Breaking News

I’m excited

It’s been confirmed :)

I’ll be visiting the Suryodaya School construction site before I start the trek into Everest.

Earlier this year our #8850for850 community helped raise funds to get 850 children into a brand new Earthquake resistant school.

Construction of the Suryodaya School is well underway and will be nearly a third of the way through the build when I visit.

I arrive in Kathmandu on the 27th March and will spend 2 days visiting the Makwanpur Region before joining my team on the 1st of April.

A big thank you to Plan International Australia and Nepal for arranging this visit. I know the logistics involved in visiting such a remote area are quite complex.

I can’t wait to provide you with an update and photos of the School and other Plan projects in the region.



Rubble 300x195 Breaking News

This time next year they'll be in a brand new school.

Plan Turns 80

Plan International Logo

1937 - 2017

I’ve been a child sponsor with Plan International Australia since my first climbing expedition to Ecuador in 2004 and an advocate of the “Because I am a Girl” campaign since 2009 but I’m a relative newcomer…… 2017 is a HUGE milestone for Plan International.

80 years advancing children’s rights.

That makes Plan one of the world’s oldest Child Support Agencies.
That’s something to be incredibly proud of.
I know I’m proud to play my tiny part.

It all began in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War when British journalist John Langdon-Davies and aid worker Eric Muggeridge witnessed the impact of War on children. They founded ‘Foster Parents Plan for Children in Spain’ in order to provide food, shelter and clothing to those children whose lives had been destroyed.

Over the coming years Plan grew and the name changed to reflect the changing needs of a world impacted by new conflicts (WWII) and the needs of the Developing World (*refer timeline below).

Langdon-Davies conceived the idea of a personal relationship between a child and a sponsor – a model that puts the child at the centre and remains the core of what Plan does 80 years later.

Today, Plan International is a global organisation that works in 51 developing countries and raises funds to support their work in 21 countries including Australia. They are advancing children’s rights and equality for girls, working not only in local communities but on the world stage, advising World Governments and the UN.

Child Safe Area Nepal

Safe and Learning


Their work doesn’t stop there.

Man keeps creating disasters in the form of wars and political and religious violence.

Mother Nature keeps upping the ante with Earthquakes**, Cyclones and Droughts.

Plan is there to set up child safe areas, to keep some sense of normality for the children while their parents can go about the business of recovery in the knowledge that their children are safe and being helped to deal with the horrors they’ve witnessed.


Across the Developing World Plan has a multitude of programmes educating young people and communities. To name just a few:

Plan WASH3 Plan Turns 80

'Wash Wash Wash your hands'

No Open Defecation Malawi

No Open Defecation Malawi

  • WASH- Water Sanitation And Hygiene: Laos, Timor-Leste, Uganda and Zimbabwe -17,000 people have improved water supply, 22,000have toilets, 37,000 now have knowledge of safe hygiene practices
  • Youth Economic Empowerment: Vocational skills training in Cambodia and Zimbabwe for 11,434 vulnerable men and women
  • Promoting Rights and Accountabilities in African Communities: reached 36,800 people in 168 communities raising awareness of the rights of the vulnerable and training 700 members of the communities to provide support and services
  • Menstrual Hygiene Management Programme: Uganda reached 8,416 people, 53 people trained to make cheaper pads for girls and women, 72 teachers trained to continue hygiene education
  • Early Childhood Programme: 90,615 people across Uganda, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Zambia, Laos, Vietnam and India
Supporting Plan & BIAAG in 2011

Supporting Plan & BIAAG 2011

Everest 2010 150x150 Plan Turns 80

Everest 2010 had to go back in 2011 for a better photo!

I am so proud to call myself a Plan Supporter and I want to wish Plan International a well deserved Happy 80th Anniversary.
I could say “Here’s to the next 80 years” but my real wish for Plan International is for the day when their job is done as the World no longer needs them.

