The Yell Everest 2012 Diamond Jubilee Expedition
My last post was over a month ago, and it detailed the crazy winter weather I experienced whilst training for a potential Everest expedition. I went to Aberdeen for a climbing trip at the end of February, and although we expected snow, we actually found ourselves climbing on sun-baked rocks on the sea cliffs.
This blog will hopefully put across some of the craziness which has seemingly enveloped my life over the past few months.
Whilst I was climbing in Aberdeen, the Everest expedition was still an uncertainty. I had no sponsor and whilst I was still training as if the Everest expedition was on, I still had the nagging thoughts that I need to find a sponsor for this expedition and fast.
I won’t detail the exact length of time I have spend appealing to sponsors, and talking to CEO’s and CSR managers, but anyone who knows the sponsorship game knows the type of lengths you have to go to, to secure any type of funding at all.
I had used up all my resources in finding new and innovative companies who might partner such an expedition. I had been so close over Christmas in securing the finances for my expedition, but unfortunately, that partnership was not meant to be, and agonisingly it was back to the drawing board.
Just before my training trip to Aberdeen however, I had had a response from a company which sounded quite promising, but I didn’t like to get my hopes too high, instead I just kept the meeting in mind and continued my training. On my return from Aberdeen though, I found out that the meeting with this company was not only with the CEO, but also with some of the biggest names in the company; they were obviously interested in meeting me when you consider that the diary of a CEO alone is usually full for the next 5 years.
So to London I went. I pitched, I made a few exciting phone calls, I did the quick tourist route on the underground, and then I went back home and waited. At this point there was just over 3 weeks until today, the 29th March 2012. Back home, we went over all the options, scenarios playing in my mind, and then I just tried to blank everything out and just wait until fate called.
Strangely, fate did call a lot earlier than I expected, at 9pm the same day I had pitched. And there, I was given the news; quite simply: “we’re in”.
Of course this is a much constricted version of events that have all been playing out for the past 2 years. But I am now sitting at home, waiting for a taxi to take us to the train station, and from there, a train to Kings Cross and the final stop, Heathrow Airport. The reason for this all happening, and for the last 3 weeks to have been the most hectic I have ever had, is that after 2 years, I have secured sponsorship for my Everest expedition which leaves tomorrow!
So now, for the words I have wanted to say for the last 2 years, it gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of the Yell Everest 2012 Diamond Jubilee Expedition.
I have found a fantastic company in Yell to partner me on this climb which will mark the Diamond Jubilee and raise awareness of Global Angels and Climate Unchange. Yell have humbled me even in this short time of working together, with their internal support of this expedition.Yell’s vision of sustainable development and CSR mirrors my objectives and aims for the expedition.
Since Yell’s confirmation of involvement as the title sponsor of the expedition 3 weeks ago, it has been all systems go, and now finally, the expedition is ready for broadcast.
There are many ways in which you will be able to follow my climb. The first is on this blog where the larger updates will be posted. Secondly on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/mattdthornton
My facebook page is at: http://www.facebook.com/mattdthornton
For my climb, I will also be raising money for Global Angels. My target is to raise £8,848; the same as the height of Everest in meters. Through achieving this target, Global Angels will be able to give almost 1000 children in 3rd world countries enough safe drinking water for 20 years. This will give me incredible motivation during me climb, to know that when it gets tough, and when it’s taking me 1 hour to boil 1 litre of water at altitude, it is taking a child in Africa a day or more to find just a few drops to drink.
If you would like to donate to Global Angels, please go to http://www.justgiving.com/matthewdthornton
At this point, I want to thank a few people for helping me to get to this stage. Without question I owe much of my success along this journey to my mum who has supported me every step of the way. And to dad for those first few steps into the wilderness (and a few vertigo inducing moments on Buttermere’s Red Pike).
As I have already mentioned, I cannot thank Yell enough for their support and faith they have shown in me.
To Wempy from Wardour And Oxford, a man of many talents who has taught me so much in these short 2 years.
I also want to thank the Alpine Guides who taught me almost everything I know; Zac Poulton, Mark Scales, Paddy Cave, Dave Pritt, Ueli Steck (on youtube of course), and Debbie Spencer, one of Scotland’s finest climbers who has taught me and continues to teach me all the rest.
Equally I have met so many friends on the expeditions I have done over the last few years, so thank you to all of you for being awesome.
And lastly, all the family and friends who have supported me this far.
I am now looking forward to a 9 hour flight followed by an 8 hour stopover in Mumbai airport before the last 2 hour leg to Kathmandu.As a passing note, I would actually also like to thank Jet Airways for their incredible flight prices. Just for everybody’s information, a return ticket from Heathrow to Kathmandu is about £700 which means it is roughly £350 each way. If you consider that on the first 9 hour flight, you can watch 3 box office films, this would eaisly cost £60 at the cinema. Then there is also the in-flight meals of which 4 are served through out the whole journey. A single meal in a restaurant could set you back £60 alone. Finally, there is the stop over. If you were to pay for a city hotel, you could expect to pay £150 for the privilege.
From my rough calculations, the flights to Nepal are actually free, and this is before you account for the cost of sending baggage over seas. So again, thank you to Jet Airways for their considerable value.
Blog posts are always hard to end, especially with such a big event coming up, so I just want to end by saying thank you to everyone for your support, and after 2 full years of preparation and training, I’m so happy that everything has finally come together, and tomorrow, I will be flying to Nepal to climb Mount Everest!
Please keep checking back on all my social media sites, which will constantly be updated by my team here in the UK.
Thank you for following me on this incredible journey.
Dare to dream.