Rebekah Cunningham, a sophomore in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University, recently went on an adventure many of us could only dream about. In October 2018, she and a group of fellow travelers trekked to the southern base camp of Mount Everest. The trip lasted 20 days and included 12 days of consecutive trekking, two days for altitude acclimation, as well as traveling and recreation days.
Cunningham planned the trip with the help of a friend, Jed Dart, who had trekked to South Base Camp before. South Base Camp is the primary site for travelers who begin their climb of Mount Everest in Nepal, and is the higher of the two main base camps. After Cunningham convinced Dart to go to the base camp again, they pulled together the rest of the group. While both had connections to various members, they were, as a whole, a diverse group of travelers. Each individual was an avid outdoor adventurer, and the group came together in search of their next adrenaline rush.
Adventure of a lifetime
Battling subzero temperatures means dealing with everything from trying to stay warm at night to having your drinking water freeze solid, all while fighting through unbelievable exhaustion. However, every member of Cunningham’s trekking team made it to South Base Camp, and shared in the accomplishment and elation of their arrival.
“The most important things I learned from my trek were the importance of teamwork and that we need to listen to our bodies,” Cunningham said. “During the trek, it was essential that we rely on each other and encourage each other. As much as listening to my team members, I also had to practice listening to my body by not pushing myself too hard in the extreme conditions,” explained Cunningham.
“It’s a different world at 17,500 ft.” Cunningham said, “Hiking to Everest’s Base Camp was easily the hardest thing I’ve accomplished in my life so far, but it also is the most rewarding. It was overall the biggest and best adventure I’ve had, and once I did it, it was the most intense feeling of accomplishment and serenity that I’ve ever experienced.”