Everest Base Camp Training – months 3-6 of a 12 month training schedule
I’m going to Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side. Here is a diary of the physical and mental training I did in preparation for this. Obviously the ultimate goal is to be able to:
- hike for up to 10 hours a day,
- with an 8 kilo back,
- with ever diminishing supplies of oxygen
- regardless of the weather and/or my health status!
- for 10 consecutive days
This blog is about an overnight trek I did with Lindisfarne Scouts – long days, irritating kids, unpredictable weather, and tent camping – great preparation for such a hike. If you are doing extended overnight hikes anywhere it is essential you do some shorter overnight hikes. You’ll learn a lot about your self and your gear.
The walk was to Cape Pillar in the South of Tasmania. The track starts at Fortescue Bay in the National park and features remarkable coastal scenery – truly breath taking.
The weather in Tasmania and is always very unpredictable so clothes for all seasons must be carried, as well as a durable tent, food and cooking gear. I think I carried about 15 kilos which is about as light as it comes for overnight trekking in Tassie. I went in with a group of Scout leaders who are super fit and very savvy when it comes to hiking. I never fail to learn stuff from them and they are super helpful people. We were to follow but not interact with the Scouts who were out on a Green cord walk’, that is, an older more experienced Scout leads the walk of younger less experienced scouts and the adults just follow along at a respectful distance.
We went on a Friday and left Fortescue at about 11 am which was a little later than hoped but it was a 5 hour hike or so, Scouts move slower than the average hiking adult. We caught the Scouts within the hour so we had to stop rather than power on. The Scout leaders felt I was walking at a fairly good pace especially as we were carrying approximately 15 kilos. I was pleased to hear this as I do pretty much all my training solo, especially the hiking so I have no one to compare myself to, to push me along. It was a confidence building thing to hear ( mind you, when the blokes needed to move along more quickly I was in their dust).
It took a good 6 hours to get to our camp site at Perdition Ponds – a beautiful spot full of croaking frogs that will be bypassed by the soon to be famous Three Capes Walk that the Tassie Government is spending millions on. It will be an amazing walk when finished but I could not help but feel a little saddened that bush walking is becoming so hygienic these days. When completed you’ll be able to do this walk on boardwalk and stone paths without even a little mud, sand shoes will be adequate, and something will be lost.
Yet it is breath taking scenery, and the more people who see it and experience it the better – up to a point.
When Governments decide to to develop National Parks for Tourism you should look into it. On one level I am pro-development, having seen what little impact commercial bushwalking has had on the iconic Overland Track (in my opinion). I think it’s wonderful that you can book into a commercial hike on the other side of the world and know you will get there. It has to be done sensitively though. I’m seeing the huge scar the track makers have made on the Three Capes Walk I’m aware it changes everything, forever. And I’ve just been told the last jaunt of our trek in to Everest Base Camp will be like this – meet at the mini bus area to be driven to Everest Base Camp, take photos for 30 minutes, leave. “WHY!!!!” I asked. “Because it’s very busy and dusty and not really safe to hike that last little bit”. It’s not quite what I had in mind. Tasmania – do not become China.