Humbling, challenging and life-changing – three words that encapsulate Singleton local, Peter Eason’s experience trekking to Mount Everest base camp, situated some 5600m above sea level.
Enduring freezing cold conditions, long hours of walking and high altitude, Peter spent over two weeks trekking the Nepalese terrain alongside his daughter Kate, his brother, sister-in-law and niece.
Travelling through landscapes of all sorts, the group shared the hiking trails with local residents on their daily commute, fellow porters helping carry equipment and even the odd yak and buffalo.
“It was definitely harder than we all expected,” Peter said with a laugh, noting what a weird and wonderful experience it was.
“I was fortunate to escape altitude sickness, although everyone was affected in one way or another.”
Dodging the more severe impacts of altitude, Peter was the only one out of seven trekkers able to make it to the base camp – a moment he will never forget.
“Standing at the base camp look out, gazing up at this magnificent mountain, it was just so humbling,” Peter said.
Sharing the epic journey with his daughter and extended family made the trip all the more memorable.
“It was really wonderful to be able to share that experience and that challenge with Kate and the family,” he said.
“It’s interesting to spend time with your family in such extreme conditions – it’s a great test of character. But all the family handled the psychical, mental and emotional aspects of the trip really well.”
Along with the base camp trek, Peter found his time in Nepal to be a humbling reminder of how lucky we are in Australia. The Nepalese locals not only live in extreme locations, but in some of the poorest conditions in the world, he said.
“It was surprising to see how poorly some of the locals lived, and yet as a tourist, in the brief time you see them, they appear so happy,” he said.
With the joyful locals, the surprisingly good food and the sheer beauty of the terrain, Peter said he would encourage just about anyone to give the base camp trek a crack.
“It’s a very life-changing, very reachable experience,” he said.
“It’s there for the taking, and I would encourage all to do it.”