On Top of the World
11th June 2018
A lot of people have asked what has happened on Everest since our last update, and it’s a lot. I really do mean it, a lot.
As of 8.35am, on the 17th of May, Lucy Rivers Bulkley summitted Mount Everest.
I suppose the best place to start is where we left off, back when “Team Fatty” were safe and bunkered down for the night in C1, ready for their final rotation on the mountain.
Day 20: Thursday 26th April
It was 2.30 in the morning when Lucy and the team packed up and left. But three hours into the expedition the previous day’s avalanche quickly complicated things to the extreme. The debris now blocking their way proved to be the remnants of an ice layer that had once rested far above the area where the team stood. Now, rather than the ladders and small crevasse’s that the team had previously tackled, a vertical descent greeted them. At the bottom, the collapsed masses of ice, now wedged in the mountain side, proved to be the only passable surface. Whether the ice was securely fixed or not was entirely unknowable. And everyone, including the Sherpas, were undeniably nervous as they crossed. But cross they did, and with the fallen ice shelf behind Lucy and the team, it was a slow climb from there up the Western Cwm to C2.
Day 22: Saturday 28th April
From C2 to the Lhotse Face. An early breakfast, and the weather: sunny, but so cold that Lucy had to upgrade her gloves three times before a pair was found that kept her fingers warm. It took two hours to reach the bottom of the face, three hours and a steep climb to reach the top, but by the afternoon the team had safely arrived at C3 (7,100m).
A quick lunch break later, and the team were rappelling back down in true style, reaching the bottom in little over than forty minutes. Then from there to C2, arriving just twenty minutes before the snow really began to set in. With all rotations on the mountain complete the team could do nothing now, other than wait until the weather cleared enough for their final expedition to start.
So, Lucy and the team waited.
Day 35: Friday 11th May
The weather cleared, the green light came. The team started preparing in earnest.
Day 40: Wednesday 16th May
When Lucy and the team left from C4 (8,000m) it was 9pm at night. The route was relatively simple: climb up the Balcony, then along the ridge top up to the South Summit (8,690m), and from there Mount Everest’s Summit itself. But as with every expedition, there’s always a surprise. An hour after leaving her tent, Lucy’s body began to reject the oxygen from her mask. Dry retching as she climbed, for a while it became increasingly unclear whether Lucy would even be able to scale the Balcony. But the team rallied, Dan and Henry, in a conversation that is entirely unprintable, established in no uncertain terms that Lucy could actually do it. Lucy, swayed by Dan and Henry, and convinced by Pasang’s advice, agreed to reassess the situation once the team had scaled the Balcony. Even plodding along at a snail’s pace, Lucy still managed to reach the top. And once there, the sunshine quickly brought the new day, and, for Lucy, new resolve.
Buoyed by the sunshine, the team scaled the South Summit, where Mount Everest’s infamous peak loomed.
Finally, just before 8.45am, Lucy and the team set foot on the Top of the World. Six of them had made it, tears were shed, photos taken. But above all Lucy Rivers Bulkeley made it to the top of the world!
Four hours later, Lucy and Pasang were back in their tents at C4, marking the end to the sixteen-hour ordeal, the forty-one days of labour, and the months of planning and preparation. It is entirely fitting that just two weeks after what would have been her father’s 73rd birthday, Lucy finished the expedition that she’d started in memory of her dad, raising much needed funds for MacMillan Cancer Support.
If you, like us, have been similarly inspired by Lucy and her story, please click on the link below and pledge your support for a cause that is truly worthwhile.
From all of us here at Hanning Real Estate Recruitment, we wish you, Lucy, all the best now and in the future.
Lucy’s JustGiving page:
For more on Lucy:
Or read about Lucy’s journey here: