We didn’t imagine that within just a few weeks of launching our lip balm range, one of our balms would be finding its way to Nepal and Mount Everest, but it did! We caught up with the mountaineer that made it happen on the ground, Adri Brownlee.
Twenty Years in the Making
For Adri this is a lifetime in the making; embarking on mountaineering expeditions with her father, Tony, across the Alps and further afield in South America, before starting the arduous two-year training programme that would see her be one of the youngest female climbers to reach the summit of Everest.
So how hard was it? Well, according to Adri, it wasn’t as bad as she was expecting and actually found the Welsh 3000s, a 24-hr marathon of ups and downs across 15 official peaks far more physically challenging. Yet we rather think she had it in the bag before she went, through global experience and devotion to her career and training.
Let’s face it, this explorer is motivated and has put university on hold to invest in and dedicate herself to the call of the mountains. This is where she feels happiest and in her own words, ‘life is too short, do something you love’. We can’t argue with that.
But let’s not kid ourselves, the mountain or Chomolungma or ‘Goddess Mother of the World’ as it’s known by locals is an endurance event. While technically not as difficult to climb compared to other peaks, the altitude requires both physical and mental fitness to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Cyclones and Icefalls
Adri herself found the Khumbu icefall to be one of the hardest parts; involving a long slog that was both energy draining and required a high degree of concentration. Notwithstanding the weather, this season saw cyclones rush in and dump snow overnight and Covid also started to take its toll on the locals with many mountain guides succumbing to the effects while at base camp.
Adri’s team was fortunate to be led by Elite Exped, a collective of Guinness World Record holder Sherpa mountaineers in the region.
And did they do it, yes they did, just as the bad weather began to roll in and see the cancellation of many other expeditions a day or two later.
So when we asked her about how our lip balms performed, she was happy to report that ‘they were amazing’ and performed well at altitude and in the cold winds, with liquorice being her favourite. So that’s good enough for us. These are lip balms developed for life’s adventures after all.
The Next Adventure
Adri’s not one to sit still for long and is already planning her next trip to Manaslu in September, another 8000m peak, but this time she’ll ascend without assisted oxygen. With further plans to tackle all 8000m+ peaks before she’s 30, she’ll become the youngest female to do so.
Will she do it, we think she will!
If you’d like to support Adri’s next trip in September 2021, she’s on the hunt for sponsors and financial backers. So dig deep and help support our next generation of mountaineers. You can contact her at https://www.adrianabrownlee.com.
And to quote one of our favourite films, Point Break, “we stand for something to those dead souls inching along the freeways in their metal coffins. We show them that the human spirit is still alive”.