This week we were at the Keswick Mountain Festival for the first time and I have to say it was absolutely amazing. If you ever have the chance to visit and either participate in any of the event races or challenges or even go just to listen to the music with some beers, I highly recommend a visit.
Whilst at the event I got chatting to numerous hikers and climbers who were as passionate and excited about the mountains as anyone out there and it was great to see so many of them getting out into the outdoors and the elements. It was massively hot too over the weekend and some people were doing a 50k trail run and also the 3 peaks challenge. A few of us did a 25k hike taking on some of the Lake District peaks and it was stifling hot so I take my hat to off to those individuals. It also got a little stormy on some of the peaks which brought its own challenges but it certainly cooled us off for an hour before we got lower down.
I also had the pleasure of catching up with Alan Hinkes OBE. If you don't know who Alan is, he's a world-famous mountaineer who is the ONLY British person to climb all of the 14 highest mountains around the world, all of the 8000'ers. As an avid mountain climber myself, it was great to meet him and he seemed like a top bloke and was a very funny guy. I also bought his book '8000 metres' which documents his journeys and experiences on each of his 14 successful summit attempts. It also includes the 13 expeditions that weren't successful although Alan says that 'I had 27 successful expeditions'. A success to him was coming back alive and not just about the summit which I thought was a great way to put it.
Over the last couple of days, I have read a couple of chapters of his book and Alan shares his thoughts on a trek into 'Base Camp'.
''I enjoy base camp treks. All the baggage of a western lifestyle can be cast aside. Why worry about whether you have paid the electricity bill or cancelled the milk? I read a lot of books and adopt a steady pace, enjoying the sights, smells and natural sounds, well away from any road noise. There is no rush. A bimble (Leisurely walk for any non-northerners) is better than a bash when it comes to acclimatisation'.
I love that saying at the end 'A bimble is better than a bash'. It's exactly the way to trek at high altitude. There is so much to enjoy and savor in Nepal and on the treks to Everest. Take it all in and relax. I guarantee that you will not regret it compared to thinking you have to rush to get the next tea house or rush the trip.
So next time you're at high altitude in the Himalayas or on any adventure. Just take your time and 'Drink it all in'. It seems even a great mountaineer like Alan agrees with us too.
MD & head Yeti