Tag Archive for Everest Base Camp

Lorraine takes on RSPCA Everest challenge

After four years of fundraising for the RSPCA, the Everest Big Expawdition will be Lorraine’s biggest challenge yet.

Twelve years ago, when Lorraine Carey was suffering from a second prolapsed disc and had to undergo painful spinal surgery, the idea of trekking to Everest Base Camp would have seemed impossible.

The 47-year-old first suffered from a slipped disc 20 years ago and underwent spinal surgery. Then, 12 years ago she suffered from a second, severe prolapsed disc which left her bed bound and in agonising pain for six months. When she finally recovered, after two spinal surgeries, she had a renewed zest for life. Lorraine decided to spend a year taking on various physical challenges and fundraising for the RSPCA. Lorraine RSPCA Everest Base Camp challenge trek

Lorraine said: “At that point, I just wanted my life back. After I recovered and regained my confidence, I wanted to grab every opportunity and make the most out of life.”

One year turned into five, and after a series of runs and walks, a skydive, a 5k open water swim, the Yorkshire Three Peaks, the Lake District 10 Peaks, the Welsh 12 Peaks, Tough Mudder, half and full marathons and trekking Mount Kilimanjaro. Lorraine has now pledged to take on her final and most challenging trek to date.

Lorraine takes on Everest

She will be tackling ‘The Big Expawdition’ alongside RSPCA ambassadors, other supporters and staff in September this year. They will trek for 18-days to dizzying height of 17,600ft to reach Everest Base Camp in Nepal.

Lorraine, a personal trainer, animal lover and vegan, said: “It’s always been on my bucket list to do Everest. When I saw that the RSPCA were doing it as a group so I could do it, not just for the charity but with the charity, I knew I had to.

“It was supposed to be just one year of fundraising for the RSPCA, but I’m now in the fifth year, with Everest as the pinnacle of all my challenges.

“I may sound brave when I’m talking about these challenges, but not when it comes to my back. I couldn’t go through that ever again. Now I’m just glad that my health has improved. I’m ticking these challenges off my bucket list and doing it for a cause I believe in.”

Starting in the Nepalese town of Lukla, Lorraine and the team will trek higher and higher through the Himalayas, through forests, gorges, rivers and icefalls. The high altitude of Everest Base Camp is likely to have a huge effect on the trekkers. Coupled with sub-zero temperatures the challenge, this will be extremely tough.

Why Lorraine raises money for RSPCA

Lorraine has raised more than £15,000 to help the RSPCA continue its work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care.
“I’ve been a lifelong animal lover. I’ve been vegetarian for 30 years and vegan for 11 years. I have had rescue dogs, cats and chickens, and I often campaign on animal welfare issues.”

Lorraine, who lives in Winteringham in Lincolnshire, explained. “Not only does the RSPCA rescue animals, they also carry out cruelty investigations and work tirelessly to change the laws for animal welfare, for example with animal testing. They are not just reacting to the day to day calls, but they are also proactive behind the scenes. I think the public don’t always see that side of them, but it’s just as important.

“I get really emotional when I see images of cruelty crop up in news stories or on social media, and without the RSPCA the situation would be much worse.

“What first made me decide to support the RSPCA was when there was a tidal surge in my village in Lincolnshire in 2013. There were three horses trapped in freezing cold water and the RSPCA came out with a boat to rescue them. It just made me realise not only how much work goes into these rescues but how much it must cost as well. My fundraising is a way for me to support the work of the RSPCA.”

 Lorraine RSPCA Everest Base Camp challenge trek

Lorraine’s preparations

To try and raise as much money as possible for her challenge, she will take groups up Whernside, one of Yorkshire’s Three Peaks. She has also received wonderful donations from Winteringham Fields a Michelin star restaurant, as well as lots of other goodies to auction off for the charity.

Lorraine has been a personal trainer for eight years. Her experience climbing Mount Kilimanjaro stands her in good stead, but she is still prepared for this to be a huge challenge.

