Aberdeen personal trainer overcomes fear of heights to climb Everest

Lee Donald has become the seventh Scottish woman to scale the 29,000ft Himalayan peak.

An Aberdeen personal trainer has reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain, despite not only having asthma but also a fear of heights.

Lee Donald scaled Mount Everest on May 13, becoming only the seventh Scottish woman to do so.

The 42-year-old mum says it was “just one of the most incredible experiences of my life”.

Safely back home, she’s been reflecting on her remarkable achievement.

She told STV News: “Standing on that summit was incredible, but we ended up having 40mph winds with snow in our faces. So the poses I thought we would get didn’t quite happen.

“I can’t even put into words what it was like. It was so emotional. I worked so hard and fought so hard to get on that summit, I genuinely can’t put it into words.”

Lee is one of only seven Scottish women to have scaled the 29,000 ft Himalayan peak.

Lee said she 'fought so hard' to climb the summit

An incredible accomplishment for any climber, but all the more so for the adventure seeker who not only has  asthma but also a fear of heights.

“I’m a firm believer you shouldn’t let anything stop you or get in your way, especially fear.

“So I embraced it, jumping over deep crevices, ladders. So yes, I think I might be over my fear of heights now.

“I had to fight for every single breath for the week it took to get to the summit.”

She explained she became quite ill at one point and missed a rotation of climbing up and down Everest to help her acclimatise.

It meant her chances of reaching the summit massively plummeted and her chances of getting high altitude sickness increased.

“I just had to take that chance. I have a relentless drive to succeed.

“I kept thinking of my family and my kids back home Lea and Jaxon and there was just no way I could stop.

Lee said she had to 'fight for every single breath'

“I just had to keep going, putting one foot in front of the other and it got me there. It’s amazing what you can achieve if you believe in yourself.”

Lee has raised money for North East cancer charity Friends of Anchor. She also hopes to increase awareness of mental health issues.

“I came from rock bottom years ago, struggling with an eating disorder, alcohol issues and depression.

“I came from rock bottom to top of the world.

“This just symbolised overcoming everything in my life and the obstacles kept coming until I reached the summit.”

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