Interview Ian did in 2012

Okay, and good morning, my name is John Ring and I am managing director of RingJohn, an online marketing agency in Dublin, Ireland. And I’d like to welcome my guest today who is Mr. Ian Taylor of iantaylortrekking.com. Ian reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2008, the youngest Irish man to have achieved that at the time and I was doing an online marketing course last week in Clare, in the beautiful west of Ireland and I met Ian at that and having spoken to him there, I thought that other people might be interested to hear about his experiences.  Ian thanks for coming in. 
What was the first mountain you ever climbed?
The first mountain was probably Camaderry in Wicklow. My dad was from a town called Annamoe which is near Glendalough in Wicklow. That’s where the closest mountains were to me. I loved the Glendalough area, we’re still going there to this day. I got engaged there, that’s where it all started for me.
In terms of the other mountains which you have climbed apart from the ones in Wicklow and Mt. Everest, what other mountains have you climbed in other parts of the world?
I’ve climbed Mt. Mont Blanc in the French Alps, 4 times I climbed Kilimanjaro, 14 times I’ve climbed Aconcagua in South America, Around Nepal, Swiss Alps, I have climbed in the Rockies, and 4 of the Fourteeneers in Colorado. I have climbed Mt. Elbrus in Russia, those are the main ones. I suppose a few in every different continent really except for Antarctica which is a big dream of mine.
How many of the seven Summits were included, I mean have you done any of the other peaks? 
I’ve completed six of the seven.
Brilliant, when did you or what age did you start to think about doing Everest for real?
I think it was a combination of a couple of things. I had started working as an Operations Manager in 2002 and I moved up to Assistant General Manager. I was an AGM of a 150 staff by the time I was 26.  I was in my mid 20s and I was still trying to figure out what I really wanted to do after college. I played soccer my whole life, and keen to try different things. I’ve always been interested in trekking and rock climbing.  I was in a stressful working environment and needed some exercise. I found pushing my body hard in the hills helped me take my mind of things. I needed to find a way out of this negative work environment. I needed to do something I actually enjoyed doing, instead of just trying to follow what people think I should be doing.  I suppose a part of it, that’s a longer story. I wanted to be something better. I wanted to do something different, I wanted to be the best that I could be, you know, I wasn’t content being another number running around the office I wanted more out of work and life. I was in Peru with a friend of mine Graham in 2005. We were sitting at the back of the bus about 15,000 feet up and this girl was talking about climbing Everest, I was thinking if she thinks she can climb Everest, then maybe I can do it.  Graham and I looked to each other and went “hmm” this is something we could get ourselves into.  Both of us have been exploring, bike trips, trekking, camping since we were kids, at 16 going off cycling in Wicklow for a weekend, camping trip, and then hill walking. We have some of the skills already in the bag. We’ve got some mountain experience so let’s try and see if we can do this.
So it all started at the back of a bus in Peru, yeah?
Yeah, in 2005, between 2006 and 2008 we did the majority of the bigger peaks.
Is the training purely physical or is there a mental training involved as well, how do you train yourself mentally for Everest or can you?
It’s difficult and it is always a difficult one because everyone is an individual. My experience is very different from someone else’s experience climbed Everest. There are two sides of it I suppose. Before you go, you can never prepare for something that above 8000 meters and the death zone about 26,000 feet. It’s highly dangerous. You can only survive there for a couple of days max. And so how do you prepare for that? I think physically, we did lot of training sessions in Wicklow, in Glendalough, in Ireland, we do 9km treks running 3 times in one day. Other times we would go out for 8 hours walking with 20 kilos or 25 kilos in our back, sleep for a couple of hours, and get up and do it all again. And then the following day, back in the gym doing 10k run an hour on the Stair master with weights on our back and maybe doing an hour of weights or spin class. So that would be the level of tenacity, but that wasn’t at the beginning. That took probably about 18 months to build to the stage where we were training 6 days a week, 3 hours a day, sometimes 8 hours a day, and doing a full time job. And I suppose because we felt we were under-prepared on the altitude front we thought we’d over prepare on the physical intensity.  On the flip side of that, when we were climbing, we figured out 80% of it was mental, that’s 10% physical, and about 10% luck – so 80% mental. So how do you cope with sitting in a tent day after day after day after day? What you think about? What you go through? What is going to happen, people are dying? We were sitting at camp four and we’re told that a guy in the tent had just had a heart attack and died and we’re going to walk over a fresh body on the balcony which is high on Everest and how do you mentally cope for that? I think experience gives you that. There are a number of techniques that can be used to focus the mind, visually preparation looking at pictures and viewing yourself in these places. So look at a picture of the summit and see yourself on the top of the world. Also I gained a lot of mental strength from the physical preparation and confidence and knowledge were key ingredients.
Experience on life or just experience…
