Mar 6 2023

On Thursday, 16th March at 7:00pm, mountaineer and adventurer Kenton Cool will be hosting a special talk at Beaudesert Park School, titled ‘Everest and Beyond. Life on the Edge.’ recounting his own experiences as an elite mountain guide on Everest, K2 and other mountains around the world.

spotlight on ob Michael Westmacott

2023 is the 70th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest, when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit on the 29th May 1953. While Hillary and Norgay were the first two to reach the summit, it took a much larger team of sherpas and mountaineers to attempt the expedition. Old Beaudesertian, Michael Westmacott, was part of this expedition team.

Westmacott attended Beaudesert from 1935 to 1939, before going to attend Radley College, and reading Mathematics at Corpus Christi, Cambridge. His passion for climbing began at university, when he discovered the mountaineering club, which he later became president of.

After continuing his climbing passions after graduation, Westmacott applied to join the Everest Expedition team and was successful. Ever modest, he told the BBC his selection was “a bit of luck. I was at the right age at the right time.” But his contribution to the team is an unsung tale. As John Hunt’s team were reaching the upper reaches of Everest, Westmacott kept the way clear to allow supplies to continue moving up the mountain. He also helped Times reporter James Morris travel safely down Everest with the news of Hillary and Norgay’s success.

Michael came back to Beaudesert Park School in 1954 to speak to the children about the victorious expedition, thrilling them with coloured lantern slides of his adventures. In our 1954 magazine, former pupil C. J. Davey writes, “Michael Westmacott made little mention of himself in his lecture, although we know how much he did and we are very proud of him. And we all owe him a great debt for coming to tell us about this great adventure.”

Everest and Beyond. Life on the Edge.

We are thoroughly looking forward to hearing more about Mount Everest and other expeditions Kenton has led in his talk.

This event is in aid of Beaudesert Park School’s Bursary Fund, and is kindly sponsored by Steppes Travel. All adult tickets include a glass of wine, provided by Italian craft wine producer When in Rome.

Please visit the link below if you would like to buy tickets.