Lesley Gidding

Im a marine biologist and my two great outdoor loves are the ocean and the mountains. I've been climbing for over 15 years, being first dragged up a rock face in the Blue Mountains near Sydney by my brother ­ there were tears that day because I was so scared, but I was hooked! My mountaineering career began in East Africa when I spent a year climbing the highest mountain in every country I went through, culminating with Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. I then headed to the Swiss Alps for a couple of years where I spent many a sunny day on long granite rock faces and had a great time skipping up Mt Blanc.

My greatest inspiration has always been my dad who taught me to follow my dreams and always aim high. Although he'd freak at the idea of me heading to the Himalayas with a bunch of crazy guys, I'm going to dedicate this climb to my beautiful old dad, John Gidding, who passed away a year ago ­ in the words of my big brother John Gidding is not dead; you will find him in his daughter's passion and her courage.

· 1997 - Mt Elgon, (4321m), Uganda
· 1997 - Mt Muhinga (4127m), Uganda
· 1997 - Mt Kilimajaro (5895m), Tanzania
· 2000 - rock climbing in Switzerland and France
· 2001 - Mt Blanc (4807m), France
· 2004 - various alpine ascents in Switzerland and Italy