Since we’ve waved goodbye to 2012 I thought I would share one of my highlights of the year… Trekking to Mt Everest base camp. My husband and I have always wanted to do a large expedition of this type, we love travelling and have a long standing fascination with Everest so this trip was definitely the challenge for us. Previously we had not done any expeditions of this scale mostly playing about in the lake district and the Welsh mountains. Looking back most of the other group had previously experienced similar altitudes, which I would recommend because it just better prepares you for the trip. As its not cheap to do, its a lot of money to waste if you weren’t sure what you were letting yourself in for! It also prepares your body better for the next mountain. We chose to do it in a group with a guide so we could get the best out of the experience. The adventure started in Kathmandu with a rather hairy flight to Lukla when the trekking began to Everest base camp and back.
Leading up to the start of the trek I was beginning to worry that I hadn’t done enough training preparation but the trekking in fact wasn’t that challenging…throw in the weather conditions and altitude and its a whole different ball game! I had decided not to take any anti-altitude sickness medication (for reasons that now escape me) although in hindsight it might have been a good idea! There nothing to say that if I had taken it before the trip I wouldn’t have felt any of the effects at all, but after experiencing other challenges along the way I would have done pretty much anything that had a chance of helping me to feel a bit better.
After reaching around 11500 feet the dreaded effects began to set in, the headache came first followed by loss of appetite, fatigue, D&V, memory loss and disorientation. I had expected some serious muscular aches and pains but thankfully the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) wasn’t too bad, this may have been helped by the sport specific training I had been doing such as running up Roseberry-Topping before work each morning. I had also anticipated a few minor injuries but I like to think the intense stretching at the end of each day also helped avoid this. After overcoming the physical and mental challenges along the way I finally made it to mount everest base camp at 17598 feet. There was something surreal about knowing that you have followed in the footsteps of thousands on their way to making their attempts on the summit, some of those people willing to sacrifice their lives as you are constantly reminded by the memorials along the way. All in all the experience was fantastic and I’m confident that my physical preparation and stretching routines during the trip allowed me to cope with the stresses as well as I did, not to mention the post expedition massage, skilfully delivered by the healing hands of Ed Pratt Sports Therapy 🙂
For support and guidance in your own fitness related challenges, we’d love to share our experience with you!