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Author Topic: Will Sharp wants to beat 7 summits age record..  (Read 7212 times)


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Where There's A Will...
Updated: 11:17, Thursday March 29, 2007

A teenager is spending his 18th birthday trying to climb one of the world's highest mountains. Will Sharp from Cornwall is trying to enter the record books by climbing the biggest peak on each of the seven continents.

He sent this dispatch to Sky News before setting off on his adventure:
My mates all spent their 18th birthday down the pub but I am going to spend mine at 18,500 feet and at temperatures below -40C.

I'm climbing Mount Elbrus in Russia on April 1, and it's the highest mountain on the continent of Europe - in fact, it's a whole Mt Snowdon higher than the better known Mont Blanc in the Alps. So why am I off to Russia where there is hardly any air to breathe and where I will be up to my thighs in deep snow - rather than just go down the pub?

It's because I am a Seven Summiteer!

In other words, I am going to climb each of the highest summits in each of the seven continents and as I have already cracked Kilimanjaro, it's off to Elbrus; then its Denali, Aconagua - and then Everest in April next year! And I am going to be the youngest ever to do it all.

Each of the seven has its own challenge. If it's not the altitude, it's the extreme weather (did you know that exposed skin can freeze in under a minute at minus 40C?). And if it's not the risk of getting kidnapped, it's the fatigue and altitude sickness. It's the challenge of it all that lights my fire.

I found Kilimanjaro (and its sister, Meru Peak) a walk in the national park compared to what it's going to be like on Elbrus. This is because you normally climb Elbrus in the summer and not the spring.

Will at his first summit

But I have to climb it now in order to get all seven summits under my belt before I get to 20. This way I beat the current world record holder Rhys Jones. Right now I am sorting out all my gear and practising putting on my crampons, in the dark, with a blindfold whilst wearing two pairs of gloves.

It's only by knowing your gear that you can be sure to do your best and minimise the risk. I am also bulking up on carbs - your gut doesn't digest food that well at that kind of altitude and because you're burning calories like crazy the only source is your fat reserves.
I'm as skinny as a skinny thing because I am currently studying for a National Diploma in Outdoor Education, so I am always out surfing, kayaking, climbing, canoeing, surf kayaking, mountaineering etc. - so it's a diet this week of chips, ice cream, milk and Guinness.

This way I get my birthday celebrations in early!

:: You can follow Will's progress with Sky News - or at his website: www.wills7.com

(as found on http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30100-1258182,00.html)
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
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