A team of intrepid trekkers from PwC Foundation, took on the challenge of journeying to the base of one of the most iconic peaks in the world – Everest Base Camp, in support of Wellbeing of Women. The team successfully summited the mountain on 12 April, here they share their ups and downs of reaching new heights in their daily blog:
Below is an extract from their summit day:
Day 8 (part 2) – Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp Post by Geoff Broad
“Conditions were perfect and, although tired from the trek up from Lobuche, it was decided that we would leave at 10:30am to begin the 3 hour trek from Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp.
The route begins with the crossing of a level sandy plain which threw up swirling clouds of dust in the wind as we walked. Close fitting sunglasses and buff face masks were essential equipment for passing through this section.
Beyond this sandy plain, the route becomes an undulating rocky path across the Khumbu Glacier which is busy in both directions with trekkers, porters and yaks.
This would be a challenging walk at sea level, but at this altitude it is exhausting. Every upward climb leaves you heaving for breath as you try to draw in enough oxygen to keep your heart rate under control. Progress is slow as we scramble over the loose rocky path one step at a time.
During this 3 hour trek, one of our group who had been suffering the effects of altitude was forced to turn back when the lack of oxygen caused severe breathing difficulties. After returning to the lodge at Gorak Shep, this individual was later evacuated by helicopter to the medical centre in Lukla where fluid on the lungs due to altitude was diagnosed. Treatment is now being administered and recovery is ongoing.
At around 1:30pm we finally arrived at Everest Base Camp which is a cluster of orange tents pitched on the Khumbu Glacier from which point climbers begin their attempts to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
There was a feeling of elation as we gathered around the cluster of prayer flags that mark the entrance to the restricted area of the camp beyond which only summit expedition crew are permitted.
Personal and group photographs were taken to record the moment for ourselves, our families and our chosen charity, Wellbeing of Women.
After only 20 minutes at EBC, we turned and began the 2.5 hour trek back to Gorak Shep. There were mixed emotions across the group including enormous satisfaction and relief that, as a team, we had accomplished the goal we set out to achieve, mixed with sadness for the individuals who had not been able to continue to this point due to the effects of altitude.
We made it safely back to Gorak Shep at around 4:30pm and gathered in the dining room to discuss the events of a long and dramatic day which we will never forget. Tomorrow we will begin our descent from altitude at first light, but for now suffice to say…
WoW, Mission Accomplished!
Everest Base Camp, 10 April, 2017 – Altitude: 5,350m”