The preparation begins now! This April, after hopping from the USA to Kathmandu to Lukla, a town in the Khumbu region of eastern Nepal, I will shoulder a backpack and begin a weeklong trek uphill with the team from Expedition Champion en route to Mount Everest Base Camp.
Answer to the first question: No, I will not go to the top of the mountain (this time!). I have been hired as a freelance journalist to join the communications team for “Expedition Champion,” and I will only travel to Base Camp — at 17,700 feet — to write, photograph, and report on the climb.
Since founding Gear Junkie in 2002, I have strived to push my personal limits on mountaineering trips, marathons, multiday ultra races, and other wilderness excursions around the globe. But I’ve never been to Nepal. Never trekked to Mount Everest. With Jamie Clarke, the expedition leader, and the Champion team, I hope to push myself again as we trek into the “thin air” up past 17,000 feet — and then help document Clarke and the other climbers as they ascend further into the sky.
Along the way, I am looking forward to the cultural baptism that is the weeklong trek to base camp. On the long hike each day, I’ll have the chance to put some great new gear to the test as well.
Joining our squad, Stephanie Pearson, a contributing editor for Outside Magazine and Outside Online’s “Gear Girl,” will be my cohort journalist for the trip. We will write articles and trip reports for the Expedition’s two web sites, www.climbeverestwithus.com and www.climbwithus.com.
In addition, on GearJunkie.com we’re developing a Channel to document my multi-month experience of training, gearing up, and then eventually traveling to base camp on Mount Everest with the Expedition Champion team. More details to come soon on the “Gear Junkie’s Trek to Everest” project.
Shoulder the pack. Lace up the boots. Mount Everest is calling!