After almost a year on the discussion table I was relieved & elated to finally book this ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ with KE Adventures. My special thanks to Neal Maxwell who first put the idea in my head at a low point in my divorce prceedings last December, as well as the cafe of course it has been a key part in my moving forward. Also my gratitude is extended to Fraser McKay who despite his normal hectic schedule (you should see what this 60+ guy gets up to) has agreed to accompany me, his company is going to put the icing on the cake.
We set off on 21st October for a 27 day trip that includes highlights if we are up to the task of summitting Mera Peak & Island Peak both of wich exceed 6,000 metres & will take me into a totally new environment. Fraser’s experience of Everest Base Camp is re-assuring but even he will be pushing himself to new levels.
We were both extremely well catered for by the Betws Cotswold Outdoor Store where Stephen who has experience of both peaks spent the best part of 3 hours with each of us going through our existing kit to en-sure we purchased only the additional items that we needed for this type of altitude. May I extend my gratitude to all the staff at this great store who have guided me through many purchases over recent years.
My preparations have also included Winter Skills & Winter Mountaineering Courses at Glenmore Lodge in Scotland, further introductions to Climbing & Grade 3 Scramble ropework by Steve Peake (he does more than just photography you know) & Georg, my Austrian friend who runs an expedition company called Footprint Adventures, 3 Jabs that felt like Dorina had punched me the next day, back to back 15 & 24 milers in The Lakes last week & a 10K Trail race around Newborough forest at the weekend. With my forthcoming Half Marathon this coming weekend being immediately followed by a 3 day trip to Glen Shiel with Fraser where he’s planning 14 peaks in two days (well I did warn you about what he gets up to) I don’t think fitness will be our un-doing.
Altitude acclimatisation will of course be key & only time will tell us how we react, Diamox tablets are ordered & plenty of advice taken but please feel free to offer more.
The recent Avalanche & Plane Crash Deaths are tragic reminders of the dangers of the region & have focused me even more on the challenges that lie ahead but life’s adventures incur risks that we can help to manage but not remove totally so both Fraser & I remain positive about what lies in front of us whilst having the deepest sympathies with the families & friends & those who have lost that lives.
The first challenge will be to keep the main kit bag below 15Kg, the boots alone look that heavy!