HIGH-RISK ad­ven­ture

how sas vet­eran Ant Mid­dle­ton cheated death on Mount ever­est

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NEW CHAL­LENGE Ex­treme Ever­est with Ant Mid­dle­ton Sun­day, C4 HD, 9.30pm

When he was a Royal Marine, Ant Mid­dle­ton served in some of the world’s most dan­ger­ous coun­tries, yet he never felt as scared for his life as he did on the slopes of Mount Ever­est.

The war vet­eran, who rose to fame as one of the taskmas­ters

from C4’s SAS: Who Dares

Wins, at­tempts to climb the world’s high­est peak in a new doc­u­men­tary. He says dis­as­ter struck when he was near the sum­mit, as a snow­storm came out of nowhere.

‘I was wait­ing in a queue to cross a ridge where there was only room for one clim­ber,’ he ex­plains. ‘It was get­ting colder and colder. My feet and hands were numb and my oxy­gen was run­ning out. I hon­estly thought I was go­ing to die up there.’

Ever­est is 8,848m high, and the air at the top con­tains only 33 per cent of the oxy­gen avail­able at sea level. Known as the ‘Death Zone’, the up­per slopes are among the world’s most dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ments.

For ev­ery17 climbers who reach the sum­mit, one dies, but Mid­dle­ton’s train­ing helped him sur­vive the as­cent and re­turn to his wife and fam­ily in Es­sex.

LEFT FOR DEAD

‘Peo­ple were just walk­ing past this clim­ber who had no oxy­gen,’ he re­calls. ‘I told him he needed to move oth­er­wise he’d die, but he said he just wanted to sleep. I knew he wasn’t get­ting off the moun­tain.

It’s the first time I’ve ever left some­one to their death, and it’s a mo­ment that will stay with me.’

With the bliz­zard wors­en­ing, Mid­dle­ton faced a race against the clock be­fore he ran out of oxy­gen and frost­bite set in.

‘I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing like it in my life,’ he says. ‘Even when the bul­lets were fly­ing over my head in com­bat zones, this was worse. At one stage I thought I was about to die and my kids were go­ing to grow up with­out a dad. I was so glad to get off the moun­tain.’

ANT MID­DLE­TON TACK­LES EVER­EST

MID­DLE­TON IN HISMIL­I­TARY DAYS

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