She might have climbed Everest at the age of 22, but Bonita Norris still hates camping in the rain…
Highest mountain you’ve climbed?
Everest in 2010; but I’m most proud of my ascent of Lhotse in 2012. I wasn’t very experienced when I went to Everest, and experience makes a huge difference.
Scafell Pike, Snowdon or Ben Nevis?
Snowdon; I love it! Crib Goch is an awesome day out.
Who’s your mountaineering hero?
Edmund Hillary. His attitude in the face of so much suffering, such as his descriptions
of enduring the conditions above 8000m and singing to keep his team’s spirits up, were what inspired me the most. Ernest Shackleton, while not famous for mountaineering, is probably my top inspirational dude.
Funniest thing you’ve seen on a hill?
Poo explosions on pristine snow! Not mine, though – it was someone else’s artwork.
Wild camp or posh hotel?
Camping is way more fun, except in the rain, then I hate it! On Kilimanjaro last year it rained non-stop and I didn’t get fully dry for six days.
What tastes best on the hill?
Super Noodles, nothing else. Definitely not chocolate – it tastes awful for some reason.
Weirdest place you’ve slept?
Sleeping at the North Pole was awesome. I’ve slept on lots of chicken-filled buses in South America too, and at lots of service stations.
Most expensive piece of kit you own?
After every expedition I give my boots, jackets, sleeping bags etc to our Sherpa team. I have to buy the whole lot again every time I go!
What’s your nickname?
Bozza or Nozza.
You’re in a pub. What’s on the menu?
Gin and tonic with salt and vinegar crisps.
Who would star in a movie about your life?
I’d probably play myself and do my own stunts.
What’s scarier, heights or sharks?
I have nightmares about sharks all the time. They’re my biggest fear.
Strangest person you’ve met on a mountain?
Everest attracts some very strange people; billionaires are the strangest.
Worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
My own cooking! I once put my boyfriend in hospital for three days with food poisoning.
When were you last naked outdoors?
Ha. Absolutely not answering that.
How much is a pint of Yewbarrow Ale at the Wasdale Head Inn?
I don’t drink ale, so have no idea.
Your ultimate mountain day in three words…
Peaceful, fruitful, glorious.
This interview first appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Trail Magazine