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David Tait's 2013 Expedition to Everest to Stop Child Abuse

My friend David Tait is busy preparing for his forthcoming expedition, starting March 29, to summit Everest for his sixth time, to raise money for the NSPCC and awareness of child sexual abuse, of which David himself was a victim as a ten year old child.

British Mountaineer and NSPCC campaigner, David Tait.

He was the first westerner to traverse Everest North-South in 2007 - he climbed the north side and descended the south side, along with his Sherpa climbing companion, Phurba Tashi, who was the first non-westerner to accomplish the north-south traverse.

The North Ridge route, from the Tibetan side of Everest, involves spending longer periods at higher altitudes than the South Side (which Sir Edmund Hillary first climbed in 1953 - please see below), and also involves using ladders and more challenging rock climbing on the steep steps of the North Ridge route.

In fact, when David achieved this remarkable feat, his original intention was to attempt a double traverse - to go back up and over again once he had descended the south side - but he humbly decided that Phurba Tashi was by far the superior climber, but that David would get all the credit, so they abandoned the attempt.

Sherpa and mountaineer, Phurba Tashi.

In 2009, David was the first non-Sherpa to summit with the Sherpa rope-fixing team - a truly dangerous accomplishment, for the Sherpas go on ahead and risk their lives to prepare the way safely for the climbers!

He does all this to raise money for the NSPCC and awareness of child sexual abuse.  David was horrifically abused as a ten year old child by a family member - something that has driven him to great achievements in life, but which also causes him continuing pain.

He went public with this fact only recently, and just in the past few weeks has added to his website a very moving speech he made for the NSPCC, in which he talks about what happened when he was ten - something I know it is very difficult for him to discuss publicly.

Climbing Everest.

This year, 2013, is the 60th anniversary both of Sir Edmund Hillary's first ever successful summit of Everest with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. The summit occurred literally hours before the coronation and news was relayed from Base Camp to London by Times reporter James Morris, using a runner and telegram.

David's expedition honors these two events - and he has received a gracious letter of encouragement from the Queen.

Approaching the top of the world.

Please visit David's website and watch the video of his heartfelt speech about his own experience of abuse - something no child, and no adult, should ever have to endure. Then, if you can, please support David's mission and donate whatever you can to the NSPCC - or, if you are a corporation, please join Credit Suisse and other companies and become a sponsor of David's 2013 expedition.

You can follow David Tait's summit of Everest on Twitter at @taiteverest or on Facebook at David Tait 2013 or LinkedIn at TaitEverest 2013.

If you'd like to see David on Everest, watch this clip from the Discovery Channel series, Everest: Beyond The Limit, in which David features prominently:


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