The St Andrews student who conquered Mount Everest last week has spoken of his ‘immense pride’ of the University that made his successful trip possible.
Twenty-two year old Geordie Stewart finally made it to the top of the world on his second attempt last week (Thursday 26 May 2011), having been forced to stop first time round to care for his sick guides.
In his aim to become the youngest Briton to scale the ‘seven summits’, Geordie had been supported by a grant from the University’s 600th Anniversary Fund.
Currently on his way back home, Geordie sent a photo of himself at the top of Everest holding the official University 600th Anniversary banner, with a message of thanks, “I really would not have been able to reach the summit of Mount Everest without the 600th funding and that moment will stay with me for the rest of my life, so I am eternally grateful. Being part of these historical celebrations gives me immense pride.”
Throughout his attempt, Geordie kept in touch with the University’s Director of Special Projects and Corporate Relations, Geoff Morris, who said, “Geordie called me twice during his ascent and all I could do was give him words of encouragement and keep him updated on the football scores. I had my fingers crossed the whole time and could only hope he made it to the top and back safely.
“He finally called back on Thursday from advanced base camp to say that he’d made it to the top and was on his way back down. At 21,000 feet, I don’t think I’ve ever had a phone call from anywhere so high in the world!
“I was initially relieved that Geordie had made it safely, but that shifted to elation. It really is a remarkable feat and we are all very proud of him back here at sea level in St Andrews.
“One of the purposes of the 600th Anniversary Fund was to support individuals that would inspire both current and future students of the University. St Andrews encourages its students to do exceptional things and Geordie is a real source of inspiration to us all.”
The achievement makes Geordie the youngest Scot to complete the Seven Summit Challenge: to climb the highest peak on each of the seven continents. These include the peaks of Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and Aconcagua, the cold peaks of Mt Vinson on Antarctica and Denali (Mt McKinley) in North America, the Carstensz Pyramid, a technical rock summit on the island of New Guinea, and finally the ultimate prize – Everest, the summit of Asia and the highest point in the world.
This was Geordie’s second attempt to conquer Everest. Last year he had been poised to conquer the 8,848 meter mountain but had to turn back less than 120 meters from the summit in order to assist his Sherpa guide and two team-mates who were suffering severe altitude sickness.
Geordie, who credits his love of hillwalking to the Scottish side of his family (his father Hugh is from Banffshire), is currently in Kathmandu and is expected to return to London at the end of this week.
For further information see http://www.geordiestewart.com/
Note to Picture Editors:
The image of Geordie at the top of Everest is available from the Press Office – contacts below.
Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Communications Manager on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ref: Geordie 600 010611
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