Ex­treme Ever­est

Spe­cial forces vet­eran Ant Mid­dle­ton takes on the tough­est chal­lenge of his life…

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

Snow­storm

Ant em­barked on a mis­sion to climb the world’s high­est peak. In a spe­cial doc­u­men­tary, he re­calls how dis­as­ter struck as he neared the sum­mit.

‘A snow­storm came out of nowhere,’ he says. ‘I was wait­ing in a queue to cross a ridge where there was only room for one climber. It was get­ting colder and colder, my feet and hands were numb and my oxy­gen was run­ning out. I thought I was go­ing to die!’

Ever­est is 8,848 me­tres 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 slopes of the moun­tain are one of the world’s most dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ments. In fact, one climber dies for ev­ery 17 that reach the sum­mit.

‘Peo­ple were just walk­ing past this climber who had no oxy­gen,’ he says.

‘I told him he needed to move or he’d die, but he said he just wanted to sleep. I knew he wasn’t get­ting off the moun­tain. It was the first time I’ve ever left some­one to their death. It’s a mo­ment that will stay with me.’

War zone

With the bl­iz­zard get­ting worse, Ant 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 my kids were go­ing to grow up with­out a dad. I was so glad to get off the moun­tain!’

Nerves of steel… Ant risked his life

fac­tual Ex­treme Ever­est with Ant Mid­dle­tonSun­day, 9.30pm

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