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Ireland's Ice Queen tries for colder peaks - a 1km swim in glacial lake on Everest


Irish extreme swimmer Nuala Moore

Irish extreme swimmer Nuala Moore

Irish extreme swimmer Nuala Moore

Ireland's 'Ice Queen' Nuala Moore is preparing for her next challenge - to swim 1km on Mount Everest.

The champion ice swimmer will enlist the help of Sherpas in her bid to become the first woman to swim a kilometre at 5,000m.

Low oxygen levels, wind chill and altitude sickness will be some of the challenges when she plunges into a lake on the slopes of the world's highest mountain.

She will spend days hiking up to a base camp used by climbers. When she enters the chilly waters of Imja Lake, she will not wear a wetsuit.

As with all her extreme swimming feats, she will wear a one-piece bathing suit as she undertakes to swim 1km.

"This is a colossal personal challenge. It takes me out of my comfort zone," said Ms Moore. The 52-year-old businesswoman, who sells bed linen at her 'Strawberry Beds' shop in Dingle, Co Kerry, will travel to Nepal next month.

A friend and long-time supporter, Dunquin-man Feargal Slattery, will have a crucial standby rescue role.

"Swimming in icy, or freezing waters, is limited by the time spent in the water, the distance, and the temperature," she said.

Her achievements in extreme swimming are extraordinary. She journeyed to Siberia to swim, where the air temperature was minus 33C. And above the Arctic Circle, channels were broken in the ice by Russians in 2013 to allow her to become the first Irish person to swim 1km in zero-degree waters.

She has won medals representing Ireland at a number of World Ice Swimming Championship events. In 2013, she and Donegal swimmer Anne-Marie Ward represented Ireland in a multi-national relay team that swam the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska.

"There were freezing winds blowing at 80 knots. Our command ship was a Russian military hospital vessel with Russian special forces assisting us - it was the closest thing to a James Bond movie," she said.

Another endeavour involved Ms Moore and five swimmers completing a relay swim around Ireland.

Two years ago, she became the first person in history to swim a mile in the world's most treacherous stretch of sea - south of Cape Horn - when she battled dangerous currents where the Pacific, Atlantic and Antarctic oceans meet.

She is grateful that all these feats were accomplished with the help of dedicated supporters and friends. She has set up a GoFundMe page and she is contactable at nualamoore@gmail.com

Sunday Independent