Day 40 – 19 May – The time has come

Training and preparing for months to play a huge rugby game, training and preparing for months for a boxing match, training for months to climb the highest mountain in the world…

For 99% of the that time the reality of what I have been training for seems too distant to specifically focus on. Until suddenly the time comes when you are standing on the side of that rugby field, trying to block out the sound of 20,000 screaming people while you wait to run on and play or are standing in the shadows of the boxing ring waiting for the announcer to call your name before you step up, or as I am now, preparing to leave tomorrow to head up on the final push to reach the top of the world. The experience becomes lonelier and lonelier as the conclusion draws nearer. The realisation that at the end of the day, with all the support I have had up till now – it is ultimately me and only me who must step up and perform, push myself beyond what I know is possible and put all those months of preparation and training into practice.

I feel incredibly lucky and incredibly humbled to just get to this point. I could not have got here without the wonderful support from so many wonderful people. There are too many individuals to thank personally here now at this time, however I would like to make a special mention to my wonderful sponsors who have believed in me and joined me together in this journey:

Graham and Gregory from John Foord

AJ from thePRelement/XPR

John Hunt (Geeza) from PIAS

The Singapore Cricket Club

Steve, Tom and the team from 1-Altitude

Kevan Mitchell and the team from Sri Trang Group

Dana Heather and the team from Balanced Living

Darren Blakely from UFIT

Sarah See and Anthony Tottenham from Fitness First

Tom from City Osteopathy

And finally a HUGE thank you to all of the people incl. friends/family and those I don’t even know personally, who have followed my progress, sent me encouraging emails and comments and cheered me on from the sidelines. It has been an enormous boost to my moral, especially when things have not been going well.

Whatever happens during the course of the next ten days, I will be giving every last drop of my energy, my commitment and my spirit. If I do or do not make the summit, whatever is meant to be. All I wish for is that Everest will be kind enough to allow me to retreat back down her mighty slopes safely so I can return home.

David Lim, based in Singapore will keep you updated on my progress up the mountain as we move higher and higher. Tomorrow (20th) we will leave for Interim Basecamp, the start of the journey. It will take us around 6 – 7 days before we can reach the highest camp (Camp 2 at 8300m) and be in a position to go for the summit.

In order to help you out, the list of camps we will climb through in order of altitude is as follows:

Basecamp 5150m

Interim Camp 5750m

ABC (Advanced Base Camp) 6350m

North Col (Camp 1) 7050m

Camp 2 7600m

Camp 3 8300m

Attached is a photo of expedition leader Jamie McGuinness discussing the summit plan with our sherpa team here at basecamp this morning. The Sherpa’s are an amazingly loyal, strong and key component of all expedition’s here. We have a very small team of sherpa’s supporting us compared to some expeditions, however they are extremely experienced, hardworking and great company with their cheerful and open personalities.

Expedition leader Jamie McGuinness (right) discussing summit plan with our Sherpa team at basecamp

Over and out from basecamp Everest for my last and final pre-climb blog!


P.S: I will be able to receive messages of support by email/blog for the next 24 hours.

After this time while heading higher up the mountain small messages of support (I.e less than 120 characters) may be sent for free by SMS to my Thuruya Sat phone. By visiting the website:

Posted on May 19, 2011, in Everest 2011. Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. Kevan Mitchell

    Go Axe….”very angry squirrel” mode will get you there, as it has on the rugby field so often. Good hunting mate….


  2. all the best of luck Axe


  3. go bro. onwards, upwards & safely back down


  4. Too exciting for words! May the Force be with you! And love to Stephanie AMx


  5. Hey Grant,

    It’s great news that you’re going to go for the summit. You’ve come a long way and been through a lot. I wish you the very best and I hope you are able to make all the way up and back down safely.

    All the best,



  6. Good Luck. Great Blogs and enjoying living the attempt vicariously. all the best, Windy


  7. Hey Mate,

    All the best for the push to the top!! I hope those weather gods hold out to give you the window you need!

