Shelley and Paul Hersey, of Warrington, unpack at home
after returning from their attempt on an unclimbed peak in
Nepal. Photo by Linda Robertson
Warrington couple Paul and Shelley Hersey are upbeat
despite not riding the White Wave.
The couple attempted to reach the summit of 6800m Anidesha
The experience of attempting to reach the top of the
unclimbed peak - also known as the White Wave - was a
''really cool experience'', despite only reaching a height of
about 5700m because of dangerous conditions, Mr Hersey said.
''There's a whole range of things that you don't get at home
and that's before you even get to the climb,'' he said.
The couple trekked for 10 days from Kathmandu, Nepal, to
their base camp at 5000m and spent the next three weeks on
They returned to Dunedin on Tuesday and were disappointed to
find the weather colder than Nepal's.
Mrs Hersey said they were ''certainly disappointed'' not to
reach the summit.
''But given the conditions, it was a fairly clear-cut
decision and the whole experience was really rewarding in
Her husband was struck by acute mountain sickness and had to
return to base camp.
Their climbing partner, Australian John Price, also became
extremely sick during their hike to base camp.
''Expeditions take all of your mental and physical fortitude
and application,'' Mr Hersey said.
''They are certainly about attrition.''
Mrs Hersey and Mr Price pushed for the summit without Mr
Hersey, because of his sickness, but found themselves
ploughing through deep snow.
''It was really unconsolidated, which means not only are you
ploughing through snow, but you take one or two steps and
then you are up to thigh-height snow and then you take one or
two more steps and you are up to chest-height,'' she said.
''You can easily break a leg in those conditions.''
While the disappointment of not reaching the summit meant the
couple ''second-guessed'' themselves, getting home alive was
more important than getting to the top of Anidesha Chuli, he
''You have only got so much energy living at that sort of
altitude,'' he said.
''Your body basically eats itself.''
The couple were already planning their next ''project''.
''There's heaps of new stuff to be done in New Zealand,'' Mrs
''Not in terms of new summits, but new routes.''
''And we haven't climbed in China or South America yet,'' Mr
But the couple's immediate plans were to finish unpacking.