A fearless adventurer has returned to Mount Everest to finish the record-breaking climb he had to abandon three years ago when a devastating earthquake struck.
Chichester’s Rupert Jones-Warner was at base camp on the south side of Everest on April 15, 2015, when Nepal’s biggest ever quake hit, killing nearly 9,000 people.
Rupert was lucky to survive, a huge avalanche killed many explorers on the other side.
He had to give up his bid to become the first Briton and the youngest person to climb both sides of Everest in one expedition.
Only one other climber has completed the feat.
Having raised £30,000 for children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House in 2015, Rupert is back to finish what he started, this time raising money and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in honour of a friend who died this year.
Rupert went to Ditcham Park School with Lucy-Anne Yeates, from Funtington, who had the incurable lung disorder and died on February 7, aged 25.
Lucy-Anne had a successful lung and liver transplant and for five months was recovering well before she caught an infection and died in hospital.
Her mum, Jenny Yeates said: “Not long after she died Rupert turned up on my doorstep one night and rather nervously asked, ‘I would like to climb for Lucy-Anne this time, for her and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’.
“Of course I was delighted, it’s such a lovely, positive thing to do after such a tough time. Two of Lucy-Anne’s greatest wishes were to be an organ donor and to raise funds for the CF Trust, and now Rupert is doing that for her, which is so uplifting.”
Rupert has spent a month on Everest acclimatising and according to his brother, Will Jones-Warner, who also went to Ditcham with Lucy-Anne, Rupert is expected to reach the summit of his first climb of the south side any day.
Will said on Tuesday: “It’s quite an exciting time because there’s been radio silence for six or seven days.
“It’s his 27th birthday today and he could celebrate by reaching the first summit.”
And on Thursday, May 17, Rupert reached the first summit, meaning half of his record climb is complete, his family confirmed.
Will added: “Rupert and I have been great friends with Lucy-Anne since school and when she died it was absolutely devastating.
“When a close friend dies you feel compelled to do something and I think this is his way of showing his appreciation and love for Lucy-Anne.”
For more about Rupert’s record and to help him raise funds click here: https://give.everydayhero.com/uk/double-summit-for-cystic-fibrosis