An Everest Base Camp and writing novels - you couldn’t get two things more different. Yet Matt Dickinson has conquered both - and that was the topic for his talk with Year 10 on Monday.

At various points throughout the day, the different houses went to hear his talk - for my group, it was during Period 2. We headed over to the Hall to listen to his speech.

He began by presenting his journey to the peak of Everest, showcasing short videos, depicting various aspects of the climb as he ascended ever higher: this encompassed the physical struggle to survive as the air becomes thinner with altitude, to the environmental troubles such as rubbish piles collecting on the mountain due to tourists, all the way to moral issues about hiring local ‘Porters’ and animals to carry heavy equipment up to various camps and the stress this exerts on their bodies.

This incredible story led him to discuss his life as an author. Dickinson described how he writes his books and what being an author is like from a financial perspective. As an example, he spoke about compiling his trip to Everest into a book - ‘The Everest Files’ - which is now one of his bestsellers, looking in detail at the struggles and triumphs of his adventure.

As the interesting, awe-inspiring and informative talk drew to a close, we left the Hall with feelings of amazement from Dickinson’s experience of Mount Everest, and an understanding of what it is really like to work as a writer.