A NORTHALLERTON woman has helped lead a multi-national group of women on a successful trek to Everest Base Camp.

Annelies O’Nions, from Bullamoor Road, was part of a team from the British Gurkhas Nepal Camp in Kathmandu, Nepal, who battled against extreme weather and altitude sickness to reach the 17,500ft base camp.

Mrs O’Nions moved to Nepal in August 2013 to live with her husband, Major Paul O’Nions. He is responsible in the country for the recruitment of Gurkha soldiers into the British Army.

She planned and organised the challenge and embarked on the trek with three Nepalese women, one Dutch and six English.

The first part of the journey involved a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airport - considered one of the most dangerous in the world due to the runway being located on a cliff top.

After a safe landing the team met up with their two guides and their three yaks, which carried their equipment.  The trek took just over a week, but was nearly derailed three hours from Everest Base Camp when blizzards hit and the group had to turn back to a lower point, where they found somewhere to stay overnight.

Major O’Nions said: “The team’s spirit was at its lowest point throughout the whole trek. Everest Base Camp was a mere three hours trek away, they were suffering from fatigue and the temperature was 20 below freezing.”

But the following morning proved perfect conditions and the multi-national group reached base camp.

Major O’Nions added: “Everest Base Camp at 5440m, over four times the height of Ben Nevis had been conquered by a team of women from three different nations. 

"The only way to celebrate was with a group photograph and an emotional call to their love ones.”