We climbed Mt. Everest on our uni house staircase, because why not?

Just miss the SU stairs tbh

Boredom has started to hit us all during this recent lockdown, and with no clubs, bars or gyms open it has become increasingly difficult to pass the time as a student in Cardiff. The shopping trip to Lidl has officially become the highlight of your week.

We thought we’d combat this lockdown boredom by attempting one of the hardest challenges we’d ever faced: climbing the 8,848m height of Mt. Everest in the space of four days. To achieve this, we would have to ascend our home staircase 1,940 times, which meant we were in for a long four days…

Day 1 – Sweatier than a onesie social at YOLO

Having planned out our day ahead, we split the climb into two sections of 245 and 240 ascents respectively. Upon climbing, it soon became clear that we needed distractions, because staring at the same 12 stairs for hours on end is repetitive. Trust.

With podcasts downloaded and high-intensity playlists sorted (you’d be surprised how invigorating a playlist of Ariana Grande and Little Mix can be) we started to slowly make progress. Around midday we encountered our first real problem. Not only does repeatedly climbing your staircase ruin your calves and hamstrings, but it also gets you sweatier than a onesie social at YOLO. Let’s just say you certainly get some weird looks off your neighbours, walking into the garden every half hour looking like you’ve run a marathon.

By the early afternoon we had completed the first 485 ascents (1/4 of the way up) and after a hard-earned dinner we set off to base camp to sleep. Our base camp being a uni house in Cathays rather than a tent in the Himalayas, equally as cold so not too different.

Day 2 – A cruel twist of fate and James’ ankle

Day 2 started similarly to Day 1, however the initial excitement was now replaced with crippling calf pain and an intense hatred for an inanimate object…who knew a staircase could get you so angry? What we thought would be one of the easier days started off well with both of us completing the first 245 ascents with relative comfort, or so we thought…

Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of both fate and James’ ankle, he did his achilles tendon in, leaving him unable to continue the climb. Thankfully we weren’t on the mountain itself, so the rescue team didn’t have to carry him very far. Alone I completed the final 240 ascents of the day before rewarding myself with a bowl of salmon and rice *cough influencer*.

I was in for an arduous, lonely climb for the final two days and no amount of Katy Perry was going to make this any easier.

Day 3 – I had Take That to keep me company

With James selfishly injuring himself the day before, I set off alone on Day 3. Can you believe he’d ruin his ankle just to avoid the rest of the climb, some people…

The pain had really started to kick in at this point, but we had reached the halfway point, silver linings and all that. This was by far the hardest day yet and would require some extreme tunes to help me through, something so fast paced and exciting you’d think you were in Pryzm main room on a Friday night.

So with a bottle of water and Take That’s greatest hits on shuffle, I made light work of the first 245 assents before lunch. After lunch the climb became more arduous, with breaks becoming far more frequent as the pain intensified. Now sorted with Netflix on my phone and hours worth of podcasts, all the enjoyment of the original idea had now become pure desperation to finish the climb.

Day 4 – Sweating harder than a vicar in a brothel

After a decent night’s sleep the summit was in sight, I began the final stretch. It was the most important day of the entire climb and I couldn’t have been less excited. Barely standing on two legs, I started the climb on what I had affectionally named ‘Satan’s staircase’, taking each ascent slower than the previous.

Sweating harder than a vicar in a brothel and taking a break every 15 minutes, the end was nearly in sight. The final 100 ascents were up there with the most physically enduring and difficult things I’ve ever experienced. Finally at 4.30pm on Tuesday the 27th of October, I reached the summit of Everest without leaving my front door.

Four days, 8,848m or 29,030ft, 1,940 flights of our staircase later and one of the hardest challenges of my life had been completed.

In all seriousness I attempted this challenge in a bid to improve both my physical and mental health as we all know lockdown can be a lonely time. I can safely say that I have never felt better both physically and mentally upon completing this challenge. This would also not have been possible without the support of my climbing partner James, who despite getting injured, had reached the height of Mt. Fuji before continuing to support me for the remainder of the climb.

Feature Image: Instagram / @tcexpeditions

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