LOCAL youth worker Terence ‘Banjo’ Bannon is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his unaided solo summit of the world’s highest peak.
Banjo’s summit took place on the Tibetan North Face of Everest and was completed after nearly three months of climbing through harsh weather, illness and injury and without the aid of Sherpa’s or porters.
The father-of-two told The Dundalk Democrat that the intense physical and personal commitment it took to complete the ascent was nothing compared to the elation he felt at the achievement of his life’s dream.
According to Banjo, Mount Everest has long been the pinnacle of mountaineering dreams but despite the immense challenges, the draw of the legendary Chomolungma was so strong that even in the most difficult moments he was driven towards the top by the intense wild beauty of the highest summit in the world.
Originally from Newry, the mountaineer and adventurer works in Muirhevnamor Team Garda Divisional Project which aims to prevent youths from getting involved in crime.
“When I climbed Everest it wasn’t commercialised the way it is today. I didn’t have a guide or any sherpas to carry my equipment up the mountain,” said Banjo.
“I’m glad I got to experience Everest like that. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s dream but the whole challenge of it is sort of gone.
“They have made it easier for tourists to climb by installing a rope at the bottom that goes all the way to the top.”
Banjo has published a book about his experiences called ‘Ascending the Dream’.