If you’ve been watching the news, you would have heard an announcement in January that based on the relative success of his North Pole adventure with one of his favorite charities, Prince Harry was intending to walk with Walk with the Wounded to the top, or at least Base Camp, of Everest this year.
Recently he appears to have waffled on that, and decided to maintain his support for the charity from afar. I’ve read a handful of articles in various online newspapers and a few blogs (including: “Is Prince Harry Really Going to …“) – but really, what does this even mean?
1) Climbing Everest is a great charity donation motivator?
2) Climbing Everest is a great thing for wealthy young fit celebrities to do?
3) Climbing Everest is almost a mainstream event?
4) Climbing Everest is almost meaningless anymore?
I can only imagine the fit his Mother would throw at his intentionally involving himself with an activity possibly slightly more dangerous than driving helicopters. People normally don’t die very often hiking to the North Pole. Everest on the other hand does see a few deaths on average every year.
In a study of 8,030 climbers and 6,108 Sherpas there were 212 climbing deaths between 1921 and 2006 (approximately 1.5%) – based on a study by The British Medical Journal (BMJ ), Vol 337, December 2008, by PG Firth and colleagues
I can certainly see the value in a charity that shows being a disabled war veteran needn’t stop you from doing great things you might believe are lost dreams. I can see that Everest is a great way to walk the walk and show your stuff. I remember being wrapped up in the Discovery documentary showing Mark Inglis’s summit of Everest and his great capacity for endurance and suffering. I see value in celebrities hanging on with charities like this, to offer the support of their fans and supporters. And in the case of Prince Harry, I don’t see that he really stands to gain anything obvious from this either way.
I wish the team at Walking with the Wounded great luck and success on their expedition this year.