I think experience in the mountains is vital. Success all depends on so many different aspects of planning and preparation. When people are dying, how do you deal with that? Do you need to have experienced of that on other mountains? I coached a guy to go to Everest this year, he just climbed it four weeks ago but he had climbed on Cho Oyu and seeing people dying around him, avalanches, high altitude, fixed line climbing, being on a mountain for 6/7 weeks all aid in preparation and experience when going for Everest. Cho oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world. He was more prepared for Everest than I was because he had experienced all that that before heading to Everest. People have died on Mont Blanc, people have died on Kilimanjaro, people have died on Aconcagua but there is only a 2 week window to climb Everest every year at the end of May. In this two week period, people die and you have to be able to cope with that. So you’re going to encounter death, how do you cope with that? Well I suppose experience on other mountains probably and experience…looking back now, that would help in terms of that. But then in terms of sitting around, and the mental  challenges of the environment, It can get to you is an avalanche going to hit me? I’m climbing on ice, it doesn’t matter how good I am, how much experience I have but if that caves in, I’m dead. So I suppose mentally, we did a lot of team work. Graham and I worked as a team for the whole project – 4 mountains on 4 continents in 1 year for charity. We worked as a unit and we set roles and targets. And we kind of did a bit of work with a company called Kinch Lyons and they went through with us what’s important, emotionally and mentally on the trip. So, are you understanding how your teammate is doing and empathizing? And kind of getting the team right first so we work better as team players. Do we fully understand what each other is thinking about the journey that we’re going onto Everest? We did some visualization technique where we’d visualize ourselves at different camps on the mountain. We broke it down into, you know, very small steps. You know there are four camps and the base camp so there’s 5 sections. And all those sections are small pieces 800 meters, which is like climbing Croagh Patrick. So we broke it down into small sections. What are the risks here? And what are potential problems? And start looking at a swot analysis on, how do we alleviate these problems.  I suppose there are probably about a hundred things that can kill you. Understanding what they are and knowing what they are and then actually starting to tick off the things that we actually could prepare for and then the things we couldn’t prepare for. And so we kind of knocked it down into maybe a 10 percent chance of things that can happen to us right out of our control. So I suppose mentally by doing that we had ticked all the boxes. We had worked through each problem.  Using other people’s experienced from research and then putting our own team together working effectively working on practical and mental concerns brings you closer to your goal.
Was it your own group which you formed there because there was a couple of other guys I think you said there was 4 or 4 of you? 
Well I supposed when we started there were six people. Myself and Graham were the two people bringing the team forward. People dropped out for different reasons and then we joined, actually two months before we were supposed to go to Everest, we were on a trip in South America and our expedition leader cancelled our trip, he that said we were not good enough for Everest.
Maybe he had ulterior reasons or maybe not?
I have no idea but I suppose I don’t comment too much on that. We were told we were not good enough. I suppose when you don’t have the right experience, it comes back to the experience in the big mountains. Aconcagua was the highest mountain I have ever climbed, 3 months before heading for the highest mountain in the world. Aconcagua is just under 23,000 feet and I was sick with altitude sickness but I was super fit. I was fitter than most people there. But I went with a cold. And altitude, I’ve learned now after years of experience of climbing, since then that if you go with any sort of weakness, the altitude will just hammer it. So I was tired. I was wrecked. I strolled up to the top and stumbled off the mountain. So you could argue that that probably I was not ready for Everest but we went to 23,000 feet in twelve days. We’re supposed to take 18 and I supposed my learning of that trip and subsequent trips was that I don’t acclimatized quickly; I don’t – my body needs more time to get used to the lack of oxygen. That was a massive learning for me now when I’m taking people to the mountains because…
Because I’m guessing that kind of each person’s body is different in terms of how it reacts with altitude, is it? 
Absolutely, I recently went on a trip with 14 people. There was a 69 year old with us, there were people in their twenties, there were smokers, there were people with ME, with chronic fatigue. The 69 year old was fine some of the others struggled. Adapting to the lack of Oxygen is key to success, taking more days enough if it cost more is vital. There are a lot of trips to Kilimanjaro $800 cheaper, but they cut out 3 days of much needed acclimatization, you spend a lot of money getting there it’s worth spending 7 / 8 days on the mountain to give you every chance of success. We run 8 day trips up Kilimanjaro and our success rate is 96%.  The stats on Kilimanjaro are 48%. So 48% of people make it. And it’s probably because of that reason. So we learned this from experience, you have to give time to acclimatize safely. I learned it myself, you can’t just roll up the mountains at that altitude. I think that was the key aspect of and I suppose, going back to the mental prep – the physical and the mental are interlinked and I suppose the visualization techniques, the analysis of the problems that we would encounter both mentally…