“I’m also running London Marathon for the RSPCA this year. It’s just about keeping the fitness up, breaking in my boots and making sure I have all the equipment I need. The only thing I can’t prepare for is the altitude. I know from my Kilimanjaro trip that although it was tough I was okay with it. I didn’t have to stop.” She explained.

Lorraine’s advice to anyone thinking of participating on this challenge is that you’ll never regret doing it, but you may regret not doing it.

“It’s an amazing life experience.” She said. “And it makes it a million times better if you believe in something because you will have dark moments. It’s 18 days living out of a rucksack, you’re out of your comfort zone and away from family and friends. I’m sure there will be points where I want to go home but remembering why I’m doing this is really important.”

Lorraine has two rescue dogs, Bella, a black labrador, and Rua, a red setter collie cross. Lorraine’s also the proud owner of 12 hens, rescued from a battery farm. In 2014, she also received an RSPCA Honour, the Arthur Broome Bronze award in recognition of her contribution to animal welfare.

Find out how you can join Lorraine on the RSPCA Big Expawdition.

Bag A Peak: Mountain Summits Infographic

Mountain infographic

Head on over to our website to pick your next mountain challenge.

choose your challenge

Back to Nepal – Charity Challenge Blog

Our Operations Manager, Andy Baker, updates us on his recce in Nepal:

It has been a difficult year for Nepal, not that you would really know this from the warm greeting that I have received from all of our different ground crews here. In the week that Prince Harry has also made a trip around some of Nepal’s cultural highlights I too have been fortunate enough to spend some time working in collaboration with our ground teams on a couple of new itineraries that Charity Challenge will be running this autumn. Our Poon Hill Himalayan Trek in the Annapurna region, and our Kathmandu Valley Cycle.

First though has been a quick re-connection with an old favourite. Everest Base Camp. Last week 13 intrepid challengers stepped off the plane in Kathmandu to begin their long ascent through the Himalayas towards the iconic Base Camp. This is the first trip that Charity Challenge have run in Nepal since the disasters of 2015 and the trails are still quiet, making it the perfect time to visit.

Our itinerary rather uniquely combines both the authentic ‘teahouse’ experience and the challenge of camping. Meals are served by our kitchen team within the dining room of a local teahouse, whilst nights are spent under canvas just off the trail. The warmth and comfort of a teahouse, combined with the incredible vistas provided by unzipping your tent in the morning to a panorama of snow capped peaks. This is a fairly unique way to run this itinerary, and judging by the group who are still currently making their way to Base Camp, a very enjoyable way to do this trek.

Nepal has faced a tough year and we are delighted to have been able to start sending groups again and give local people some much needed work. With the creation of a couple of new itineraries hopefully even more people will get to sample this fantastic country soon.

As for me, well I am back in Kathmandu putting the finishing touches to the rest of my itinerary. A few days cycling in the Kathmandu Valley, followed by a trek to Poon Hill for views stretching off across to Annapurna. Not even Prince Harry can top that!

Andy Baker
UK Operations Manager

Am I too old and unfit?

Am I too unfit blogAt Charity Challenge we are lucky enough to work with a huge variety of people and often get asked questions regarding age and fitness levels, so when 55 year old cancer survivor Jackie asked if she was fit enough to do a challenge, we were inspired and overwhelmed by all your incredible stories and support. A huge thank you to everyone and to Jackie, we can’t wait to have you on a challenge with us soon, you are an inspiration.

Below is Jackie’s question and your fantastic replies: 

“I am so pleased I found your page and have been enjoying the info and stories – I am hoping for some advice from you – I am a 55 yr old cancer survivor who has been looking into doing a challenge, both from the “giving something back” angle and also to give myself a goal and some much needed motivation, however I worry about not keeping up with the rest of the groups – your pictures show fit looking thirty ish people and I wonder if you can offer any advice on this? I walk and cycle at present and would obviously train, but I worry about my age slowing me up! Ps I am 2 years post treatment Thank you in advance! Jackie “

Sally Wilson: I broke my back Jackie in 2008 and since then I have climbed Kili, run the London marathon, trekked to Machu Pichu and sled 220kms with husky doges. £50k is in the kitty for my charity Help for Heroes having met two soldiers who lost legs in Afghan. They remain my inspiration. So…. Take a deep breath, commit to a challenge. You will NEVER regret. As for being fit. The Charity Challenge family supports all abilities and none of them are races. By being at the back you can enjoy the scenery and the kettle is ready and boiled at the end of each day. Do it x Thanks to charity challenge I now concentrate on life’s positives. Thank you. Kili remains the greatest achievement in my life and I thank Hellen our leader for that.

