A young explorer who cheated death on his second ill-fated attempt to conquer Everest has written a book following the earthquake that sparked a massive avalanche on the world’s highest peak and claimed more than 9,000 lives across Nepal.
Alex Staniforth, 20, from Kelsall, is lucky to be alive after being hit by the avalanche while on the mountain during the April 2015 quake which also led to the deaths of 19 climbers at Everest Base Camp (EBC) including three of his own team.
For Alex, who has overcome many difficulties in his life including epilepsy and a stammer, this was his second attempt to conquer Everest. Incredibly he had been forced to cancel the previous year’s bid following another avalanche that left 16 Nepalese Sherpa guides dead.
This Wednesday Alex will be signing copies of his gripping autobiography Icefall at Chester’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre in which he relives the nightmare through his book, capturing ‘the horror, heartbreak and his hopes for the future’.
Speaking shortly after last year’s disaster, the former Tarporley High School student told The Chronicle: “I was in the icefall when the ground shook; the same force that released huge avalanches full of rock and ice, largely from Pumori,” he said. “I couldn’t run due to huge crevasses surrounding me. I was blinded, thrown to my knees and suffocated by what felt like a snow cannon. I thought this was it - I was going to be buried.”
On hand from 1pm-4.30pm, members of the public visiting the shopping centre will be able to hear first-hand accounts of Alex’s accomplishments including the Everest attempts as well as scaling equally huge personal peaks in the process.
Released by Coventry House Publishing, Icefall marks a further exciting chapter in his life. As an extra touch, Alex has pledged to donate a contribution from his book sales (RRP £12.99) to a charity supporting the people of Nepal.
Intrepid explorer Bear Grylls describes Alex’s achievement on Icefall’s cover as “Obstacles are opportunities in disguise and Alex knows this all too well. High achievement requires high sacrifice, but he is a man determined to make his Everest dream a reality.”
After his first expedition to Everest was aborted in 2014, Alex created the EPIC7 project, a series of ultra-endurance challenges to prepare himself for his second attempt - becoming the youngest person to complete the National 3 Peaks Cycle challenge solo (440 miles cycling and climbing the three highest UK peaks in four days). He also cycled 878 miles to Chamonix in the French Alps.
Alex is now an inspirational speaker and ‘moves’ audiences of all ages by helping others build resilience and overcome their own personal challenges. So far he has raised over £34,000 for charity, has climbed Mont Blanc and attempted a world record attempt on the 7,000m high Himalayan peak of Baruntse.
He is an ambassador for four organisations; including the Westgrove Group and Chester Business Club. Alex wants the world to know his unique story and understand how no obstacle is too high to overcome.
Books will be available to purchase via Amazon in paperback and Kindle from March 9. For more details visit www.alexstaniforth.com or Twitter: @alex_staniforth