My eyes lifted to the horizon and the unmistakable snowy outline of Everest.
Everest, the mountain of my childhood dreams. A mountain that has haunted me my whole life. A mountain I have seen hundreds of times in photographs and films but never in real life.
In April 2018, seasoned adventurer Ben Fogle and Olympic cycling gold medallist Victoria Pendleton, along with mountaineer Kenton Cool, took on their most exhausting challenge yet – climbing Everest for the British Red Cross to highlight the environmental challenges mountains face. It would be harrowing and exhilarating in equal measure as they walked the fine line between life and death 8,000 metres above sea level.
For Ben, the seven-week expedition into the death zone was to become the adventure of a lifetime, as well as a humbling and enlightening journey. For his wife Marina, holding the family together at home, it was an agonising wait for news. Together, they dedicated the experience to their son, Willem Fogle, stillborn at eight months.
Cradling little Willem to say goodbye, Ben and Marina made a promise to live brightly. To embrace every day. To always smile. To be positive and to inspire. And from the depths of their grief and dedication, Ben’s Everest dream was born.Up, from here the only way was Up.
Part memoir, part thrilling adventure, Ben and Marina’s account of his ascent to the roof of the world is told with their signature humour and warmth, as well as with profound compassion.
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About the Author
BEN FOGLE is a broadcaster and traveller. A modern-day nomad and journeyman, he has travelled to more than 100 countries and accomplished amazing feats from swimming with crocodiles to rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean; from crossing Antarctica on foot to surviving a year as a castaway on a remote Hebridean island. Ben is the adventurer next door, an everyday guy who hopes to inspire the ordinary to purse the extraordinary. He is the UN Patron of the Wilderness.
MARINA FOGLE is a writer and broadcaster. She produces a weekly podcast, The Parent Hood, has a monthly column in the Mail on Sunday and has written a bestselling book, The Bump Class (Ebury). Ben and Marina live in West London with their two children, Ludo and Iona, and their Labrador, Storm.
Table of Contents
An End and a Beginning xi
Chapter 1 Family 9
Chapter 2 Preparation 23
Chapter 3 Responsibility 37
Marina - Saying Goodbye 41
Marina - Am I Worried? Not Yet 49
Chapter 4 Baggage 53
Chapter 5 Loss 67
Chapter 6 Collaboration 77
Marina - The Media 96
Chapter 7 Fear 99
Chapter 8 Risk 111
Marina - The Icefall 112
Marina - Risk 137
Chapter 9 Different Endings 141
Chapter 10 Positivity 163
Marina - Summit Fever 178
Chapter 11 Adversity 183
Marina - Breaking Radio Silence 201
Chapter 12 Summit 203
Marina - The Summit 209
Marina - Life After Everest 223
The End 231
Our Charities 251