Team of surfers take on Everest
A team of intrepid surfers swapped their boards for mountaineering gear as they trekked to Everest Base Camp for a surf therapy charity.
They raised over £12,000 for The Wave Project on the 10 day trek, which led to three of the party being evacuated in a dramatic mountain rescue.
The youngest of the evacuees was 22 year old Elif Wortt, who took part in the trek because the charity had supported her younger sister Elsy.
Elif, from Newbury, said: “I was evacuated just a few hundred metres from Basecamp, my oxygen levels dropped to 34, and the usual evacuation level is 60 …I was evacuated to a high altitude clinic where I stayed the night hooked up to oxygen being constantly monitored, taking medication for brain swelling and having frequent ultrasounds for fluid on the lungs.”
Now on the mend Elif has plans to head back to the mountain to “give it another go” when she’s fully recovered.
Of the eleven team members who set out on the challenge, seven made it to the Base Camp finish line. Two other trekkers were also evacuated due to the affects of altitude sickness and fatigue.
Yet the team pulled together and cheered one another along right up until to the summit.
Trek team leader Jono Griffin said: “It was a great experience to see such camaraderie between the group they all spurred each other on as much as possible, the difficulties some team members faced are the reality of trekking into high altitude it’s fantastic to see the team reunited now after a tough few physical and emotional days.”
He confirmed that following the Base Camp evacuations the team are all “back from the mountain and reunited, all are fully well now and it’s a great buzz to be together again.”
The money raised will be used to deliver life changing surf therapy to more young people across the UK. The Wave Project’s 6 week surf therapy courses are proven to build young people’s confidence and self belief through learning to surf.
The trek incorporated numerous acclimatisation days in the beautiful foothills of the Himalayas. These acclimatisation days had the team trekking high and sleeping low; a system designed to combat the affects of the ‘thin air’ of the mountains.
Altitude sickness occurs when the amount of oxygen in the high atmosphere of the mountains becomes so scarce that the body cannot maintain its basic functions. It can affect anyone, regardless of age or fitness. The only cure, for this often fatal condition, is to descend immediately to lower altitude. Medical attention is often required to rebalance the body’s oxygen saturation levels.
Wave Project founder, Joe Taylor said; “We’re so proud of the incredible efforts of the whole trek team, the fundraisers, leaders, local guides and medical teams. The scale of the challenge our fundraisers have undertaken is incredible. Whether they reached the camp or not is secondary to the inspiration they have given all of us in striving to try something new and showing such support for one another throughout the challenge.”