Seachange residents climb to Everest Base Camp

30 May, 2014

Proving that an active adult is a healthy adult, Seachange Village Arundel residents Wanda Fowler and Karen West have completed the ultimate adventure – hiking to Mt Everest base camp.

Wanda Fowler has been a resident and yoga instructor for the past two years at Seachange, while Karen West has been a resident at Seachange for four years.

They participated in a 16-day hike in Nepal late last year. The highest altitude they reached was 5,545m at Kala Patthar – which is even higher than the Everest Base Camp (5,300m). From this vantage point all the main and many lesser peaks could be seen.

“Each day started at 6.30am and, following breakfast, we trekked for five to six hours on the ascent and eight hours on the descent,” Karen said.

“The landscape varied from forests to terraced fields, rolling pastures, rocks, snow, ice and total desolation with varied quality paths and challenging suspension bridges. You very quickly learn to give way to the yaks.”

Wanda and Karen spent 10 months training for the trek, which included gym spin classes, hiking at Binna Burra, climbing Mt Warning and walking a 30km round trip from Seachange Village Arundel to Surfers Paradise.

“We knew the trek would be hard and we thought we would be physically prepared. However the long and challenging days, combined with the thin oxygen, took much more effort than we expected,” Wanda said.

Highlights of the trek for both Wanda and Karen include the amazing views, meeting other trekkers (many of whom were aged in their 60’s), meeting the local Nepalese people, the food and most of all, the enormous sense of achievement. Visiting the renowned Tibetan Buddhist monastery at Tengboche gave them a better understanding of the Sherpa community, as well as panoramic views of the roof of the world!

A recent report conducted by Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency, Life begins at 50, found that 80 per cent of over 50’s say travel is important to them. Grant Taylor, Executive Manager of APIA said “older Aussies are an adventurous bunch. Simply turning 50, 60 or 70 doesn’t necessarily mean they are relegated to pottering in the garden or doing needlepoint. Australian’s over 50’s are keen to get out there and see the world and have a good time while doing it.”