Suffolk Park man on top of the world
By GARY CHIGWIDDEN
A YEAR ago, Suffolk Park adventurer Chris Nagel stood on the summit of a Himalayan mountain called Cho Oyu and gazed across at the towering peak of Mt Everest in the distance and may well have thought, 'one day'.
For Chris, that 'day' came last week when he reached the summit of the world's highest mountain after a final punishing push of 18 hours.
With other members of the Australian-based expedition company, DCXP Mountain Tours, he enjoyed the view from the top of the world for about 20 minutes before strong winds forced the climbers to begin the descent. Because of the conditions, he was unable to use a phone from the summit to call his wife, Sue, waiting at home with their three young children.
But once the party reached a lower camp he put a call in and the couple was able to speak for a short time.
Naturally, Chris was pretty excited about his achievement and Sue was glad to hear his voice.
"It's hard to appreciate the full extent of what he has done," Sue said.
"He said it was just an amazing feeling."
Chris spent almost two months in Tibet with the group preparing for the assault on the summit from the northern side and getting their bodies acclimatised to the challenges posed by altitude.
For Sue, seeing her husband go off to climb mountains has been part of her life for many years.
At no time during the assault on Everest did she fear for his safety.
Chris, the managing director of an IT company, trained for many months to ensure he was fit enough for the challenges of an Everest climb.
The training included walking up and down Mt Warning many times with a 35kg pack on his back.