Jason Black - To Everest and Back!
In May of 2013 Letterkenny businessman Jason Black became the first Donegal person to reach the summit of Everest. For Jason, reaching the highest point in the world was the culmination of a dream he had for many years. Eighty people were granted permission this year to climb the north ridge of Everest, the more difficult ascent, and Jason was one of the successful few.
Jason and his climbing companion, Sherpa Nima Gombu, reached the summit on May 19th 2013. As he proudly and humbly stood on top of the world, he felt that he was standing “closer to my mother and brother”, who both passed away “and that day for a brief moment I felt reconnected”.
Jason hopes his expedition will serve to inspire people: "We are living in an environment with a lot of gloom and doom. Everyone has their own Everest to climb, whether it is suicide, depression, lack of work or lack of money. To young people the message is there is nothing that can’t be achieved, you need to focus on it, you need to have a plan and you need to chase your dreams. That is what I want to bring back to the youth of the county".
"Everest is not for the fainthearted, I put in years and years of training physically, but I don’t think anything can prepare you for the mountain. It is something you have to deal with at the time. The challenges of an Everest ascent will bring out any climber’s weaknesses but also bring out their strengths. Everest can sniff you out in a heartbeat."
Since his conquer of Everest Jason has been keeping busy. On the 30th Sept 2013, he and four very proud Donegal men Clive and Keith Davison (twins), Brian McFadden, and Francie Gallagher stood high on Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Northern Europe. October saw him presenting Mental Health Roadshow, in which he promotes Mental health awareness to kids in Donegal on behalf of Donegal Youth Council.
His wife, Sharon, and their children Laura, Kate, Billy and Ella, are so proud of what he has achieved, and what he is doing for their community.
“There’s no mountain too high, there’s nothing that can’t be achieved,”