The height of success

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Geordie Stewart at the summit of a mountain

A 21 year old student from the University of St Andrews is heading for the summit of Mount Everest in an attempt to become the youngest Briton to conquer the highest mountain on every continent.

Geordie Stewart will swap the 600 year old University for Everest’s 600 million year old slopes early next month, and hopes to reach the summit between 15 and 30 May.

Mount Everest is not only the highest mountain in the world, but is also among the most dangerous – its biggest challenge, known as the “Death Zone,” is so called because after 8,000m the body can no longer acclimatise and human life becomes unsustainable.   To make it to the top, Geordie will need to spend weeks acclimatising to dangerously low levels of oxygen.

This will be Geordie’s second attempt at the challenge. 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 said:

“I am very fortunate to have been given another opportunity to attempt to reach the highest point on earth. I am determined to complete the challenge I set myself. Having got so close last year, I feel more focused and even better prepared to fulfil my dream.”

Geordie, who grew up idolising adventurer Bear Grylls, will leave St Andrews on Saturday (March 26, 2010) before heading to Kathmandu early next month to prepare for the challenge of a lifetime. He expects to spend his 22nd birthday at the Everest base camp.

Growing up in Hampshire, Geordie developed a love of hillwalking through the Scottish side of his family (his father is from Banffshire).  His undertook his first climbing challenge in 2007 when he completed the Three Peaks challenge and quickly became obsessed with mountaineering. At the age of 18 he climbed Cerro Aconcagua in South America. Since then he has conquered the highest mountains in Africa (Kilimanjaro), Europe (Elbrus), North America (McKinley), Antarctica (Vinson Massif) and Oceania (Carstensz Pyramid).

When he departs this weekend Geordie will begin to realise a dream hatched when he was just seventeen years old, having been inspired by a book on Grylls. Bear Grylls said:

“I wish Geordie all the success and safety in this epic challenge. It is an endeavour that will take him to the limits and probably beyond, and that sort of commitment is not hard to admire.”

As well as aiming to meet his personal challenge, Geordie is fundraising for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution – a charity that has saved over 139000 lives at sea since 1824.

The cost of Geordie’s Seven Summit expeditions has been met thanks to sponsorship from the University of St Andrews, Knight Frank Estate Agents and through numerous off jobs including football coaching, waitering and marquee building.

Notes to News Editors

For further information and photographs visit:

Geordie Stewart is available for interview. Contact Geordie on 07881 448379 or email [email protected]

Issued by the University of St Andrews

Contact: Emma Shea, Communications Manager, on 01334 462 109 or email [email protected]

Category Student experience

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