Cherished Cherub's CEO Conquers Everest!

Events Wanneroo Business | Monday, March 13, 2017

If your next holiday included a week of no showers, no power, no meat, no alcohol, no warmth, and no idea what you are in for, would you volunteer?

Well Suze Trappitt, CEO of Cherished Cherubs did just that and here's the story!


Namaste!! And welcome to my blog on our recent trip to Everest Base Camp in Nepal.

I was trying to keep this shortish, but everyone is asking about our adventure, so here are the answers to the questions.

Why did we book?

Unlike many that do the trek, Everest Base Camp has never been on my bucket list. But a deal kept showing up on my emails again and again. My 17 year old daughter noticed as well, and in the end said, “come on Mum, let’s do it”. And that was it, booked for both of us in a couple of minutes and no turning back.

When did we go and why then?

We went in February 2017. The tour was 16 days so we took just over 3 weeks in total. It was perfect timing as it was after my daughter finished year 12, and before uni started. It was also when the younger children were back at school, so they had that to focus on.

What was the agenda?

We flew into Kathmandu and spent a couple of days there. We met the guides and rest of our group of 9 and had a couple of sight-seeing days. Then on a plane to Lukla (famous for its ultra short and interestingly placed runway) in the middle of the Himalayas. We trekked for about 14 days then a flight back to Kathmandu, to spend a couple of nights at a 5 star hotel to finish off.

How long were the trekking days?

Most days were around 6.5 hours. On the way back we had a long 8.5 hour day, and ended with a nice 3 hour hike.

How hard was the walking?

The guides set a pace that reflected the abilities of the whole group and allowed us to acclimatise gradually. I would say it was a steady pace, not fast or slow, and the harder parts had regular rest stops. There were 3 days that were much harder than the others.

There is a standard explanation used: western flat – flat, napali flat – sometimes up, sometimes down, but not for too long, and then there was steep, and yes that was challenging both on the legs and cardio. I was extremely glad we had trained before leaving!

The terrain was sometimes a path, other times were steps, and when close to base camp, we were literally climbing rocks. Good boots are essential.

As we climbed higher, the air thinned, which made things harder physically as the body did not get the oxygen it was used too. We would only walk a short way before we needed to stop to catch our breath.

We carried a backpack for our everyday items of water, sunscreen and to place our clothes as we layered on and off. We had Yaks to carry our other clothes, sleeping bags and items.

Tell us about the weather and how you dealt with it?

Let’s start by saying, I hate the cold in WA, so this was always going to be a challenge! To start the days were moderate and we only had a couple of layers of clothing. As we climbed higher it cooled more with temps around 0-2 degrees. It did hit -16 degrees on the day of base camp. Every day was clear and beautiful once the sun came over the mountains. The trekking would always warm us up a few more degrees.

The nights were icy cold, especially at the top. Having the correct clothing was essential, and luckily we had spent the money and did okay, although that doesn’t mean you don’t get cold, just not as cold.

For the nights you would wear 4 – 5 layers of clothing to bed, plus sleeping bag, plus doona, plus socks, plus beanie and gloves if need be. I have never daydreamt of soaking in a hot bath so bad!

Communal fires toward the top are fuelled with dry yak dung and kero. Yep that’s right. There is no wood, so yak poo is it. It does let heat out, but we didn’t volunteer to be the ones to restock the fire.

What was the accommodation like?

We had twin share rooms all the way and in hostels. The first few and last few days were quite comfortable, our own bathrooms, hot water and nice facilities. The week in between - completely different story.

There was no room heating, just the communal eating area where they would light a fire at 5pm. That sometimes gave enough heat for everyone, but sometimes it was borderline. Clothes were layered on.

There was only enough solar power for lights so we were not able to charge electronics or have luxuries like heaters.

There was only one toilet at each stop for all the group/s as the others were all frozen. Toilets are squat toilets, and with ice each side on the floor, you really had to be careful with your balance ;-).

How was the Food?

Even if you love noodles, rice and soup as I do, by the time you get to the top you are ready for something new. Sherpa stew is usually nice, basically vegetable soup with pasta, but again, you can only have this so many times. Potato, carrot and cabbage and eggs are staple foods.

We had some Yak meat. It was tough, then found out that they don’t kill the Yaks, they wait for them to die and then use their meat, no wonder it is tough.

They say don’t eat meat once you are half way, as chances are it has been frozen then defrosted, then frozen again etc.

The Yak cheese is quite nice.

As we were heading higher there were lists being made of all the foods we were going to eat as soon as we returned home e.g. steak, subway, fresh fruit…

What was the physical impact on the body?

As far as the body went from all the trekking, because of the regular breaks and the pace we went, we didn’t pull up sore like you do after a hard workout. We were physically tired at the end of each day and by 8pm were all saying goodnight.

