On October 31st, 2018, seven El Paso Fire Department firefighters along with a nurse from Sierra and an Assistant Chief from Spokane Washington departed on a trip of a lifetime to the base of Everest. The following personnel went on the trip:
Frank Perry…Danny Medrano…Edward Snyder…Bernardo Rodriguez…Juan Rodriguez…Jorge Cortez…Sergio Renteria… Mark John (Washington)…Vince (Sierra Hospital)
The trek to Everest Base Camp took everything we had – physically and mentally – and was the hardest thing I’ve done to date, given the conditions and length of our trip.
At the lowest point on the Everest Base Camp trek, we were at 8,700 feet, and at the highest, just under 18,000 feet. Round trip, we hiked about 80 miles, and for every up-hill, there was a down-hill that followed.
The group flew from El Paso to Kathmandu where we spent three days sightseeing and shopping.
We then flew to Lukla and began our trek to base camp. Along the way, we stayed in tea houses that had no heat and minimal facilities. The food was always an adventure. The altitude and cold didn’t make it any easier. We lost one of the team members on the third day to a broken foot (Mark). He was fortunate enough to get a helicopter back to Kathmandu. I was stricken with the flu bug and missed out on joining the rest on the summit of Kala Pathar. When then made our way back down the mountains and out of the cold. All that was left was the two days of travel to get back to the great U.S of A.
The Mount Everest Base Camp trek is something that I think everyone should experience once in their lifetime, but with caution. Altitude sickness is a real thing and with an average of 50-60 helicopter rescues off the trek every day during the busy season, it proves that people greatly underestimate this trip. If you’re going to do it, train well. Pace yourself. Eat your food. And hydrate. A lot. Seriously. And get travel insurance for sure, just in case. It’s a painful journey, but the payoff was so much more valuable because of the pain that I overcame. I want to thank all of our team members for joining me on a trip that we will never forget.