Facing the ultimate challenge

EMPLOYEES who reach for the sky and have formidable drive and motivation are hard to come by, but Knight Frank has been lucky enough to recapture the services of mountaineer Tim Robathan, who returns to the firm after leaving to climb Mount Everest.

Having been part of the Australian Army’s centenary trek to the summit of Everest, Mr Robathan is back at sea level and has joined Knight Frank as a trainee valuer.

He left his position as a property analyst with Knight Frank in January to join the expedition, which was a planned celebration of both the Centen-ary of Federation and the 100th birthday of the Australian Army.

The expedition was marred by tragedy in its early stages, with Michelle Hackett, her partner Peter Szypula and her 8-year old daughter Kathleen Cassandra (KC), perishing in an avalanche in Nepal.

Mr Robathan was one of 12 climbers who decided to continue their ascent.

“I’ve been climbing since I was 16 and have been to the Himalayas a few times. I’ve always wanted to climb Everest,” he says.

“When the opportunity arose I had to take it.”

Although his climb ended 250 metres short of the summit, Mr Robathan says the experience fulfilled all his desires and has no immediate plans to return.

“Two hundred and fifty metres doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s vertical so that was another five or so hours of climbing at extreme altitude,” he says.

“I’m very satisfied with what I did achieve and it was a fantastic experience, but I have no immediate plans on returning. There’s a lot more to climbing Everest than reaching the summit.”

Mr Robathan returned to Australia on June 9 and, after a week of intense media interest and four weeks of numb fingers, he has returned to work with Knight Frank.

The firm also has appointed Bart Boys to the leasing department and promoted Brian Cole to director in charge of the strategic consulting group.


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