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Distilling the Trek To Distance, Days, and O’s


After my epic blister hike of Saturday, I wanted to be more pragmatic about my preparation going forward. I decided I needed to know everything about this trek I was embarking on and in doing so, better plan the remaining 8 1/2 months of training to get there. By reading the Mountain Madness itinerary, and another base camp trek blog I searched out, I was able to analyze the trip and thus get a clearer picture of what I was in for.  I would actually be hiking about 80 miles with 12 days of actual hiking going on. There are two days of rest built-in, but from what I gather, rest means hiking. The only difference is, you are not making progress toward the destination, just going up and down to acclimatize.  I would be breathing at altitudes that ranged from 73% Oxygen, (known as O’s for the lingo savvy) down to about 50% O’s. See. I am savvy. Here is what I found:

  1. Day 1: Descend 650 feet, breath 73% O’s, travel 3 miles.
  2. Day 2: Ascend 2600 feet, breath 64% O’s, travel 6 miles
  3. REST DAY
  4. Day 3: Ascend 1587, breath 60% O’s, travel 6 miles.
  5. Day 4: Ascend 1363 feet, breath 57% O’s, travel 5 miles.
  6. REST DAY
  7. Day 5: Ascend 2200 feet, breath 53% O’s, travel 4.5 miles.
  8. Day 6: Ascend 850 feet, breath 52% O’s, travel 10 miles.
  9. Day 7: Ascend 1500 feet, descend 1500 feet, breath 50% O’s.
  10. Day 8: Ascend  575 feet, travel 3.2 miles.
  11. Day 9: Descend 575 feet travel 3.2 miles.
  12. Day 10: Descend 2400 feet.
  13. Day 11: Descend 3300 feet.
  14. Day 12: Descend 1950 feet, travel 9 miles.

I still have some research to find some info to fill in toward the end of the return, but clearly, this is going to be a knee crushing, leg whipping, lung busting adventure!

 

What is the Base Camp Trek, and Why?


This will be me March 2012!

I grew up in Seattle. Mountain climbers there are like surfers in California. So plentiful that they sort of fade into the green, white and blue that is Washington State. I hiked as a kid with the Girl Scouts and as a counselor at Camp Waskowitz. In college I began to back pack. I loved the feeling of accomplishment when I hiked up something…anything. 

I also enjoyed reading. Books like INTO THIN AIR, SEVEN SUMMITS and ADDICTED TO DANGER are seared into my memory. People who were at the top of their games were household names. Jim Wickwire was one of my favorites along with Dick Bass. To me they were no less important than Hilary or the many many unnamed Sherpas that have made mountains like Mount Everest seem like they are in everyone’s back yard.

I grew more and more fond of Mount Everest and lived the mountain through every book I could get my hands on as well as every documentary, movie, picture and article that came down the pike. Strangely, I never ever wanted to summit the mother of all mountains myself. But I yearned to see it. It always seemed like a pipe dream to me. In 2010, however, that changed.

In spring of 2010 I was watching a documentary, not about my mountain, but about a 76 year old guy at Machu Picchu climbing to the top of its nearly 8k feet. IT was then I decided now. Now or never. I found Mountain Madness, having learned of them through the years of avid Everest worship. I have given myself until March of 2012 to get to the base of Mount Everest and realize that dream. To drink it in and enjoy the pain it will take to get there and know that within each and every one of us is the power to make a dream reality. Come along the way with me here at WhelanTrek!

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