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Bonita Norris
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Bonita Norris - Mountain Climber - Adventurer

Bonita Norris, a media studies graduate from Berkshire, United Kingdom, became the youngest British female to climb Mt. Everest in 2010. In her teens, much like many girls of her age she was only interested with clothes, her appearance and with keeping her body thin. This led her into a cycle of binge eating and vomiting which went on for two years - at its worst purging twice a day. But, Norris overcame the disease by forcing herself to become fit and started running. In 2008, she completed the London Marathon and shortly after developed a burning desire to take on climbing Everest, inspired by television survival expert Bear Grylls, who had climbed Everest at age 23. After two years of serious training, she conquered Mt. Manaslu in the Himalayas prior to taking on the ascent of Everest. In the fall of 2009 Norris became the youngest woman in history to reach the false summit of Mt Manaslu in the Himalayas, the eighth highest mountain in the world. This first experience of high altitude mountaineering meant negotiating a crevasse field over a mile long, avalanche prone slopes, steep sections of blue ice and walls of near vertical ice and snow. She reached the saddle summit alongside her team on the 28th September 2009 after 30 days of being on the expedition. In her 2010 climb in the Himalayas her ascent started from Pangboche Village at 4000m and finished on the summit at 8848m after six days. While making her descent she injured her shoulder, but managed to walk down several hundred meters with her team mate, where she got assistance from sherpas, which she believes actually saved her life. She was then well enough to walk back to the summit camp that night after receiving medication and then walked to the base camp over the next two days.

On March 31 2011 she headed north to the arctic circle to a place called Longyearbyen, then on to a Russian base called Camp Barneo and after that off to the North Pole, which she reached on the 13th of April. The expedition was in aid of a great charity, The Forces Children's Trust. Her current project is seeking sponsorship for an expedition to the South Pole in the Antarctic season of 2011/2012. Her team aim is to leave from the true coast of Antarctica and ski unassisted to the Pole, arriving in sometime during January 2012. This record breaking expedition to the coldest place on earth will coincide with the centenary of the South Pole first being reached. The all British female team, sledges fully laden with supplies, will ski through high Arctic latitudes and increasingly brutal conditions. They will endure hunger and physical and mental exhaustion. If successful the team will reach the pole on the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen, who led the first Antarctic expedition to reach the South Pole on December 14, 1911. Bonita Norris was shortlisted in Cosmopolitan Magazine’s annual Women of the Year Awards after her expedition to Mount Everest where she raised thousands of pounds for the Global Angels charity. In November 2011, an expedition to the summit of Ama Dablam at 6856m in elevation was a completion of sorts to the trials and tribulations of her Everest climb. This climb was completely successful eradicating the sense of diminshed success after needing assistance on the Everest descent. Here she said to herself again and again - this will be the last, no more expeditions, just finish this and then get a normal job which has a higher chance of survival. Will she follow her own advice...? I doubt it.

Read the full story of her expeditions at: bonitanorris.blogspot.com

Highlights of speech at Southampton Solent University






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The unspoiled Black Sea region of Turkey contains unbelievable natural beauty from its pristine mountains to uncrowded beaches, a cuisine unique to the area and a very friendly population who still live much the same as they have for generations...

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