Team with local roots returns from Everest trip

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From left, Biro, Tosatto, Maguire and Chumley with Canadian and City of Cornwall flags.

Four city residents are finally home from an amazing and once in a lifetime trekking adventure at the world-famous Mount Everest base camp.

The 18-day trek in the shadows of majestic Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, was “an amazing trek” according to Cathy Chumley, the organizer of the adventure.

“The trek was more than we expected,” she said. “The challenges, the people, the altitude was just incredibly amazing.”

Chumley, an employee of the Bayshore Home Health, said the trek met all their expectations and much more.

Joining her on this arduous and often dangerous trek was Kathy Maguire of the Children’s Aid Society, Ted Biro, an RCMP officer and Sandra Tosatto, an employee of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

They hoisted Canadian and City of Cornwall flags at the base camp.

The group admitted it was a thrilling but also a sad expedition coming soon after the tragic death of a Toronto woman.

The lifelong dream of 33-year old Shriya Shah-Klorfine turned tragic after she collapsed and died of exhaustion and altitude sickness after scaling the world’s tallest peak.

Now that this expedition has been successfully completed, will the group ever think of scaling Everest?

“No I think we are thrilled with just getting to the base camp,” added Chumley, who moved to Cornwall from Burlington, Ontario, 11 years ago.

 What about other mountains in the world including Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania?

“Yes, Kilimanjaro is on our list.”

The group has done a lot of research in trekking Patagonia, the Ruwenzori mountains in Uganda and Machu Picchu.

“I believe the opportunity to trek the Everest base camp was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Chumley. “The Nepalese people I encountered and what I learned will be remembered and cherished more than my success in trekking to the base camp.”

Brio admitted the trek was an exceptional cultural and visual experience encompassing the daily struggles of the Nepalese people.

He was impressed with the fortitude, kindness, resilience and religious beliefs all intertwined with the breath taking majesty of the snow and ice covered peaks of the Himalayas.

“It was an amazing trek with spectacular scenery,” said Maguire.

Tosatto was impressed with the scenery of the Everest region.

“I was even more impressed with the hospitality and friendliness of the Nepalese people,” she said. “They always made you feel welcome.”

The Everest region is one of the world’s most popular and spectacular hiking destinations.

Every year, hundreds of climbers attempt to reach the summit of the tallest peaks in the world.

Scaling the 29,021-foot Everest – often referred to as the roof of the world – has, for centuries, been the most daring challenges.

All four were impressed with the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and landing at the most dangerous airport in the world.

They said the pilots were amazing.

The highlight of the expedition was an unexpected meeting with Peter Hillary, son of Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand who with Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa tribesman, conquered the summit in 1953.

“This was amazing and shocking and made our trip even more special,” said Chumley.

She said they worked well as a team.

“Everyone helped each other and pushed them in different ways when needed.”

Base camps are traditionally used by mountain climbers as a resting place before and after scaling the globe’s highest peaks.

Chumley and her friends have hiked across Canada and the United States.

She is hoping their adventure will inspire and challenge other people to hike and push themselves to realize their dreams come true.

Great outdoors, she said, make a huge difference.

The group was able to leave a footprint with the name of Cornwall and Canada marked at Rum Doodles restaurant.

This is a restaurant where trekkers who summit Everest and base camp can leave their footsteps.

“Cornwall has a spot on the wall,” said Chumley.

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  • Vickjy Gee
    November 24, 2012 - 15:28

    Yeh ! Cornwall ! Well done Cathy and friends !