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Early risers on Everest Base Camp climb

Written by Alan Wood
on September 08, 2023

A group of Charles Upham residents were up early at the village gates to gather a few more kilometres as part of the September Walking for Wellness: Everest Challenge.

Chris Scotton, Gail Jesson and Bev Tranter joined with Activities & Lifestyle Coordinator Tracey Doody to be the first out of the blocks on a warm Wednesday morning.

Village resident Chris Scotton says the Everest Base Camp and return 128.7 kilometre challenge will work out at about 4.5 kilometres a day if she keeps up with the challenge during the 30 days of September.

Chris says she is originally from Leith, Edinburgh and walking had always been a big part of her life. She’d arrived in the village about a year ago, and had taken part in the 2022 walking challenge, run in October. “It was good, I got my certificate.”

She was enjoying the latest app-based challenge, and the social aspect of the walks.

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“I’m building it up. I get my great nephew, Angus, to come out and we go for a walk around Pegasus township and elsewhere,” Chris says. Every app-based kilometre counts.

By following their app the residents walk to base camp, starting from the Nepalese mountain town of Namche Bazaar, located in the Khumbu rural region of north-eastern Nepal. At around six kilometres the walkers passed through Tengboche, the site of another town and a large Buddhist monastery and onwards past Pheriche, Lobuche, to the small settlement of Gorak Shep, before reaching base camp at 5,364 metres.

Gail says she is doing the Everest Base Camp one way version, totalling 64.4 kilometres. “I’m going to the top (only). I had to look at my calendar and I didn’t think I had time to come back down,” she jokes.

The walk to base camp is base, started from the Nepalese mountain town of Namche Bazaar, located in the Khumbu rural region of north-eastern Nepal.

The health-minded group were in great form, colourfully dressed and pleased with their progress on their return.

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Chris says she also goes to a Charles Upham group known as the Strollers, who walk once a week, usually on a Wednesday. “That’s just a nice bunch of people, and yeah I enjoy it.”

Tracey says the Wednesday walking group normally takes off in a van from the village in order to find a challenge of up to three kilometres. Another walking group, which departs on Fridays, can walk up to eight kilometres. “We try to do not too much further than a half-an-hour drive but we go to the botanical gardens, we’ve been up to Oxford, we’ll go to Leithfield, all around Rangiora, Brighton Beach... quite often we’ll use recommendations from people.

“We’re also getting active walkers ready for Mount Grey in the summer time, we want to do a day trek up there.”

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 45 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 13,900 residents and the company employs 6,800 team members.

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