It’s a useful thing, I mean, I guess it’s a bit like chess almost I suppose in so far as that if you have your potential problems ahead and you tick them off just before you even get into the situation then that probably helps a lot once you do encounter them to think them through.  Also you do it for charity because I know you mentioned a charity there and you’ve also built primary school at Mt. Everest, primary schools for Fields of Life, is that right? 
Yeah, Graham and I worked with Fields of Life. Well, we started with them in 2007. We went to Bewley’s hotel out in Sandyford. We knew the chairman the Rev. Trevor Stevenson and he challenged us with building a school. My Gran-Aunt who is 101 years old has supported them since the beginning. Since they started, my godmother, mother, we all sponsor children at different schools. We said we hope to raise €20,000.
Trevor told us there was a school that just came to them.  This project was in Kitandwe in Uganda cause that’s where they build their schools in Uganda ““ and they’ve built a 103 now. Trevor said to us, we want you to take ownership of this and you should try and raise €70,000 and we were like, where do we go from here? We’re trying to take everything in, we’re trying to prepare for mountains not take on the raising of €70,000. So I suppose that was the most rewarding part of the journey to see something tangible like to school being built. When I look back, that’s one of the learning’s. When you climb in the mountains and stand on top of big mountains, it great to see something come out of it other than a feel or experience I had.  I stood there, that’s what I did. To see something tangible come out of it. The school now has 7 classes and 320 students. They went from 80 children to 320 student in recent years. The charity are just fantastic. Ex-president Mary Mc Aleese actually went to open one of the schools. Fields of Life recently organised a charity walk and they raised £70,000 to build a school in Northern Uganda. I’m an ambassador now for the charity. Both myself and my wife, sponsor children at the Mt. Everest primary school and we’ve taken a few groups from our Kilimanjaro trips to visit the schools.
That’s pretty incredible in terms of the impact on other people
Yeah, Everest is a very selfish endeavor and to see something great come out of it makes it so worth all the effort. We were 27 years old when we started and we were going to be 29 when we climbed Everest. If we can do this, then anything is possible. As I said I’m an ambassador for the charity, I continue to support what they’re doing and they’re doing great work.
Just coming back on to the mountains, in terms of the physical or the mental walls which you may have hit on your way up, did you hit a wall at any point or because you’ve done enough prep kind of got advanced with visualization, did it happen to you?
Yeah, it’s interesting, I studied the mountain vividly on video, on photographs, so when I was walking on the mountain, I knew what to expect climbing on it, I was kind of quite comfortable with the terrain cause I had studied it and I knew what is ahead of me. I suppose when your body is under physical stress, when you’re resting above 8,000 meters, you’re resting heart rate is at 120 beats, so that’s like jogging continually for hours. Mentally your drained. Doing that for 24 to 36 hours, by the end of it, your mind is frazzled.
Visualizing and by seeing the picture of all the steps does that helps you? 
Absolutely, I think what I wanted to lead into there was that I suppose some of the fears that we have play on our experiences when we’re doing these things. So, on the mountain I’m afraid of height so I’m afraid of direct drops. At one point, I had a 10,000 foot drop on one side of me and 8,000 foot drop on the other side, how and I’m walking across the ridge….
And what was the width of that? 
It was half meter wide and was able to cope with that, but a friend of mine when mind on that ridge and nearly pulled me off the mountain. Martin went blind from lack of oxygen and his Sherpa came to the rescue.
And was that long?
It was probably about 40 to 50 feet long. So if people are listening and are imagining this,  you have an 8000 foot drop on one hand at the other 10,000 and you’re up above 8,700 meters at 28,800 feet walking across a narrow ridge that has killed 30 people. So for all this, we’re talking about mental concentration.  okay so all this people have died right where I am standing. 30 people have either fallen off this ridge or have been blown off or they just collapsed because of lack of oxygen and died and eventually blown off and people will be left on ropes there. A friend of ours, when I got to that point, he just went blind. I mean, you know, he nearly fell off that ridge as well. That’s a longer story though that I talk about in my presentations but these are the risks, you know, these are the mental challenges. Now you can prepare yourself for lower down, you walk up the hill, you see it, and you visualize it. And physically and mentally, it is not that straining to get to 6000 to 7000.  The minute you go over 8000m into this so called “death zone” where you cannot survive more than a couple of days. Now we’re into this kind of height and stage of fear where, you know, if your body can’t function properly, people are dying. There are people going blind. You’re standing on narrow ridges. You’re afraid of heights. You’re seeing people dead. You’re afraid of all these things. That’s when you can’t really prepare yourself that well for that. So I don’t think there is anything you can do to fully prepare yourself to experience something like that. Experience on 8,000 meter peaks absolutely helps. The thing is, up there it’s like playing Russian Roulette. People are dying, people are going blind, people are cracking ribs from coughing, people are passing out and need to be carried. This is risky business.
 
