Mount Everest is the highest peak on earth, reaching a height of around 29,000 feet above sea level. Because of it’s height and snowy conditions, it is also one of the most difficult mountains to climb. The first recorded ascent to the summit was not until 1953 and in the 50 or so years since then, less than 2,500 people have made the trek to the top. Because of the mountains extreme height, climbers are required to use oxygen tanks as the high altitude causes oxygen levels to be quite low.
Another increasingly popular option is to climb to Mount Everest’s base camp. It is just under half way between the base and the summit and is situated at 17,600 feet. It is still a difficult climb and amateur climbers are urged to use guides who can map out an appropriate route and provide insightful precautionary measures. It is believed that the climb up Everest will allow you to understand true dharma, a spiritual term which signifies the underlying order in nature and life. For others it is simply a way of showing the world what they are made of.
This is what has motivated 23 year old Ashley Haynes to climb to Mount Everest’s base camp later this month. In September of this year she realized her desire to return to her previously active lifestyle. As a university student, she had replaced her athletic career with an academic one. This had gone on long enough and she decided to adopt a regime of healthy eating and exercise. Going from a university student’s diet and regiment to one of someone training for the ascent of a mountain was a not an easy task.
Although Ashley was never discouraged, she does admit that at the beginning it was hard to motivate herself to go for a run or to hit the gym especially because the climb seemed so far away. Ashley believes that her key to success was setting small goals and achieving those rather than setting large seemingly unattainable ones. She has also been lucky to have the support of her friends and family and has found that running with a group of people is a great way to force herself to get out there. It is much harder to say no to a group of friends then it is to say no to yourself. Not only do her friends help her train, but in a strange way they are the reason she has decided to climb the mountain. Ashley had often brought up the idea of the climb but when her friends thought that she was “all talk” she decided to prove them wrong. Although the idea of climbing Everest was a long lasting obsession for Ashley, she is in fact reaching for the top to prove a point. A point that anything is possible and that if you really want to do something and are willing to work for it, there is no goal you can’t achieve.
Ashley, we wish you all the best!
And to the rest of the TeamPages community I will keep you all updated about her journey to the top!