Everest base camp
Black Shuck Sport & Leisure is all about inspiring, encouraging and helping people to get involved in sport and physical activity.
We want you all to enjoy the physical and mental benefits that it brings and the way it helps the community.
We didn’t have to look far to find some inspirational Ladies.
18th October – 4th November 2018
Lana Challis and Hazel Hawkins both from Leiston, work colleagues, close friends and inspirational fundraisers.
So far they have raised a fantastic £11,975 including gift aid for Breast Cancer NOW.
Lana and Hazel are no strangers to going to extremes to raise money for charity and to test themselves, in 2015 they climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and raised £19,000 for Marie Curie, The ladies tell me “it was the hardest thing we had ever done, 7 days trekking, camping in tents and reaching the summit of 5985m, the whole experience was totally amazing, we watched the sun rise over the horizon – it felt like being on top of the world”.
On that special day it took them 8 hours to travel to Gilman`s point and another 2 hours to the summit – it was a total 18 hours until they got back to camp.
A year later and they decided to take on another challenge, and spent two years planning and fundraising – as well as training for what lies ahead, a 13 day trek to Mount Everest Base Camp.
Here is their day by day account of the journey, the cold, the difficulty with altitude, the trek itself and the appreciation for the dangers of climbing Mount Everest.
Lana and Hazel started their adventure with a short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla Airport which is classed as one of the world’s most Dangerous Airports.
The airport is accessible only to helicopters and small fixed-wing, short-take off & landing aircraft.
The runway is 527m (1,729 ft) × 30m (98 ft) with a 11.7% gradient.
Lukla is 2860m above sea level and where the Trek started and finished.
Trek to Tok-Tok Village 2652m
Having arrived safely at Lukla we had lunch and then it was a really pleasant trek to Tok-Tok village, 2652m, where we set up camp for our first night, arriving at 4.30pm
On our 2nd day we started our routine of being woken at 6am with a cuppa in our tent. Breakfast was always served at 7am and our trekking started at 8am.
The first part of day 2 was really steady over the “Nepalese Flats” (up and down), and then our route passed through the Everest Park Gates before stopping for lunch.
The afternoon was a tough one, all uphill for around 4 hours, arriving at Namche at 5.30pm, 3440m.
Day 3 was an acclimatisation day; our morning cuppa was served at 6.30am so we had a little lie-in.
Back on our feet and the trek from camp at 3440m to the Everest Hotel at 3880m.
We arrived back at camp for lunch; had chips and eggy bread, which was delicious.
Our afternoon was free to explore Namche, which was a long way down many steps.
After a bit of shopping (woolly hats and socks to keep us warm in bed). We then had the long walk back up all the steps but once we reached camp it was time to relax in our tents until our Pizza Dinner.
On day 4 the journey continued to Deboche 3800m, we had a good morning trek, going along the river; thankfully this was mainly all downhill.
It was time to stop and have a lovely picnic lunch, sitting outside in the sunshine.
After lunch the trek was tougher with an ascent to Tengboche Monastery, one of the world’s richest monasteries, when we got there it was cold and snowing.
We were allowed into the Monastery to watch the Monks prayer and chant, a very unique experience.
Our trek then continued to camp, which was in a forest location, it was very cold and dark by the time we arrived to set up.
On the 5th day the altitude was definitely starting to affect our breathing, by this point there was only 57% oxygen in the air.
Our route to Dingboche 4358m started with a steady climb up in the morning, crossing the river again on one of the many suspension bridges in the area.
After today, we wouldn't see Mount Everest for 3 days however, Ama Dablam was always in our sight.
The afternoon was a nice steady ascent to camp, which we managed to reach in daylight.
Day 6 was another day to acclimatise; this would prepare us for the Trek to Loboche at 4810m.
We ascended 250m in total in the morning.
It all helps with the altitude to walk high and sleep low.
The afternoon was ours, we just chillaxed in our tents until dinner.
The 7th day started with a trek that was quite flat (slightly uphill) and baron. Unfortunately our lunch stop at a café found there was no room for us inside, so we had to have a very cold lunch sat outside.
In the afternoon we pushed on to Lobuche 4928m, it was mainly uphill and on the way we passed the colourful memorial ground surrounded by prayer flags and monuments. The area made us quite emotional as we reflected on all those that had lost their lives while climbing Mount Everest.
In the evening we had the treat of staying in a tea house; it was so much colder than our tent. Temperatures overnight reached -17 degrees.
Now on day 8 and our next stop would be Gorakshep 5288m, which was the original Everest Base Camp.
It was only a 3 hour trek and once we arrived in Camp we had an acclimatisation trek to Kala Patthar at 5545m.
We only trekked to the first “look out” post as our legs were just so weary.
There were some great views of Mount Everest
Overnight the temperature was -19 degrees; our sleeping bags were frozen on the outside!!
Day 9 and the day we had all been looking forward to, 52% Oxygen in Air now.
We had a team talk prior to walking to be mindful of rock falls and reminder of the danger`s around us.
It took us 3 hours to get to the Base Camp 5365m and when we arrived we were the only group there, Base camp is always at its busiest between March and May.
It definitely didn’t have the same impact as our last expedition - reaching the Kilimanjaro Summit. We just felt, is that it!! The terrain was so baron, it was full of prayer flags that other trekkers had left. It was all a bit messy.
Time for a quick photoshoot before heading back again.
The Trek back to Gorakshep was tough; our legs had definitely done enough walking by now.
We were really looking forward to heading back to Lukla.
It took us approximately 4 days to get back to Lukla via Penboche 4100m, Kanguma 3550m and Chumoa 2710m.
The return journey was quite a relief as breathing gets easier and easier as you descend.
It helped so much to look forward to our well-earned beers back at the tea house, where we had started our journey.
The final hurdle was the hour long uphill climb into Lukla, which seemed never ending after trekking for 13 days.
Once we turned the final corner and saw the start/finish gate we were so elated.
The day and the challenge finished with a celebration dinner in the tea house and we thanked all our Sherpa Crew.
We then had one day in Kathmandu to relax and visit a few gift shops before heading back to reality and getting home to our families.
If you wanted to take on the Everest Base Camp challenge, The Ladies tell me “it is tough, physically and mentally but it is also a truly amazing experience, the views from every step were phenomenal, the hardest part is altitude, you have to really slow your pace down to keep your breathing under control, you can expect temperatures down to -19 degrees C, using hot water bottles at night and drinking the water the next day, the time away from families was very difficult but amazingly you can get mountain WIFI and a phone signal most of the time so keeping in touch with home was ok, not letting people down was a huge motivation for us, the charity and all those that had supported us”.
“This will open your eyes to what your body can really do in these conditions and mentally challenging yourself. It is a great experience and it can change your whole outlook on life”
They are both definitely up for another challenge.