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On Top of The World - Summiting Everest
"Alone with the tunes cranking, pushing myself to higher altitudes than I’ve ever been to 8000m territory and finally making it to the South Col Camp 4 on Everest ... The reality of high altitude climbing is it isn’t always perfect. I found this out as I arrived in camp needing to get some shelter from the chilly wind. I couldn’t find any of our group tents. None had been made up as they just get wrecked in these conditions. I stumbled across one tent which I recognised, it was mostly full with oxygen bottles and was half torn apart.

I stayed in there for a few hours staring at Everest through the newly formed windows until some of the other group members and Sherpas arrived to help set up more shelter from the howling winds. Later we spent 24 hours in the death zone before heading up the mountain for our summit push…"

Ultramarathon runner, mountaineer and adventurer, Adam Jones told us about his recent Everest expedition. 

Expedition Foods (EF): Tell us a bit about yourself, who are you, what do you enjoy?

Adam: Hi my names Adam I’m 34 years old. I’m an adventurous soul who enjoys climbing, mountaineering, kayaking & anything outdoors. 

EF: Where did it all begin, what inspired you to start climbing mountains?

Adam: I moved to Wales and worked as a white water raft guide, hiked in the hills and became a mountain leader & rock climbing instructor leading overseas mountain expeditions. I was ski instructing in the winters and love exploring the mountains.

EF: Why Everest?

Adam: It’s the highest point on earth what mountaineer wouldn’t want to climb to the highest point? It was always a childhood dream.

EF: Were you afraid at any time? How did you overcome your fear?

Adam: There were times it was so windy I thought the tent was going to blow us off the mountain, the avalanches were sometimes so close we felt a dusting. Climbing through the icefall alone on the first rotation was pretty scary but I just stayed focused and it’s that focus I enjoy when rock climbing & surfing also. Totally in the moment.

EF: What did you feel when you summited the world's highest mountain?

Adam: I was trying to hold back the emotion to be honest. As we were a pair alone climbing on the ridge it felt like a true adventure and the sunrise was just beginning I just wanted to enjoy every moment so I stayed up there for a good hour.

EF: Which Expedition Foods meals did you take with you and how did they help with your daily food requirements?

Adam: I took the 1000 calories Porridge with Strawberries and Porridge with Blueberries also. I also had the Mac and Cheese pre-summit and had a beef meal too. 
I mainly ate Expedition Foods meals during the summit push. The porridge was a little rich for my body as I hadn’t had dairy for a while but I ate as much as I could. The Macaroni and Cheese is packed with energy and was easier on my body. In the death zone at 8000m it took a little time to digest, as anything does, but I felt strong and fully energised through the night during the summit push with that meal.

Check out our new dairy-free breakfast meal: Rolled Oats, Apple and Blackcurrant

Rolled Oats meal

EF: How important is teamwork in achieving a successful summit?

Adam: Logistically it was very important. The Sherpas are heroes moving the camps and carrying group food up the mountain. I personally don’t like climbing in big groups so I either paired up with a climbing buddy or climbed alone on the mountain which was awesome and I went for the late summit window so it was quiet.

EF: You have been on numerous expeditions; what are some of the most important skills that you've learnt?

Adam: To keep smiling during the suffering and remain positive. Having a good team is important and helping each other as everyone has a good days and bad days on such a long expedition.

EF: What would you consider to be your most challenging expedition to date?

Adam: When I’ve lead expeditions to Mount Kinabalu as the team dynamics weren’t great and it was early in my career so I probably needed to improve and gain more experience.

Climbing Everest was tough as I’d never climbed above 6000m before so I was unsure if my body could cope with the altitude. I had low blood oxygen on the first rotation but got stronger on the summit push and was always in front of the group so it was an expedition of two halves for me personally.

EF: I'm sure you're used to this question - what's next?

Adam: There’s oceans to cross and big rivers to paddle and unclimbed peaks to climb so plenty in the pipeline but for right now I’m going to try to enjoy the challenge of raising two children, but another adventure won’t be far away that’s for sure.