“Popping Off” to Everest

I remember once missing out on a 2 month contract because my unsuspecting future employer, while valuing my vast experience and qualities, thought that I might just head off to Everest at a moments notice. He was later educated in the ways of climbing and became one of my favourite bosses, though he continues to introduce himself as ”My Supervisor….as no one Bosses Trotty”.

So here we are 378 sleeps out from Everest 2016…. What do I actually have to do before I can “Pop Off” to Everest?

Getting Everest Fit is the most obvious answer but there’s a little bit more to it. I have 5 “TO DO” Lists.

  1. Travel
  2. Replacement Gear
  3. Packing
  4. Training
  5. Fundraising

Now, I hear you thinking “Replacement Gear? How hard could that possibly be? You’ve purchased it before, just buy it again”. Right? Hmmm…..some things aren’t quite as straight forward as they seem. Let’s use my down suit as an example.

I’m considering having it made bespoke to ensure a better fit this time around. My research is showing it will require anything up to a 6 month lead time. Obviously to order I need to take my measurements BUT this requires me being at least close to climbing % body fat. So my training calendar had to be adjusted to bring forward the fat burn!! …..Starting to get the picture?

How do I manage to get all the pieces to fall into place? Maria’s suggestion….”Start at the very beginning…..” doesn’t quiet work for me. I have to start with my departure date and work my way backwards.

Departure Day: Pack Pillow (Refer “31st March: Kathmandu” )

2 weeks: Phone Credit Card companies (advise destination to avoid that lovely surprise “REJECTED”)
               Mail Redirection (Mum & Dad become Team Trotty’s Accounts Payable Dept. thus avoiding more “Surprises” upon return!)

1 month: Last Shots (Immunisation…NOT Courage.. Keep reading!!)
               Pack 40kgs into 2 gear bags. (This is my least favourite task and my Heart Rate went up just typing it. It never happens in one go)

Everest in a bag

40 kgs packed into 2 of these!....on my 2nd trip I couldn't understand how the stranger meeting me picked me out of the crowd!!

2 months: Lay out gear (on 2 double bed sheets on the family room floor)

3 months: Day trip to Melbourne for final gear purchases (They know I’m coming and spend the day kitting me out)
                Travel Doctor (How many holes they have to make in my arm, over what time frame. They’re not all one offs)
                Put together Med Kit
                Optometrist (eye check up, contacts and med kit requirements)

                Get hair done (Really? Read on)
                Passport photo (It does last for 10 years so I want to make a little effort)
                Apply for new passport
                Visa application

6+months: Apply for position on International Climbing Team and Pay for climb
                 Travel insurance + rider
                 Take measurements and order Suit

12 months: Begin New Training Programme (3 programmes x 16 weeks, each broken down into 4 week blocks)
                  Have new training tyre made up
                  Purchase and learn to use HRV monitor (which ended up also requiring a new Smart phone)

14 months: Write Lists

To ensure all these pieces are in place, the last few weeks have seen me reviewing and revising the To Do Lists.

Travel, Gear and Packing, they’re the well worn, “Road most travelled” lists. That said I still managed to omit one minor item from the Packing List. It nagged at me for a good 48 hrs until the penny finally dropped. It was only my down suit!! “I thought it was a bit breezy up here, but the view’s great”.

The less travelled Lists, in fact we’re in completely new territory as in “Limit of Maps” are

  • Training
  • Fundraising

Dave, my trainer assures me, he has training under control. My only job now is to trust the process, oh and one tiny matter of actually DOING the training.

But there’s an additional spread sheet, “Costs” that is putting me even further out of my comfort zone (as if climbing a mountain and public speaking weren’t enough!)
After setting the date I calculated the cost of the climb:

  • Climb
  • Replacement Gear
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Misc

Less: Savings and anticipated Income from a steadily declining South Australian contracting market

Ouch…. that number didn’t come out the way I anticipated and frustratingly the formulae containing USD are adjusting everyday in the wrong direction!!

Hence the need for the brand new list: Fundraising

Until now, with the help of a loan for Everest 2011, I’ve paid for every single cent from my savings with a small contribution from Motivational Speaking. My first thoughts turned to Lamingtons, T-Shirts and Quizz nights but they’re just not going to cut it and in this modern age I need to consider entering the whole new world of crowd funding. Asking for donations is not something I’m comfortable with but the concept of giving something in return that allows my supporters to participate in my climb does appeal. The idea being that for contributions supporters can choose from a range of “perks”. For example:

  • Personalised Tweet
  • Email pre and post climb
  • Postcard from Kathmandu
  • Phone call from BC, Camp 1, Camp 2
  • Post Climb visit to their community/club/work
  • Etc etc All the way up to
  • A Personalised Diary with an entry made every single day from me to you from Everest

What ever way I manage to secure the funds, I hope you will continue your journey here with me on my “Way (back) To Everest”.

I may well be 378 days out but as you can appreciate, there’s still an awful lot to be done before I can “Pop Off” to Everest.



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