Pupils join author Matt Dickinson on journey to Everest summit
15 October 2015
Film-maker, mountaineer and author Matt Dickinson paid a visit to Oakham this week. All Form 2 pupils had received and read his book, The Everest Files, over the summer holiday. Following several weeks of work on it in English, Geography and Science lessons, Matt’s visit was the culmination of their studies.
As the pupils joined him on his journey to the summit of Everest, he posed numerous questions to them to truly challenge them, including:
- What could kill you on Everest?
- Why do human beings seek high levels of risk?
- Is a 4% chance of fatality an acceptable level of risk? (Lots of pupils thought it was!)
- Should the 11 year old who has recently announced his intention to summit Everest be allowed to do so? (Fewer pupils thought this was a good idea.)
- What food types would you need to take with you to Everest? And why Toffee Crisps are not a good idea)
- How does the body adapt itself to cope with such an ascent?
He also presented pupils with the the true climber’s moral dilemma: if you met a climber close to death when you were 1 hour from the summit (after 10 years of training and thousands of pounds of your own money spent), what would you do?
- If you leave him and carry on to the summit he will surely die.
- If you dedicate the next 48 hrs of your life to him, getting him further down the mountain safely, he is likely to live but you will not reach the summit as the window of opportunity with the weather is closing.
It was a truly fascinating talk that provoked plenty of discussion!