It’s one of the world’s most popular bucket list items and this autumn it’s being offered by a few of Maitland’s own.
Thornton adventurer Gavin Vickers will lead an expedition to Everest Base Camp and local residents are being invited to take part.
The trip is all in the name of Hunter charity the Umbrella Foundation Australia, which raises money for Nepal to fund projects such as building schools, buying women’s sanitary items and rescuing children from trafficking.
Mr Vickers, who is an Umbrella Foundation Australia patron, has hiked to Everest Base Camp five times and made it to the top of the beast. He’s also climbed to peaks above 8000 metres three times.
The expedition leader said he had no travel plans this autumn so when Umbrella Foundation Australia chairperson Linda Harwood asked him about running a trip, he jumped at the chance.
“They do such good work,” Mr Vickers said. “And I can use my skills to help.”
Mr Vickers said he loved introducing people to Nepal, which he said was like his “second home”.
“It’s a very special part of the world,” he said. “I’ve been there nine times. The people really make it for me.
“It’s one of the poorest countries in the world, so it just really makes you feel good to give back.
“It makes me thank my lucky stars every day that I can do things here like go to the tap and drink the water without getting sick.”
The 17-day trip in April and May involves the base camp trek as well as the opportunity to attend an Anzac Day ceremony at the Australian Embassy in Kathmandu.
Mr Vickers said while base camp was “quite a difficult trek” due to the high altitudes, he encouraged anyone to take part.
He said he was also happy to advise participants how to best prepare, but said there was no hard and fast approach.
“You just have to be consistent with your training, then everything else falls into place,” he said.
“The fitter you are the more you enjoy the trip. But we go very slowly. We have acclimatisation days. On rest days we go up higher then come back down to sleep.”
Mr Vickers said they were seeking about 10-12 people to take part. All profits from the trip will go to the Umbrella Foundation Australia. For details, visit the Umbrella Foundation Australia website.