Lake District lover Steve Watts flew the flag for Ambleside when he
made his second trip to Everest Base Camp – by taking along
‘Love Ambleside’ stickers to mark the occasion.
Steve, 63, who runs Lakeland Walks & Talks
and who is leading the low-level walks in September’s
Festival of the Fells in Ambleside, was taking part in the
Everest Marathon and made history by becoming the first person
with a heart pacemaker to take on the world’s highest race over
the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. He ran from close to Base
Camp at 17,000ft to the legendary sherpa town of Namche Bazaar at 11,300ft.
During his visit to Nepal he met Yorkshireman Leslie Binns
who recently made worldwide headlines when he gave up his bid to climb Everest
when just 1600ft below the summit of the 29,029ft peak (that’s the height
climbed in the ascent of Wansfell Pike from Ambleside) in order to save
the life of a fellow climber.
Binns, 42, abandoned his summit quest to help Sunita Hazra,
32, a woman from Kolkatta, India, who was scaling the mountain
ahead of him. She was in serious difficulty and he managed to
get her down the mountain so a rescue helicopter could take her to hospital.
He said he felt ‘immensely proud’ to have saved a life but wished he could have also helped save another climber, who died on the descent.
Steve said: “I met him at an inn in Namche Bazaar
and we shared some drinks – quite a few actually!
What he did was incredible.”
Binns was in the Army for 13 years, serving in Bosnia, Iraq
and Afghanistan and was blown up four times. He has been
awarded two medals, including the Queen’s Commendation
for Bravery for finding improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan in 2009.
Lakeland Walks & Talks website: www.lakelandwalksandtalks.com