Alexandra Németh was born in Komló and was working as a recruiter for an English college for years. In 2011 she left her job for professional photography, and in 2012, she started mountaineering. 2017 might be the year when she’s able to complete the Seven Summits challenge, and reach the top of the highest mountain of every continent, travelo.hu writes.
Németh currently lives in London, but takes both the British and the Hungarian flags to all the mountains she climbs. In mid-May she’s going to have three lectures in Hungary, and travelo.hu grabbed the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her experiences, future goals, and the Seven Summits challenge.
In 2009 Németh did a digital photography course and regularly used her skill while doing work related travel in Japan, South Korea, India, Norway, or China. It was in Japan, during a car race, that Németh realized that photography is more for her than just a hobby. After moving back to London in 2011, she took every request and photographed weddings, products, and everything else, while travelling to races during the weekend. After sending her portfolio to the British Sports Journalists’ Association, she first received a national, and later an international press card.
As a freelancer, Németh started mountaineering in March, 2012, and spent a month in the Himalaya; it took her three weeks to reach the Gokyo Ri, she passed the Cho la pass, visited Kala Patthar, and the Everest base camp.
To be able to endure the climbing Németh needs comfortably boots and an increased stamina, to be able to walk for 6-8 hours a day; not so long, after her first climbing experience, she did a mountaineering course in Ben Nevisen, Scotland.
Combining her work and passion, Németh thoroughly documented her achievements, and she received an award for one of her photographs, made in the Alps. It wasn’t until 2014 that she was inspired by an Everest blog and decided to complete the Seven Summits challenge. She has already reached the top of five of the mountains.
From all the expeditions, Németh has always learnt something and gained new experiences. She thoroughly studies the mountains, the routes and the weather before climbing, and always takes something valuable with her to comfort her in hard times.
As climbing is a costly sport, money has been a problem from the beginning: although she could use her savings to finance the first couple of expeditions, she was soon forced to take on part time and full time jobs besides photographing, and sometimes had three jobs at the same time. She said that she has no regrets, because she was always looking forward to achieving more. After climbing on top of the third Summit Mountain she got sponsored by different local companies. From this year a Hungarian company, iQor, also supports her and provides the means for the 2017 Mount Everest expedition.
To increase her stamina Németh works out every day and also does spinning, besides eating healthy meals (mainly chicken breast, vegetables, salads, and sweet potato). Three weeks before climbing she increases her calorie intake to have some reserves to fall back on during climbing (it’s easy to lose 3-4 kilograms during an expedition).
Taking both the Hungarian and the British flag is extremely important for her because, although she’s been living in London for years, no one can take her Hungarian heritage: she was born and raised in Hungary, and her native language is also Hungarian.
To the question how she was able to become a successful climber Németh answered that she’s lucky, because she’s able to concentrate on herself. Most of her contemporaries already have families, raising kids, and saving for a house or a car; for them, it would be quite difficult to leave for 3-4 weeks. Being alone has an advantage: she can focus on her work and hobbies without having to take care of anyone.
Németh also said that climbing, in a way, transforms her personality; while being chatty and lively in the weekdays, she’s silent while climbing and respects the mountains.
Her biggest goal for now is to climb the Mount Everest, and she will only have other long-term goals after she has completed the challenge.
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