    I was down in the Naki the other day and saw you in the Taranaki Daily News. It was a much watered down version of your HAPE experience but it was a good read and I am sure the rest of the Naki are behind you!

    Look forward to the updates.

    Dave Field


  8. Christine Knight-Maunder

    Good luck!


  9. chris reynolds

    Good luck Axe hope Everest is kind to you. What an awesome experience



  10. Hi Grant

    Will be with you all the way, stay safe and I look forward to seeing you on your return from the top of the world.

    (Uncle) Bill


  11. Paul Marshall

    Axe, Best of luck mate and hope all goes well on the attempt. Take care up there.


  12. Cuz,

    Onwards and upwards, go forth and live your dream! Kia kaha bro!!


    Greg and Yoke


  13. Hi Grant – wish you every success to get to the top of the world – with you all the way. Have a safe and fantastic trip to the summit and back. Cheers Roddy


  14. Travel Safely and tread lightly. May the Force be with you!


  15. Grant,

    It is a truly outstanding challenge you are undertaking and I’m sure you’ll conquer Everest! Enjoy every moment in Summit!

    Good luck, make sure you come back safe! So very proud of you!!

    All the best!



  16. Colin Bosher

    It’s straight up & over now. Only slightly more than a doddle. What’s the Thuruya Sat phone no.?


  17. Hey Fella – Best of Luck for your last 10-day push to the summit. You’ve made it this far you have the tenacity, confidence and guts to make the summit and “knock the bastard off” GO and grab the challange and accomplaish that long awaited goal. Darryn


  18. Hi Grant,

    Good luck for your last push! Thank you very much for delivering so many inspirational posts. By reading your blog, I start to understand more and more why my boyfriend has so determined to do this.

    Good luck again, and all the best!


  19. Claudia Mansell

    Hi Grant,
    I only just got unto your blog about a week ago and finding it tremendously interesting. All the best for the summit. I will be praying for you.
    Claudia (from Matau)


  20. Good luck to you Axe – will be eagerly following your daily updates – go for it and make sure you make it back safely!! Cheers, Rusty.


  21. Have a safe ascent (and descent), and looking forward to hearing about it later.
    Hope the mind and body work in unison… Take care, fella.


  22. Axe go strong and solid bro – what’s the phone number??


  23. Sorry guys – the Sat phone number and details are:


    Sat phone number is: +88 216 6809 0465


  24. Axe, my man! My teeth and sphincter too are clenched with nervous anticipation of what you are about to attempt.
    “Up where no overshadowing mountain lies, towards the great and loftiest peak, a fiery longing draws me” (you) –Petrarch C. 1345


  25. Nietszche wrote that “He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.” Axe, you now have perspective on life that most of us will never have. You are a lucky man, however it turns out.


  26. Just keep drinking till you pee clear – that should help with the acclimatisation! Come back safe. I need my pal to carry my backpack! How about virgin peaks again next year?? Bandit and Mo send their love!


  27. Good Luck Axe! At this point I’m sure luck has no bearing here but my prayers are with you! Show that mountain what you are capable of! You’ve trained and prepared…now it’s your time! Do it!


  28. Go dude. Hope the weather holds and it all pans out for you. Look forward to the debrief in a few days’ time!


  29. Nail that mountain bro and come back safe. Think how good that beer will taste when you get down.


  30. Good luck Axe!! What an amazing experience. Take care up there. Cheers, Annemarie (from Lambie)


  31. Go well Axe, hope the weather is kind.


  32. First NZ Surveyor on top of the hill? We will claim you anyway! Make sure you give Nepal a big kiss when you straddle the bugger Batts. Great reports, always knew the ‘purveyor of fine yarns’ was an accurate description. Keep safe


  33. Good luck – God bless and return safely!

    Andy in London (friend of Ray Lloyd)


  34. Hi:Alan Knight (friend of Ray Lloyd) calling from Firenze. I wish you great fortitude and good fortune in your endeavour.Alan.


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