Training has now been modified to include cream teas and sewing - at high altitude of course.
Now that we're in the final stages of preparation for our trip, we're trying our best to get some acclimatisation in before we leave so that we can hopefully avoid suffering from altitude sickness. The best place to do this is up at the Aiguille du Midi but unfortunately it is closed today due to bad weather conditions, so we're stuck down in the valley drawing up lists of what we mustn't (but probably will anyway) forget to take and repacking our bags in the hope that our kit has somehow got smaller and lighter than last time we did it.
Our high-altitude training is my favourite part of the preparations; apparently even just spending a few hours up there can help your body adjust and enable it to deal with the thin air better. We've not been completely slacking; a few sprints up and down the staircases, a few star jumps on the viewing platforms... But mostly though, we've just been eating cake and sewing badges on to our kit. It turns out that Helen is a bit of a Delia Smith on the sly and can knock up a fine batch of scones.
Our kit is looking grand now that we've got our badges sewn on, thanks to the skills of Ellie at Hand Made in Chamonix - the Neverest Girls and A Chacun Son Everest patches are self-explanatory but the other two are in honour of Mountain Garden Company and TSJ Menuiserie, who have both supported us and made generous donations - thanks chaps!
Speaking of generous donations, we've had loads more rolling in this week and the grand total now tops 13,000€! Thank you to each and every one of you, all donations big and small are all very much appreciated and mean a great deal.
We've only got 3 days left in which to squeeze in some last minute cake-eating... I mean altitude training... so we're hoping that the weather clears and we can get up the Aiguille du Midi a few more times before we leave.
Well, we've been practising hard for months now and we think we've got it nailed - we're ready and we're raring to go. No, not running... I'm talking about the Charleston!
Tonight is the big night, the final flapper-tastic fandago that is The Neverest Girl's Gatsby Party! We'll be twirling our beads, fluttering our feather boas and shimmying our socks off tonight in order to say goodbye and a great big THANK YOU before we head off in just a few short weeks.
We started this adventure thinking that we might try and make it an opportunity to raise a bit of dosh for a worthy cause - we looked into a few charities and the overwhelming feeling was that A Chacun Son Everest was the one for us. Based in Chamonix, ACSE is run by Dr Christine Janin, an inspirational and remarkable woman who for the past 20 years has been providing an amazing service for children and women who have fought for a second chance at life. Her team of mountain guides, therapists, councillors and activity leaders ensure that for one week they come out here and do what they perhaps thought would never be possible. Whether it's physical strength or self-confidence that needs healing, they get the best care possible during their week in the mountains.
"A bit of dosh" is now at over 10,000€ and rising! We knew we had a great network of friends and family between us but the generosity and support that you've all shown has been incredible - you rock and we love you for it! The money that you have raised will make a massive difference to ACSE and is hugely appreciated - in case you didn't already know, we would like to make it clear that we are paying for every aspect of the trip ourselves so that every single euro you have donated is going directly to the charity.
Time has flown and none of us can quite believe that we're going to actually be at Everest Base Camp very soon - excited is not the word for how we're feeling right now! Come and join us tonight at Les Caves to party the night away one last time before we leave - entry is free of charge and the lovely Leila is offering a drinks promo. It all kicks off from 8pm, see you there xxx