A COTSWOLD woman is preparing to climb the highest mountain in the world as part of an amazing feat of endurance.
Lucy Rivers Bulkeley, who lives just outside Longborough, near Moreton, is climbing Mount Everest in an attempt to become the first woman to complete the 4 Desert Grand Slam and the 7 Summits.
She is already well on her way to completing her challenge, after becoming the first European woman to complete the 4 Desert Grand Slam in 2010, a 250kmtrek across the Atacama, Gobi, Sahara and Antarctica and over the last 18 months has made the summit of Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and Aconcagua.
And her efforts have already raised just under £38,0000 towards her £100,000 target for Macmillan Cancer Support. in memory of her father Johnny who lost his short battle with cancer in 2007.
Miss Rivers Bulkeley, who is in her early 30s and is self-employed in London, is leaving on Saturday to fly to Kathmandu from where she will make the eight-day trip to base camp.
She will climb to the summit with a team of five experience climbers, including the guide who has reached the summit eight times, and hopes to be back in the UK at the end of May.
Speaking to The Journal before leaving for the Nepalese capital, she said: "After the Grand Slam in 2010, I needed a new challenge and I'd always love the mountains. And someone said I couldn't do it."
Reaching all 7 Summits - the highest mountains of each of the seven continents - is regarded as a mountaineering challenge first achieved on April 30, 1985 by Richard Bass.
Conditions will be tough with winds of up to 200mph on the top of Everest and temperatures plummeting to -80F.
Miss Rivers Bulkeley is hoping for a five-day summit window in mid-May, when the jet stream that sits on the top of Everest all year starts to move north, which calms the winds and warms the temperature.
To prepare for the challenge, which will mean sleeping in a tent for the next eight weeks, Miss Rivers Bulkeley has been combining gym sessions to build up strength, running in an altitude chamber and Hyrdofit which is spinning in waist deep water.
"I'm feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement," she said. "I'm really excited about it. I think it will be an amazing country to experience to explore and see.
" As it's the biggest mountain in the world it's a huge risk and quite scary and the nerves are definitely kicking in. Hopefully my dad will be with me all the way."
To sponsor her, visit justgiving.com/LucyRB.