At 6.40am on 13th May 2013, Adam Booth (PH 1995-2000) reached the summit of Mount Everest. The achievement marked the 60th anniversary of the first ascent by Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in May 1953; the Deputy Leader of Hillary's expedition was Old Salopian Sir Robert Charles Evans (DB 1932-1937), who made it to within 300 feet of the summit himself. Adam was honoured to carry with him Sir Edmund Hillary’s climbing goggles, loaned to him for the trip by Stuart Cathcart, owner of the Shrewsbury climbing equipment shop, High Sports.
In reply to a congratulatory email from the Director of the Salopian Club, Adam said he would like to thank the staff who ran the Rovers mountaineering club during his time at Shrewsbury for "lighting the flame": Martin Hansen, Michael Hall, Mark Twells, Stuart Cowper, Stuart Wellings and Graham Barnes.
Martin Hansen, who was Master-in-Charge of the Rovers during Adam's time at the School and, with Mark Twells and Stuart Cowper, still teaches at Shrewsbury, expressed their utter delight and pride. "The news that he's summitted on Everest has quite stunned me. The pupil has certainly exceeded the master. I am so proud that he has achieved this amazing goal. It has brought back many memories of what a happy time we all had bagging much smaller peaks with the Rovers."
Adam's expeditions with the Rovers included camping overnight on the summit of Ben Nevis in 1997 when he was 15 and climbing the highest mountain (Torre de Cerredot) in the Picos De Europa in Spain the following year. Adam wrote vivid and enthusiastic reports of many of the expeditions for the School magazine. He ends his account of climbing in Norway in 1999 with a prophetic question: "When standing on Galdhøppingen, the highest peak in Norway, I stopped to consider where I might be in a year's time... who knows?"
Shrewsbury has a proud association with Everest mountaineers. Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine was a pupil at the School from 1916-21 and famously took part in the 1924 British Mount Everest Expedition with George Mallory. Whether or not they reached the summit remains unknown.
In 2005, another Salopian, Julian Thompson, who had been in the same House as Irvine, (S 1989-94) reached the summit of Everest early in the morning of 30th May. In 2004, the Salopian Club donated a memorial plaque to Irvine and Guy Lovatt (Ch 1988-93) a would-be Everest mountaineer who had recently died tragically young and this was placed at Everest Base Camp by a team which included several Old Salopians including Martin Slocock (Rt 1948-53), Dan Morris (PH 1987-92) and Allister Hagger (PH 1986-91).
Adam Booth is a doctor at Jiggins Lane Medical Centre, Birmingham and has provided medical support to several high altitude climbing teams in the past few years. His blog of his Everest ascent can be read at http://www.boothybrothers.blogspot.co.uk/