Sunday, 23 October 2011

Everest Base Camp Photos

Here I am in a triumphant stance at the rock marking Everest Base Camp. Yes I really did it!

Our aim in trekking to Everest Base Camp has been about more than just raising funds for Women for Women International. We wanted to raise awareness of the need for real investment in women in order to bring about sustainable peace and development in countries affected by conflict. In taking on the challenge of getting to Everest Base Camp we wanted to connect with the women in these countries who are facing their own much greater challenges, to show how we are connected despite our differences and how we can support each other to bring about a more peaceful and equitable world for everyone.
The team attaching the flags at Everest Base Camp

So we brought with us on the trek a chain of prayer flags bearing messages from women all over the world; women from different backgrounds and walks of life but with a united voice. Some of the flags were made by the participants in Women for Women’s programmes, displaying their visions of a peaceful and prosperous future. Others showed messages of support, solidarity and hope from Women for Women’s supporters from the UK, the USA and around the world. We attached these to the prayer flags already left at Everest Base Camp and have left them there for everyone who comes to see.


This flag will be taken to the summit and then auctioned to raise money for WFWI
In April 2012 a great supporter of WFWI - Chris Jackson - will be climbing to the summit of Everest and will be taking with him a flag that all of us in the Everest Trek team have signed. This will then be returned to the UK and auctioned to raise more money.

Here are some more photos showing some of the amazing scenery on our route to Base Camp, me with Sue (the trek leader), and our fantastic group of Sherpas who helped us every step of the way.

Friday, 21 October 2011

I'm back! I did it! We all did it!

I got home late last night after more or less 24 hours' travelling and my very dirty washing is whirring round in the machine as I type this. The process of getting back to normal has truly begun.

It's really strange but my amazing Everest adventure already feels so distant. We did our last long hike - a 6-7 hour one culminating in a seemingly never-ending upward climb - on Monday, before flying back to Kathmandu on Tuesday for some much-desired rest and relaxtion. And it's exactly a week ago that I stood with all the women in our team at Everest Base Camp and we hugged and laughed together and celebrated reaching our goal.

Don't feel able to make much sense now as my body clock is all skew-whiff but I promise to say lots more very soon about the whole experience. Just wanted to let people know as soon as I could that I'm back safe and very happy to have done what I set out to do. I took loads of photos and will sort though them within the next few days and put some of the best ones onto this blog.

I've had a brilliant couple of weeks in Nepal and am so glad I took a risk and said yes to this challenge. But I must say it's great to be home with Glyn and Gingie again and sleeping in my own bed last night was just wonderful! In fact it was so good that I think I should let the washing take care of itself and head upstairs for a nap....

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

I'm off!

Well - today's the day! It's been exactly six months since I signed up for this amazing adventure and I'm about to set off for Manchester Airport. I arrive in Kathmandu at 13.45 tomorrow.

This is me with my huge kit bag, rucksack and Gingie lookalike mascot all ready to go.

I've had a few days of veering between panic and excitement. I was up at midnight on Saturday trying to change the first leg of my flight (from Manchester to Heathrow) because the time is quite tight to get across from Terminal 1 to 4 to catch my connecting flight to Delhi. Anyway it turned out to be incredibly expensive so I'm just going to sprint for it!

There's also been a lot of packing, unpacking and re-packing, as it's been hard to fit everything in. It's mainly equipment; I don't seem to have many clothes and I've only 3 pairs of shoes including my boots - honestly!

You'll be glad to know I've practised with my shee-wee and pee bottle and I'm proud to report that the last few attempts were trickle-free. This skill will come in handy in the middle of the night at -24 degrees when I can't face going outside for a pee!

Looking back over the last 6 months of fundraising and training, although I've had some worries from time to time, it's been a great experience. I've had a lot of fun and I've learnt a tremendous amount.  I'm up to £7,325 now which feels really good. There's no way I could have got to this point without the support of my family and friends and so many other people who have been generous with their time and money.

So far the trek team has raised just over £74,000! Which we're all very pleased about. When we get back there'll be lots of opportunities hopefully to talk to groups about our adventure and inspire more people to help us reach our 100,000 target.

I'll try to post on this blog while I'm on the trek but it might be difficult as only our trek leader, Sue, will have a laptop with her and the internet cafes are very expensive. I'll be keeping a diary which I will type up when I return. Sue will be blogging when she can and you can read what we're up to by going to her website -

And finally.... do have a look online at the hotel where we'll be staying on Wednesday night and for two glorious nights after the trek is over. It's the Yak and Yeti Hotel - We set off on Thursday for Everest and the not quite so luxurious facilities along the way and I might have to be dragged off kicking and screaming!