Reach Greater Heights Everest Base Camp
As part of Reach Greater Heights Everest Base Camp Challenge you will trek to the gateway to the highest peak in the world—Mount Everest.
On this adventure, you will first discover the sensory overload that is Kathmandu—Nepal’s bustling capital city. Fill your senses with the sights, sounds and smells of a city simultaneously hurtling towards modernity while stoically maintaining its traditional religious and cultural uniqueness.
Moving beyond city limits, you will then trek for 11 days through alpine meadow, into birch and rhododendron forest, across rivers and along narrow mule tracks between snow-capped mountains. Together with a team of local guides and Sherpas, you will discover the majesty and mysticism of the Himalayas by day, and fall asleep in traditional lodges and guesthouses in remote Nepalese villages at night.
Imagine the sense of accomplishment of standing in the shadow to Mount Everest knowing every step you’ve taken has raised vital funds to support Fusion.
Once you’ve finished the massive climb to Everest Base Camp, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet up with Fusion’s team in Nepal to take part in the Open Crowd Festival and connect with children on the outskirts of Kathmandu. As part of this project visit with Fusion Nepal you’ll be involved in a range of fun activities, including balloon sculpturing, face painting, tug of war, water balloon volleyball and many more games with the local children.
Reach Greater Heights Everest Base Camp
This challenge will raise funds to help local young people reach greater heights. Half of the funds raised in this challenge will go to local centres to enable them to help more young people in need, while the other half will go towards resourcing Fusion’s work nationally.
Many young people are doing it tough. One in four young people will experience a mental health condition this year. Emotional and Social poverty are on the rise. Unfortunately so many young people fall through the cracks. For many of them the only hope is someone who sees their potential when everyone else has given up. In 15 locations around Australia Fusion is reaching out to young people like this.
Fusion is working in schools, running community programs and strategically located outreaches that are reaching out to young people in need of hope. Fusion works to build connection, life skills and resilience so that such young people are better placed to create the futures they dream of.
ADVENTURE BLOG: DATE
Day 1: Thursday 19th October 2017
The adventure has begun. It was a long day’s travel to get here. Some of us took over 24 hours to get from home to our Nepalese hotel. But we have made it and had a wonderful day today.
There is 8 of us who signed up for this challenge. The group have all done a marvelous effort fundraising for such a worthy cause, and have also put in some hard yards training in the lead up to the trek. We have all gelled well with friendly easy banter.
Our free day in Kathmandu was spent wandering the streets, seeing sights, last minute gear shopping, visiting a garden and eating some authentic Nepalese food. We were lucky there was a festival on.
Highlights included the coloured artwork in the photos which were made by pouring coloured sand by hand. Marigold flowers were everywhere. LED lights strung across the streets, and many street parties were going on with dancers wearing traditional costumes. A fine introduction to Nepal.
Day 2: Friday 20th October 2017
Day 2 brought us a day of exploring Kathmandu. We started at Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu shrine where we saw cremations on the side of the river. A friendly dog followed us on our wandering chasing away any monkeys that were getting too close.
We then visited a number of Buddhist sites, including Swoyambhunath which was perched on the top of a hill giving views of the whole Kathmandu valley.
The pollution has not been too bad and today we saw some far off snowy peaks which surround Kathmandu, giving us a glimpse of what is to come.
Tomorrow we see the adventure and challenge really begin when we board the plane to Lukla. Everyone is excited!
Day 3: Saturday 21st October 2017
Our adventure began with a scary twin prop plane ride, skimming over high ridges and sweeping into land on a small angled runway. The pilot had obviously done it before and we all cheered the near-perfect landing.
After a little wait for 2 lost bags which turned up on the next flight we started
our trek. “Gentle up and down down” was the description from our head guide, Modhu. I think we will hear this most days.
Today, we walked for 4 hours up and down stone steps with the occasional flat bit thrown in. We had to constantly watch our feet as the rocks were all at different angles trying to trip us up. We passed picturesque villages, saw children dancing and singing, farmers tilling their fields, yaks and porters carrying large loads. Some porters we saw were carrying up to 80kg on their backs. Incredibly strong!
Our first tea house is delightful and we passed some me relaxing time chatting and playing cards, whilst carb loading for tomorrow’s tough climb.
Day 4: Sunday 22nd October 2017
It was a big day today. Starting at 2600m we had 4 hours walking in the morning of “gentle up and down” before lunch. It was beautiful walking through pine forests, passing through cute villages where we saw how some of the locals lived. They are great gardeners, growing all their vegetables in small plots next to their stone houses.
We also crossed the raging glacial river multiple times on suspension bridges. This made for some nervous moments when 20-30 hikers would be walking across causing the bridge to bounce up and down. The highest bridge was 180 meters above the river.
After lunch, we climbed from 2800m to 3400m. This was steep and hard with the altitude starting to affect us. It was unrelenting steepness but we got to our tea house in the end by just putting one foot in front of the other. Very proud of the group today!
We get a well-deserved rest day tomorrow to help our bodies get used to this new altitude which is a new high for most on the trip.
Day 5: Monday, 23rd October 2017
Our rest day brought some cloud and cooler weather. Flights in and out of Lukla airport were cancelled today. We found out rest in Nepal actually means an acclimatisation hike! We walked to a museum to learn about the Everest region and its history.
Afterward, we walked up a steep hill to about 3750m, where it was cooler. Everyone is coping well so far with the altitude and we are loving the vegetarian food on offer up here in the mountains. All the locals are so peaceful, even the stray dogs are calm and happy.
