conducting presentations,  I will welcome the sense of relief that boarding the plane will bring.  As that plane lifts off tomorrow morning, the weight of many months of hard work will also be lifting off my shoulders.
I could definitely not have got to this point without the help and support of a number of wonderful people.  It seems like a good time now to say thank you to these people who have allowed me to get this far.  To even have the opportunity to attempt to accomplish a long-term dream is something I wish everyone can experience.

For my sponsors:

To Graham Copland and Gregory Dickerson from John Foord, my knights in shining armor at the final hour! Thank you gentlemen, for your faith and confidence.

Adrian Lee and the gang from thePRelement -you have been with me from day one, great guys with a great spirit and its no wonder your company is going so well.

PIAS – John Hunt – you have a great heart Geeza and I know you would be coming with me if you could!

Sri Trang Group – Kevan Mitchell, never has one man made me laugh so hard and I will be remembering some of your jokes on the mountain when I need some cheering up.

Singapore Cricket Club – Thank you for support and I will try my hardest on the mountain to uphold the proud spirit of the SCC and its members.

To my expedition partners:

UFIT –  To Darren Blakeley,  I have literally entrusted my life in your hands through following your training program and I do not know anyone else I would trust the same way.

Balanced Living – Dana, Caitlin and the team – you all welcomed me into your home from day one, and fed me all sorts of wonderfully healthy and nutritious food.  Lovely people, lovely products, lovely to feel so great before my challenge and lovely work with you!

City Osteopathy – Thomas, I will miss our private sessions when you have me stripped down to my underwear and rearrange my tired body back into working order again!

Fitness First – For the great support supplying training facilities – I love your gym’s and will be straight back in them when I get back!

Everest Motivation – David Lim, my favorite climbing partner and tent mate, you give the most sensible and trustworthy mountaineering advice of anyone I know.  If I get into trouble on the big hill its you I will be calling on the Sat phone! Thanks also for updating my blog when I am away.

Expat Living – thanks to the team for publishing my story and organising an excellent presentation evening to raise money for Humaneity and the CAI.1-Altitude – Steve and the team – awesome support for the two events we had in your amazing bar and restaurant.  Truly the coolest place to hang out at in Singapore!

To the boys from SCC who organised the fund-raising evening and donated awesome prizes, Scotty Duncan, Chris Lloyd. Robby Wilkins, John Hunt, Billy McCormack, Wyn James, Stitch, Russel Chalon and Kevan Mitchell – awesome job.  From when we all first met 14 years ago playing rugby  on the Padang, it once again proves that the friends you make doing battle on the rugby pitch truly are friends for life.  Mike Rehu from ESPN, what a great job as an MC – you should change career!

To Greg and Yoke Moore – I will be carrying your ascender with me on the mountain. It will keep me safe.

To Calven Bland – it’s great to be a part of your whanau. You have crap jokes but I may remember at least two of them and repeat them as if they were mine.

To Humaneity – Mark, Fiona and the team.  Its been a great journey with you so far, you also have a huge challenge you are facing in setting up HUMANEITY, a bit like climbing Everest, it will take alot of guts and hard work, maybe even a little luck at times.  I know you guys can do it.  I wish you all the best for your journey and it has been a pleasure to help you out.

To the people who have donated to the foundations HUMANEITY and the CAI – great job!

To Lamby – my training partner and friend, what you have done for me by keeping me laughing through many long and gruelling Sunday morning sessions on the rock walls and stairs of Bukit Timah quarry, introducing sponsors and organising the fund raising events has been both humbling and touching.  But the biggest gift you have given me is your unwaivering support and unquestioning belief. You are a very fine person and I am honored to count you as a friend.

To Mum and Dad – sorry for making your worry – I know you are supporting me in your own ways and I look forward to getting back to show you photo’s and tell you more stories from far away lands, as I have done so many times over the past 14 years.

To my wife Stephanie, thank you for being my soul mate.  Thank you for accompanying me to Kathmandu these few days before the expedition starts.  Thank you for allowing me to be me.  Sorry for making you worry.  You will always be with wherever I am.

If I have missed anyone I truly apologise – you all know what you have done, I know what you have done and that’s what counts.

Next update to come from Kathmandu! The excitement builds….!!!!


Posted on April 5, 2011, in Everest 2011. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Mate

    Only just found your blog so I have missed all the build up!!

    Saw your poster at my Gym – FF, OUB centre, Raffles Place

    Anyway, Good luck to you – look forward to the next updates!



  2. “You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things – to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated.”

    Edmund Hillary


  3. rob sutherland

    climb safe you crazy b..stard!
    rob and liz


  4. Axe, best of luck for a safe and successful expedition. Your training blog has been awesome to follow, hopefully you can do your preparation justice.


    Matt P


  5. thanks for the comments guys, much appreeciated!


  6. see you at the airport Axe!!


  7. Good luck with your expedition Grant, stay safe, have a memorable time!

    Mark Peters


  8. Hi Axe,
    Best of luck on the climb mate and stay safe. All that training will have paid off when you get back down to ground level, if there is such a thing in that part of the world, after reaching the top which I am sure you will do.
    Cheers, Chris


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