Riding Everest

banner alt banner alt

I feel incredibly proud to have accomplished something that people in general can’t do - disability shouldn’t hold you back.

One man’s dream is on top of the world!

Climbing to Everest Base Camp is an enormous challenge for any able-bodied person to consider, so imagine the enormity of the task which Max Stainton undertook to become the first disabled person to accomplish this - on horseback!

Max, 28, was born with cerebral palsy, a lifelong condition which affects movement and coordination. He is unable to walk unaided and requires round-the-clock care, which, when coupled with the inability to retain heat, makes trekking to Everest even more daunting. However, Max has always been passionate about changing society’s perceptions of disabled people, always wanting to be treated as an equal and to show that with the right support disability shouldn’t hold you back. He demonstrated this at the tender age of five when he took up horse riding with ‘Riding for the Disabled Association’ (RDA). Max found that riding not only gave him mental and physical benefits but allowed him to participate in a sport.

Max begins training

Once the decision was made the hard work began – with eighteen months of preparation! Not only did Max undergo physio every week to build his core strength and stretch the muscles but he also had to boost his endurance in the saddle from one and a half hours to eight hours a day. Every risk had to be contemplated including dehydration, altitude sickness, riding an unfamiliar Nepalese horse and even a Yak attack!

Good, reliable equipment was also vital for the trip and here RS played its part by supporting Max with a supply of RS PRO torches and head torches, SD memory cards for filming the whole adventure and a GPS sensor and antenna to help map the route and stay on track.

The journey begins

So, in April 2018 Max left his wheelchair in Kathmandu and swapped to his Nepalese horse ‘Rocky’ to begin the adventure of a lifetime. After three days of on-site training and acclimatisation, supported by a team of friends, Sherpas and porters, Max and Rocky started their record-breaking ascent to Everest Base Camp. The weather was hot and luckily Max only experienced mild altitude sickness, but the longer the trek the more it could affect him, so time was critical. Other challenges that the team had to contend with included a power failure at one of the lodges - when luckily the RS torches proved invaluable - difficulty to sleep at altitude and more walking than anticipated, but despite these Max and Rocky covered the difficult journey of 79km with a 3000m ascent in eight days.

“It was a momentous moment”, Max recalls “the beauty and scale of it all made everyone very emotional. I feel incredibly proud to have accomplished something that people in general can’t do - disability shouldn’t hold you back”. Max has raised over £62,000 for the Riding for the Disabled Association, helping to fund the building of their new National Training Centre in Warwickshire. He has also achieved a world record, becoming the first disabled person to reach Base Camp Everest and is an inspiration to us all.

Take a look at our video which follows Max on his uplifting journey.
You can also follow Max’s adventures on the Riding Everest Instagram page here
Max and the team on Everest
Max and the team

Other inspirational stories



Read more >


Read more >

MARS Rover

Read more >