Happy 80th Plan


PS Flag holding is part of my training for Everest 2018 ;) I’m improving…slowly

1930s – Plan International was founded as “Foster Parents Plan for Children in Spain.”
1940s – During World War II, the organization became known as “Foster Parents Plan for War Children” and worked in England, helping displaced children from all over Europe. After the war, Plan International extended aid to children in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece and briefly in Poland, Czechoslovakia and China.
1950s – As Europe recovered, Plan International gradually moved out of these countries and opened new programs in less developed countries. It became “Foster Parents Plan Inc.” to reflect the goal of bringing lasting change to the lives of children in need, whatever their circumstances.
1960s – Foster Parents Plan expanded its work to countries in South America and Asia. In 1962, U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was honorary chairwoman during Plan’s Silver Jubilee.
1970s – In 1974, the global name became Plan International as programs now spanned South America, Asia and Africa. 1978 Plan began working in Nepal
1980s – Belgium, Germany, Japan and the UK joined Canada, the US, Australia and the Netherlands as donor countries. Plan International was recognised by the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
1990s – Plan International offices opened in France, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and the Republic of Korea.
2000s – The name Plan International evolved and a unified global identity was created to help make the organization more easily recognized around the world, and the logo was updated.
2007 the “Because I am a Girl” campaign to promote rights of girls and bring millions of girls out of poverty around the world

Because I am Girl Annual Reports (click link to read full report)
2007: The State of World’s Girls
2008: In the Shadows of War
2009: Girls in the Global Economy: Adding It All Up
2010: Digital and Urban Frontiers
2011: Because I am a Girl: So What About the Boys?
2012: Because I am a Girl: Learning for Life
2013: In Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Girls and Disasters
2014: Pathways to Power: Creating Sustainable Change for Adolescent Girls
2015: The Unfinished Business of Girls’ Rights
2016: Counting the Invisible: Using Data to Transform the Lives of Girls and Women by 2030

**Nepal Earthquake, One year on by the numbers:

  • 81 Child friendly spaces
  • 21,000 children are studying in 310 temporary learning centres
  • 43,672 families received safe drinking water kits
  • 44,968 children received emotional and psychological support
  • 52,767 households received emergency shelter kits
  • 71,300 women and girls benefited from menstrual hygiene kits
  • 287,847 individuals directly helped including 117,230 children.
  • 479 masons and carpenters trained on earthquake-resistant construction techniques supporting 11,000 households to ‘build back better’
  • 10,435 families benefited from short-term employment opportunities.

The Inside Story: S&C Coach Alex

So about Trotty

When Super Coach Nick first talked to me about strength training for a new client of his, who he was coaching up a mountain, I was not expecting that client to come in the unique form of Trotty.
Expecting a misguided, un-informed, ‘I can do anything’ 6 foot tall male in his mid 20’s, as a response, I questioned Nick a bit about his ‘client’. Something like this followed. “Female, middle aged, has a hamstring issue that is not currently resolved, 4 foot nothing :) and Ohh, is set to climb Everest in 6 months.” Mount Everest!
WHHATTT!!!!… Ok, get her in and let me have a chat with her, I replied.
Short version: Trotty presented as a little (sorry, you are!) power packed, head strong, passionate and determined super woman that has already achieved some amazing feats in her life. She sat there at my desk and said she is happy to put herself through any form of hell, pain or torture to be able to achieve her goal, and more importantly for this amazing woman, was she wanted to make a difference to other women (and men) around the world. Be seen, heard and help as many as she can. I told her she was crazy, and happily said I will give you my best!

What we’ve achieved so far

Since day one, we have worked together to develop/enhance her muscular strength, movement patterns and neuromuscular connections that will drive Trotty up Everest as quickly as her body can allow. We have jumped the hamstring hurdle, stepped over some minor upper limb problems and postural imbalances, to be faced with a foot issue that would have most people sitting on the couch watching the cricket and tennis all summer. Not Trotty though, twice a week without fail, ready to go for every session, no matter what the challenge, she is up for it and dominating it.

Where are we headed?

With recalculating our goals, Trotty’s Everest journey is now set for 2018, so we have about 12 months to get the power packed champion ready to tackle Everest. Even with some unforeseen hiccups, she is still making progress and I have no doubt she will smash this. We will see a shift from strength and stability, over to muscular endurance as we edge closer, but for now, it is just one day, one session at a time. It will all mount up to being the strongest, fittest and healthiest possible to run up that big hill.

As for me,

Strength & Conditioning Coach - Alex Brackstone

Alex - Planning our Way to Everest

I am Alex, a 26 year old personal trainer & Remedial Massage therapist. In relative terms, I am a rookie with a lot to learn.

