Ben Fogle conquers Mount Everest: TV star, 44, reaches the summit days after revealing he was doing the gruelling trek in memory of his stillborn son
- Everest climb was to raise cash for Red Cross and to highlight environmental
- Fogle also revealed days ago the ascent was in memory of stillborn son Willem
- His climbing partner, Victoria Pendleton had to abandon climb earlier this month
- Track cyclist-turned-jockey had started to suffer from the effects of hypoxia
Ben Fogle has conquered Mount Everest, days after revealing he was taking on the gruelling climb in memory of his stillborn son Willem.
News of the successful ascent was revealed by his former climbing partner, cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who was forced to abandon the trek earlier this month on medical grounds.
Fogle and his wife Marina, who already have two children, Luca, eight and Iona, six, were left heartbroken after their younger son was delivered stillborn at 32 weeks in 2014.
The star, 44, said the death made him ‘re-evaluate life’ and ensure he was living ‘for the now.’
Posting on Instagram, he said: ‘There is one person in particular for whom this journey is dedicated. A little boy called Willem Fogle. He was my little son. Stillborn at 8 months. A little boy I never got to know. A little life that never got to live. A breath that was never exhaled.
Ben Fogle has conquered Mount Everest, days after revealing he had taken on the ascent in memory of his stillborn son Willem. News of the successful climb was revealed on the Instagram page of former cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who was forced to abandon her own ascent earlier this month on medical grounds. She also posted a picture of Fogle (left) and his team
Fogle’s climbing partner Victoria Pendleton (right) was forced to abandon the trek earlier this month on medical grounds
The trip was not without problems. Fogle (right) had to scale the final 2,700 ft known as the ‘death zone’ alone after his climbing partner, Victoria Pendleton (left) was forced to abandon the challenge on medical grounds
‘His loss changed our lives and I think about him daily. Losing my little boy made me re-evaluate life. Not only do we hold our two beautiful children closer to us but it was a reminder to live life for the now. Don’t waste it.’
The trip was not without problems. He had to scale the final 2,700ft, known as the ‘death zone’, alone after his climbing partner, Pendleton, was forced to abandon the challenge.
The Olympic cyclist began suffering from the effects of hypoxia – oxygen deficiency – at Camp 2, 6,400 metres above sea level, and required additional oxygen to alleviate her symptoms.
The double gold Olympic cyclist cheered on the team lead by experienced mountaineer, Kentoon Cool, from the side lines and posted her congratulations online when they finished: ‘Congratulations to @benfogle@kentoncool Mark @fishercreative and the team for reaching the summit of Mount Everest thanks to @anythingispossible.world in support of @britishredcross #believe #everest2018’.
Fogle (pictured during the challenge) and the team will now spend up to six days descending the mountain
Fogle, 44, said his ‘true friend’ Pendleton struggled to adapt to high altitude on other the many other mountains they climbed to prepare for Everest, but she always ‘soldiered on’
Fogle and the team will now spend up to six days descending the mountain.
Despite being separated from his family for weeks, the adventurer said the support he received online particularly after he opened up about Willem meant he never felt alone and he felt his spirit was guiding him like a ‘guardian angel’.
He added: ‘I don’t feel alone here. Never. There is a spirituality but I can also feel the support and the love here on Instagram. There have been so many lovely messages.
Fogle offered to cancel his own ascent in solidarity but Pendelton insisted he continue to the summit with the others
‘I am sorry that I haven’t been able to reply to you all but I promise you I read your messages and once this adventure is over I will endeavour to reply to you all.
‘Cradling little Willem to say goodbye, I made a promise to him to live my life brightly. To embrace everyday. To always smile. To be positive and to inspire. In some ways I am now living my life for two.
‘Willem is always there. I think he is my guardian angel here. There is one particular star that shines brighter. It draws my attention. It reflects off the snow and ice. I feel so lucky. I will never take life for granted but above all I’ll never be alone.’
Pendleton, from Stotfold in Bedfordshire, admitted in December that she was taking part in the challenge because she was ‘probably having a midlife crisis’
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