Sally Wilson Gareth Smith: I am over weight and unfit and I was able to walk the Great Wall. Was tough don’t get me wrong but I did it. Gareth Smith2 Mark Barry: In January last year I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs, but in October climbed Kilimanjaro. I am 51. You have beaten off cancer so you can do it. You can check out a blog I wrote about my experience. There is plenty of text and photographs you can use or email me and I can send you some stuff. The link to my blog at http://marksptc.blogspot.com I am thinking of doing an update 6 months on as 5 of our group have stayed in touch and met up. I think it is an important part of the story if anyone undertakes a challenge.Mark Barry

Steve Bignell: Go for it,you don’t know what your capable of until you do it,cancer is the hardest thing your ever going to face

Jamie Foskett: Hi Jackie. Firstly I think this will be a walk in the park seeing what you have had to battle through . Massive congratulations on that and that shows you’re a true warrior.
If this helps, I know countless people similar to your age that perform marathons with myself, life doesn’t stop at 55. Age is just a number. Get training and show all of those 30 something’s up!

Sue Gray: I was 62 when I climbed Kilimanjaro with Charity Challenge, although not at the peak of my physical ability due to recent chemotherapy, my team encouraged me all the way. That was nearly 3 years ago and the majority of my fellow climbers are still in touch with each other and have regular get togethers. Definitely go for it – I did and never regretted it!

Sue Gray

Christine Kelly: I was 51 when I did my trek and not that fit having beaten breast cancer. It was the best experience in the World.

Hilary Banks: I was 54 and just a few years earlier had a major stroke which left me disabled for a couple of years. I signed up for the same reasons as you are thinking – to raise money for the Stroke Assn and as a personal goal to work towards. I decided to do the Sumatra Jungle challenge. I was in a fantastic group of ladies (nicknamed by our guide Sunarto Kinol as The Tigers!) and with one exception we were all over 50 – the oldest being in her late 70’s. Yes it was hard work, but it’s not called a challenge for nothing! The thing is that everyone wants you to succeed and so you get the most fabulous encouragement and support throughout, both from your team members and the guide team. Take the plunge, you won’t regret it and it’s a huge sense of achievement…

Hilary Banks & Christine Kelly - Sumatra! Chris Robinson: I was nearly 64 on my first challenge and last year at 67 cycled over the Andes (though wasn’t 100% fit following an operation). Intend to do a cycle challenge again next year – when I’ll be in my 70th year. Do it Jackie and prove cancer didn’t beat you!

Moyra Mcglynn: I have done 2 trips with charity challenge … My first age 52 and second aged 56. The support you get from the other people with you and the organisers is incredible I am hoping to do one more before I am 60. You go girl. Both my experiences were nothing but exhilarating and the camaraderie was heartwarming and restores your faith in human nature x

Brian Palmer: Hi Jackie, I’m 66 and not exactly an athlete I have done SEVEN challenges with CC every single one has been fantastic. Rest assured the challenge leaders never set a pace that can’t be managed by all in the group and the support by the local team and doctor is always superb. Just make sure that you are able to walk all morning, 3 or 4 hours (with breaks) and another 3 or 4 hours after lunch. Stamina is the key not speed. Take my advice, go for it Brian Palmer - Stok Kangri Lesley Weeks Jackie…I did my first challenge aged 50, overweight and not very fit, I have since done another three, with each one getting a little fitter but not thinner  Don’t worry about it, Charity Challenge are brilliant at looking after you but not smothering you, there will be some sort of back up transport, jeep, car or horse if you really can’t manage it at any time. I would suggest something not too mountainous and walk it. If you are at the back of the group don’t worry about that either as as the week will go on the group at the back gets bigger and remember it’s not a race, you go at your own pace. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

