UWE graduate seeks sponsorship to achieve Everest dream

Issue date: 28 September 2011

Mollie Hughes training in the Alps

University of the West of England graduate, Mollie Hughes is seeking sponsorship to help her achieve her dream of becoming the youngest British woman to climb Mount Everest in May 2012.

Mollie who recently completed her studies in Psychology and Sports Biology, will be 21 when she takes on the challenge, hoping to emulate the feats of Bonita Norris, aged 22 when she climbed Everest in 2010. Currently she is looking for sponsorship from local businesses to fund the costs of this two month expedition to Nepal. She will be climbing with the expedition company Dream Guides led by experienced climber Kenton Cool who has successfully summited Everest nine times.

Talking about her inspiration behind the challenge, Mollie says, “ I have always had a passion for mountaineering and adventure sports, but my inspiration for wanting to conquer Everest comes largely from my dissertation project during my last year at UWE. I interviewed seven high altitude climbers who had summited Everest. Through meeting them and assessing their psychological experiences on Everest I realised it was a mountain I definitely wanted to experience for myself. But also having the chance to raise money and awareness of such a deserving charity (ActionAid).Hopefully I will be able to make some kind of difference to people around the world suffering in poverty.”

Climbing Mount Everest is a major physical and psychological challenge, before attempting to reach the summit at 8,850m, Mollie will need to spend almost two months on the mountain to acclimatise as much as possible to the extreme altitude and reduced oxygen levels.

A keen sportswoman and former UWE netball player, Mollie has been supported by the University Centre for Sport's Steve Lock in her quest to reach the optimum fitness levels needed. She said, “Steve has helped with his expert knowledge of fitness training and by creating and adapting a training program specific to the challenges I am going to face on Everest. Since training with UWE I have definitely seen an improvement in my fitness levels, I have just returned from training in the Alps and even though some of the climbing was pretty tough I felt fit and adapted to the altitude well. If I had done the same climbs in the Alps before training with UWE I would have struggled a lot more.”

The next step of Mollie's training programme comes in November when she will travel out to Nepal to climb the mountain, Ama Dablam in the Himalyas.

To find out more about Mollie's Everest Challenge and sponsorship opportunities, e-mail: mollie2.hughes@live.uwe.ac.uk


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