It Started Off as a Crazy Idea
In true Canadian fashion brothers Tom Schellenberg and Kyle Roberts are about to embark on an expedition of a lifetime. This is not a feat for the faint hearted which is why there is no wonder that no one has ever carried canoes here before! Tom and Kyle are making this journey to fundraise money to build the Women’s Mental Health Centre in Kathmandu.
The pair will set out to portage canoes on their backs to Mount Everest Base Camp. Symbolically, they are raising an important connection between the weight we all carry when suffering from mental illness or poor mental health.
The trails connecting these parts of the Himalaya to the Khumbu Region near Mount Everest can be extremely steep and challenging to ascend even for the avid hiker with a backpack and trekking poles. Tom and Kyle plan to navigate these mountains ranges with their backpacks and the canoes on their backs.
Kyle, Tom and their brother Seton will fly into New Delhi on Dec 23rd to receive the canoes and travel by road for over 1000km through remote India to Kathmandu, Nepal. Here they will strap their canoes to a 4×4 jeep and drive deep into the mountain wilderness where they will eventually reach a small village called Salleri. Beyond here there are no roads, but simply foot tracks that lead the avid adventurer and Nepalese Sherpa people deep into the Himalaya.
Their trek starts out here winding through small pristine villages in the foothills of the Himalaya as it quickly ascends in and out of massive valleys that stretch like gigantic fingers across the mountainous landscape. The trail will lead the team over numerous footbridges slung precariously from steep cliffs that cross over magnificently blue rivers surrounded by snow covered peaks.
For several days their expedition will take them deeper and deeper into the Himalaya where they will reach altitudes of 5500 meters / 18 000 feet. Altitude sickness is a serious danger at these elevations and the team will have to take extreme precautions against the onset of pulmonary edema or cerebral edema which can quickly become lethal if not recognized and treated.
After approximately three weeks and over 100km of trekking into the mountains along the Khumbu Glacier the pair will arrive at Mount Everest Base Camp (5380m / 17600 feet).
The journey does not end at Base Camp! The trip down from Mount Everest is expected to take a minimum of another week and will see the team walking a total of over 200kms with canoes on their backs.