A trip to Everest Base Camp comes highly recommended, as an OH brother and sister expedition raising funds to fight Parkinson's Disease reveals...
At the end of October 2018, my sister and I took on the challenge of trekking to Everest Base Camp. Together we had already summited Mt. Kilimanjaro whilst I was still a pupil at Haileybury (Lower Sixth) and Gabriella having just left. On that particular trek we raised money for both the Haileybury Youth Trust and Children in Crossfire Charity. This gave us our first experience of trekking and our ability to achieve this feat was definitely supported by the regular sports participation whilst at school.
Everest Base Camp represented a new and greater challenge - especially now we did not have the regular exercise that was provided by school! Driven by our want to support our Grandad who suffered from Parkinson's, we raised money for this great charity and trained at length in the build up. The challenge came around before we knew it, and started with probably the scariest part of it all - a flight on a propeller plane to Lukla (coined 'the worlds most dangerous airport').
The trek took us through multiple different terrains ranging from dense woodland, open plains and rocky peaks. In total we covered around 150km and experienced temperatures as low as -18 degrees. The rewards however outweighed these adverse conditions and both of us successfully summited Kala Patthar (5643m) and then made it to Everest Base Camp (5364m) after 8 days of trekking.
The trek back to Lukla took a further 5 days, at which point both of us were very much ready for a bed and shower! Overall, the trek required great physical determination, but also great mental determination to push yourself to carry on walking. We coincidentally bumped into the Haileybury organised trek that was taking place at the same time. All of the current pupils seemed to be having a similar experience to ourselves and it showed how great the school is for preparing you to face these physical and mental challenges.
I'd like to thank the school for putting on these opportunities for the current pupils as I believe what I learnt from the 2 weeks this challenge took are very important in life - from the determination to the mental strength, or the reward balanced against the pain (especially the blisters!). For anyone considering it, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the breathtaking views and sense of accomplishment it gave. I wish everyone could experience it.
Callum Richardson (LS & L 07)
Gabriella Richardson (LS & A 05)