Northern Ireland Everest Expedition 2003
Ten years after the first ascent by an Irishman, there was
the first Northern Ireland Everest Expedition.
I (Jamie) first met Richard Dougan, the expedition leader,
on Cho Oyu where he had an epic expedition with some success but also some close
shaves and, very sadly, one team member dead. Bravely he wanted to continue and climb
Everest, and he asked me to organize it, which I did as Explore Himalaya's
David Sharp (from the mainland UK) climbed Cho Oyu with
myself the year before and wanted to go to Everest. Already having met Richard,
he joined them, rather than a guided expedition.
The last piece of the puzzle is how I ended up on the
team; I was the Nepal-based organizer but I worked as a climbing sherpa for no
more cost than the original allowance for a sherpa.
Ultimately the expedition was successful but there were a
few lessons learned, by everyone.
The fresh-faced team, L to R, Dave Sharp, Duggie, Steve,
Banjo, Richard and myself about to enjoy pizza
at the famed Fire & Ice
restaurant. We didn't look like this when we returned there after the