For Trotty, we are and are going to, achieve amazing things.

I have a holistic approach to the way I train and massage clients.

A strong focus on stability, strength and power through hips, with anatomical knowledge and understanding that allows me to personalise individuals training programs to achieve our goals.

Plus a serious passion to educate people. I am a strong believer in the old saying, “Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime”.

Get on board and follow Trotty’s journey and help out if you can. It is exciting and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

Alex Brackstone
Strength and Conditioning Coach and Massage Therapist

A word from the coach

The meeting

When I first sat down and met with Lynette (Trotty) the single thing which impressed me most was her passion. The next thing I went searching for was demonstrable evidence that she was genuine about her Everest attempt, I mean really genuine! I didn’t have to search far to find this either.

The next question was training. My skill and knowledge set allows me the understanding of how to get someone fit, really fit. For me this is normally undertaken in the ultra marathon running arena. Fortunately what you need to be able to tackle an ultra is very similar to what you need to tackle a mountain. That was until Lynette threw me the curve ball out of left field! Due to a previous injury she couldn’t run. Luckily there is always more than one way to do things.

The Journey so Far
There was always going to be a lot of walking involved but for Lynette this means serious hours spent walking and carrying a heavy load in her backpack. She is also intimately acquainted with her 45cm step. Spending hours upon hours gaining the vertical altitude, while shifting no further than sea level. Her mental resilience is absolutely insane and this will serve her well high on the mountain.

Up until now we have been working on developing Lynette’s strength and aerobic capacity, especially the strength in her glutes. She has to have the strength and aerobic capacity to walk steadily up a mountain with practically no oxygen. To give you an indication; imagine walking up Mt Lofty breathing through a straw, in sub zero temperatures while carrying 8kg’s.

Where are we headed?
Over the next 12 months we will continue to develop Lynette’s leg strength and aerobic capacity. The endurance fitness that Lynette needs is a long term project and one that she will continually be working towards over the coming 12 months. We will also be ensuring that she is prepared for all the other potential challenges and situations that she will have to face. This means she has early morning walks in store, insert; 2am starts! She will have multiple day simulation training camps to replicate the 3-day slog that it takes to get to the summit. She will tackle thousands of hours walking and countless hill repeats. Once she completes this she will be Everest fit.

The Ultra Coach called Nick
As for me, my background comes from long distance triathlon, specifically Ironman racing. Along with this I have spent many years coaching and have a degree in Human Movement and Education. But as to why I decided to work with Lynette. I come back to the first thing I mentioned, her passion. She had a big dream, an impossible dream but one that she was actively chasing. I just loved that! I couldn’t wait to be a part of helping her improve her training, improve her fitness, pass on as much knowledge as I could so that she can achieve her impossible dream! After all its not every day that an athlete comes to you and asks you to put them on Everest!

Nick Muxlow

The Ultra Journey

Way to Everest - Nicks Ultra journey

What other Coach could I possibly choose? This photo Sealed the Deal

logo main 150x150 A word from the coach

Another lap around the sun

Another lap around the sun complete.

My Birthday week has been like a bag of mixed lollies or Forrest’s box of Chocolates.

I awoke to a lost toenail but that’s a whole other Blog…watch this space, photos included.

The week started on a high with the best news possible. It was D-day. Decision Day on the hamstring.
I felt like I was nervously sitting in the Apollo capsule, atop a Saturn V rocket, awaiting Mission Control to determine my fate:
“Everest 2017 Controllers give me a “Go” - “No Go” for Everest
Physio: Go
Pod: Go
S&C: Go Everest
Enduro: Go
Everest Control we are go for Summit”
We’re cutting it fine but we made it. 12 weeks to go.

My Birthday celebration was unique to say the least. I had Glaucoma Laser Surgery.
As you’ve heard me say before no one climbs a mountain on their own. I have a whole team getting me up that mountain. In his efforts to maintain my vision, climbing a mountain has thrown unusual hurdles at Dr Phipps. The main obstacle is temperature, not so surprising on a mountain but it’s got nothing to do with freezing my eyeballs or anything like that. It’s the eyedrops. I can’t guarantee their integrity i.e. too hot during the day, freezing at night. So Dr Phipps’ solution has been very practical. No drops. But that meant surgery. Allowing for healing time, follow-up and the small obstacle of the 30 day contact lens test I’m doing in January with my optometrist (can’t wear contacts after Laser). So working back from my departure date, guess what day the surgery fell on? Yep the 20th December. I bit my tongue!
In some countries in the world I’d have little vision left by now, so there I am incredibly grateful that I live in Australia and I’m in such cabable hands…..Yeah right! I’m now at home, sitting in the dark, on my own, on my Birthday feeling a little sad, sore and sorry for myself.

