Cymru football legend climbs Everest Base Camp for The Wallich

30 May 2024

Former Wales Arsenal and Barry Town football striker Ayshea Martyn took on the epic Everest Base Camp 1 challenge raising money for The Wallich

She raised £395 for people experiencing homelessness. We caught up with Ayshea when she got back to Wales to talk about her experience

Ayshea at Everest basecamp 1

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

“I’m Ayshea.

After 24 years of working in the council as a care home manager and carer, I decided to make a change and start working in the fire service. It was a total change.

I’ve always challenged myself. I’ve done the National three peaks, the Welsh three peaks twice and the South Wales three peaks.

However, Everest is something I’ve always, always, always wanted to do.”

What training did you do to climb Everest Base Camp 1?

“All of the three peaks challenges I’ve done are good training. But, you cannot do the same altitude training, there are no mountains high enough here.

While we were there [at Base Camp], we had three days of altitude training. We’d climb and climb and climb set up camp, do altitude training, come back down and then rest for the night.

Fitness wise, I’m constantly walking, running, biking, mountain climbing and hiking, so I’ve done a lot of fitness.

I also have to keep fit for my job, so it’s a constant for me.”

Why did you choose to raise money for a homelessness charity? Specifically, The Wallich?

“I chose homelessness because everywhere I go it’s everywhere and it saddens me to see people on the street.

With you [The Wallich] helping people get off the streets, keeping them off the street, and giving them the tools to go out and do something else, I just think it is amazing.

I just think that what you do is amazing.

It’s something you see everywhere and to get people off the streets, even just a few people at a time, I just think is amazing.”

Can you give us a glimpse of what Base Camp 1 is like?

“It was… It is really hard to describe, even the pictures don’t paint a picture of what it was like.

It was just absolutely amazing.

It was the toughest thing that I’ve ever done in my life because of the altitude. You’re waking up in the middle of the night and you’re breathless.

You’re nearly 18,000 meters high. There’s helicopters at the same height as you’re walking. That’s how high you are.

Base Camp is amazing, it was freezing because it had been snowing. I mean, we started off in just t-shirts and shorts and then we got up there it was absolutely freezing.

You’d wake up in the morning and your drink would be frozen. It was that cold. I think the coldest it got was -17 degrees.

Base Camp was amazing, it was buzzing.”

What did you find the toughest? How did you get through those times?

“I think the cold, because you obviously have the gear but, if you get up in the middle of the night, you don’t want to get out of your sleeping bag.

You’d wake up and the window would be frozen and there’d be icicles on the windows.

I just piled on layers and layers, I think that’s what got me through.

I think other people got me through as well.

I did Base Camp as a present for myself for my 50th birthday, so that also got me through.

I was raising money and I wanted to raise as much money as possible.

Everybody got me through it; the group, the view, the people, family support, everything!”

So, what was the highlight?

“The Nepalese people were absolutely amazing. I mean, they have nothing, but they’d be quite happy for you to go in their house and have a bit of soup with them. They’re just amazing people.

The views were stunning, getting up to Base Camp and seeing everyone else up there and also seeing expeditions of people who were climbing Everest.

It was one big highlight, it was overwhelming, it was amazing!”

Why should other people take on a challenge for The Wallich?

“We need to be getting people off the streets, it’s so sad.

It hurts my heart to see people on the street.

I think people should do challenges to raise money, and help get people off the street, get them into training, get them back into work.”

Do you want to take on a new challenge to raise money for a homelessness charity? Visit our Fundraising page or email

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