I was born in 1982 and grew up in Lincoln, England. After finishing my A-levels, I studied chemistry at the University of Hull and it was during this time that I really started to get hooked on climbing and mountaineering.
After travelling around the world, I joined the British Army in May 2006 and started my training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. After commissioning into the Royal Engineers in April 2007 I went on to complete my Engineer Troop Commanders Course before being posted to 9 Parachute Squadron, 23 (Air Assault) Engineer Regiment in December 2009. In March 2008 I deployed on my first operational tour to Afghanistan as a Troop Commander in support of the 2 PARA Battlegroup. During this busy 6 month tour I spent most of my time in Sangin District Centre supporting Ranger Company, 1 Royal Irish.
On my return from Afghanistan I completed P Company, a short stint on Ceremonial Duties in London and my military parachute course, before being posted to Nepal as the Project Engineer to the Gurkha Welfare Scheme (GWS). Prior to starting my job in October 2009 I completed the military Nepali language course in Pokhara, Nepal. As Project Engineer I was responsible for managing a team of Nepalis and for delivering school projects in former Gurkha recruiting areas. During my 15 months we constructed 22 schools, a medical centre and enabled over 160 school refurbishments. During work and in my spare time, I managed to trek through a number of districts across Nepal and climb in the Himalayas. I have already trekked along certain parts of the the Great Himalaya Trail in Annapurna, Manaslu and Ganesh regions and in the district of Humla, so I can certainly appreciate how challenging and unforgiving the terrain will be throughout my trek.
On leaving GWS I returned to the UK in January 2011 to start my role as Training Officer for 30 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 26 Engineer Regiment and as Battle Group Engineer to 1 Royal Anglian Battlegroup (the Vikings). In 2012 I completed my second operational tour of Afghanistan and it was during this time that the idea of completing the Great Himalaya Trail on my own really started to develop.
Amazing stories and pictures!
My husband and I are planning on doing the GHT without a guide, starting from April this year.
Our biggest problem right now is that it is not legal to walk without a guide in restricted areas. I saw that you got permits for walking without a guide. I will be happy if you could help us understand if we have a chance to get these kind of permits as well and how we can get them.
Hope to get an e-mail from you.
Thanks that’s very kind of you. I definitely recommend you doing the GHT or a variation of it. Sadly I cannot help with permits. What I had was very specific and took a long time to get even though I worked out there and knew people too. Permits always get checked so you need to have these sorted before you start. Either avoid the places where you need guides or choose a few of the ones where you do and get a guide for those only. Sorry I can’t be anymore help. Good luck and its worth doing either way.
Hi Doc, I have to say that at this point you are pretty much my idol, haha. This coming summer/fall I plan to trek the GHT solo. I would love the opportunity to pick your brain, especially on the challenges of being solo versus having the support of a team. In an ideal situation I’d like to do the high route the whole way but I recognize it may not be possible. So – I’d like to discuss the issues you ran into, and the choices you made to get through the trek on your own modified route. I am not sure how often you check your blog, but if you do see this comment sometime soon, I would LOVE to hear from you at email@example.com.
Hi Doc Jeannie and Trevor, Australia, crossed paths in Kagbeni. Congratulations, still think you are a little crazy.
Hey, great to hear from you, thanks. Hope you got back to Oz ok. After we met I started to walk a little quicker, must be something to do with seeing the end in sight! It was great to meet you both and I really enjoyed our long and interesting chats.
Take care and thanks again.
Hi Doc saheb,
We are thrilled that you successfully completed your great mission. On 19 Jun 13 we are excited to welcome you at BGP gate.
Hi again — just read that you have lost 12 kg. My recommendation — two times a day Dhal Bhat — porters` size.
I assume the people at Thorong Phedi (below Thorong La) still talk about the woman that eats THAT MUCH — that`s me … at least people told me so.
Lost only 6 kg on the whole trip.
Good luck Doc, those years spent in Hull will no doubt prepare you for the hardships you face. It can’t be worse than Bev’ road on a Saturday night! Take care matey.
I look forward to reading your blog, what you are embarking on is epic & I am filled with awe & respect. I did a little trekking on the Annapurna trail 15 years ago, I was rubbish at it but I loved every minute, especially the amazing scenery, Sunsets & sun rises !!! Massive good luck
That area is beautiful and regardless of how tired you feel or how much pain you are in, the view makes it all worth it.
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