A WESTBURY man has raised around £1,000 with a gruelling 19-day trek from Kathmandu to the Everest base camp, all to raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Help for Heroes.
Justin Whatley, an emergency care assistant with the Great Western Ambulance Service, had to take on challenging terrain and deal with high altitudes over the trek. But there were also dramatic landscapes with views of Mount Everest.
Each day of the trek involved around eight hours of walking, and on reaching base camp, Justin was at an altitude of some 18,000 feet.
Justin said, “It was absolutely brilliant, one of the most amazing things I’ve done. It was very interesting, we visited temples and things like that, and learnt all about the culture as well. “We had porters who were absolutely amazing in what they can carry.
“It was the altitude which was the hardest part, you just can’t do anything fast, you’ve got to do everything slowly because you’re not getting enough oxygen. I was alright until I got to base camp, then I was quite ill there. It’s like you’re drunk – stumbling over and not sure where the ground level is as well. But a good 12-hour sleep at lower altitude and I was fine the next day.
“Base camp is a strange place! All the big treks to the summit camp there, and you have tents from around the world. There must have been around 15 teams there getting ready to climb up. But you can’t actually see Mount Everest from base camp, there’s another mountain in front.” Justin took on the challenge in aid of Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Help for Heroes, raising around £1,000. He said, “The trip was sponsored by Prosec Consultancy Ltd of Westbury, who are a large security and first aid company, and without their support, the trip would not have happened. Members of the public can still sponsor me up until the end of July via our website www.everest2012trek.co.uk “Prosec Consultancy sponsored the whole trek, so together we said we wanted to do it for these charities. Lots of those who work for this security firm are ex-forces, while I work for the ambulance service, so wanted to help the air ambulance too.”