Exeter mountaineer to tell all about the "roof of the world"
MOUNTAINEER Ian Ridley will give a talk at Exeter University describing his journey from Exeter to the "roof of the world".
Ian, 49, from Pennsylvania Road, will describe the ups and downs of his recent trips, including his success in reaching Everest's summit, albeit second time round.
His first attempt at climbing Everest did not go to plan, having to turn back just 500m from the top in 2010.
"I was so exhausted, physically and mentally. I couldn't go on," he said.
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After returning home, he was hospitalised with Hepatitis E, an infection caught from drinking contaminated water.
In hindsight, Ian admits that he "was never going to make it" the first time.
After a gruelling climb in 2012, however, Ian made it to the top.
Speaking of his emotions on reaching Everest's summit, Ian said: "It was a mixture of primarily relief, it was physically such hard work. It was by far my hardest ever climb."
Ian's talk will include images and video footage of his recent climbs, including from Ama Dablam in Nepal.
Known as the Matterhorn of the Himalayas due to it's steep faces, Ian described the peak as a "technically harder mountain than Everest".
Starting his own climbing life at the age of 13, Ian continued what was originally a hobby by scaling mountains here in the UK and in the Alps.
Originally a chartered surveyor by trade, Ian decided to put his mountaineering qualifications to more use when he was made redundant in 2009.
Ian now runs Mountain-skills, an organisation that leads treks up far-flung mountains as well as running courses on Dartmoor.
The best way to get into mountaineering is to "find like-minded people and just go for it".
He said: "The talk will give some insight into what mountaineering is all about."
Ian is a member of Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team, who will have a small stand on display on the evening and a prize draw to raise funds for the team.
As well as helping people in distress on the moors, Ian's work for the team often involves searching for missing people, often with dementia, in "semi-urban environments".
Next up for Exeter's resident mountaineer is a trek through Costa Rica and Nicaragua, leading Australian schoolchildren through the jungle.
Ian will speak at the University of Exeter's Newman A Lecture Theatre on Thursday, November 8 at 7.30pm.
Tickets are available for £6.50 from Taunton Leisure, Fore Street, Exeter, or online at www.taunton-leisure.com
Visit www.mountain-skills.com for more information on Ian and his expeditions.