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What's it like to be on top of the world? Climber shares his memories for Journal.

Byline: Paul Loraine

ACLIMBER from Northumberland who has scaled the highest mountain in each of the seven continents is writing of his experiences for The Journal's website.

Richard Pattison, 34, of Newbiggin, Northumberland, is only the 27th Briton to achieve the feat, with his climb up Everest - the world's highest mountain - in May completing the set.

A proud Northumbrian, he has unfurled his county's flag on each of the peaks.

With his appetite for climbing still strong, earlier this month he reached the peak of the Matterhorn in Switzerland.

On his blog at www.journallive.co.uk, he writes: "Everyone has chapters or phases in their life. It always intrigues me that brief moments in time define and shape a lifetime. It doesn't seem to balance, one day, one hour or one minute defining 70 years on this planet.

"But certainly my summit day on Everest defines my life, no matter what I do in the future, I will never move beyond or past Everest. My other summit days are all milestones and stick in my memory vividly, I cannot tell you what happened during any random month or day in 2006 only three years ago, yet I can relive every moment of my summit days from 1999 - the choices I made, my thoughts, my feelings, the route, the views.

"Climbing mountains is something different for most people and is a landmark, whether it is Denali in Alaska, Ben Nevis in Scotland or Cheviot - the highest point in Northumberland.

"I urge you to go out into the country and walk, feel the pain from the exercise, because the positives far outweigh the tiredness. The fresh air, the views and accomplishment are thrilling."

Climbing became market researcher Richard's passion when he was around 24 when he realised he was not going to become a professional footballer after playing for his university - the University of Surrey - and a Gillingham youth team. Since then, he has scaled the highest mountain in each of the seven continents - Kosciuszko in Australia, 2,228m; Vinson in Antarctica, 4,897m; Elbrus in Russia, 5,642m; Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, 5,895m; Denali in the USA, 6,194m; Aconcagua in Argentina, 6,962m; and Everest, 8,848m.

For the Everest climb, Richard spent two months following the same route as Sir Edmund Hilary - the first person to climb Everest in the Queen's coronation year of 1953.

On his blog he adds: "Climbing is my passion, I have recently returned from the Himalayas where I realised my lifetime dream, I stood on top of the world.

"I summited Everest on May 19, 2009 - it had been a long journey, slowly build-inup experience, skills and the mental toughness required to attempt such a great challenge.

"I hope in this blog to share my thoughts and enthusiasm for mountains and may be provide some inspiration for you to venture into the hills yourself."

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BACK HOME Richard Pattison. HITTING THE HEIGHTS Mountain cimber Richard Pattison unfurls his Northumberland flag on the top of Everest.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 18, 2009
Words:504
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