I put my glacier glasses on to read a message from a friend “Celebrate your Birthday on another day”.
Why didn’t I think of that? Oh yes that’s why, I was too busy feeling sorry for myself! :)
I thought what better day that the 8th January, the day of the #8850for850.
So I snuck a peek on line and that had my spirits soaring as our $m have soared above $900m.
Now I’m hoping my Birthday Invitation to join me on the 8th will go viral like those teenage parties with hundreds of strangers turning up but instead of Bouncers and Riot Police I’ll just need new batteries in my calculator to add up all of the additional metres climbed!!

Feeling decidedly better, still lying in the dark with my sunnies on, I answered the phone expecting a Happy Birthday wish…….No!
It was Remote Repairs in Melbourne. My Sleeping bag ,which I’d sent to them for a down fill check-up as it had felt a little sparse…..It was DEAD!
After Everest 2011 I had it dry cleaned, as you do, but instead of sending it to them as I usually do I had it done locally. Mistake. Huge Mistake! Unbeknown to me they applied heat to it and destroyed the baffles. My Down sleeping bag is now just a great big down sock. Beyond repair. Sadly at the same time they’d also cleaned my down suit and jacket….I’ll be sending them off for inspection in the new year….Oh dear.
On the bright side I was never a 100% happy with them so now I have an excuse to go shopping and I now have a Gigantic Christmas stocking to hang up!!

Another member of Team Trotty provided an exciting high point in week 52 around the sun: My very first sponsor!
At school, in Health Ed class, we young ladies were taught feminine hygiene. That class stuck with me and thank goodness because as a 13yo I had no idea that 30 years on, my chosen sport would involve Extreme Hygiene or lack thereof, 2 months without a shower!!
The delightful, supportive and inquisitive of all things Everest, Wietske of Supreme Beauty is providing her services , pre Everest, free of charge!
But wait that’s not all. She’s also supporting 8850 for 850 with a massage certificate as a prize.

Plan card1 300x168 Another lap around the sunPlan card 2 300x168 Another lap around the sunWeek 52 ended on a beautiful note with Christmas Cards and words of support from the wonderful staff at Plan International Australia.

Now I need to get to work and put my application in for a spot on an Everest 2017 team.

Here’s to the next lap around the sun. I think I’m in for a memorable ride with a great view :)

Namaste Trotty

#8850 for 850

As if climbing a mountain wasn’t a big enough challenge. I may have bitten off far more than I can chew this time but I am sure with all of you out there to take a bite with me I know we can do this.

Do what?
8850 for 850 is what!!

Let me explain:

Rubble 300x195 #8850 for 850

Our school collapsed. The earthquake destroyed everything. I want to be an Architect when I grow up so I can build earthquake resistant buildings - Susma

Before my first attempt on Mt Everest, 8850m (hint #1 ;) ), in 2010, I visited the Makwanpur District and saw first-hand the great work Plan is doing there to support the community. Just a few years after my visit, Makwanpur was shaken by the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake, leaving homes and schools destroyed and people displaced.
Living in Bushfire prone regions we are well aware how devastating the loss of a school is to a community. Even in the cities we know the impact of senseless acts of arson during school holidays when they destroy just one classroom. Suryodaya Secondary School, 850 Students (hint #2), in the Makwanpur District was one of 7,000 schools , that’s 35,000 classrooms, that were completely destroyed
Through the efforts of fellow Plan International supporter, Barbara Hickson, $120,000 has already been raised towards the $200,000 required to rebuild Suryodaya. That leaves $80,000 to get 850 children back into a safe school but Fundraising Events cost BIG BIG $$$ to run.

So I’ve got a plan……We stage this event OURSELVES….as a community.

