Property management pioneer, Leah Jay, has completed a climbing expedition to the summit of Mount Everest. The climb marks another victory in her attempt to climb the ‘seven summits’ – the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. Mount Everest, which stands at 8,848 metres high, is the world’s tallest mountain. This is the sixth summit that Leah has achieved, she will now set her sights on summiting Denali in Alaska.
Leah has been in Nepal since the beginning of April, completing a rigorous acclimatisation process with an expedition team. The team completed several journeys back and forth between Base Camp and the four camps above, before weather eventually permitted a summit attempt just before dawn this morning, Monday 22nd May.
The attempt was successful and the team reached the peak of Mount Everest at 4:40am local time (8:55am AEST time) after more than eight hours of climbing overnight.
As well as being the highest peak in the world, Everest is a dangerous and challenging mountain for climbers. The Lhotse face which follows most of the Everest climbing route, makes for a steep and treacherous climb.
The notorious Khumbu Icefall is also extremely perilous, causing Leah some anxiety whenever she had to ascend it.
‘It is beautiful, but also extremely harsh and unforgiving,’ Leah says of the Everest experience. Nevertheless, she is pleased to have been able to endure and surpass the many challenges presented by the mountain.
‘I am thrilled with my efforts, and would have been whether we reached the summit or not,’ Leah says. ‘I am ever so grateful for the experience and the amazing people I encountered along the way.’
For Leah, the climb was both a test of her physical and mental strength and an achievement in memory of her late son, Elliot. Elliot passed away in 2008, at the age of just nineteen, after a twelve-month battle with Motor Neurone Disease.
Leah is a passionate advocate for raising awareness and funds for Motor Neurone Disease Australia. Not one to shy away from a challenge – even after a climb to at 8,848 metres – she will be participating in the Newcastle Big Freeze event on 17th June.
The Big Freeze sees local personalities taking a giant slide into a pool of ice water, all in the name of raising funds and awareness to fight MND.
Leah, along with each of the nine other ‘sliders’, has committed to raising a minimum of $5,000 before the event. These funds will contribute to much-needed MND research, as well as support for individuals living with MND. The Big Freeze slide will form part of a family fun day on 17th June at Newcastle Number 1 Sports Ground – the home ground of Newcastle City, the club Elliot played for in the under-18s premiership team of 2006.
A Gala Ball will follow that evening at Wests New Lambton.