Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Lincolnshire team makes successful assault on Everest Base Camp

Two Lincolnshire men have raised more than £5,000 for the Freemasons’ charity the MCF  by trekking to Everest Base Camp, 18,000 feet above sea level.

Jez Hyland from Horncastle and Rob Wright from Boston went to the Himalayas with five friends for the adventure of a lifetime – and with arduous climbs, snow, ice, the constant fear of altitude sickness, and a scary landing at the world’s most dangerous airport, it lived up to that billing.

Rob, left and Jez prepare to cross one of the flimsy footbridges en route

Jez Hyland tells the story… “The journey to the mountain wasn’t without its difficulties. We got stuck in Kathmandu airport for over six hours, but got one of the the last helicopters out that was able to land at Lukla Airport, said to be the most dangerous in the world. It was scary; have a look at YouTube. After that we were ready to start our journey proper.

“The first day’s trekking was fairly straightforward over four hours. However, the second day has been brutal with 3,600 feet of  climbing and a few foot bridges. Not great for someone like me, who doesn’t particularly enjoy heights! But look on the bright side; it was better than walking down and back up again.

“Tuesday was our acclimatisation day at Namche Bazaar, which sits at 11,400 feet above sea level. The day consisted of a 1,500-foot climb to the Everest Hotel, and then walk back down to where we’d started. It was a four-hour steep stroll, and would have offered our first view of Everest, if it hadn’t been hidden by cloud…

“Wednesday was a hike to Tenbouche at 12,700 feet. However, we had to descend to a river crossing, which meant 2,880 feet of climbing on the day. It was a tough trek with terrain consisting mainly of steep switchback boulders. On the upside, the weather was perfect and we saw Everest without cover for the first time. The scenery was stunning and our photos probably don’t do justice to what we could see with the naked eye.

“Based on the weather forecast, our guide advised us to do Everest Base Camp on the Saturday and Kalapathar on the Sunday morning for a sunrise view with a 3:30 am start. Boy was he right, but more of that later.
Journey’s end!

“Reaching Base Camp was a nine-hour day from Lobuche via Gorakshep, then returning to Gorakshep ready for the sunrise climb. The Camp day was tough, with so many rock and boulder step overs, but we had brilliant weather again and achieved the goal, getting to Everest Base Camp safely.

“On Sunday we woke up to at least two inches of snow, which would’ve made Base Camp nearly impossible, so massive thanks to our guide for calling it correctly. However, two inches of snow and Minus 11 at 3.30am made the Kalapathar climb, with sunrise at 5:47 am, and no descent or flat on the hike, probably the toughest of all. But for our efforts, we got to see Everest in all its glory. Viewing the tallest place on the planet with your own eyes is an incredible experience.

“Finally, Rob and I want to thank everyone for their support, and a massive thanks to the rest of the team, Kenny, Cameron, Dean, Steve and Andy who accompanied us on our journey and also supported our charity appeal very generously.

“I must also compliment the Nepalese people, who have been absolutely fantastic. They are very happy smiley nation. But on reflection it did make me think how terribly lucky and grateful we should be for being in the fortunate position of being able to achieve these sort of lifetime challenges. At the same time, everybody who supports such challenges should be proud they are able to help those less fortunate than themselves.”



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