Rebecca Stephens MBE

Greeting us at the door of a beautiful country house was a tall, slender, glamorous lady called Rebecca Stephens MBE, the first British woman to climb Everest back in 1993.

I rather ashamedly hadn’t heard of either her name or incredible achievements pre-shoot, but once I began the usual internet stalking to find out useful information about her for the shoot, I was completely hooked and not disappointed at all by the lady herself.

Having started a career as a journalist, for the Financial Times Weekend magazine, mountain climbing had never been on the cards until a commission took her to Nepal to follow an Everest expedition. She was inspired to take part in the climb, even without any prior training and made it to Camp One on the North East Ridge. It was this trip that inspired her to return four years later, armed with actual climbing experience under her belt, to reach the top. Since completing Everest, she has climbed the highest mountains on each continent and taken part in various other high endurance adventures, now drawing on that determination and passion in her role as a motivational speaker to encourage others to achieve their goals.

Chatting to her was incredibly inspiring.  Not necessarily in convincing me to swap my converse for hiking boots, but in the sense that she seems very at peace with herself and content with the world…that sounds pretty cheesy, but I don’t know how else to describe what I mean. Her anecdotes cover tales of almost dying in a self made snow hole during a storm, to the precariousness of the actual climb where every sense is heightened, to the euphoria of reaching the top. Like she has experienced every sense of life I suppose that’s what I mean.

It really was a pleasure to meet her and though I am not booking tickets on the next expedition, I hope that I can learn from her determined disposition for my own future goals.

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