Lesley-Weeks

Fiona Scragg: Hi Jackie, I did my first challenge when I was 45, unfit and overweight. I was even scared abot getting across London on my own to meet my group at Gatwick. 5 years on I have just entered the ballot for the 2016 London marathon. Go for it. You never regret what you have tried only what you have missed. xx

Rachel Walker: Hi Jackie, I am a soon to be 40 year old of just above average fitness I would say, and in September I am taking part in the Stok Kangri summit trek in India for the NSPCC. This will be my 6th overseas challenge with Charity Challenge and I can’t recommend them enough. They are truly life changing and you get to meet life long friends. My 1st trek was the Inca Trail which I did in 2005 with my Mum who was 68 at the time. She led our group over the highest part of the trek as the last thing you want to do at altitude is go fast! I’ve also done Everest Base Camp with a 64 year old (he had no problems) the human body is capable of so much! I would say get booking, you certainly won’t regret it!! Rachel xxxx

Sarah Kelly: And you’re always looked after too- it’s a group and everyone encourages each other – you will be fine x

Katherine Irvine: Ditto to all above and what Sarah Kelly said – like minded people who all look out for one another on the challenges. If someone is struggling a bit then it’s okay as everyone has those days – that’s what a challenge is all about. Arrive at the airport as strangers, but friendships are forged by the time the challenge starts. We all get each other through it! And the challenge leaders both from Charity Challenge and the local tour leaders really look out for us all, regardless of fitness or age!

Katherine Irvine
Iona Nelson: I did the Everest Base Camp challenge in March/April this year and we had a range on our group: from 22 right up to mid 50s! There was a massive difference in ability too, but the guides and sherpas always made sure the people at the back had someone with them, and spread themselves throughout the group to make sure everyone was alright. Everyone did really well, some.not making it due to altitude sickness (which has nothing to do with age or fitness), but everyone did really well, young and old. The group supported each other the whole way through – it’s an incredible experience and you’ll make friends for life! Definitely go for it!

Iona Nelson Everest Base Camp
Wendy Mould: I did the ‘Great wall’ trek aged 48 and ‘The Machu Picchu’ trek aged 50. Both very different but equal in the fact that we went thr speed of the slowest person. I went with the attitude that if the slowest person was me then so be it because at least i was doing it. On both trips the “team spirit” was amazing as we we’re all there with a common goal to raise money. For the reasons you stated just go for it. Enjoy x

Trudi Clark: Charity Challenge are best choice for organisation, attention to detail and people’s needs. I’ve done Peru, Kili and Zambezi with them; where I had the privilege to meet two cancer survivors, no one ever slows the group up it is always at a pace to suit everyone. I must say I felt, especially with a special lady on Kilimanjaro trek, it was an honour to have shared the challenge with her. So go for it, you’ll love it (but do take plenty of baby wipes!).

Trudi Clark - Zambezi

Sue Youngman: I’d say probably not but you’ll never know just how much you can achieve unless you try. I was thinking similar thoughts this time last year when my friend Elaine Nicholas (58) was trying to convince me to sign up for Trek Cuba at the age of 63. I agreed, to celebrate my 10th anniversary of finishing treatment for breast cancer. Once signed up we followed the training schedule religiously to make sure we were the best we could be. We had an amazing time and taught the youngsters a thing or two. The picture says it all!

Trek Cuba - Sue Youngman

Jo Berridge: I’m a fairly unfit 30 something. On the 4 treks I’ve done I’ve been accompanied by several cancer survivors aged 30-60, my mum aged 67 came on my last one (and is coming on my next!) and the CC celebrity that Shirley (now aged 80 and having done ten treks I think!!) was also on the last one. The only person on the 4 treks I’ve done that really struggled was a 30 something who’d done no training. I promise that you will be fine but more importantly whichever challenge you pick you will love every second and probably end up addicted keep us posted please!! Xx

Jo Berridge - Machu PicchuElisabetta Maldini: I was an unfit 48 years old and managed to complete the Machu Picchu trek. The group, the guides and all the staff have been amazing all the way! I would recommend it xx

Anne Williamson: A challenge is not a race. You go on it for your own achievement and enjoyment . Enjoy.x

Anne-Marie Davies: No way – do it!