What I’m proposing is WHEREVER you are in the world on Sunday 8th January, I invite you to join me on my training hike.

  • I’ll be on Mt Lofty at 8am but you choose your favourite local peak.
  • After we’ve finished our hikes, we make a donation online
  • Record our metres climbed in the donation message
  • I’ll then add all our Metres and Dollars together and see how many Everests we’ve Climbed and Raised

If we can raise 1 “Everest 8850″ we’ll be helping put 850 kids back in a safe school
If we can raise 10 x “Everests 8850″ we’ve built the school!!!!

So let’s do it! As a community let’s climb 8850 and put 850 back in school!!


  • You can join the Event 8850 for 850 on Facebook and follow the link
    Or go direct to the donation page Plan International Fundraising Page
  • Share the Event 8850 for 850 with all your friends
  • On the day grab all your family and friends, work colleagues or just you and the dog and climb your local hill or just your driveway if that’s your Everest right now!
  • If you can’t join me on the day you can still donate - the kids won’t mind :)
  • The donation page is up and running and I’ll be tracking the progress of our Community Air Flt #8850for850 – destination Lukla Airport 2,784$m. Fasten your seatbelts we’re in for a spectacular flight.

4.Lukla apt 300x169 #8850 for 850

Lukla Airport 2,784$m


Donations are flying in: Community Air Flt #8850for850 has taken off from Kathmandu airport and reached an Altitude of 506$m – That’s Dollar Metres :( not Million dollars!! Below us the farmers are eeking out a living carving crops into the sides of mountains rising up to meet us.Crops carved into mountain #8850 for 850

Final Countdown

The Final Countdown has recommenced.

My finger has been hovering over the abort button for the last few months.

Everything was looking great and then, as happens to the best laid plans, they were torn asunder …..Literally…….After a time trial I took my backpack off and Whammo! Well actually it was far less dramatic than that, more of a “Hmm that’s a little odd…nah I’ll just walk it off”

Later a scan revealed a hole in the Hammy Tendon!  I swear they nearly lost the ultrasound head inside it! Recovery was impeded by the harsh economic reality here in SA forcing me, 25 years later, back to study. Hours of  literally sitting on the injury was not conducive to a speedy recovery!

But I’m surrounded by an awesome Team that have me back on my feet and today I was allowed to put on my hiking boots. No more trail shoes, Yeah, although it was a bit like going from ballet slippers to concrete blocks! The feet will toughen up…again!

It’s one more tick on my way to faster feet for 2017

There’s so much to catch you up on. I may have been sitting on my butt but:

Torch arrived

• Team Trotty now complete

• Launched #8850for850


• For Christmas I finally got my front teeth (actually arrived in time for Halloween…no more 1st prizes for me)

Details to come but for now, I need to find my golf ball and show these feet they did well today….by shoving a golf ball into them…..Hmmm



Meet Team Trotty Part I

Part I: Memories of cold fingers TORCHed!

Today I’d like you to meet the newest members of Team Trotty
Drum roll please….
Bringing an International flavour, all the way from Phoenix, Arizona, Torch’s Anthony DeVito, Luke Cesarz and Shane Eberspacher.

OK, I hear you asking “How on earth did Adelaide and Arizona come to be on the same team for Everest?”.
Quite simple really.
It was cold fingers, low funds and a signature!

Everest 2011 I changed my glove system and putting it politely, it didn’t work. Cold fingers on the Lhotse face didn’t bode well for the summit bid…….which as we know didn’t eventuate that year.

Since then I’ve been experimenting and Googling different sock and glove systems. I’ve also been on the net researching crowd funding when the 2 worlds collided spectacularly. Indiegogo sent me a message of a product requiring crowd funding that I might want to check out “Torch – The World’s First Universal Coat Heater”.

Reading the blurb:
Torch is a battery operated heater specifically designed to fit inside your coat and can easily be moved from one coat to another. Beat the cold in ANY and EVERY coat you own
Set me thinking outside the square: “What if I can keep my core warm with less energy that will allow warmer blood to the fingers and toes?”
For every success story I’ve heard of the commonly used systems, battery powered boot warmers and air activated hand warmers, I’ve heard 5 failures. To me something operating in such confined spaces at that altitude was fraught with difficulty.

