A HILLSBOROUGH architect has successfully completed a challenge of a lifetime by trekking to the base camp of the tallest peak in the world, Mount Everest.
Aaron Hill, Project Architect with Knox & Clayton, was joined by his girlfriend Nicky Finch. Aaron explained the motivation behind the trek: "We walked to raise money for Cancer Research UK in honour of the memory of Nicky's late step Dad, Chris Abbotts, who lost his painful battle against cancer only last year. We are very thankful to have, to date, received donations totalling more that £1200 in support of our chosen charity."
Aaron explained that the trek proved a difficult one, not just for the distance walked or the breathless altitudes endured, but for all the external issues that affected them both - missing luggage in Kathmandu, nights of body-shaking sickness that resulted in antibiotics being administered, conjunctivitis caught from a teahouse pillow, terrible chesty coughs from the dusty trail and torn ligaments in the knee all combined to test their resolve. Not to be defeated the pair continued their trek, crossing incredible bridges shared with laden yaks, passing through rhododendron forests and snatching glimpses of white peaks in the far distance.
Aaron spoke of the moment they arrived at base camp. "We persevered along the trail and both arrived, on the ninth day of trekking, at our ultimate goal; Mount Everest Base Camp. The stony grey moraine of the Khumbu glacier led us to the ice-fall and the prayer flags marking the beginning of the famous camp site, eerily empty in November outside of summit season. A biting wind whistled through the valley where little shelter was available to us, so we didn't linger. "A few 'we made it' photographs were taken, a few deep breaths and a long, intense look to ensure that this incredible corner of the world was written large on our memories, before our long trek back to Gorek Shep began in earnest."
He continued: "The climb was dusty and steep, with Nicky unfortunately having to return to our lodge struggling to breathe, suffering due to high altitude symptoms. I continued upwards, slowly, step by step.
"Unfortunately the peak of Everest was invisible behind the incoming clouds on this occasion, but the vista over the Khumbu glacier and the Western Cym was something very special."
• If you wish to sponsor Aaron & Nicky for their efforts, please visit their on-line fund collecting website at www.justgiving.com/NickyandAaron.