I’m Lee Humphries, a 36 year old adventurer and mountain climber from Wolverhampton, England. Having spent a great deal of time travelling and climbing mountains over the past 20 years visiting 99 different countries, I’m now on an adventure to stand on the highest point in 100 countries around the world!
I’ve always had a fascination with extremes, whether it be the fastest, longest or tallest and I recall collecting and studying many articles from the Guinness book of records from a young age.
After school one evening in September 1994 my Dad, Brother, Nan, Granddad and myself headed to a local viewpoint Beacon Hill (237m) in Sedgley. I still remember seeing those views over Wolverhampton and the Shropshire hills for the first time and the great lump in the distance that is the Wrekin (407m) near Telford. This was undoubtedly the starting point and beginning of my interest in hills and mountains
And indeed it was the Wrekin (407m) in late 1994 with my Dad and Brother that became my first hill climbed. I was only 11 but absolutely loved the fact that it was possible to stand on the very top, as from the bottom near Wellington this looked an impossible feat.
Having got the Wrekin under my belt, Me and my Dad ventured further and climbed several hills in Shropshire and headed into Wales. These included Brown clee hill (540m) and Cadair Berwyn (830m). They were great trips and initiated the need for me to climb higher and higher!
In April 1997 (I was 14 at the time) during the Easter school holiday I remember my dad posed me the question as to where we should go? I believe he was thinking about a nice walk in the peak district but i straight away said “Snowdon.. To climb the highest mountain in Wales”.. and so we did, My first country high point on 05/04/97.
From that point on I was a hill and mountain addict.. On many weekends and school holidays I would travel with a friend to Wales to climb hills. Predominantly ones which had good access using public transport as trains and buses were our only options.
One trip from around that time stands out was on a very cold day in late 1997. The aim was to climb Cadair Idris (893m) in Wales. I caught the first train from Wolverhampton to Machynlleth as I had done several times before and then a bus to the start point at Minffordd. Sporting nothing more than a large but certainly not waterproof Newcastle united coat and a thin pair of woolly gloves made this one of my early character building trips.. That’s for sure!
It snowed relentlessly all day, My gloves were saturated from the start so I improvised by putting plastic bags over my hands and the gloves over the bags! After reaching the top and spending time in the summit shelter it was a long, cold and painful walk back down to the bus stop at Minffordd.
It was dark by the time I finally got down and I stood shivering waiting for the bus back to Machynlleth. After 10 minutes I remember taking my gloves off as I hadn’t felt my hands for hours and was shocked to find the bag against my hand full of ice, leaving me with very painful blue and orange hands! Ever since I’ve checked the weather beforehand and taken appropriate gloves! Lesson learnt!
During the last two years at school I spent as much time as possible either in Wales climbing hills or playing football. More character building came in the form of typically wet and windy Welsh weather, missed busses/trains therefore having to sleep in bus stops and occasionally on train platforms over night!
On one occasion me and my friend (Rob) spent 12 days in Wales carrying what I would now describe as ridiculously heavy rucksacks with nothing more than cheap, semi-waterproof gear to stay dry, yet we still managed through sheer determination to climb over 30 hills that trip.
I ventured further afield in search of more mountains.. Going on to climb England’s highest mountain Scafell pike (978m) on a multi hill trip to the lake district in 1999. Then headed to Fort William in 2000 and climbed Scotland’s highest mountain Ben Nevis (1345m) along with many British mountains along the way accompanied by Rob.
In 2004 when I was 21, Me and Rob headed to Tenerife to climb Mount Teide (3718m) Spain’s highest mountain which was also a great success. Ireland’s highest Carrauntoohil (1038m) followed in 2005 along with a solo trip to climb Northern Ireland’s highest mountain Slieve Donard (850m) in 2006.
I became a self employed roofer that year and this flexibility with time allowed me to pursue my desire to climb mountains as often as I liked due to the unlimited flexibility. Although at that time my travelling became more focused on sightseeing.
A few years ago, I became a member on Flyertalk, Which lead me in the direction of super cheap flights! Which still remains the backbone of me being able to travel around Europe and the world at a very low cost. I therefore started doing more country high points but still without really having the aim to climb 100 country high points, these included;
In September 2015 I noticed that I had climbed to the highest point in 13 countries and in that moment my 100countryhighpoints adventure was born!
My adventure not only involves climbing to the highest point in Every European country, but also to the highest point in Africa (Kilimanjaro 5895m) and South America (Aconcagua 6962m) along with many more countries around the world.
I had climbed 40 country high points by the end of 2016 with the aim of climbing ~20 country high points per year. Therefore by 2020 I will have climbed to the highest point in 100 countries. Although knowing me I won’t be able to stop at 100!
Some of the higher and more obscure mountains I will be climbing include;
|Vietnam||Fan Si Pan||3143||10,312|
|Sri Lanka||Mount Pedro||2524||8281|
|Jordan||Jabal Umm ad Dami||1854||6083|
Support in the form of clothing, boots and additional equipment would certainly benefit my adventure. For example Scarpa manta climbing boots and Grivel crampons, Ice axe and climbing equipment for the higher mountains and anything that would enhance or supplement my current gear. I will happily promote, review and be seen wearing items along with them being visible when possible in my country high point videos and photos.
Sponsorship would also be gratefully welcomed and appreciated. Whether it be for the whole adventure, a single high point perhaps? I’m open to suggestions.