Former Newport Gwent Dragons and Wales flanker Richard Parks reached the summit of Mount Everest this morning in his race to climb the 7 highest peaks of the world and stand on all 3 poles.
Parks is aiming to raise £1 millions in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care and reaching the roof of the world earlier this morning marks his 5th summit and 3rd pole.
The 33-year-old who made 54 Magners League appearances in his career with the Dragons, Celtic Warriors and Pontypridd spoke emotionally from the summit this morning.
“It’s hard to really put this in to words, it’s just the most amazing feeling,” he said.
“There’s just the most amazing mountains, clouds as far as the eye can see, one way’s Nepal, the other Tibet. So many times I didn’t think I was going to make it. You know we have been blessed, we sat yesterday in really high winds in camp 4, our tents absolutely rattling, I was really worried that we might not get the shot, we might not get the opportunity. Our Sherpas Sirdar and Mingma have been absolutely amazing and we just held our nerve. It’s brutally cold, the winds are pretty low and there is not a cloud in the sky on the summit, it is just amazing”.
“The support has been amazing, I’d be lying if I said that I was bullet proof confident, I have had so many moments of doubt, the messages of support have really kept me going. Especially as we are all doing it for an amazing cause, Marie Curie Cancer Care”.
Parks was forced to retire from professional rugby two years ago with a shoulder injury and reached the summit at 8,850m/29,036ft during the early hours UK time and was followed by his climbing partner, Olympic rower Steve Williams.