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Bonita Norris: Ain’t no mountain high enough

1st June 2010 Print
Bonita Norris

After a gruelling two years of training 22 year-old Berkshire woman Bonita Norris has successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest making her the youngest British woman to do so.

As if the climb itself wasn’t enough of an amazing achievement, it’s incredible to learn that until last year the London university student hadn’t climbed any mountain. In fact she only took up the Everest challenge after reading survival expert Bear Grylls' account of reaching the top.

Bonita completed the climb along with British mountaineer Kenton Cool, who has successfully climbed Mount Everest eight times (another British record). He led Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ expeditions in 2008 and 2009.  Bonita’s training schedule, devised by Kenton, included regular climbs at an indoor arena in Guildford and 50 miles of running a week.

Despite the climb going without any major issues other than the weather dictating when they could progress to each stage, the descent has been a much more gruelling process. Bonita had a fall which meant she went for a period without oxygen and she has since gotten frostbite on three toes meaning she had to be airlifted by helicopter from base camp to Kathmandu.

When she arrived at Heathrow Terminal 4 greeted by her delighted family and boyfriend she exclaimed “It almost seems impossible that this time last week I was at the top of the world, none of which would have been possible without the support of my family, my team at VocaLink and of course the members of the British public who helped me raise money by topping up their mobile at an ATM. I can’t wait to go home now and have a long sleep in my own bed!”

Through her ‘Top Up Everest’ campaign, Bonita has raised money for Global Angels, an international foundation championing the causes of children around the world. The British public also contributed to Bonita’s chosen charity with donations of 5p to Global Angels every time a mobile phone was topped up at an ATM during March and April this year.

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Bonita Norris