Glittering Horizon

24th Nov 2016
Ken and Mike at Base Camp in 2013 - Photographed by Rob Wymer
Ken and Mike at Base Camp in 2013 - Photographed by Rob Wymer

A new book (due in 2017) tells the story of Xtreme Everest from a trekkers viewpoint. Compiled by seasoned Xtreme Everest trekker Mike Teanby, the book tells the trekkers story, warts and all, about what life was really like being a member of a small group - the Champions Group - who were strategically placed within this huge medical research programme.

The book is provisionally titled, Glittering Horizon, and focuses on the champions themselves, how they got on together and their experiences in the great outdoors. It also provides a detailed information about the route they followed, together with descriptions for many of the things seen along the way. The group followed in the footsteps of an early British-led expedition whose lead climbers, Hillary and Tenzing, were the first to climb Mt Everest in 1953. A comparison between the two expeditions threads its way through Mike’s new book.

The stories in the book take place during the most recent Xtreme Everest expedition to Nepal in 2013. It includes dramatic sequences, including arriving at Base Camp during blizzard conditions, helicopter evacuations for two of the group’s key players, a summary of the testing done, the ascent of Kala Pattar for some, and why others in the group had to traverse a 15,000 ft high plateau in total darkness. The words and photographs combine to bring the trekkers story alive. It acknowledges the important contribution they, their families and those who sponsored them all made to Xtreme Everest. Such commitment enabled the champions to become part of a cohort of almost 1000 other individuals who have been to the Everest region with Xtreme Everest in the last ten years. In doing so they experienced something really special - memories to be treasured forever and, crucially, helping to provide more funding for essential research into improving the survival rate of patients needing intensive care.

This book is expected to become essential reading for anyone who has already taken part as a trekker, medical support staff, guide or researcher and, hopefully, anyone else interested in foreign travel. In addition to being an entertaining narrative the book features several hundred stunning hi-resolution coloured photographs, all of them taken by the champions themselves.

Mike tells us his aim now is to get Glittering Horizon published in Spring 2017, in good time to form part of Xtreme Everest’s 10 year anniversary. He is confident that this will happen and that this book will become an important source of reference for anyone interested in Himalayan travel, whether or not they intend to go to the extremes, as the champions did

Further details of Mike’s book will be provided through the Xtreme Everest web site towards the end of February 2017 by which time, format, price and availability for hardback copies of the first print run should all be available. Anyone requiring further information at the moment please contact the Author, Mike Teanby:

Below is an exclusive excerpt from book.


Having survived the rigour of intensive base-line testing in the London laboratory in 2007 my first meeting with Ken took place in the evocatively named Summit Hotel in Kathmandu, a five star location tucked away on the outskirts of the bustling capital of Nepal. At reception I was warmly greeted by staff who assured me that my room was ready and my luggage was scooped up in double quick time.

On the way my porter told me the room was already occupied by a not overly large gentleman whose holdall weighed more than he did and who tended to speak very quickly in a dialect which was totally unrecognisable to anybody; however with a few beers inside him this individual seemed jolly enough -so my bell hop said. Sounded like just the sort of bloke I’d get along with I thought to myself. Thankfully I was proved correct.

Indeed I need not have worried at all. Hello, I’m Mike, and you are? Ken, my name is Ken. ‘You’re a long way from home mate’, I said, ‘you too by the sound of it Mike’ was the reply. Well what do you know; Yorkshire meets Lancashire in the very heart of Nepal, two working class blokes already knowing all they needed to know about one another - we were both from Northern England. What’s more we understood one another perfectly.

Throughout this first expedition we got on like a house on fire, swapping tales, telling jokes, cracking a few beers when we could, ribbing our colleagues if we thought we could get away with it, sharing what work had to be done. We learned to get on with everyone, engaged with our Sherpa team, completed our testing, enjoyed all the wonderful Khumbu scenery and when the stiff climbs and the debilitating effects of altitude, cold weather and even the odd gippy tummy kicked in commiserated as Northern folk do. Ger a grip lad, its only pain, you’ll feel right enough in’t morning. Well, Ken and I made it, gippy tum and all the rest, to Everest Base Camp and all the way back again. In fact, we enjoyed this adventure so much we came back for more and completed the 2009 and 2013 expeditions too. This means we have completed the ‘hat trick’ of all XE expeditions to Everest Base Camp. And we reckon that really is something to crow about, especially when you realise that on our first journey in 2007 both of us were only 59 years old.

‘Old enough to know better Ken?’ ‘ What do you think Mike!’ ‘No, don’t think so either Ken, just thought I’d ask’. Friendship you see I found in spades whilst trekking along the Everest Trail, strangely It makes all the blood, sweat and tears shed truly worthwhile. We have met some great people Ken and I, Sherpa and expedition folk too many to mention here. We have also enjoyed some remarkable adventures over the last ten years, but there is one small problem - where did all the time go?

Glittering Horizon

Created : 24th Nov 2016
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