When most of us think of a ‘high tea’, imagery of posh tea sets, picturesque finger foods and glamorous settings may grace our imaginings. However, for a climbing crew, an entirely different take on high tea became a reality, one boasting the literal sense of the word.
Recognised as a new Guinness World Record on 1 March, the highest of high teas was hosted by Andrew Hughs, a high-endurance athlete from Washington, USA and took place on Mount Everest.
Although it was only recognised this year, the record-setting endeavour actually took place on 5 May 2021. It was hosted at a breathtaking 21,312 feet above sea level.
According to a news release, beyond the challenge of actually reaching such a high, other complexities included carrying supplies through the “treacherous Khumbu Icefalls in order to realise the highest of high tea parties”.
Tea party supplies had to endure travelling across the world and being transported by yak to base camp, then carried via backpacks on the journey.
Another obstacle in the team’s way included a huge storm that disrupted the party’s parade. This didn’t ruin the party, however.
“With cold hands I carried everything out to a flat spot in the middle of our tents where a fresh blanket of snow laid. Setting the table for the attempt, large flakes fell covering everything quickly,” remembers Andrew.
“However, the joy of a small mental break from pondering the summit days ahead of us to simply celebrate with one another, sip tea, and indulge on treats largely absent from our diet on the mountain made the snowstorm just an added unforgettable element to the entire record attempt,” he added.
“The greatest things in life are often those shared,” Hughes said, adding he hopes the feat — held on May 5, 2021 — will “inspire others to seek their own dreams, no matter the heights.” as per CNN.
Bringing things back down to earth and closer to home, it’s no secret that many hikers in the Cape love a good treat amidst conquering trails. While a picnic atop Table Mountain or Lion’s Head may not be the highest setting for a tea party in the world, Hugh’s record-setter can at least serve as a reminder to pack your favourite treats and enjoy the company of your fellow trailblazers the next time you set up a hiking experience.
Some solo koeksisters to add to a lone-ranger picnic or tea party, sarmies from Giovanni’s Deli for your fellow hiking kin, or maybe a different kind of high coffee date are all top tier ways to make a hike that much more enticing. Whatever your spin on their tea party entails, this is your sign to add it to the agenda.