In March this year Paul Owen travelled to the Himalayas to get a tick on the bucket list and at the same time raise awareness and some financial support for a biking charity.
Here is his experience:
The charity I am raising money for is the Simon Andrews Fund. I am a huge fan of the IOMTT races and have huge respect for anyone who swings a leg over a motorbike to race around the legendary TT mountain circuit.
Unfortunately, as we know, some riders have accidents and can require many months post-accident medical care.
Simon Andrews was a talented rider who was sadly killed whilst racing in the NW200; in his memory his family set up the fund to raise money to help injured riders from the Road Racing community.
Like I said an obscure charity but you as a fellow biker reading this article you can see how the fund can help massively with the healing and recovery process of these amazing riders.
In these financially challenging times please try and make a small donation. Already I have raised nearly £1600, would be nice to hit £2000 or even more.
When setting out my plans for the Himalayas I decided to try and raise money for the Simon Andrews Fund. From my point of view, I achieved my goal in summiting a mountain in the Himalayas above 6000m and without doubt it was the most difficult and challenging task I have ever set myself. If, through my efforts, I can raise awareness and raise some money for these injured TT riders it will make the reaching of the summit even more rewarding.
For information I am a 62-year-old old life-long biker, I have absolutely zero climbing experience and this entailed climbing over 20,000ft without oxygen, using crampons and high altitude ice climbing on the glacier. To say it was tough would be quite accurate. Massively outside my comfort zone, but this was part of the fun!!!
I initially climbed to high base camp which is at about 15,000ft, after some rope training in the afternoon and an early supper it was time to crawl into the tent and to try to sleep for a few hours. Alarm set for 2am and after some soggy warm porridge set off a little after 3am.
About three hours climbing over icy rock we welcomed an amazing sunrise over the Himalayas which coincided with transferring to my crampons and fixed ropes for a three hour climb up the glacier. Obviously now it just gets more and more challenging, getting tired from the climbing done so far and as we got higher the air gets thinner with less oxygen to breath.
After six hours, we reached the summit in perfect weather conditions and rewarded with spectacular views of Everest and surrounding peaks. Something I will never forget, without doubt the most challenging/strenuous task I have ever set myself.
Things were not over yet because now had to get back down! abseiling back for a few thousand feet over the occasional crevasse focused the attention. Took about three hours to get back to high base camp and after a quick breather and something to eat another 3hrs to climb back down to some slightly better accommodation at Labouche tea-house.
Having crawled out of my sleeping bag at 2am I finally finished the days challenge at 5pm. A long and rewarding day.
After a good night’s sleep,it was then up and out for a three day trek back to Lukla airport. Officially the most dangerous airport in the world.
Hope you found this of interest and if you would like to make a donation to the Simon Andrews Fund via my GoFundMe page.