14 8000ers

Everest - 8850 metres, 1st highest.

Mount Everest north side

1991

Andrew made his first expedition to Mt Everest in the post-monsoon season of 1991 with a small Australian team attempting the mountain without auxiliary oxygen or Sherpa support. During the climb Andrew watched as one of his team mates was avalanched 1000 metres down the Lhotse face but despite this setback and the withdrawal of another team member, Andrew continued the climb. Several weeks later, setting out into the freezing blackness from their high camp at 8000 metres, Andrew and his climbing partner made their final push for the summit, but at 2am his friend became ill and needed to descend quickly. Andrew was forced to decide between assisting him or going on for summit glory. He sacrificed his summit and helped his friend.

1993

Andrew returned to the mountain in the pre monsoon season of 1993 as co-leader of a joint Australian Macedonian expedition. The expedition progressed to the summit attempt where Andrew again found himself having to decide between the summit and helping a friend after one of his team went missing on descent from the summit. Andrew and another team mate spent an incredible three days at 8000 metres without oxygen in a howling blizzard on the south col, waiting for a chance to search for their friend. By the time they found his body, they barely had the strength to walk, and literally crawled down the mountain to safety, having first retrieved their friend’s personal effects for his family.

2000

Andrew’s return to the mountain this time was as expedition leader for a commercial expedition. With the infamous 1996 season having already occurred and with his own share of tragedy over the years, Andrew was determined to put safety ahead of all other factors on this climb. The expedition progressed well until the summit push, when once again the mountain played hard ball on the summit attempt. Leading his team to within 100 metres of the summit, Andrew felt that the conditions on the final traverse were too dangerous for his inexperienced clients and made the agonising decision to turn them around, sacrificing his own summit yet again. Over the next several days they descended to basecamp, however whilst the other expeditions that had also turned around on the summit push went home immediately, Andrew convinced his team to make one more exhausting ascent. The physical and mental demands of such an ordeal are almost indescribable, but inspired by Andrew’s outstanding motivation and leadership, his team followed him all the way back up the mountain. Despite a howling blizzard on the final summit ridge, they reached the summit and finally, realised their dreams.

2004

Andrew returned to the mountain in the pre monsoon of 2004 as a member of a Discovery Channel documentary making expedition, which planned to film the expedition on High Definition video, every step of the climb. Although a small team of just 4 climbers, they achieved their goal, filming their own and several other expeditions, and on May 16, Andrew reached the summit for the second time. On descent, Andrew personally rescued 4 other climbers, giving up his own oxygen along the way. The video footage was produced into the Discovery documentary ‘Ultimate Survival – Everest’ and has been shown several times across North America.