In April 2019 I had the opportunity to realise a childhood dream and trek through the Himalayas. I boarded the plane to Nepal with a rough plan, no porter or guide booked, but full of enthusiasm and good dose of optimism. Nepal is one of those countries where the unpredictable is predicted and plans often go awry. My trip followed suit and the rough itinerary I had planned went out the window before I even arrived in the mountains. Chatting to a friendly Sherpa while waiting for my flight up to Lukla led to me meeting an amazing group of people, who turned out to be an extraordinary group of mountaineers. That Sherpa’s name was Temba and he had summited pretty much every big mountain in the Himalayan Range including Everest eight times. Temba was guiding an Irish and South African Climbing Team that also included the legendary, but very humble Irish Mountaineer Noel Hanna. Noel had also summited Everest 8 times, conquered K2 as well as the highest peak on all seven continents. As I said…mountaineering legend. Joining these two were Irish Mountaineers, Jenny and Seamus, South African Climber, Saray and American trekkers, father and son duo Micah and Maurie. The entire group were simply top notch people and I was fortunate enough to quickly develop friendships with them all.
Long story short, this group of amazing people allowed me to trek alongside them all the way to Everest Base Camp. This culminated in me being allowed me to spend a frigid night in a tent at EBC and witness their Puja Ceremony as they received Buddhist blessings before making their way up the treacherous slopes of Chomolungma – Everest’s Sherpa name meaning ‘Goddess of the Wind’. My trek through Sagarmatha National Park was a once in a life time experience. It was the perfect balance of immense challenge, inspiration and wonder. Life is for living…now go out and get amongst it!