Peak performance: Ricky Munday CA
After a year of planning, Ricky Munday CA has started his journey up the North Ridge of Mount Everest.
Ricky set off for the summit on 6 April for a two-month expedition in support of Macmillan Cancer Support, the charity which played a large part in the care of his uncles.
He flew into Lhasa, Tibet on 8 April and will continue on to his starting point, the Chinese basecamp 5,200 metres up the mountainside. Ricky will then spend six weeks venturing to camps at higher altitudes in order to acclimatise before his final attempt at the peak.
Having previously completed the Marathon des Sables, a six-day 'ultramarathon' in the Sahara Desert, and spent the past decade conquering four of the world's seven continental summits, Ricky is under no illusion as to how tough Everest will be.
"This will be the most challenging expedition I’ve ever attempted and I’m excited to be following in the footsteps of pioneering British mountaineers," he said.
"Overall, the north side of Everest has more technical difficulty than the south side; although fixed ropes and ladders are placed on the three most difficult sections, the north can be significantly colder and windier.
"Our high camp on the north side is above 8,000 metres in the Death Zone, where oxygen levels fall to 30% of sea level values."
Ricky is documenting his attempt at the summit thanks to satellite communication funded by the main exhibition sponsor, adventure travel company Wild Guanabana.
As well as raising money for Macmillan, the expedition is also promoting Finding Your Feet, a charity founded by amputee Corinne Hutton, for whom Ricky is an ambassador.
He said: "When I’m high on Mount Everest in the Death Zone on summit day; the temperature is 20 degrees below zero; it’s pitch black; I’m cold, tired and hungry; my lungs are gasping for oxygen; each footstep requires a huge effort of will; at the moment when I think I’ve reached my limit and want only to give up, I’ll think about Corinne. I’ll steady my breath. And I’ll take another upward step."
Read an exclusive interview with Ricky about his ambitions and achievements in the December 2016/January 2017 edition of CA magazine.