Climbing New Heights #Everest


Written By: Andy Middleton, Ginger Root
Edition: March 2020

Ginger Root Director Andy Middleton recently embarked on a journey to Everest Base Camp, testing both his physical and mental endurance in aid of a local charity.

Now, Andy shares his highs, lows and biggest takeaways from his epic trip.

Why did you decide to climb to Everest Base Camp?

Trekking to Everest Base camp was actually a friend’s idea. I knew that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I didn’t want to miss out. I also knew that if I didn’t go for it then, I might not ever do it. I knew that by pushing myself with this challenge I could help with a charity I am passionate for and test my own limits.

What would you say was the main highlight?

Obviously reaching Everest Base Camp was the standout highlight of the trip. Otherwise,

it’s pretty impossible to name just one ‘best bit’. The entire atmosphere within such a unique part of the world was unbelievable. Something I didn’t expect was the immensity of the silence we heard and how peaceful it all was; it is truly something else. The sights were an obvious highlight. It is truly an extraordinary view from Everest, and it is a memory I will always treasure.

 

What surprised you the most about the trek?

The physical demand was a huge shock. It is hard to imagine what it is like to exist in such a high altitude, let alone exercise in it. I was unprepared for how difficult the trek would be.

What was the hardest part?

The hardest part was carrying on when I really met my breaking point. Pushing past this was the hardest thing I have ever done both physically and mentally! It really is amazing what your body is capable of doing.

 

What was it that kept you going?

Having the goal of Everest Base Camp was very motivational for me. After that, I took the trek one step at a time and was both motivated, and inspired, by our amazingly talented guides. I couldn’t have made it without them.

 

What was your most useful possession during your trek?

Surprisingly, this was my hat. It was a necessity for both the freezing weather and the strong heat that we experienced. This just goes to show that luxurious are not always of the most valuable.

How cold did it get?

Extremely. On some nights, our water bottles froze that were in our bedrooms as the temperature dropped to around -10 degrees inside and -16 degrees outside. By lunchtime, though, the temperature rose to 16 degrees!

 

Can you tell us what Lukla Airport was like?

 The airport is actually known as ‘the most dangerous airport in the world’ so this was obviously quite nerve-racking. Travelling by a small propeller plane through low visibility within a mountain and landing on a very short runway in unpredictable weather are just a few of the difficulties our very skilled pilot had to overcome. I certainly wouldn’t fancy having to do it!

 

What’s your biggest take away from the experience?

It made me really understand how fortunate we are in our country. Although it is cliché, witnessing a place like Nepal first-hand, where people go without the things that we take for granted, like heating, new technology and other objects of wealth is very humbling. Their happiness is based on their health and their family, which is something I think we should all focus on too!

In addition to this, I have learnt that going beyond breaking point can lead to great things. We are capable of so much more than we may believe, and it is so important to push your own limits.

If you were to describe your experience in as few words as you can, what would they be?

Incredibly difficult yet hugely rewarding.

And lastly, what advice would you give to someone about to do the same?

Train, train and train some more. The stair master is a great place to start, so start training as soon as you can!