Former Pontypridd and Wales flanker Richard Parks has reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain - Mount Everest at 7.42am local time/ 2.57am UK time Wednesday 25th May.
For Richard, reaching the roof of the world marks his 5th summit and 3rd pole of his record-breaking 7 month race to climb the 7 highest summits of the world and stand on all 3 poles. He also aims to raise £1million pounds in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Double Olympic gold medallist rower Steve Williams was a short while behind Richard and we hope to hear news of him summiting soon.
Speaking from the summit of Everest, an emotional Richard who broke down in tears said; “It’s hard to really put this in to words, it’s just the most amazing feeling. There’s just the most amazing mountains, clouds as far as the eye can see, one way’s Nepal, the other Tibet. So many times I didn’t think I was going to make it. You know, we have been blessed, we sat yesterday in really high winds in camp 4, our tents absolutely rattling, I was really worried that we might not get the shot, we might not get the opportunity”.
“Our Sherpas Sirdar and Mingma have been absolutely amazing and we just held our nerve. It’s brutally cold, the winds are pretty low and there is not a cloud in the sky on the summit it is just amazing”.
Short of breath and very emotional, he added; “The support has been amazing, I’d be lying if I said that I was bullet proof confident, I have had so many moments of doubt, the messages of support have really kept me going. Especially as we are all doing it for an amazing cause, Marie Curie Cancer Care. I love you all, I gotta go I am making a fool of myself now (continues crying). It’s only half the job, we have to get down now. I want to say a big thank you to everyone back home, who has made this possible for me - all the challenge team and the summit team today. I just hope Steve does well, I really do, I hope he gets up here, I know he’s got the strength to do it, I got to go guys, thank you”.
The successful summit of Everest at 8,850m / 29,036ft high now means that Richard has stood on all 3 poles this year (Everest is considered the world’s 3rd pole). He had arrived in the Himalayas having already skied the last degree to both the North and South Poles during his epic 7 month expedition. The Brit has just 2 more mountains to climb to make history by becoming the first ever person to stand on all 7 summits and 3 poles in the same calendar year.
Richard will now descend slowly and carefully to camp 4 on the South Col. We will bring you news on Steve Williams’ progress shortly.
On this momentous day, please donate to Richard’s 737 Challenge and help him raise funds in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Your donation, no matter how large or small can make a significance difference to people’s lives.
To make a donation log on to: www.737challenge.com
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