This product on the surface seemed more reliable but I had questions. After all it’s my Fingers and Toes on the line!
So off my questions went into Cyber space (Phoenix)
1. How much does it and each spare battery weigh?
2. How is it’s performance impacted at High Altitude?
3. What is involved in changing the battery over i.e. can it be done quickly in gloves without losing too much heat?

EDITORS NOTE: Unbeknown to our technologically challenged, clueless Blogger, Microsoft Office had auto inserted her signature containing web address.

Torch’s Anthony came back with the required information
But again MY Fingers and Toes: Further clarification required!
More back and forth and a final thankyou from me
and then…….
6 mins later…….BAM!
Wow I just checked out your website! When you said high altitude I wasn’t thinking Everest lol. I am so flattered that you would consider taking Torch up there with you. I will definitely be following your blog”

And the next Day:
“You got me really excited last night about Everest, in fact I watched the movie “Everest.”
One of the reasons I am crowdfunding is to raise enough money to further develop Torch. If you would be interested in helping us make it “Everest ready.” You asked all of those questions because they are extremely important. With your input, we could customize Torch to be the best product to help you get you up that mountain.”

Ok, due to time zone differences (and me going off on a 6 hr hike before checking emails!) I actually read these 2 together. So it was a double BAM for me.

And that’s where it began. All because of a computer setting!

Now I’m excited to be able to participate in the design of a product that’s going to help me to the Summit of Everest.

But you know what really impressed me about Anthony, and I wrote this in my first NON question grilling email, was his enthusiasm. It was that, that made me commit to help in any way I can to make this the best product possible or in Anthony’s words “Everest Ready”. So I then wrote
if you believe my contribution could be of assistance. It will come down to a few simple things:” which was followed by a page and a half of dot points!!

Seriously Me! helping engineers, Go figure!! Another completely unexpected turn on this journey to Everest. I tell you what, you never know where chasing a dream will take you!

These guys are awesome, they are so passionate about what they do. Check out their stories on THE TORCH Indiegogo page (2/3 of the way down) and some great photos of them keeping warm. And now we have no excuse to be cold at the Footy ever again!

It’s a long journey on My Way (Back) to Everest and thankfully I’m not doing it alone



Sunshine and Summits

423 sleeps to go!

Hold on…Wait a minute…Is this a serious case of Deja vu….or like a PT counting down reps

For those paying close attention we were at this point last year, oh yes, and the year before!

I was trying to stay positive and focused on the goal while around me, financially and physically, Everest was slipping further and further away. The Summit had a serious case of storm clouds, building ever so slowly, obscuring my view, to the point where I was beginning to think my mountain season might be permanently shut down.

I’ve always said “If the dream is big enough, you’ll do what it takes”. All you need to do is fan that spark and you have a raging fire within. But what happens when at every turn you’re being doused with a bucket of water, blanketed by a fire extinguisher or just outright attacked by a Bushfire Strike Team!! ?

Because honestly that’s what it has felt like. Injury after injury, weight going up, fitness going down, job market drying up.
And I found it quite a lonely place to be. I couldn’t admit it to anyone because I knew the minute I did, that would be it… done and dusted…. Over. And seriously how could I complain? During this period Everest, fellow climbers, my beloved Nepal and her inspiring people endured much hardship.

But remember it only takes one spark. The funny thing is, it was actually being out of work, missing a front tooth and newly injured that set in motion the chain of events that fanned that spark, cleared up the clouds, and now the Summit, glistening in full sunshine, is looming larger than ever above me.

In fact it’s scarily close…Did I mention 423 sleeps?

Over the coming weeks I’ll share with you the chain of events, even the tooth, though I can’t guarantee photographic evidence. My darling Mum photo shopped our Christmas 2015 family photos where I forgot and broke out into a big grin!

We’ll look at Plans response to the 2015 Earthquake and their continued efforts as Nepal rebuilds almost one year on.

And I can’t wait to introduce you, one by one, to the new members of Team Trotty. They’re an integral part of my story and I couldn’t do it without them.
We’ve even gone International in the last couple of weeks!!

Watch this space, we’ll shine a Torch on how I train for Optimal Endurance…..ok that was me trying to be cryptic! Spoilers on Facebook.

For now, may I say, I’m really glad that you’re joining me on my Way (Back) to Everest 2017



“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.