SCS Group’s Managing Director Allan Meek is taking a huge step into the unknown as he swaps his office gear for climbing equipment and prepares to climb to the top of Mount Everest.
Allan, 56, will set off for the challenge on April 4, flying out to Kathmandu.
The father-of-two and grandfather-of-three will be part of an expedition organised by a Nepalese company called Ascent Himalayas and will be aiming to climb Everest’s south side. His group will be accompanied by experienced Sherpas during the expedition, as they aim to reach the summit.
The expedition’s 60-day itinerary kicks off when he arrives in Kathmandu, before facing a timetable packed with acclimatisation days, climbing days and rest days. This includes climbing Island Peak for acclimatisation and then two rotations up the mountain before the summit push.
It’s one of the world’s toughest and most difficult climbs and Allan has had to make sure he’s prepared both physically and mentally.
He said: “I’ve climbed in Nepal once before and also in the Alps and the Andes, but nothing on this scale. It’s a real step into the unknown.
“I’ve had lots of advice on how to prepare – I had a great week in Scotland in January with an amazing trainer called Adele Pennington, the only British woman to have climbed Everest twice. She put me through my paces and gave me confidence for the trip.
“I’ve also been using an altitude training mask – I don’t know if it makes any difference but it gets me some strange looks in the gym and on the mountains.”
From Welsh hills to Everest
Cardiff resident Allan has also enjoyed training in the Welsh hills, as well as cycling and running.
He added: “I’ve done a lot of yoga in the last year as it’s important to have a strong core. Additionally, I gave up alcohol on New Year’s Eve to focus on training and that made a big difference.”
Allan says he’s really looking forward to the trip and being in the mountains again, as well as meeting the Nepalese people who he says are really friendly.
But he knows he has challenges ahead which he can’t completely prepare for. He said: “I’m not looking forward to altitude sickness mainly. It’s inevitable that you will suffer at some point on a trip like this. You get used to everything else, like the cold and the lack of showers and toilets.”
He added: “I’m going to really miss my family and friends back home – and eating and drinking too.”
Allan has been sponsored in his quest by SCS Group and if he’s successful, he will be out flying the company flag when he returns.
He said: “I feel really fortunate that ‘I’ve got such a great team at SCS running the business while I’m away – and undoubtedly doing a better job without me!”