And you’re on all ropes on the ridge I presume.. 
We’re all on a rope and if he fell, we’re all falling at that point. There was a few Sherpa’s on the line. We’re all kind of standing flat but we’re right on this ridge and if he goes, we’re going but the minute Martin was heading back down I totally tuned out from that and back into my own heightened state of focus. And that I suppose is the key thing when you’re in business or you’re working towards something. It’s in the past. Let’s move on to the next thing. Try not to make mistakes and that’s what we’re doing, back into that focus, keep moving, keep going toward with what we were doing.
And do many people use drugs at all on the mountain, in terms of staying awake or help them with their blood or that type stuff at all? 
I don’t ““ people take Diamox lower down. It’s the drug. I suppose to improve the flow of oxygen through your body. I have taken it on trekking trips years before in the Himalayas and other trips. But I don’t like it. There were side effects, tingling hands and I don’t think it actually made a difference. So I don’ take any tablets. I definitely take nutritional tablets. Your body doesn’t assimilate nutrition above five and half thousand meters or above that height. That’s why base camp is position just below that so you can recover there, move up, and then come back. We walk in through the Khumbu Ice fall 5 times so you can recover before you go higher on your next trek onto the mountain. Diet and nutrition were key lower down but we didn’t use any other drugs.
In terms of diet and that, what type of things do you actually eat as you go on upward. Do you because you’re up there because I think you’re on the mountain for 72 days, is that what you say? 
72 yeah, we were there from start to finish. I suppose at the base camp it’s fantastic. You know, when you’re on expedition, you spend €40,000 to climb with all your gear. They’re flying in food and we shipped and importing…
Caviar and champagne? 
Not champagne but there’s definitely fresh vegetables, and food, and there was chicken. Every team has a liaison officer and they have access to some stores. Our guy was high up and he was shipping in chicken and stuff in Kathmandu that we were having…. And you know, we are having good food at the base camp and fresh vegetables and it was good, potatoes and pasta. But then when you move up higher, above 5 and a half thousand meters, you can’t assimilate nutrition properly. Above 8000 meters, your body, your digestive system starts to shut down. So at 5 and a half thousand meters, you move up to the Ice fall of the mountain near camp one. it’s boil in the bag, and eat what you can…and nuts, hot chocolates, water. You dehydrate 4 times quicker so you have to be sitting there boiling water all day and drinking. Boiling more water, drinking ““ drinking teas, eating sweets, and anything you can get into you.
 
