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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Pair steamed up on mountain
Extreme ironing
Extreme ironing is part domestic chore, part dangerous sport
Two eccentric sportsmen have broken a world record - by ironing a Union flag 5,440 metres above sea level on Mount Everest.

John Roberts and Ben Gibbons, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, carried an ironing board part way up the world's tallest mountain.

Extreme ironing combines the domestic chore with dangerous sports, like scuba diving and rock-climbing.

Antiques dealer Mr Roberts, 35, and heating system designer Mr Gibbons, 21, were inspired to tackle the mountain with their washing after a friend dared them to do it.

Mr Gibbons said: "At first we treated it as a joke, but then we stormed his house, took the ironing board and headed off to Nepal.

Extremely proud

"It was hard work. We walked 300 kilometres for 17 days to get to base camp and it was difficult with the extra weight, but the locals enjoyed seeing us so it was great fun.

"When we got to base camp there was a tense atmosphere as the mountaineering teams were waiting for breaks in the weather, but I think we helped break the ice a bit."

The pair were given permission to go a little further up the mountain to claim the record.

Mr Roberts said: "It was fantastic because trekkers aren't usually allowed to stay at base camp or climb above it.

"Standing there ironing the Union Jack was a real `wow' moment."

Mr Gibbons' mother, Caroline, said she was extremely proud of her son.

"I thought it was brilliant. We knew he was going to Nepal and he said about the ironing a few times, but we just thought he was joking.

First for Brits in ironing contest
21 Sep 02  |  England

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