David said: “Mount Everest has always fascinated me. Although I’ve been made to wait almost three years because of Coronavirus, it was so worth it. We climbed to the base camp but, hopefully one day, I’d like to climb to the summit.
“I travelled with a group of 15 climbers led by Trevor Rigley, store manager for the Co-op, who have supported the trip. Trevor’s enthusiasm and the knowledge of our tour manager Lee Doak, who is a Marine Engineer with the British Army, was much-needed. We wouldn’t have made it without their help and guidance.
“We flew into Kathmandu airport, which was wonderfully chaotic; a far cry from the stunning and very peaceful villages that surround Everest.
“We met so many villagers on our climb who were only too glad to have tourists return to Everest. They were really friendly and hospitable.
Nothing prepares you
David prepared for the climb by walking hundreds of miles over the past few years throughout the Derbyshire countryside.
But he says that nothing quite prepares you for the trek up the biggest mountain above sea level.
“Obviously you need to be in good, physical health but there were members of our party who had been spending five days in the gym every week and even they admitted that it was a struggle.
“Then there’s the altitude sickness you have to deal with and transport on Mount Everest is basic – goods are moved around using donkeys and Yaks – but we had to carry our own equipment.”
At the foot of the mountain, David and his fellow climbers enjoyed temperatures of 35C but, at base camp, temperatures plummeted to -10C.
David has raised more than £5,000 forus. We have supported his family following his mum’s diagnosis of breast cancer.
Valuable service for families
Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer around six years ago and Treetops have been supporting her in lots of different ways.
“That, for me, just shows how valuable the service they provide is for families in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.”
Final push to base camp
We arranged for David to be presented with a letter of encouragement during his epic challenge.
“We were making a final push to base camp. It was a hard day trekking up to 5030 meters and then Trevor bowls up with a letter from Treetops that nearly had me in tears! But it was just what I needed to make sure I made that final push.”