A night in a cold storage room in a Finglas fish factory for an Irish climbing team preparing for a Himalayan expedition.

Seven men spend around nine hours in temperatures of between minus twenty-six and minus twenty-eight degrees centigrade in preparation to climb Zhangzi, Mount Everest's next door neighbour.

According to team member Frank Nugent,

Tonight is very much about testing equipment which we are definitely taking with us and we're testing some sleeping bags, which we are making a decision on which bags to take.

Gas cylinders, batteries, and other vital equipment will also be put to the test. Most of their equipment is Irish made, their underwear in Ballyfermot, and their trousers and jackets in Tullamore.

Their tents, also made in Tullamore, are pitched in the cold storage unit in Finglas ready to be tested before heading off on their trip to Tibet. The mats are made in Cork, insulation foil in Bray, and the sleeping bags in Killarney. 

In total, there will be eleven men on the expedition with about 200 years of climbing experience between them. The expedition leader is 63-year-old Joss Lynam. Joss is recovering from a coronary by-pass operation and describes himself as a "lunatic". 

Climbing has always been something that has been very important to me because you're pushing yourself. It is a challenge and I don't think that life is really worth living unless you're trying to push yourself a bit.

Zhangzi is over twenty-four and a half thousand feet high and the southwest route that the team plans to take has never been climbed before. 

Stephen Galligan of Fingal Foods describes the setting for their trial in a freezer room with 800 tonnes of fish.

As the testing began at minus twenty-six degrees centigrade, the first problem was identified when the paraffin stove wouldn't light. An alternative was found with a high altitude gas.

The men are being given supplies by various sponsors, from dried food to chocolate bars and even free flight tickets to London on the first leg of their journey to Tibet in the autumn. The expedition will cost each team member £1,500 in addition to a further £5,000 they need to raise. 

The following morning the men emerge from the freezer in good spirits with Joss saying

Nobody froze to death. 

However, as Alisdair Jackson points out

One night in a Finglas freezer is very different from weeks of exposure to the rigours of high altitude Tibetan weather.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 29 July 1987. The reporter is Alisdair Jackson.