Marie Chaston

Marie Chaston: My dad went to China with my sister and I in April this year and he’s 70. He’s by no means a fitness freak and he was at the front or middle of the group. I don’t know about the other challenges but you will be fine on Great Wall. My sister and I were both over weight and did about 6 months walking and didn’t find it too hard. I’m sure if you already walk and cycle you would be fine. No one was ever rushed or felt like they couldn’t keep up. Charity challenge is a fantastic company and will look after you.

Marie Chaston's Dad - Dave Relph

Leah Hocking: My mum is this age suffers from Parkinsons and attempted the great Wall of China challenge. In the end it was too much for her to go with the main group, but the local guides martin and tony did a fabulous job arranging alternative routes and another local guide. She was disappointed not to do the full challenge but still had an amazing time and overcame a huge personal challenge. I’m a 20 something and not terribly fit and felt like I was dying once or twice but the team and Angela Gillespie our English guide got me through. Give it a try you’ll be fine!

Sharon Hartley: Jackie you survived cancer. You can do ANYTHING x

Katie Podgorski: Regardless of age, Jackie, you can do it.

Jackie Whalen: A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has commented on my question, I can see that I’ve come to the right organisation and I feel so inspired by your stories and support, I feel amongst friends already and now it’s just a question of choosing my challenge!

A huge thank you to Jackie and everyone that replied. Jackie, welcome to the Charity Challenge Family!

If all these incredible stories have inspired you to challenge yourself, why not take a look!

team-photo

Nepal Earthquake

To all of you who have been to Nepal and met our incredible team, we have now managed to speak with Kamal who has single-handedly led many of you to Everest Base Camp, and to Iswari who manages the ground operations team in-country. Both are safe after the earthquake, but the landlines have been down and we are yet to get any more detail.

Clearly this is a devastating earthquake and our thoughts and prayers go to all concerned in Nepal. We will be donating the bulk this year’s Charity Challenge Community Support Fund to the disaster relief effort.

If anyone would like to further support the UK’s efforts to help the people of Nepal, please visit one of the following websites:

UNICEF

Save the Children

ActionAid

As we have more details, we will keep you updated.

Many thanks.

Simon

Mount Everest – the ultimate summit

At an incredible 8,848m, (29,035ft) Mount Everest is the tallest of the Nepalese Himalayan giants. First scaled in 1953, the world’s most revered mountain has drawn climbers from all corners of the globe to tackle its summit. Whilst over 5,000 climbers have made it from Everest Base Camp to the top, some 250 have sadly lost their lives, with the biggest loss occurring last year when 16 Sherpa’s lost their lives in the Icefall of 2014. This catastrophe has created a catalyst for change. Today, 62 years since the first ascent, the Nepali Government have chosen to adapt the route to the infamous summit in favour of a safer (and slightly harder!) climb.

everest bc

For information on our Charity Challenge Safety policy, ‘Challenge Safe’, please follow this link: Challenge Safe!

Whilst there are many risks associated with any expedition, the unpredictability of the remote regions of Mount Everest create a threat for even the most experienced mountaineer. The adapted route will avoid the Khumbu Icefall, an area that poses a high avalanche threat in favour of a tougher but safer route to Camp 1, the first Camp after Base Camp. This route is however not ‘new’ it was in fact part of the original route to the summit, changed in the 90’s to create a shorter and easier climb.Everest Dude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The avalanche risk here has proven fatal to over 40 climbers, many are from the local Sherpa community, it is the need for a safer work environment that has been the catalyst for change and the reason the new route will be implemented in time for the 2015 Spring Season. Here’s hoping that it improves both the conditions for the Sherpa community and climbers alike on the route to the ultimate summit.

