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Squash Falconer summits Everest


Squash Falconer's aim was to become the first woman in the world to solo pilot a paraglider from the top of Mt Everest.  Squash would be taking a Powertraveller powermonkey-eXtreme, powergorilla, minigorilla and solargorilla with her to keep her gadgets charged on this epic expedition.

At the end of March 2011, Squash went to Nepal.She would be co-leading an expedition to climb Mount Everest. At 8,848m it is the highest mountain in the world. Not only would she be attempting to summit the peak, she would also be taking her paraglider with the intention of flying from the summit...

Here's an excerpt from her final blog:

"9pm came around quicker than I'd hoped but it was good to get going - this was it.... The stars were out, there was only a little wind - everything was looking good.

The first six hours were great I managed a good pace, I was climbing 100m every hour and I felt ok. Then things started to deteriorate.

The sun didn't come up, the stars and moon disappeared and the sky got lighter, but the clouds rolling in hid the sun we were so desperate to see and the winds picked up.

After a few more hours and continued bad weather, many other teams turned back, I was more exhausted than I have ever felt in my life and I began to wonder if it was time to turn around. Once we'd past the South summit, there were very exposed ridges and the Hilary step still to go. I actually got quite frightened at one point and I turned to my climbing Sherpa and said maybe we should turn back. He said that we were almost there and I could make it. We carried on.

The visibility was mostly between 5m and 30m, the wind was about 50-60km/hr and with the wind chill the temps were about -50'c. It was quite cold!!

I knew that there would be no flight from the top of the world... and I also no longer thought I would make the summit. I was beginning to question if I could even make it back down - it was at that moment I saw, in the foggy not too far distance, a pile of flags and a couple of people... That was it! That was the top. It had taken just over 11hrs to get there and at 8.30am on the 12th May I stood on top of the world."

Squash had this to say about the Powertraveller kit:

"The kit you sent me was FANTASTIC. I am so glad that you supported the trip and I'm proud to have powertraveller as an official sponsor. Thank you so much.

I took the kit and used it as high as Camp 3 (7,300m).

One of the big issues when you climb a mountain or go anywhere that's remote and away from a plug in power source is how you will charge your gadgets.

While climbing Everest I would need a reliable charging source to charge my phone, camera, video cameras, laptop and ipod.

I was so delighted to work with Powertraveller as they had a wonderful solar solution that met all my charging needs.

On the trip I took just three pieces of kit - a powermonkey-eXtreme, a Solargorilla and a Minigorilla.

I used the powermonkey-eXtreme to keep my iPod, my mobile and my Sat Phone juiced and managed to get several charges before the powermonkey needed recharging via the solar panel.

The Solargorilla is a good size, lightweight, tough, durable solar panel that charges kit very quickly in both full and part sun light. It comes with a strap and can be easily attached to a back pack so can be used whilst on the move as well as when I was in camp. This was an invaluable feature and meant I was never without power during the day.

The Minigorilla is a tough, small, lightweight battery that can be charged by the Solargorilla and used for hours to then charge kit and power whatever you need it to. I regularly used it in the evenings to charge my Panasonic toughbook laptop. When I climbed higher up the mountain and weight needed to be minimum I took just the Minigorilla and left the Solargorilla lower down. It worked brilliantly even up to 7,300m, which was the highest camp I took it to. I was able to charge my camera and video camera (something I've never been able to do so high before).

The kit was not only reliable but also worked well in the extreme conditions you get on mountains and was tough enough to withstand the harsh environment.

Both the Solargorilla and Minigorilla are great and invaluable pieces of kit. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone who needs solar solutions whilst on a trip, adventure or expedition where power is needed. I loved them and will definitely be using them on all my future expeditions.

A huge thank you to Powertraveller for making such good quality, excellent and reliable kit!"

*pictures and words courtesy of Squash Falconer