Wandeltocht naar Everest Base Camp

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey that makes it all worth wild.

Vandaag vertrekt de in Nederland woonachtige Amerikaanse Kate Bagley met zes vrienden voor een wandeltocht naar de Mount Everest Basecamp. Hier haar eerste blog over dit avontuur.

Everest base camp has always been on my bucket list and in April 2018 when I found a group of friends who wanted to do the same I jumped on the opportunity. Like any holiday or adventure preparation is key. Now that I had committed to going, the journey was about to start and I needed to be ready. It takes a lot of planning, training and dedication to get to the Mount Everest Base Camp and not just in fitness, travel and equipment but also in nutrition and mindfulness.

So I thought I would share with you the key steps I took to prepare myself to achieve my goal. Each step will give you a detailed breakdown of tips and tricks that will help you in not only preparing for your Everest but show you that a goal so big can be achievable by breaking it down into manageable step.

So let’s no more time and begin the journey of how I prepared to conquer the base camp to the most majestic mountains in the world. Mount Everest.

Preparation – Nutrition: Feed the body to feed the mind.

As we continued to research our Mount Everest Base Camp trip, it came to our attention that we would be burning up to 10,000 calories a day! This is a lot of energy and to think that I generally burn around 2,500 calories a day, I was going to have to find a lot of food to replenish that energy. But to be able to replenish such a large amount most suggestions referred to consuming high processed foods such as snickers bars and chewy lollies. Having completed the 8 week challenge and being a health conscious food addict, this was the last thing I wanted to do. Alongside drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, I needed to find a solution that could fuel my body quickly in a nutritional and natural way.  I researched all types of energy bars, gels and drinks. But again they all seemed to be fill with processed sugars and ingredients. I started researching vegan and healthy options with the hope that someone would have the answer to my problem. This is where I found Huma chia energy gels.

The more I understood about Huma chia energy gels the more I knew it was the product for me. What I liked the most about them is that they are a natural, gluten free and vegan based product. They contain chia seeds that help release a steady flow of energy, sea salt to replace electrolytes and keep you hydrated and natural fruit flavoring that tastes great. With various products and choices to choose from they can also include up to 50 mg of caffeine. Huma chia energy gels were the perfect solution for me. The Chai gels with caffeine ensured I had the extra boost I needed for my first half marathon. I ordered my first batch online at Humagel.nl and they were delivered to me in Amsterdam within the week. I ordered enough to trial the product during my normal runs and enough for the marathon. I was excited to try out my new secret weapon.

During my training for the marathon, I decided to see how well they would work and ensure that I could use them for the half marathon. It’s always important to test anything that you add to your training regime to ensure it doesn’t disrupt your run. For the first test trial, I decided to run a total of 15km. At 8km I felt my pace starting to fade and I took my first Chia gel with 50mg caffeine. I felt the boost almost instantaneously. The opening is at the top of the packet which is easy to tear off. The gel itself was easy to digest and needs to be drunk with water since it is a concentrated product. The gel had an enjoyable caffeine taste to it and was easy to consume. With one gel I was easily able to complete the 15km’s and, with energy to spare.  I knew I was ready for the race and had the right product to support me.

When race day arrived, I knew I was well prepared in fitness and mind. I ensured I had enough Chai energy gels with me during the race and took the Chai gel with 50mg caffeine at the 8km mark and the Chia gel with electrolytes at 15km. It definitely gave me the steady release of energy I needed to complete the run and achieve my goal.

Since the marathon I have continued to use them again in the Dam to Dam run, my hike in Norway and will definitely be using them for my Mount Everest Base Camp hike to give me the electrolytes, nutrients and steady energy I need.

Alongside of this I have ensured that I continue a stable diet, consumed Omega 3, magnesium and probiotic tablets as well as olive leaf liquid to ensure my body was prepared for all the demanding events it was to incur. Oh and I also gave up coffee 2 weeks prior as the caffeine withdrawals are horrendous and something I wouldn’t want to worry about with Mount Everest in front of me.

Preparation –  Training.

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

After discussions at a bar one Friday afternoon with a fellow EBC Hiker we concluded that we better start training. Hiking to Base Camp means hiking to an altitude of 5,380m and having lived in the Netherlands for over 2 years, I wasn’t prepared in any shape or form to climb a mount of such height. So the research began and we found the next closet thing. The Efling National Park in Germany

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The Efling National Park is about a 3 hour drive from Amsterdam. Luckily for us, we had like minded people who were more than happy to join us on the hike and support us on our journey. Not all the EBC Team was able to join each event however we still continued with our training.

We visited the Efling National park on 3 accounts during our weekends and covered over 60 plus km’s in total. Some hikes we would hike up to 26km a day with an altitude of up to 800m and would last over 6.5 hours.

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After numerous hikes in Germany we realised we needed to up our game not just in altitude levels but also in endurance fitness and so another EBC hiker and I, decided to register for the 100th anniversary for the republic of Tallinn ½ marathon in September 2018. A half marathon is something I had never even considered before having only ran  a maximum of 10km for fun runs and barely being able to walk/breath after such an event. But the thought was if I could run a half marathon surely I would be fit enough to hike to mount everest base camp.

Now that I was committed to the half marathon, I focused on my fitness levels to ensure that I could achieve my newly assigned goal, completing my first marathon without walking. I had registered myself in an 8 week challenge at my local gym and trained 4-5 days a week doing cardio and strength training. By the end of the challenge, I was feeling fit and ready to go.

Outside of the gym I was also running once a week to ensure I had the right amount of endurance to run 21km’s. However what I found was that my training at the gym was giving me the endurance and stamina I needed. Within the 8 week challenge I was able to build my training up to 15km’s with energy to spare. I knew I was ready.

September had arrived and before we knew, we were flying to Tallinn for my first half marathon. I was nervous to say the least but excited to knowing that this was happening. Over 5,000 people participated in the half marathon and we were all energized for the event.

I am proud to say that I was able to complete my first half marathon without stopping. I even achieve it under 2 and a half hours. My success was a result of my training, the support from my friends and to ensuring I had the right nutrients to keep me going on the day.41447984_10156588831121310_551718463618416640_o.jpg

Following the half marathon I then went on to complete the Dam to Dam 16km run and the Halve van Haarlem 10km run. All within a month. I was at my peak.

To ensure that we continued also with the altitude training we visited Norway for a weekend and found a few mountains relative in height to challenge us. When I say relative I mean 1,600m and when I think that Mount Everest Base Camp is more than 3 times this height these mountains seemed small. But from the top of the mountain they were spectular.

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I feel that with all the preparation in my training, I am now at my peak fitness level and ready more than ever to start my hike to Mount Everest base camp.

To be continued…