At the Cherish home base, we were relieved to have all 12 Cherish Trekkers home safe and sound! What an adventure! Our heartfelt thanks to our trekkers for putting their lives on hold and their bodies on the line to fundraise and trek. We raised an incredible $166,015, so we offer an equally huge thank you to everyone who stepped up to support our trekkers!
Read on for the wrap of our inaugural trek, plus get an insight into two extraordinary women.
Aged from 31 to 71, we saw 12 bold individuals step up for our inaugural Cherish Trek. Their enthusiasm to raise funds for gynaecological cancer research and the support they showed each other along the way was exceptional. We thank them, Rishi Bhandari from Sartori Adventures who coordinated the treks for Cherish and local guide, Ramesh Ghising, who accompanied both groups to Base Camp.
Five trekkers in Group 1 started out on 21 March, with four of them reaching Everest Base Camp on 30 March and returned home on 7 April. En route, they visited schools and gave the local children new toothbrushes (thanks Alex!). During their journey, the group narrowly missed a landslide, where big boulders fell onto the trail. Then, just two days from Everest Base Camp, Alex was evacuated by helicopter from Dingboche with pneumonia. Thankfully, he made a full recovery.
Kelly Mason’s family asked Group 1 trekker Roxy to carry a few of Kelly’s personal items, so the family could tick Everest Base Camp off Kelly’s bucket list on her behalf. Read Roxy’s story here. Kelly sadly passed away before realising her dream of tackling Everest, so Roxy carried Kelly’s items on her cap and in her backpack.
Group 1 kept a diary of recommendations for the second group. It included a list of provisions, technology and clothing they wished they’d packed! The two groups met in Kathmandu, and from then, Group 2 was on the trail from 7 to 25 April.
This time, seven trekkers started and six finished. Due to the extreme conditions Mary returned to Kathmandu before the team reached Base Camp, where she stayed until Group 2 arrived back. The group took a slightly different route to take in the five glacier lakes of Gokyo. Their route to Base Camp also changed because a pass was snowed under. Group 2 trekked through a snowstorm, slept in tents at Everest Base Camp in minus 17 degrees, 5,364 metres above sea level.
When Karen Lunney’s partner, Dr Peter Best, heard Andreas was organising a trek to Mt Everest Base Camp, he asked Andreas to commemorate her life there. It was a mission Andreas accepted with honour, and a small service for Karen was conducted at Everest Base Camp. Read Karen’s story here.
Realising that Group 2 would be trekking during the Easter break, Andreas carried chocolate Easter eggs up to Basecamp, so the team could enjoy delicious treats to celebrate the holiday. While the eggs looked like a lumpy mess by the time the team got to eat them, they still tasted heavenly! During the trek, Andreas discovered momos (a Nepali style dumpling). So, on his last day in Kathmandu, Andreas joined a cooking class to learn how to make them for his family on his return home.