Air Partner - 19 Mar 2015
Air Partner employee Ty Smith has recently returned from Argentina, where he was attempting to climb the highest mountain in the Southern and Western hemispheres, Mount Aconcagua.
Ty, who is Sales Manager in the Private Jets division at Air Partner, a leading provider of air charter services to governments, corporates and high net worth individuals, got within a day’s walk of the summit but was forced to turn back due to an unpredicted storm at 6000 metres.
All climbers were evacuated from the mountain as the storm, which had already reached wind speeds of 80km/h, was expected to get worse. Four other climbers in Ty’s group were flown off Aconcagua with severe injuries, although Ty himself managed to escape with only a cracked rib, which he sustained while carrying another climber’s kit after she got separated from the group.
Although disappointed not to have reached the summit with the Air Partner flag, which he previously carried up Mont Blanc in 2013 and Mount Kilimanjaro in 2014, Ty is grateful to have returned safely after the storm tragically claimed the lives of four climbers on the mountain.
Ty was scaling Aconcagua in order to raise money for Pilgrims Hospice in East Kent, in memory of his mother, who sadly passed away. Although the unforeseen weather conditions prevented him from achieving his goal of making it to the summit, Ty still intends to take on the mighty Mount Everest in 2016, and reach his target of £100,000 in the process.
Commenting on his back-breaking mission, Ty said: “Although I am disappointed not to reach the summit after coming so close, I fully respect the guides’ decision to turn back. I was still feeling physically and mentally strong with only a day’s climb left and so, with this in mind, I think I am ready for Everest next year. Currently, however, my thoughts are with the families and friends of those who very sadly did not survive the storm.’
Simon Wheatley, Director of the Private Jets UK division at Air Partner, said: “Air Partner is relieved that Ty has returned safely from Argentina and is extremely proud of what he achieved out there in the face of such adverse conditions. We were delighted to support him by paying for his flights out to Argentina and we will continue to root for him to get to the top of Everest next year. We are all doing our best to help him get closer to his target on his JustGiving page.”