Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 143, July 2021 July 2020 | Page 41

The duo covered 56km on the first day , getting as far as Noordhoek Peak , then covered the remaining 50km on the second day , with about 26 hours of moving time , and Remy says it was a birthday well spent ! “ It was hardcore , but oh so beautiful . On the first day , I went through so many emotions , but I was just so excited to be dancing around these dazzling peaks , with hypnotic views to keep me fuelled when my head and legs wanted to crumble . And I can tell you that this gal definitely felt a little fragile by the time we finished !”
“ The highlight was definitely the last stretch , from Nursery Ravine to Devils Peak and then home to Signal Hill . We did most of that section in the dark , and we were joined for the last push by Matt and one of Wade ’ s friends . Neither of them was super-fit at the time , but they were such champs – Matt had also run a few other sections with us . We could not have done this challenge without our support crew , and I want to once again thank my amazing brother and sisters , who joined in for a little vibe . It was definitely the highlight of my 2020 !” says Remy .
Making New Plans
Looking ahead , Remy is busy planning another expedition to Nepal in April-May 2022 , COVIDrestrictions permitting , to attempt the Everest climb again . As a result , she is busy not only with logistics , but also fundraising . “ I still have no clue how I will pull these dreams of mine off , because financially I need a miracle or two to work in my favour , but I will keep putting one step in front of the other . My climbing is sponsorshipdependant , so I am looking for partners to help fund and equip my climb . I prefer partnerships to sponsorship , as I want to give my backers return on their investment wherever I can . Before that , though , I ’ d like to go to Antarctica in December , to climb Mount Vinson , but I ’ m waiting for New Guinea to reopen – I already paid for my trip to climb Carstensz Pyramid , but nobody has climbed it since July 2019 because of the civil unrest on the island , followed by the COVID pandemic .”
Remy is balancing her training and fundraising efforts with consultancy work in the field of eco-friendly greening , and her # JustClimb initiative , in aid of the Dlala Nje Foundation . “ Success for me has been the opportunity to give back to society , and I have derived true satisfaction and meaning in my life from making a positive change . Dlala Nje means Just Play , hence I called my effort Just Climb , and when I set out on solo adventuring around the world , I decided to contribute to a children ’ s learning facility in Hillbrow , where I used to give art lessons when I was still in Johannesburg . Initially I raised R70,000 through my BackaBuddy link , which is still active , but I also went
Grace in her Heart
Remy always carries an artificial sunflower on her climbs to remind her to focus less on the difficulty of the climb , and more on the beauty , humility , humanity , positivity and grace in life
out and got corporate support for Dlala Nje , and raised R500,000 that way .”
Another initiative Remy puts a lot of effort into is motivational speaking about her experience with depression and anxiety . “ Basically , I like to speak about my journey , about discovering a dream and running with it , and woven into that is mental health , the message that you should not let it hold you back . I am on a mission to empower anyone who suffers from mental health battles to believe in their own capabilities , because our adversities do not define us . I like to engage with people about the mountaineering part of my life , the take-aways and lessons I have brought back into my daily life , because it is all about overcoming setbacks , like the Everest expedition failure . I tell them that my doubts still creep in from time to time , but I remind myself to keep striving for my dream , because having lived through severe depression and anxiety that crippled my life for so many years , I now choose to keep fighting !”
“ I believe we all have a powerful and brave warrior inside of us , ready to be unleashed and capable of accomplishing the extraordinary , and there is no expiration date on discovering and expressing that
Remy plans to trek back to Everest next April
potential . It starts with the belief in yourself and the courage to push yourself , because we all have something remarkable to share with the world . It doesn ’ t matter how you start , why you start or when you start – just start .”
Inspired by the Mountains
They say that the mountains can change you , by getting into your heart and soul , and Remy says this is absolutely true in her case . “ There ’ s an interesting feeling you get from being at the foothills of big mountains , and making this place your home for weeks on end . The constant rumble of avalanches and crackle of rockfalls that disrupt the otherwise dead silence of such a cathedral , the frigid nights and stormy days , the fact that not a single organism larger than a fly or bird can exist up there , no plants or trees , just rock and ice , and you wonder why someone would choose to be in such extreme environments , a wild , wild place . But that ’ s the beauty in it .”
“ It ’ s these places that teach us about the Earth and ourselves . They force us to learn about the environment and our abilities . They test our survival skills , pain tolerance , and knowledge about the natural world . Weather patterns , rock types , snow formations , ice formations , where the sun rises and sets , types of clouds and what they mean . What ’ s the decision … up , down , stay ? They also teach us about our own mortality , a blunt yet strangely positive reality check that our daily troubles , interpersonal arguments and frustrations are indeed quite menial , all things considered . Perhaps that is why we go out there . Not just to test ourselves , but to remind us of our own impermanence , and to harmonise with the realisation that all we have is this one beautiful life . That ’ s why I understand and acknowledge that my ability to climb and have these dreams is a true privilege , and I want to thank everyone who has supported me , backed me and believed in me along the way .”
Visit www . remykloos . com to find out about her upcoming climbing expeditions , speaking engagements and outreach work , or follow her on Facebook or Instagram : @ remykloos