Trekking the Himalayas for mental healthOn September 26, 2017 by Mark Thomson
On October 21st I’ll be Trekking to Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal and raising money for mental health charities.
I’ve covered all costs associated with this trip so 100% of your donations will go to charity.
About the trek:
- Duration: 15-16 days
- Distance: 130 km (80 mi)
- Total elevation gain: over 10,000 m (32,800 ft.)
- Highest elevation: 5540 m (18,175 ft.)
- Oxygen available at highest elevation: 52%
- Glaciers to cross: 3
Frequently Asked Questions –
Why I’m doing it
Mainly for personal reasons. Mountains have defined my life and it’s always been a bucket list item to visit the Himilaya.
To raise money and awareness for Mental Health. A class of illnesses that affect 1 in 5 Canadians.
Where will the money go?
Since I’m covering all costs related to the Trek, 100% of the money raised will go to charity. Donors will get a tax receipt.
Which charities will benefit?
The Canadian Mental Health Association and the Centre for Addition and Mental Health
The trek covers 130km and an elevation gain of 10,000m. Nights at high elevations can fall below -10c (15f) but we will be staying in Tea Houses. These modest shelters are typically heated by a central stove burning Yak dung.
Is there any danger involved?
Yes and no. The route itself is considered “non-technical” because specialized mountaineering gear is not required. But the remote setting, unpredictable weather, gruelling schedule and the high altitude necessitate a certain element of risk. Altitude related illnesses are the biggest worry.
How is the danger being mitigated?
I’ll be travelling with a local, professional guide and several other trekkers including a friend who has been to Everest Base Camp before (on the Tibet side). Medical insurance covers emergency evacuation by helicopter should the need arise.
What is the fundraising goal?
There is no firm target. This opportunity to participate in the trek arose suddenly so I have only about 30 days for planning and fundraising. But… since I was going to do the trip anyways I decided I’d do what I could to raise money. A couple hundred would be great. A couple thousand would be phenominal. Every bit counts.
Donations are greatly appreciated, but raising awareness is equally important. Please take the time to educate yourself on mental health issue because we need your voice.
What inspired this?
The recent loss of a close friend played a big role, as do the people I know and love who continue to struggle. My own experiences also played a part.