Redbourn mum’s mission to the roof of the world

AN ADVENTUROUS Redbourn mother overcame avalanches and altitude sickness to reach the base camp of Mount Everest recently.

Jeanette Lendon, 40, got back from her climb on November 18 and has described her experience above the clouds as “like walking on the moon.”

The photographer said both the hardest and the best moment of the challenge was the day her team of eight reached the multicoloured-flag-laden base camp.

“It [the mountain] is just barren and white, you can’t see an end to it, it’s stretching up forever.

“I had quite a bad chest infection and breathing was difficult anyway up at that altitude.”

She added: “When I saw the plastic sign with Everest Base Camp written on it I was so overcome with emotion.”

In January she decided to make a ‘bucket list’ of all the things she wanted to do in her 40th year and climbing to the base camp was one of them.

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The mother of two said the experience was “really hard”, adding: “I knew it would be difficult, but I had no idea just how tough it would be, mentally and physically.”

She attributes some of the difficulty she experienced to being away from her children, Kieran, eight, and Callum, six, for three weeks.

“I didn’t realise how it would affect me.”

Although she missed them, the thoughts of her two boys also helped her carry on as she took on the 5,364 metre-high climb.

“My children were my motivation. They were what kept me going. Every step I took was a step nearer to getting home to them.”

Jeanette is conscious that the trip has changed her and said she now knows if you put your mind to something you can do it.

Before embarking on the journey she had not previously done much exercise, so when her 16-week training began she said it was a “shock to the system”.

She completed the tough trip for Reach Out Plus and has raised an admirable �3,275 for the local charity.

Since returning from the climb she has also decided to write a book about her experience which she will complement with her photography.

Although immensely pleased she reached base camp, Jeanette has no plans to put her mountain gear on again any time soon: “It’s the first time I’ve climbed a mountain and probably my last!”