Nathan stands on top of the world wearing wool.

Nathan Anderton

On the 1st April 2024, Nathan Anderton set off on a trip of a lifetime, to climb to the top of the Mount Everest Summit, sitting 8,850m above sea level. 53 days later, and after 10 years of preparation and extensive training, Nathan Anderton achieved his dream and was standing on the top of the world – the Summit of Mount Everest.

Nathan summed up his experience as life changing and a major relief, especially after encountering some major setbacks.

“Words do not do it justice about how surreal the experience was. Imagine climbing under a full moon, not a breath of wind, the sky is clear because the cloud cover is below you, and you can see the smaller surrounding peaks poking through the top of the clouds. You reach the ‘single file’ ridge between the South Summit and the actual Summit, with the sun rising to your right-hand side from Tibet and casting an enormous pyramid shadow on your left-hand side over in Nepal. The 10-year wait was over, and you’ve reached the Summit of Mount Everest, feeling sheer relief, and knowing all your financial investment and 10-years of training has paid off.”

In general, Nathan said that the conditions were as expected, however the mountain did have its moments. “We had to retreat twice, once in the Khumbu Icefall due to an ice-wall collapse, and the second time on the Lhotse Face due to a severe snowstorm.”

Fox & Lillie was a proud sponsor of Nathan Anderton’s Mount Everest expedition, supporting the costs associated with the climb with the trekking company, Adventure Consultants, as well as supplying Nathan with two technical wool garments made by a brand called Rapha from 17.5-micron 105GSM and 125GSM fabric. These 60% Merino and 40% Polyester blend garments were produced by one of Fox & Lillie’s global supply chain partners in the United States, from wool sourced through Fox & Lillie’s Genesys program, certified under the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS).

Genesys is Fox & Lillie’s specialised certified and traceable platform. The program has over 200 wool producers from all around eastern Australia certified under the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS).

Fox & Lillie supplied Nathan with the technical garments because the company wanted to see how they performed under extreme weather conditions. The blend of Merino and polyester was recommended for their thermal and wicking properties, to provide both warmth and to wick moisture. Nathan also packed some Merino garments from the well-respected brand, Icebreaker, with a higher GSM composition.

Nathan said that his experience wearing wool on the mountains was extremely positive. The garments provided upper body sun protection and sufficient warmth, the wicking properties were excellent, and the garments did not smell at any stage unlike the synthetic alternatives.

Nathan summited Mount Everest at a reported minus 20 degrees Celsius, wearing his Mountain Down Suit and nothing more than Merino thermal leggings and a Merino long sleeve top underneath.

“Tashi, my climbing Sherpa was very surprised when I started unzipping the down suit vents while we were climbing the summit to allow extra air flow in for cooling wearing nothing more than my thermal layer underneath.”

Although mountaineering is a niche market, people tend to spend money to ensure they have the right equipment and clothing. The benefits of the Merino wool fibre including breathability, moisture wicking, and odour resistance, makes Merino wool a popular choice in the active outdoor industry, and Fox & Lillie believes a great use for wool, especially with the trend away from the more traditional formal suiting market.

For anyone thinking of undertaking an expedition to Mount Everest, Nathan highly recommends doing a two-week Alpine Expedition Course to confirm if mountaineering is for you. “And importantly, make sure you climb with a reputable mountaineering company, because at the end of the day, it is a question of how much do you value your life?”

So, what’s the next adventure for Nathan Anderton? Nathan says the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race!


More photos from the expedition:

Nathan Anderton Mount Everest SummitClimbing Mount EverestMount Everest ExpeditionNathan Anderton wearing Fox & Lillie Rural wool capTeam+photo 1Nathan Anderton

Prior to the trip. Wearing Rapha wool garments