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July 10th I will take part in the Stok Kangri expedition in North West India to raise money for St Clare's Hospice. The organisation have been an amazing support to our family over the years recently supporting my step father Richard Battersby through his terminal illness, sadly passing last year, and my father Kevin Smith who passed away back in 2007 from his terminal illness. They have also been a fantastic support to mum for coping with recent events. They are an incredible organisation for patients and families suffering from terminal and life limiting illness and worthy of all fundraising efforts. I thought this challenge provided good opportunity to say thank you, continuing to support them with their great work.
The Stok Kangri can be found in North West Himalayan region and is one of India's highest trek-able peaks scaling 6153m. Although it's a non technical peak it is described as very difficult. GULP!! Likely because of the extreme altitude - at anything over 5500m the total amount of oxygen available to your lungs is less than half of that at sea level and however prepared you are physically, there is no way to really tell how your body is going to react! I will certainly do my best and will work hard with my training this coming month. The other challenge will be the terrain, snow is likely, we may be equipped with snow boots and some other climbing gear such as crampons, ropes and carabina's! GULP again!
Near the top of the mountain, should I reach it :) there is a glacier to trek over a very precariously looking ridge! (see the attached pic) which if I manage to traverse I will reach the summit and be faced with one of the best views in the Himalaya looking over the Zanskar and Karakoram ranges including the great mountain K2 at 8611m, the second highest peak in the world. Awwwww now that's incredible! And will be well worth it :)
This won't be easy so I'm thankful I won't be doing it alone. The lovely Jude Brand, good friend and fellow adventurer arrives from New Zealand on the 01st July and we will tackle the beast together, along with a small group of other slightly batty mountain lovers :) You'll be pleased to know that I have just started working on my fitness, let's face it I'm going to need it. Currently staying at an Ashram in Rishikesh enjoying amazing home cooking, yoga and running up the surrounding hills! The heat is making it all the more challenging! :) Anything to get Miss Smith up the mountain with the lovely Jude Brand. We can and will do it! Wish me luck. Thank you for your donation and supporting a fabulous cause. V xx
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