Tomorrow the real trek begins again.
Day 6: Tuesday, 24th October 2017
This morning was our best walking yet. It was mostly flat walking on the side of a mountain, with views of Ama Dablum, Nuptse, Lotse, and Everest in the distance. They are awe inspiring mountains.
After a nourishing lunch we had a big climb in the afternoon. Walking through lovely forests of pine and rhododendrons, with some autumn colours appearing, butterflies flitting around, and far less trekkers on the trail made for a pleasant peaceful slow walk up to Tengboche. Here there is a large famous Buddhist monastery where we saw some chanting by the monks.
At 3840m we are really feeling the thin air getting out of breath easily.
Tonight is pizza night!
Day 7: Wednesday, 25th October 2017
We left in sub zero temperatures walking down hill through lush forest. The mountains appeared and disappeared throughout the day occasionally hidden by clouds. We had great views of Ama Dablum today. The trail was mostly gentle down then gentle up until passing 4000m we left the forest behi
nd and walked above the tree line. Small alpine shrubs and rocks surrounded us as we walked to our final height of 4410m. It is cold up here. A few of us are starting to really feel the altitude, and our walking pace has slowed to a crawl up hills.
Lucky tomorrow is another rest day.
Day 8: Thursday, 26th October 2017
We all awoke in a much better state after a good nights sleep. The sun was out, the air cold and crystal clear, and snowy peaks surrounded our small town in the valley.
Our Acclimatisation walk took us up past a stupa to some higher view points where the scenery just opened up before us. After spending some time up high we descended to hot chocolates and card games for the rest of the afternoon. Tomorrow will be another hard day as we head towards the famous Khumbu glacier.
Day 9: Friday, 27th October 2017
Day 10: Saturday, 28th October 2017
Today was a tough brilliant day. We followed the trail of the Khumbu glacier to Gorak Shep, our lunch and sleeping spot at 5160m. Everyone was tired but the adrenaline of being so close to our goal pushed us on.
All 8 participants made the final push to Everest Base camp at 5360m. In front of us was the Khumbu glacier where mountaineers start the their summit attempt. Everest’s peak was towering 3600m above us. Mountains from 6500m into the 8000’s with snowy peaks surrounded us 360 degrees. We shared group hugs, group photos and screams of joy for completing our challenge.
Go Team Fusion.
Day 11: Sunday, 29th October 2017
Most of the team have had some symptoms of altitude sickness, so today’s optional side trip starting at 0430 was only taken up by Craig and myself.
The goal was to summit Kalar Patar at 5545m and with a few cm of snow overnight made it like a true mountaineering expedition. It was minus 15 degrees. A hard slog in thin air got us to the top with the sun just starting to light up some peaks. Kate and Alison also braved the cold and walked half way up the mountain.
After breakfast we made a long descent to Pheriche at 4200m. We are all loving the thicker air here.
Day 12: Monday, 30th October 2017
It snowed again last night so we started walking in sometimes slippery icy trails. Even though we have dropped altitude it is still very cold in the early mornings and mid-afternoon. Today we dropped below the tree line and the extra oxygen is really helping. The trees looked pretty covered in light snow.
After an early lunch, we had to descend a long way to the river only to climb up the other side. Tonight we are at 3600m and a light dusting of snow is falling out the window at 4 pm. We are all very keen for some warmer weather.
Day 13: Tuesday, 31st October 2017
Today we had our last look at Everest, before descending further through Namchee Bazaar where a hot chocolate and some shopping filled an hour. We descended further to under 3000m and had showers, played volleyball with the sherpas, had a fire and a party with all our guides and porters. It was a great mixing of cultures. The Nepalese being such friendly open happy people.
It was a great way to wind down after such a hard trip.
Day 14: Wednesday, 1st November 2017
We needed an easier walk today after last nights party. We had 2 very talented guitarist/ singers who entertained us with some great songs. One from another group who walked with us the whole trip, and our own Ben who smashed out some popular classics. Great fun was had by all.
This morning we walked 3 hours to our last tea house before Lukla tomorrow. Walking back towards civilisation with a few coughs, runny noses and weary bodies from multiple days on the trail. We passed all these fresh looking hikers on their way into the mountains.
This afternoon we all rested, showered, read books, played cards and generally recovered.
Day 15: Thursday, 2nd November 2017
A short walk to Lukla, and a farewell to our lovely porters who carried our extra gear with a smile everyday. Cards in the afternoon and looking forward to what is in store in Kathmandu. All will be revealed tomorrow.
Day 16: Friday, 3rd November 2017
The last 3 days wizzed by. Day 16 was spent wondering if we were flying out of Lukla or spending another night there. We woke at 0600 to board the flight after 3 pm. Hotel Shanker was a welcome relief that night. We also had a dinner and said our farewell to our guide Modhu, and his assistant guide Sarun.
Day 17: Saturday, 4th November 2017
Day 17 was a brilliant day as we met the Fusion team in Nepal. They do such a wonderful job with such limited resources. About 60 kids came to the session in the afternoon. The young ones colouring in, the older students writing and reading and learning about the importance of education. A mix of castes and religions were present and it all worked beautifully. A great experience for us as well as we got to play with and talk to the local kids and the year 10 Fusion helpers.
Day 18: Sunday, 5th November 2017
Day 18 we relaxed by the pool prior to our long flight home. A well earned rest.
Well done team