Adam Parore conquers Mt Everest
Kiwi cricket pin-up Adam Parore is "buggered" but safe after reaching the summit of Mt Everest.
The former Black Caps wicket-keeper ran out of oxygen and "freaked out" several times on his way to the top of the world. And once he got there, he couldn't wait to come down again.
"I spent about 20 minutes to half an hour up there," Parore said yesterday, after conquering the world's highest mountain.
"I took a few photos but I wanted to come back. It is very exposed and a long way down.
"I had great plans on what I should do and how I might feel but in the end it was a bit of an anti-climax. I just wanted to get down and live."
Parore, 40, fulfilled a lifelong dream by reaching the peak, 8848m above sea level.
Now back at Everest Base Camp, he has almost lost his voice, has a racking cough and is having difficulty breathing.
"I'm a bit buggered and sick and tired of not being able to breathe," he said. "I'm trashed physically, totally destroyed."
Parore paid tribute to his Sherpa, who he said kept him alive on Everest, and an old friend who climbed behind him all the way "poking me in the ass with his ice pick axe to keep me going".
Yesterday's successful summit scaling came after he had been forced to turn back on his first attempt about a week ago due to extreme weather conditions.
He has been in Nepal since March 27 acclimatising and preparing for the summit with a company called Himalaya Experience.
The company posted on Parore's Facebook page that eight of their clients, including Parore, three guides and 10 Sherpas had made it to the top of Everest yesterday.
"The weather was great and fortunately the team did not have to deal with a lot of wind," they said.
Parore said there were some key milestones along the way including the Hillary Step – named after the first man to reach the top of Everest, Kiwi Sir Edmund Hillary – and the South Summit.
"Once you're over the South Summit it just plays out in front of you. It's very surreal."
He ran out of oxygen and was showing signs of hypoxia, which is potentially fatal. "It is hard work, the smallest thing can turn into a huge problem. The physicality of it was something else. It's completely beyond anything I've ever done."
Asked what he learned about himself preparing for and climbing Mt Everest, Parore said in the mountains life becomes very simple.
"If you get high enough the only thing that matters is breathing. It's quite a liberating experience. You appreciate what really matters and that the rest is just bullsh*t."
Parore's former partner and mother of his two children, TV star Sally Ridge, said all his friends and family were immensely proud of his achievement and "the kids think it's wonderful".
Parore, who hoped to raise $100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation from his climb, is today on his way back to New Zealand and will be back in Auckland either tomorrow or Tuesday.
"It's going to be quite a culture shock."
Parore played 78 Test cricket matches for New Zealand and 179 One-Day Internationals.