Altitude sickness symptoms were the main signs we were watching out for. Headaches, nausea, physical pain, they are all acceptable for short periods and if not too strong. Most of our group experienced these at some level on various days. This is where the guides are essential, and ours were amazing. They were continually assessing every one of the group to ensure everyone was doing okay physically. For our group, we all made it to EBC and down again in a healthy way.

How would you describe the Himalayan people?

Visiting this part of the Himalayas is like going back in time. The people live totally off the land. Whether it’s the fields they tend, the houses they build, the food they grow to eat, the way they wash their clothes, how they get from place to place, and how they heat their fires, it is all back to basics.

We felt extremely unfit when we saw the Sherpas carrying 100 kg of supplies on their back and were going just as far as we were, at 5 times the pace. They would walk with these items for days to get them where they needed to be. Some were carrying beams for the buildings, amazing stamina and strength for small people.

They have traditional values of family and religion and lifestyles. They work hard physically, they appreciate everything, they give and give, and they smile a lot.

What about the Scenery?


The size of the mountains was astounding. The rivers were raging at lower levels and an amazing blue and white. The waterfalls and rivers were frozen up higher. The mountains, wow, the mountains!! The sunlight on the snowy peaks, the formations, the beauty. We would cross suspended bridges and just stop to admire. The serenity was very appealing.

The only mode of transport in this part of the country is horse, donkey, mule or yak. There is usually a whole train of them and you can hear them coming as they wear bells around their neck. Always give way to them, they stop for no-one.

And Everest Base Camp….

It was a hard day on our last day going up. The EBC site itself was special. Seeing the glaciers shows the fragility of the mountains. Seeing what the climbers have to endure to go further than Base camp, to Base 1, and 2 and summit, it gives you a whole new huge appreciation for those that have made the attempt.

What was the highlight?

Honestly, there is no one thing. Everything was amazing. The natural wonders, the gorgeous local people, the well organised tour, the fun we had within our group, I would not change a thing and am so glad we went.

Oh, we did learn a Nepalese card game that was a bit of a highlight to fill our nights J

Did you discover anything about yourself or in general whilst you were away?

I just so appreciate the experience, and the ability to be able to go, and with my daughter. I had to call on family, friends and babysitters to have my younger 3 children cared for, so I am eternally thankful to those people. I had my business operate without me, and I couldn’t do that without a great team and systems, which has taken years to develop. I am one very lucky person. I was quite surprised by the level of interest in our adventure, it was inspiring to have a following. The world continues to amaze me, and I am determined to keep exploring, even if it is just a few weeks at a time.

What would you say to others that have thought about climbing to Everest Base Camp?

Go through a reputable tour group, and listen to your guides.

Make sure you are physically and mentally ready for the personal challenge. The climb does not require extreme fitness, but the less you are struggling the more you can enjoy the adventure.

Break in your boots and have the right clothing!!

It’s awesome, if you seriously want to do it, what’s stopping you?

Other info:

Our tour was through Himalayan Social Journey. Bishnu and Pasan were our guides. Highly recommend them for their good communication, knowledge, care and friendliness.

Our itinery is below.

Day 1: Your arrival to Tribhuwan International Airport and transfer to Hotel. Orientation in the evening at around 5 PM. At evening welcome dinner with cultural program. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Full day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu valley (Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath, Swaymbhu and Patan durbar square) Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Kathmandu to Lukla by flight and trek to Pakhding (2600M.). Overnight Namaste Lodge.
Day 4 (Wed 8th Feb, meant to be hardest day): Trek to Namche Bazaar (3535M.). Overnight at hotel sherpaland.

Day 5: Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar (you climb higher then come down to sleep):. Overnight at hotel sherpaland.
Day 6: Trek to Tengboche (3850M.). Overnight at Rivendell Lodge
Day 7: Trek to Dingboche (4350M.). Overnight at Family Lodge
Day 8: Acclimatization in Dingboche. Overnight at Family Lodge
Day 9: Trek to Lobuche. Overnight at Mother Earth Lodge
Day 10: Trek to Gorakshep (5160M) and hike about 2-3 hour to Everest Base Camp and trek back to Gorakshep. Overnight at Boudha Lodge

Day 11: In Early morning, hike to Kalapathar (5545 M) and trek back to Pheriche. Overnight at Pumori Lodge
Day 12: Trek down to Tengboche. Overnight at RivendellLodge
Day 13: Trek to Namche. Overnight at Hotel sherpaland
Day 14: Trek down to Lukla. Overnight at Hotel Numbur
Day 15: In the Morning, fly back to Kathmandu from Lukla. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16: Morning breakfast and transfer to airport for your departure.


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