MUSKOKA — Everest. The very word conjures up beauty and danger. It’s the highest peak on the planet, the ultimate adventure trip, and this spring three Muskoka residents will be heading there.
Naturalist and climber Robin Tapley from the J.W. Marriott Resort and Spa is heading toward the top of the world. Tapley heads for Nepal on March 15 for a trek to the Everest base camp. Two other people from Muskoka - Fred and Caroline van den Bulk from Huntsville – are joining him on the trek.
Photo by Bev McMullen
On March 15, Robin Tapley, who heads the wilderness program at Red Leaves, the J.W. Marriott Resort and Spa in Minett, will join Huntsville natives Fred and Caroline van den Bulk and 10 others as they fly to Nepal.
The trip is being organized by World Wide Quest, a Canadian company that specializes in extreme adventures for travellers over the age of 55.
You need to be fit to undertake this trip and Tapley — an adventurer who is always on the go — has been training hard.
After flying to Shanghai and then Hong Kong, the group will spend two days in Katmandu, Nepal, an area of unmatched beauty and history. Then they fly up, landing at Lukla airport at an elevation of 9,600 feet.
There they’ll meet their Sherpas, or porters, who will carry their supplies as the group treks to Everest. Sleeping in teahouses and wending their way through the mountains, the group will head toward the base camp.
Although they won’t climb to the 29,000-foot summit, the sights they will witness will be knee-buckling beautiful. To put it in perspective, at 18,000 feet the base camp is higher than any mountain in North America. It’s a tough climb, and the group will stop frequently to rest and acclimatize to the altitude.
They will also face challenges. Altitude sickness, dehydration and headaches can affect the climbers, even a physically fit athlete like Tapley.
Climbing to the summit is another trip entirely, something Tapley will have to contemplate after he returns from this journey.
In the meantime he has to get ready for his next adventure: on June 3 he heads to Mongolia to lead a cycling trip through this astonishing land. Not even giving his itchy feet time to get itchy, he’ll be off to another paradise at the far reaches of the globe for adventure and adrenalin.
Why? Because he can.