12-time Everest summiteer Kenton Cool heads down from the Himalayan heights to tackle some tricky questions from Trail.
Highest mountain climbed?
Mount Everest – 12 times! [In 2013 Kenton completed the ’Everest Triple Crown', summiting Everest along with the neighbouring peaks of Nuptse and Lhotse in just five days.]
Scafell Pike, Snowdon or Ben Nevis?
They each have their own enduring characteristics that make them all special, so to compare and contrast is a little unfair.
Why do you love mountains?
I love the sense of freedom they provide and the fact that they represent an untainted version of the world.
Who's your mountaineering hero?
There have been many, but Doug Scott and Sir Chris Bonington are up there; then guys like Alex MacIntyre [British climber who was killed in 1984 at the age of just 28], or some of the pioneering Polish climbers such as Wojciech Kurtyka. The more modern guys would be [Slovenian mountaineer] Marko Prezelj, and more recently [Italian alpinist] Korra Pesce.
Most memorable outdoor day?
There have been way too many memorable days to even begin listing them here...
Wild camp or posh hotel?
Definitely wild camp!
Weirdest place you've slept?
The opera house at Glyndebourne – midway through the performance! I was in good company, though, as sat next to me was Douglas Hurd – also asleep.
What's your favourite hill snack?
Bread, cheese and sausage.
Worst thing you've ever eaten?
That would have to be some indescribable unknown meat in Tibet. I'm sure it was rancid, and the after-effects were X-rated!
What’s your nickname?
Most people call me KC.
What’s your favourite animal?
If you did a ’real job’, what would it be?
A Mountain Guide – oh wait, I am one!
What's your next big challenge?
The Himalayan Trilogy, an attempt to summit the world’s three highest peaks – Everest (8848m), K2 (8611m) and Kangchenjunga (8586m) – in three months, linking them all together with a 2,500 mile drive!
How much is a pint of tea at Pete's Eats?
I'll guess £2.50? [You've gone too expensive, KC – it’s a bargain £1.60!]
Ultimate mountain day in three words?
Fun, fun, fun!
Kenton Cool, 41, is an IFMGA Mountain Guide with a British record 12 summits of Mount Everest – the world’s highest mountain – under his belt. His book, One Man's Everest, is available in paperback.
This interview originally appeared in Trail Magazine