ABOUT GER DUFFY - THE DISCOVERY OF HIKING & THE OUTDOORS
My love for the great outdoors was discovered through a somewhat happy accident.
My first passion in life was always photography and video.
While learning my way around a camera; my mates and I (who were also learning photography) would head out at the weekends trying to get that big dramatic landscape photo - ultimately we nearly always failed.
But it was on those trips - while chasing that epic golden hour sunset - that I really fell in love with the outdoors. We would spend hours upon hours driving through the valleys of Mayo and into the vastness of the Connemara landscape. Just amazed that this was on our doorstep the whole time?!
Setting up to shoot the sunset we would get there an hour earlier. And wait. Then out of nowhere the sky lights up for a few moments. Just out of this world.
Fast forward a few years; I now spend any free day exploring the mountains. For me now; what I love most about the outdoors is the escapism.
We live in a fast-paced, judgmental & unforgiving world that’s constantly craving likes instead of life - and stepping away from it all for just a few hours of hiking, it’s the most refreshing thing in the world.
Gone are the stresses of life, instead replaced with a new set of feelings.
The awe of our landscapes, the challenge of reaching a peak, the adrenaline and sense of achievement when you get there. Nothing beats it.
Personally, I love being in the elements. You’re on a hike, the wind hitting you hard, and the rain pelting you in the face. It’s tough, but when you approach the peak. The sense of accomplishment for pushing through it all is the best.
Then for a moment, the sun shines through, and you feel those warm rays on your face as you approach a peak. The views of the landscape below. The exhilaration is something that doesn’t get old.
You know when you try something for the first time and you get such a buzz? But every time you try it after that, it never lives up to the first time. Well, the outdoors is the opposite. It never gets old, you always get that first buzz feeling every time.
So what do I love most about hiking and the outdoors? Escapism, the mix of emotions and adrenaline that isn’t replicated in anything else.
So taking photos lead me to the outdoors - and it was the best happy accident imaginable.
ABOUT MY EVEREST EXPEDITION
In September 2022, I will travel to Nepal in South Asia where I will trek to Mount Everest Base Camp (17,598ft) and from there attempt to summit the 20,305ft Himalayan mountain, Island Peak.
My goal is to raise a Euro for every foot I climb - so that's €20,305 in total! 100% of the money raised will be split between two very deserving charities in The Irish Cancer Society and Mayo SPCA.
The expedition will take approx 23 days to complete. I will face challenges that I have never before experienced - such as high altitude, 6-14hour climbing days, crossing deep crevasses & glaciers, and climbing a huge headwall with crampons and ice picks. (Did I mention I have a fear of heights?!) Combine those with the fact oxygen levels will be 50% less than they are here in Co. Mayo - this is definitely the biggest challenge I've ever taken on.
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
I have been obsessed with Mount Everest since I was a teenager - I would spend hours reading books, watching documentaries, and climber's personal video diaries. Although Mount Everest itself is currently both financially and physically out of the question, I've always said I would trek to Mount Everest Base Camp - which in itself is an accomplishment!
After committing to the trip, I wanted to take it one step further and attempt to submit a 20,000ft/6000m peak...and Island Peak presented the best option. I then thought, why not use this expedition to try and bring awareness and funds to two brilliant charities?
Over the past few months, I've been getting myself into the shape of my life, to give myself the best chance to summit this mountain and raise these much-needed funds for my two charities.
To follow the incredible journey that Ger Duffy is undertaking for charity, visit the official Twitter account for the trek - @GerToEverest. You can also follow his journey on Instagram.
To donate to the cause, visit iDonate here.