Reaching the top of the world at 71
Les Connell is owner of Northridge Center senior assisted-living facility near Phoenix.Making it to the Everest Base Camp was always on Connell’s bucketlist but he could only make it happen at the age of 71 after successfully beating cancer. Connell writes ,”My friend Joel and I always dreamed about Mount Everest but it was financially and logistically out of the question. But in more recent years, we entertained the idea of trekking to the base camp as opposed to attempting to scale the entire mountain.”
They knew that 2016 was the year to live their dream of reaching the top of the world. Connell was contacted by a mission organization to see if he wanted to go to Beijing for same mission work for the first two weeks of September. Connell instantly agreed as the timing seemed perfect to him and he would love to travel to China and then fly to Nepal.
They arrived in Kathmandu on September, 2016. Their group consisted of 4 people, plus two guides and two porters.
Reminiscing his journey, Connell writes ,”We flew into Lukla, Nepal, 9,318 feet above sea level, which is considered the second-most dangerous airport in the world. Our team spent three days waiting in the Kathmandu airport for the weather to clear, but it never cleared, so we hired a helicopter.”
Their trek officially began on September 20. They arrived at the base camp after walking for seven days (40 miles). Connell and his group mates stayed in tea houses in villages along the trial.
Connell writes ,” The trails are well marked and very heavily traveled. Excellent foot bridges span the rivers. Our team arrived back at Lutka Sept. 30. The weather was fine, and we were able to take the fixed-wing airplane back to Kathmandu. I flew out Oct. 1, with stop-overs in Turkey, Poland and England before arriving home.”
Someone once asked if I would consider trekking to the base camp again. My reply was a resounding no. It was tough, but I would not trade the experience for anything.