And does the water boil, you know, at those altitudes and those temperatures, I mean, what is the temperature out there like, you know?
See, it’s so different. It’s so hard to describe. At night it could be -20c at 6,000 meters early on in the expedition. See it’s all about timing because the more we move in to May – for those 2 weeks in summer, it’s getting warmer all the time. So when we started at the base camp, at night, it was -17 at the tent. When we went to the south col at 8,000 meters at camp 4 before going to the top it was like -20. So the temperature had risen. It’s 10 weeks long expedition and need to be prepared for a wide range of temperatures. On the Summit it was – 40 Fahrenheit and very cold up there.
 
What’s that in Celsius about minus…
I think it’s the same, – 40c but you don’t even notice it. Cause you’re in this state of heightened fear. But it depends on different times during the day. At Camp 2 on Everest, they call it the Western Cwm and it was like a little bowl surrounded by ice and it can get up to 30 degrees Celsius at 6,400m. Not the air temperature but the direct heat from the tent. It just gets so hot. I remember one day, we’re moving from camp 1 to camp 2, and we started at night because it’s colder, but the sun came up and the temperature changed from ““ 20 to + 20 in a couple of hours.
There are 4 camps in total, is there? 
Yes, 4 camps in total. So we were moving off and it was -20, within an hour, it was +20. The temperatures are all over the place. The mountains create their own weather. We’re stuck in the tent for 2 days in a storm. You have to be able to cope with everything. You’ve no idea what’s coming at you.
 
In terms of trying for the top, take me through just going to the very top or the last bit. Did you leave at 4 in the morning or how does that work and did you get up there?
So basically it’s 2 weeks into base camp, 6 weeks going up in the mountain and you have 1 week where you go 7 days from base camp, to the top, and back. So we leave base camp then we go to camp 1. We went actually to camp 2, skipped camp 1. Rested the whole day then we moved to camp 3. Next morning early 4am, off to camp 4. We got up there by 11am in the morning. We rested then all day. And then I think we left for the top at 10:00pm at night. So we started travelling to the top. It took 8 hours, sometimes it can take 10 to 16 hours to get to the top. I was lucky and I was feeling good and I am actually made it in 8 hours but we went from south call at 10:00 at night. I got to the Summit at 6:00am in the morning. The sun was just coming up. So I had to deal with my friend going blind just at daybreak so it’s kind of dusk. Then you know, climbing when it’s 40c and you can see while you’re on the top, everything is just frozen. My eyes are frozen..
 
You have an oxygen mask on as well, yeah?
I had taken that off on the summit and somebody said I looked like I was 40 and you know, you need oxygen to keep you alive. It adds 2% which kept me alive. It’s a mixture of compressed gas and ambient air and doesn’t propel you up the mountain. You’re travelling all the way through the night which is pretty spectacular though when you’re not afraid for your life and stepping over bodies and things. I could see electrical storms in China. It was a clear sky. You’re at, 27…28,000 feet walking up the side of Everest. There are fleeting moments of, wow
Of kind of appreciation and clarity I suppose 
A little bit. I’d say it was probably for a couple of seconds on that. Then back to focus on the 14 hours journey to get up and back safely.
 
And then, how far from the start of the 14 hours to the top basically?
Okay, so from the start at the camp 4, 7,950m so you’re going from 7,950m to 8,850m, so it’s 900 meters. So it’s like doing..
 
