Princess Haya pays tribute to her father as she supports epic Everest mission…
The Telegraph, ‘Victoria Pendleton abandons Everest quest with Ben Fogle on medical grounds.’
Victoria Pendleton has been forced to abandon her attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest, after doctors advised her that she could not continue.
The former Olympic gold medalist was on an expedition with Ben Fogle, the adventurer and television presenter, and had spent several weeks acclimatising in preparation for the final climb.
But Pendleton began suffering the effects of hypoxia (oxygen deficiency) at Camp 2, 6,400 metres above sea level, and required additional oxygen to alleviate her symptoms.
Speaking from Everest Base Camp, she said: “I am incredibly disappointed not to complete the challenge. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to have experienced one of the most impressive, imposing and challenging environments on the planet. The Himalayas are a magical place I feel honoured to have visited.”
Fogle will continue alone, and is planning to make the summit attempt in the next few weeks.
A spokesman for the expedition said: “No individual can predict exactly how their body will respond to the effects of extreme altitude such as that encountered above base camp.
“A small percentage of the population experience more challenging symptoms, and it is likely that Victoria is in this minority.”
Pendleton and Fogle reached Base Camp on April 21 after completing pre-expedition training in the Alps, the Bolivian Andes and Nepal.
They undertook two ‘rotations’ – three days and nights on an acclimatisation climb, and it was after the second of these that doctors advised Pendleton not to continue.
The pair have been accompanied by Kenton Cool, a mountaineer, and working closely with Dr Sundeep Dillon, an expert on high altitudes. The climb is raising money for the British Red Cross, supported by the Anything is Possible foundation.
After retiring from cycling after London 2012, Pendleton retrained as a jockey and also competed on Strictly Come Dancing.
Speaking to the Telegraph from Nepal last month, the 37-year-old said she was struggling to sleep at high altitude, where “every breath is difficult”.
While Fogle made regular calls home to his wife and children via satellite phone, Pendleton communicated with her husband, Scott Gardner, through brief text messages. “My family is very much aware that no news is good news,” Pendleton said.
In the same interview, Fogle said: “Victoria and I have both gone into this with our eyes wide open to the dangers. Nothing is more important than our self-preservation.”
Earlier, explaining why she was taking on such a daunting challenge, Pendleton said: “I’m probably having a midlife crisis, for sure.”
She added: “As a female of a certain age, there’s one thing I should be doing, apparently, and that’s staying home and having kids… I want to be that person who goes, ‘No, I don’t conform.'”
Fogle is a UN Environment Patron of the Wilderness and is using the climb to highlight the beauty of the Himalayan mountains.
Without Pendleton, he has now reached Camp 3 at 7,200 metres. In a diary entry last week, Fogle described the Everest ascent as “the biggest, toughest adventure of my life. As much a battle of the mind as the body.”
Fogle is no stranger to tough challenges, having rowed the Atlantic with James Cracknell in 2005-06. They teamed up again in a race to the South Pole in 2008-09.