"I had a book as a kid with the famous photo of Tenzing holding aloft his flag-draped ice axe on top of Everest. I knew then, aged 6 or 7, I wanted to go there (I am now 53) - maybe not to the top, but just to be near to the scene. When I met like-minded Les at Cotswold Outdoor I knew my dream was closer, especially since another Cotswold colleague in our store was Sabin, a native of Nepal.
Les was up for it but little did he know he would be the butt of a wind-up. His wife put her foot down and said he could not go, too many family commitments. He was deflated but really his wife was planning it for his 60th birthday, so when his birthday came he was over the moon to tell me. Then reality set in!"