2 kilometres
It’s a kilometer, Vertical kilometers, A vertical kilometer down. You know, that’s whatever in the states, it will be 3000 feet. That’s fairly easy for anyone trained at sea level just like Croagh Patrick.  You’re moving at such a slow pace, it’s 2 steps and then you’ve just stopped probably for 10,20,30 seconds. Then you can get up depending on the terrain – 5 or 6 steps. And then, massive breaths, soaking in oxygen. And I suppose when you have the mask on as well, it’s not what – people think – it’s not sea level oxygen so we’re not back at sea level and we’re just in the cold walking at this side of the mountain. It’s ambient air mixed with compressed gas so it’s outside air only giving an added 2%. So it’s only a small fraction. It’s just really keeping you alive. So, you know, you just can’t turn off the oxygen and start moving faster up the hill. It’s really a slow process and I suppose that’s where the mental stuff kicks in cause physically you’re actually doing it and you’re taking next step. Deep breaths, next step, next step. I was able to keep moving consistently for those 8 hours. And I suppose that’s where the mental comes. I’m thinking of the body that I was told was on the balcony. How am I gonna deal with that? I actually un clip from the rope when I got there because I knew from studying it where it was. I moved where I didn’t see it, I kept on moving. You know, the last 3 Irish people before me in previous years all nearly died. One fell on the rock and was rescued by a Sherpa. Another one was actually went snow blind and was literally carried off the mountain. This things play on your mind.
Temporarily or permanently blindness?
Temporarily, His glasses fell off, and burnt his eyes and he couldn’t see and was carried down the mountain. There was another guy who suffered from edema. There are 2 kinds of serious cases – high altitude pulmonary edema and cerebral edema. So pulmonary is fluid in the lungs and cerebral edema is fluid in the brain.  It’s highly dangerous. You can die in minutes. And the fluid in the lungs, you know, so you’re thinking about of all these things walking up, it’s not the physical, it’s the mental. Things are creeping into your mind. What about this, what about my family? What about if I go any higher, will I go blind? You know all the stories and you know you get to the summit of Everest and you know that professional mountaineers have been there and died. And you know people have said this, if you’re on the south summit of the Everest, you might as well be on the moon because nobody’s coming to get you. See, these things are going through your head and then that’s the battle ““ that’s the real battle, it’s the mental challenge to keep going.
 
The mental – I’d say so. I mean, in terms of what was the strangest thing you saw on the mountain? That was particularly odd or strange? 
I suppose on the track of the base camp, it’s definitely a bit of an interesting experience cause there’s everyone and everything. Like when we got to the base camp, there was a guy on the way in. He was Jordanian climber and if he got to the top, he was going to be made minister of tourism in his own country. you meet these people.  There’s lot of kind of ego, there’s sports climbers there trying to do fast ascents of different sections of the mountain. There was the Vietnamese celebrity get me out of here. They never went above base camp. Base camp was kind of a bit of an international village with all types of people.
The whole world is there”
Yeah, it’s kind of like big international camp of a thousand people and it’s a little bid mad
That’s all tents, I’m guessing 
It’s Just tents, tent city. And it’s sitting on a moving glacier and it is quite an interesting place to live for a couple of months. But on the mountain I definitely saw some people falling down, there was people rushing to help people, people been evacuated off the mountain. I suppose we kept ourselves to ourselves a lot. We tried to focus on what we were doing and not get destructed by what anyone else is doing. So we didn’t really get too involved or if anything was going on, we tried to just focus on what we were doing. I didn’t see anything that mad. But I remember definitely been told, I’ll never forget being told ““ there was a guy in the tent whose dead next to us. Not a regular camping trip, that’s mental stuff. How do you cope with that?
 
And you spend a lot of time at the top – a couple of minutes or half an hour or 
I supposed its felt like about 5 minutes but when I look back on the timeline, my photographs, it was 37 minutes. So I supposed when I stepped up on the top, I just took all these pictures. Charity banners and the Irish flag I had. And a couple of other people just wanted photographs of the people that had supported us. There were 6 people there. I just stood up at the top. And I actually thought the top would be a little bigger. It was only the width of a chair. It was about 2 foot wide and I can only put one foot on it. I had to put the other one off for balance. It was a 20 foot long ridge. The sun had risen so it blast me straight in the face so I couldn’t really see anything when I was getting my summit pictures. I handed 2 video cameras to 2 Sherpa’s and they were filming me. I remember just taking the camera and just clicking loads of times. I wasn’t even looking to hard.
 
It’s kind of afterwards that hits you.. 
We’ve done it! We did it! This is what we set out to do. We put up a picture in a bar in Namche Bazaar in 2006 on the 24th May, saying we would climb Everest in 2008. We recorded it here 2 years ago and now we’ve done it and came back to tick the box. I suppose when people laughed at you and tell you you’re not good enough, you know, when we’re putting up the t-shirt, some people laughed at us. I said I’m going do it. It just shows it can be done.
 
