Canungra’s annual month of fundraising for cancer charities has risen to new heights.
Two friends, Scott Leppierand James Prosser, will hike to Mount Everest Base Camp during October to raise funds for Turning Canungra Pink.
The men, originally from the UK, have known each other “since we were nippers” as James put it.
They departed Australia on Sunday 1 October 2023 for Kathmandu, where they have two days training. From there, they have a five day window to fly to Lukla (one of the most dangerous flights in the world), depending on weather. If the weather is not conducive to flights, it means a full day bus trip through the mountains.
It is a 130 kilometre walk from Lukla to Everest Base Camp, but they have included some more challenging detours, bringing the walk to a total of 150 kilometres to be completed over 14 days.
Both men will be carrying packs weighing approximately 60 kilograms each.
They laugh often when discussing the trip, looking forward to the end of the first day’s walk.
“Our first night has the highest Irish bar in the world -I’m excited for that,” said James.
The next 11 days will be harderwith no showers and long, slow days.
This is not the first adventurous trek Scott and James have undertaken.
In 2019, along with a group of eight others, they rode postie bikes 3,500 kilometres from the Gold Coast to Uluru.
“I arranged it and originally it was just me and three others, but a lot of people joined in,” said Scott.
The postie bike trip, which included 2,500 kilometres of dirt road, raised $20,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, a cause close to Scott’s heart. His father had prostate cancer and has now recovered.
They had planned on the trek to Everest Base Camp for several years but Covid restrictions delayed it. This year they decided it was time to go ahead and, given they were trekking throughout October, they decided to raise funds for Turning Canungra Pink.
“We chose October to go because it is the best time of year to go,” said James. “It is when you get the clearest views of Everest.”
James walks five kilometres a day but Scott, who had a full shoulder reconstruction only 12 weeks ago, feels his work as a carpenter keeps him fit enough. Their main concern is the altitude and dust and they expect to get altitude sickness at some stage during the trek.
“Thirty per cent of people who attempt it don’t make it and sixty per cent get altitude sickness.”
“If we get a couple of days at the end we will go to India for a curry,” said James.
Scott and James have entirely funded their trip. A Go Fund Me account has been set up with all funds going to Turning Canungra Pink, a goal of $10,000, but they hope to exceed that goal.
To donate go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/canungras-pink-walk-to-base-camp