Everest Climb

For the full BBC article please read: Safety fears prompt change to Everest climbing route

Everest Base Camp…If you like the idea of tackling Everest but don’t feel quite up to an 8,848m mission you should definitely consider the Everest Base Camp trek. Offering panoramic views, the magic of fluttering prayer flags and the real sense of achievement associated with any expedition in this majestic region, without the extreme environmental factors that frequent the summit. This trek is a stunning introduction to the Himalayas, incredible Sherpa hospitality and the wonderful madness that is Kathmandu.

Everest 3

Sources:  Navin Singh Khadka: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31509212

everest 4

Get through the Winter blues with £100 discount off the deposit on our spring departures!

We’ve had a great summer this year and although we’ve been promised a heat wave this month, Autumn and Winter are slowly creeping up on us.

The first few months of the year always seems to be the slowest and hardest months to get through, so we’ve decided to give you something to look forward to.

The majority of our departures between January and May now have a £100 discount off of the deposit!*

This includes:

Book on any one of these challenges by quoting BLUES and get a £100 discount off of the deposit* and have something to help motivate you through the winter blues. Offer ends 31/10/2014.**

We know that some of you have been let down by Student Adventures and are now looking for alternative challenges, hopefully you can take advantage of our current special offers.

Don’t forget, we’re still celebrating Pachamama in Peru and the Moon Festival in China and are giving £100 off all 2015 China and Peru challenges! Make sure you book soon (quote promotional code PERU when booking on a Peru challenge or MOON when booking on a challenge in China), as this offer expires on the 31/10/14!

If you have any questions about any of our challenges, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards

Firdous
Marketing Manager

T: +44 (0)208 346 0500 | E: info@charitychallenge.com | W: www.charitychallenge.com

*One promotion can only be used at any one time.

**Subject to flight availability

High Altitude Advice from the experts

THINKING ABOUT DIET, NUTRITION AND DEHYDRATION ON THE MOUNTAIN

You’d think that spending a day mountain trekking would be an ideal way to work up an appetite! But for a lot of people, it can be very difficult to maintain a healthy appetite at high altitude. The senses of smell and taste can be greatly inhibited by the general feeling of lethargy and nausea that often accompany mild altitude sickness, and hence put you off your food.

This can be a dangerous side effect of altitude sickness, as you will be physically exerting yourself and burning through hundreds of calories every day, so it’s very important to keep up your strength and energy levels.

Our Altitude expert partners at the “Altitude Centre” are on hand with advice.

“Fatty foods and high tech sports nutrition bars are difficult to digest and should be avoided. There are some advantages in taking vitamin and mineral supplements at altitude. ALTI-VIT is a unique vitamin formula developed by leading experts in conjunction with The Altitude Centre to support key body requirements at Altitude. With ingredients including Siberian Ginseng, Vitamin C, Reishi Mushroom Extract and Ginkgo Biloba,  is a nutritional altitude supplement supporting:

  • Oxygen uptake
  • Energy production
  • Immune function
  • Sleep quality

Visit altivit.com to find out more.”

Two further symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) are constipation and diarrhoea which tend to alternate and this can be dangerous as well as distressing. You can take medication to help with these symptoms but it is very important that you keep well hydrated and keep up your food intake – even if you aren’t hungry. On all our treks the water is boiled and cooled to sterilise it. Those with particularly sensitive stomachs may consider iodine tablets to further treat the water. A top tip to neutralise the taste of iodine, is to dissolve an effervescent Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) tablet into the water.

Indeed drinking is just as important as eating! Adequate hydration is essential to allow the body to regulate its chemical balance in response to the change in altitude. Aim to drink 3-4 litres each day and if possible try to add electrolytes to your water. Two brand names to consider are Nuun and Dioralyte. These will help to replace the body’s salts that are lost whilst walking.

The air at high altitude is always very dry. With each breath water will be stripped from your lungs. If you use your mouth to breathe a dry cough is likely to develop. TOP TIP: Try to use your nose to breathe through to prevent a dry throat. If this is not possible, suck a honey cough sweet to help lubricated the throat.

If you want to learn more about our mountain challenges, you can visit our website here. Also, to find out more about the good work and advice the Altitude Centre dishes out, please visit their website at www.altitudecentre.com. To keep up to date on all our challenge news, both altitude related and not, please enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.