Everest Base Camp & Other Stories

Looking Back…

It’s now Friday, April 6th.

As we sit here, wrapped in Kerry, watching the sheets of rain roll past – our Himalayan adventure could almost have been a dream.


Since finally slipping into a fevered sleep in Chukkung, a lot has happened.

The next morning, we took a chopper to Kathmandu, almost got manhandled into an ambulance on the runway (another story), took our first warm shower in weeks in Abu Dhabi, had a joyous reunion with our better halves in Dublin, returned to the heart of our communities and lost the 3 week old beards that were attached to us and that we’d grown attached to.

Our heads are still spinning.

Both Sherpa and I got together for a while yesterday at the request of Radio Kerry, who wanted to talk to us on air about our particular madness.

At first, We were reticent.

Kerry has more important issues than us.

But they insisted.

As it turned out, it was an enjoyable conversation and allowed us the opportunity to field friendly fire from our fellow trekkers who were listening all over the globe.

The mental image of Niko listening on a beach in Greece in a pair of Gap Speedos was particularly upsetting.

Afterwards, Sherpa and I went for a coffee to have a chat. We managed the coffee but not the chat.

At every turn, we were approached by well wishers welcoming us home and congratulating us on our journey. We were mortified… and overwhelmed.

Our EBC & Island Peak odyssey just keeps on giving.

Both of us agree that it was physically, the hardest thing that we’ve ever done. It forced us to look deep into ourselves and question who we thought we were.

Looking back now, much of the trip, is a blur.

Some of the towns we passed through are already fading from our memory and the cold of the wind has been dulled by time.

Six months ago, having decided that my 50th year needed marking, I discussed some of the options with Sherpa who confessed that he was also looking for a challenge to dedicate to his own intentions.

Finally, we settled on EBC and then later decided that we didn’t want to go that far and not stand on top of something. Thus, Island Peak was hatched.

Looking back – our decisions were made with a fair degree of naivety and ignorance. We knew little of the challenges posed by both.

However, with the benefit of hindsight – we wouldn’t change a thing.

We had an awesome journey, the experience of a lifetime.

Our thanks go to our families and friends who supported us through every step, our guides who got us there and back and our fellow travelers who made it fun.

Along the way, we learned a lot about ourselves, each other and our place in the world. Some of our insights include:

– We are tougher than we think & luckier than we know.
– Good company makes for great journeys.
– We can all make big journeys – if we begin with small steps.
– Always sweat the small stuff – Celebrate every small achievement.
– Life occurs outside your comfort zone.
– Always Respect Nature, it made and will sustains us.
– Embrace the struggle as it is most of the journey.
– You can’t prepare for everything so prepare to absorb the shocks.

During our journey, we committed to maintaining this blog for two purposes:
a. Keeping our family and friends in the loop and                                                       b. Providing us with a diary of our trip.

We didn’t foresee that it would become a critical part of our motivation to continue. As the weeks passed, we became aware of the growing audience for our words and gained strength and encouragement from the comments and feedback.

Until the next “Excellent Adventure of Sherpa & Yak” – Thank you sincerely for your interest and your part in our journey and achievements.


Sherpa & Yak.

1 thought on “Looking Back…

  1. Pearl - April 13, 2018

    Pat it has been a fantastic journey not just for you and Sherpa but for all of us I have shared with all my (big) family and we have loved every word written.
    Thank you Pearl

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