[At the end of 2018, a Women’s Trek to Eveest Base Camp was organised to raise funds for FHC. They completed the trek with the help and guidance of ‘Take On Nepal’ and raised over $20,000 that contributed greatly to the development of a library in Batase. Mary Frances was one of the women on that trek and she tells her story.]
Women hit the track!
About a year ago, I started seeing some information coming across my Facebook feed about a Women’s trip to Everest Base Camp with Take On Nepal. While I thought it was an interesting idea, I really didn’t consider it because I had trekked in the area on two other occasions. Fast forward 12 months, and I’ve just returned from the trip…with a full heart, a child I’m sponsoring and a huge insight into the Friends of Himalayan Children Charity and a trekking company called Take on Nepal.
After a 4-day stint at Batase Village, our 12-day trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC) began. The group consisted of 19 women and as much as possible was run by women. With a spread in ages from 18 to 66 years, and an average age of 52 years, we trekked with Helen Reddy’s ‘I am Woman’ ringing in our ears. Many of the young woman carrying our packs and guiding us came through the hostel…it is such a perfect model. In addition to the seven young women, we also had seven young men carrying packs and guiding. Once again, many had been supported by the hostel in Batase. The connection between the charity FHC and the trekking business Take on Nepal is brilliant.
The EBC trek starts with a stunning (and daunting) 22-minute flight into Lukla at 2860 metres. From there it is a steady climb for eight days to the destination – EBC 5380 metres. The combination of breathtaking scenery, swing bridges, steep climbs followed by steep declines makes this a challenging endeavour. Lodges provide basic accommodation and food with limited access to showers and luxury. All that is on offer in this remote corner of the world is greatly appreciated.
The trip ran smoothly, led by Dinesh, Som’s 22-year-old brother and Sandip, a knowledgeable young man from Chitwan. Our young woman guides were delightful. They kept us safe. They kept us entertained. Our group formed, normed, stormed and performed brilliantly. I’m sure taking orders for food three times a day for 19 women was a wee bit like herding cats. Nonetheless, we made it to base camp. In all honesty, this became a less important part of the aim. I’d prefer to say we all jumped through the window of opportunity and were enriched for it.
© Friends of Himalayan Children 2021