November 6 2019 – Mark Payne
Charlie, 21, completed an arduous 13-day trek to Everest Base Camp with a group of family and friends when he also scaled Nepal’s Kala Pather mountain.
It was his first taste of mountain climbing but now says he has got the bug for more.
Charlie, of Seaton Carew, signed up for the adventure after visiting family in London last year.
He said: “I’m quite an active person. I drunkenly agreed but I have no regrets because we did it and succeeded.”
It involved a ten day trek of 114km (70 miles), walking uphill over rocky terrain for up to seven hours a day assisted by two guides and five porters.
They began with a three hour trek straight after landing at Lukla Airport which is built into the side of a mountain.
Charlie, who works as creative director at tech firm Phavour at Queens Meadow Business Park, added: “The assistant guides had a joke and called it ‘Nepal flat’ which means it’s never flat and is uphill all the way.
“Each day we would stop at a tea room, a village house or building like an oversized shed.
“It was great, We all knitted together even closer along the trek.
“You are never bored because there’s so many views. There’s mountains all around you.
“I also got to go through tiny villages and see the different culture.”
Everest Base Camp stands at 17,594ft above sea level.
On the way back down, Charlie and about half of the group got up at 3.45am to reach the summit of Kala Pather at 18,519ft.
Throughout the trek, the temperature plummeted to minus 15C and oxygen levels in the air dropped.
“You could definitely feel the air was getting thinner,” said Charlie. “I had shallow breath and overnight some of us woke up having a gasp of air due to lack of oxygen.”
Charlie prepared for the trek by climbing Mount Snowdon twice in two days.
He has now set his sights on possibly climbing Machu Picchu in Peru or Mount Kilimanjaro.