This week we’re featuring some of the young women who are hoping to make their names on Everest this year, and after we spoke to Becky Bellworthy yesterday, it’s time to speak to 21-year old Mollie Hughes, who is leaving for Nepal at the end of this month.
So what inspired Mollie to want to climb Everest? “I’ve been hooked on mountaineering ever since climbing my first big mountain, Mount Kenya when I was 17. In my final year at university, I based my dissertation project on the psychological experience of climbing Mount Everest, and for this I interviewed seven guys who had summited Everest and explored their personal psychological experiences on the mountain. I think it was probably about halfway through my first interview that I completely decided I wanted to climb it too… and soon. Then a further six interviews and writing 10,000 words on the subject just confirmed my desire to climb Everest.”
So what sort of experiences and training has Mollie had and done to help her achieve her goal? “My first proper expedition was Mount Kenya and since then I have been lucky enough to climb in the Himalayas twice, the Andes, the Alps, the Atlas mountains and in East Africa. I have been training for Everest for about a year now. I have been working closely with my old university, UWE, who have given me an awesome training program and regular fitness assessments. In July I headed out to Chamonix to further my mountaineering experience and had an amazing week climbing out there. Then in November/December last year I went on an expedition with Dream Guides to climb Ama Dablam. Although we didn’t summit due to a accident with a team member, I definitely learnt a lot on that expedition.”
So there you have it – another young woman with seemingly the drive and determination to climb Everest, and we wish her luck with her trip. Mollie will be climbing on a Dream Guides expedition, led by Kenton Cool, and is heading off on March 31st.
Tomorrow we’ll be talking to Leanna Shuttleworth, a young climber who is setting her sights on not one, but two, 8000m peaks this season – but which ones? Well, you better tune in again tomorrow to find out!
Girls of Everest, part 1