Adventurous Ipswich woman takes on Mount Everest charity trek with partner

Adventurous couple Polly Irvine and Luke Thomas celebrate trekking almost 18,000ft up Mount Everest.

Adventurous couple Polly Irvine and Luke Thomas celebrate trekking almost 18,000ft up Mount Everest. Picture: LUKE THOMAS - Credit: Archant

An adventurous Ipswich woman with a fear of heights is on top of the world after trekking 18,000ft up the highest mountain on Earth.

Polly Irvine and boyfriend Luke Thomas. Picture: LUKE THOMAS

Polly Irvine and boyfriend Luke Thomas. Picture: LUKE THOMAS - Credit: Archant

Polly Irvine recently took on the gruelling Everest base camp trek with an 11kg bag on her back and only a map to guide her.

The 29-year-old endured freezing temperatures and overcame a fear of heights alongside boyfriend Luke Thomas, from Somerset, as the pair challenged themselves to collect cash for cystic fibrosis research.

“I think we both agree it was one of the toughest things we have ever done,” said Mr Thomas.

“Our bags weighed around 11kg each. It was Polly who first wanted to do it back in 2015 to raise money for cystic fibrosis as she was going on a four-month trip of Asia.

Polly-at-basecamp

“She got to Nepal and was ready to do the trek but the next day the earthquake hit so she couldn’t do it which disappointed her.

“She got flown out of the country and swore she would go back and do it one day.

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“I met Polly after this but we both decided to quit our jobs to travel and we started in January 2017. The plan was always to eventually do Everest when we got to Asia so Polly could complete what she started I guess.

He added: “So on the 27th November we started the trek and eight days later we reached Everest Base Camp.”

The couple during the trek. Picture: LUKE THOMAS

The couple during the trek. Picture: LUKE THOMAS - Credit: Archant

The couple decided to take on the trek, which forces participants to grapple with sub-zero temperatures and altitude sickness, to raise money for Polly’s close friend Michelle, who suffers with cystic fibrosis.

The genetic condition affects more than 10,000 people across the UK and there is no known cure for the illness. To date, the trek has collected hundreds of pounds for cystic fibrosis research.

Mr Thomas added: “We always said we would try to do it without a guide or anyone carrying our bags to make it an even bigger achievement.

“In all honesty it was easier than we thought because there was only one or two ways you could go but we just used a map to check the towns or points we were going through and managed to get there.

Luke Thomas pictured at Everest base camp. Picture: LUKE THOMAS

Luke Thomas pictured at Everest base camp. Picture: LUKE THOMAS - Credit: Archant

“It was tough but Polly was determined to get through it.

“We are still in Asia now and it’s been a fantastic experience.

“Who knows, we might even make it up to the summit next time we try.”

Donate by visiting Polly’s JustGiving page.

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