You’ve ticked the box, you know. What is next for Ian Taylor? 
Yeah, I think I supposed that the key thing for me was. I came back with a different perspective and it was difficult to get into mundane, you know. I talk about it in presentations and stuffs that I deal with. How do you motivate yourself after doing something like that? I went back to work, same job that I left. They gave me 3 months off and I couldn’t do it. I spent 9 months there and I was made redundant.  I was on the dole queue for a while and trying to figure what I was doing and I always wanted to…I had the idea of leading people on trips and bringing people to the mountain regions of the world. When I was 16 years old I was  leading walks around the cliffs in Co. Clare. I was doing trips into the Burren. Then I suppose I’ve always enjoyed taking people to places. And I thought, look, well, I have the mountain experience. I became a qualified guide. And I know all the places I’ve been to since numerous times. Why not try and bring people like me that didn’t think they were good enough to try and do these things. Maybe not Mt.Everest, but definitely other trips to Everest Base Camp, Inca Trail and Kilimanjaro. And so that’s where Ian Taylor trekking came from. Again I was challenged how can I do this? And then I just went back to contacts I had in Nepal. We set up a company in Nepal. And I built contact links in Africa, in South America, and working with all these people, we were able to deliver quality trips and with the training that I can give people and the hands on knowledge I have. I actually brought 14 people in the charity Clare Crusaders group in Kilimanjaro with all the baggage they had. We brought 187 people up Kilimanjaro ““ that’s, I think 2 people hadn’t made it out of all those people. We’ve brought people up island peak in the Himalayas and lot of people at Everest base camp. We’ve done some luxury trips to Everest base camp and Kilimanjaro for executives. We’re branching out all the time. Next year, we’re starting a trip to Everest camp 2. I’m actually going to take people on to Everest 2. It’s a month long trip, some people are time rich and money poor and the other one and vice versa. So you know, people might not have the time to invest in all the training for a full expedition, but to get to camp 2, you wouldn’t have to invest as much time. And the money would be a fraction of the cost.
 
At £40,000 I think you said to do it when you did it. 
To Everest, I think we paid by €32,000 but then you talk about like insurance, flights, all your equipment…
That’s all on top 
On top of that, we are talking about €60,000 to €70,000 and then we still have all the prep. You can’t just go to climb the Everest summit. We did 4 mountains, 4 continents. We went to Europe, Africa, and South America.
 
That’s a hundred thousand really, I suppose. 
Yeah. I guess a little bit more than that. Maybe a hundred give or take, or a little bit more because you know petrol to Wicklow every week, gym, clothing, new equipment etc”¦”¦”¦
It all adds up I guess 
It’s all adding up, on foods, nutrition, flights to Scotland, flights to Europe you know, all of it. It was, yeah, it’s an expensive endeavor and it is a big factor to consider. The climb on Everest is pretty much a dream for a lot of people but they don’t have the time, don’t have the money and we can now offer that for a fraction of the cost. We’re working predominately in the Himalayas with all our trips listed on our website.
 
So there’s more that’s coming soon on the website which is again? 
It’s www.iantaylortrekking.com. With two k’s
 
Taylor with the Y?
That’s Taylor with the Y and Ian spelt IAN.
 
In terms of speaking arrangement and that or speaking gigs as we call things here, so what do you do in terms of that? 
Yeah, like I recently did a presentation for Cisco, for the National Recruitment Federation for the Irish Tax Institute. So I’ve been doing engagements for corporations looking at, what are the key aspects of what I did. I don’t relate any of the speaking into real business issues but I explore what people are passionate about and what worked for me. Vision drives activity so trying to get people focused on what is important.  I come and talk about vision and finding something that people actually wanted to do. To achieve something, vision and passion are two key ingredients. It’s the matter of getting the right focus, having a vision and following it and start ticking boxes.  I’ve presented in the states. I’ve spoken to government ministers in the Faroe Islands and to company directors. I have spoken to hiking groups, hill walking groups and all over the world. I am just trying to encourage people to have a vision for their lives.
Brilliant. Mr. Ian Taylor of iantaylortrekking.com. Thanks very much indeed for coming in. You’re obviously going to do very well in the future based on your past experience. So, well done again and thanks for coming into us here at RingJohn.
Interview Ian did in 2012.

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