Mum takes a ‘peak’ at Melanie’s dream

A RAMSBOTTOM pens-ioner enjoyed a stunning bird’s eye view of Mount Everest as a birthday treat — courtesy of her adventurous daughter who is set to tackle the world’s highest mount-ain next year.

Melanie Southworth, who hails from Ramsbottom, decided to arrange a special and memorable treat for her mum Vera’s 86th birthday.

So, after travelling to Nepal to be with her daughter, Vera enjoyed a thrilling mountain flight aboard a Jetstream 4100 twin-engine, 29-seat regional turboprop plane which flew close to Mount Everest.

In June, the Bury Times told how Melanie, a self-confessed “accid-ental mountaineer”, had conquered the world’s fourth-highest peak, the 27,939ft Lhotse in the Himalays. She will attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest in May, 2014.

Melanie said: “I wanted to celebrate her birthday by doing something very special and very memor-able with her, because my mum is a remarkable woman. Two years ago she asked if she could visit me in Kathmandu, Nepal, to finally get a glimpse of this mystical city and the country that her daughter kept ‘disappearing off to’.

“Despite the pollution, poverty and chaos, she had a wonderful trip and could see the appeal of this unique country.

“But there was one thing she couldn’t do and that was see the snowy peaks of the Himalaya.

“My mum may have the spirit of adventure, like her daughter, but trekking up into the highest mountains on earth at her age was something that even she couldn’t manage. So, I had to come up with another plan.

“On my return to Ramsbottom, after I successfully climbed Lhotse, she looked at my climbing pictures and at Mount Everest, which sits just to the left of Lhotse. She said, ‘Oh, it must be beautiful to see it with your own eyes. You’re a very lucky girl.’”

So, earlier this month Melanie invited Vera back to Nepal.

She added: “I booked her on a mountain flight, which flew parallel to the Himalaya mountain range and up to Mount Everest and Lhotse itself, so that she could get her own bird’s eye view of these magnificent mountains.”

Vera said: “When I saw the mountain, the white against the blue sky, it was so spectacular that it was worth sitting in a window seat, which I don’t normally like.

“Melanie asked the pilot if he would let me go in the cockpit after everybody else, so that he could point out Everest and Lhotse, the mountain that my daughter had climbed. I felt very proud of what she had achieved, although I must admit, it did worry me when I saw the height of it.

“I have always insisted that when Melanie treks or travels that she follows her dreams, because I think that everybody should do, if possible.

Vera, who lives off Great Eaves Road, Ramsbottom, added: “I don’t know where Melanie gets her wanderlust from, as it’s certainly not from me.”

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