For many dreams will always just remain as dreams. It’s not always possible to turn them into reality, but for me I am so close to my “dream trip” I can almost taste it.
Dreaming of Mount Everest
For years I have dreamt of visiting the iconic Mount Everest, at the pinnacle of the earth as we know it and nothing compares to this mountain. Sometimes in dreams you have to add a dash of reality; with this dream I have to be realistic that my body would be unlikely to handle the altitude of something so momentous. After summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in 2016 I became very sick from the effects of altitude so I am acutely aware that my body does not cope well with altitude; so, realistically, reaching the summit of Mount Everest is probably never likely for me. Thus, my sights turned to the famous Everest Base Camp.
Whilst some people scoff at “just Base Camp,” as opposed to making it to the mountain summit, the life journey I dream of doesn’t correlate to the listed altitude on paper. I don’t have to achieve that. For me, it’s being in the Himalayas, on an incredible adventure and witnessing the jaw-dropping scenery with my own eyes and not just on a TV programme. For me, that is everything.
The mountains are where I find peace | Location: Jebel Shams, Oman
The Mountain Vibes:
So why do I crave the mountains?
I believe that everyone in life has a happy place, the place where they feel calm and content. For me, it seems to be out in the wild with a backpack. My stresses melt away and things that bothered me before seem insignificant after a good dose of the outdoors life. Hearing more about iconic climbers like Jason Black inspires me further to see the world and experience new things.
At an altitude of 5,364m, Everest Base Camp is 500m lower in height than the height of Kilimanjaro, where I have previously visited, but that doesn’t mean that is going to be an easy journey. Hiking for 14 days is physically tough on the body so this requires some training to prepare.
Although you don’t need to be super fit to visit Base Camp I want to give myself the best possible chance of feeling fit, healthy & competent on this 14-day hike to one of the most iconic places on earth. After breaking my ankle 12 weeks ago, and spending 6 weeks in a cast, the main focus to prepare for the journey ahead is to strengthen my ankle and surrounding muscles again.
My training right now consists of:
- two decent outdoor hikes to improve leg strength and cardio endurance
- at least 2 gym sessions per week to strengthen the rest of my body for the climb
My Kit Bag:
When going on such an exciting and cold adventure, of course you need a decent kit bag filled with essentials. Luckily over the past couple of years I have been adding more and more items to my collection so I won’t have so much to buy ahead of this trip. I’ll share with you some of my trusted essentials:
Trusted boots by The North Face have been on many adventures – they are well worn in!
Buff headwear – This can be worn in so many different ways. From neck scarf to headband, this little bit of fabric is versatile and reliable.
After living in the warm Middle East for 5 years, I really feel the mountain cold affect me. I bought these Omni-Heat Base Layers by Columbia for my Kilimanjaro trip and wore them without fail to keep the wind and chills from my bones.
This water bottle by Nalgene was around 10 USD, so it is one of the cheaper items in my kit, but one of the best investments!! At night I would fill it with hot water from the camp and hug it tight in my sleeping bag for heat. By morning it’s chilled and ready to drink – Important for hydration on a mountain.
Hat & Jacket by Jack Wolfskin, Gloves by Columbia & water bottle by Nalgene.
With every trip and adventure I throw myself into, I find another piece of my puzzle. Eventually I will know who I am supposed to be as an adult, so my hope with this trip to Nepal is that I find a couple more pieces of my puzzle.
Stay tuned for more updates closer to the trip and you can track my progress as I head for Nepal and begin my trip of a lifetime.