Typical! You climb 8,848m up a mountain to get a decent signal and all you get is the answering machine.

Climber Rod Baber became the first man to make a mobile phone call from Everest summit when he rang a special voicemail number to record the fact that it was very cold and the Himalayas were everywhere.

The 36-year-old from Cirencester then rang his wife, who fortunately answered his call, to tell her much the same thing. Rod braved temperatures of minus 30 degrees C and high winds to make the phone call, which was made possible by the installation of a base station on the Tibetan side of the mountain.

He taped his phone batteries to his body to keep them warm and functioning. He removed his oxygen mask briefly to make the calls.

The intrepid climber also bagged the dubious record for the first text to be sent from the highest point on earth with the somewhat unoriginal and definitely hyperbolic ‘One small text for man, one giant leap for mobilekind.’

Calls have previously been made using satellite phones, but this was the first using land-based systems. Mr Baber and his team had been training and acclimatising for his bid since mid-April.