She documented her expedition daily on social media, using her hashtag #everesteveryday, giving an intimate insight into the world of big mountain climbing and posted a photo directly from the summit.
She works as a big mountain expedition leader and last year successfully led an expedition on the technical Ama Dablam (6812m) in Nepal. Other climbing achievements include summiting Cho-Oyu (8201m), Baruntse (7129m) and snowboarding from the summit of Mera Peak (6476m) in Nepal. More recently, she made a successful first ascent in the Mongolian Altai Mountains. Holly has raised over £300k for a diverse range of charities through her adventures, including for her own award-winning charity ‘How Many Elephants’.
Holly uses a few simple tactics to succeed on the big mountains.
1. Train Hard, Fight Hard
2. Keep It Simple
3. Get High
4. One Step At A Time
5. Back Yourself
On big mountains, the choice is simple: Do or die.
6. Discovering A New You
A positive mindset and an acceptance that nothing is luxurious, or even comfortable at times, is essential but the rewards are huge. The views, the fresh clean air, the midday sunshine are all spectacular but for me, the reward is knowing you can do it, knowing you can live for long periods of time very simply, without materialistic needs or big comforts and pushing yourself in ways you wouldn't have thought possible before. Learning, growing and experiencing a whole different you is the biggest reward.
7. Girl Power
Recently I met a woman whose dream to climb Everest was not acceptable in her culture because she’s female. Her passion, however, is a powerful driving force against all the odds. Being passionate is key. Women are fantastic endurance athletes because we’ve kind of had that built into us. I think we’re incredibly tough creatures.
Being the only women in an all male team of climbers on Everest was, at times, very challenging and feelings of isolation were often present. I feel strongly about the capability, yet lack of women on the mountain. I have found the higher the mountains go, generally the less women are on them. I am only too happy to champion the endurance potential of women.
8. Lefty-Loosey, Righty-Tighty
There are so many ropes at the anchors and you have to make sure you are clipping onto the right rope. Some experienced mountaineers have died because they’ve clipped the wrong rope. You’re tired, there’s ten other ropes on there from previous years, so you’ve got to have a mantra, or a saying that keeps going around in your head.
Mine was ‘lefty-loosey, righty-tighty,’ that’s it, just for opening the carabiner and doing it up repeatedly. Setting yourself up when you’re not tired is challenging but when you’re exhausted, you’ve got to be on your A game.
9. Think Big, Dream Bigger
Why am I here? Is it about slipping under the radar, undetected, unnoticed, just you and the elements, each one threatening to harm you, without apology, at any moment. Or is it the chase, the excitement, the thrill, the daring and unrelenting thirst for adventure, for new experience, for stories to tell and for memories to reflect on. Does anyone really care? I obviously do. Whatever the reason, this is something I cannot walk away from now. I'm so close, I can smell, taste and almost touch the elusive summit.”
I think it is very normal to feel overwhelmed and have feelings of self doubt, both in adventure and in life in general. I try and overcome these feelings by breaking the task at hand down into manageable bitesized chunks. So through the lens of climbing Everest, it’s a case of breaking the climb down, day-by-day, camp-by-camp, step-by-step and eventually, it all comes together. My biggest goal as an adventurer and mountaineer is to empower and motivate others, especially women, to ‘think big, dream bigger.’
10. Go Climb Your Everest
My mission is to daydream, meander, run, climb and jump into many more adventures of self discovery, and in doing so, knowing that with self-belief, determination and resilience, even the biggest of challenges can be overcome.
Life passes most of us by at an incredible rate, so if you find your passion, grab hold of it with both hands, nurture it, improve on it and go climb ‘Your’ Everest.
Her Everest journey at #EverestEveryday.
Her award-winning charity is http://www.howmanyelephants.com
Brand ambassador for: Nature Shop UK, Telecom Thuraya, Talia Limited
If you want to get involved with Mountain Monday then click here for all information!