By Rhonson Ng – mountaineer, photographer and traveler.
At over 8km high, Mt. Everest is the tallest peak on the planet. Many adventurers and mountaineers place it at the top of their bucket list. Photographer, traveler and mountaineer Rhonson Ng shares his story and details the process of journeying towards Everest basecamp.
“It all started during my college days. I can say that the Everest Basecamp is on the top of every mountaineer’s bucket list. After 25 years, my dream of reaching the basecamp was finally set in motion with the help of my family, friends and sponsors; Fujifilm Philippines and MX3. With this, I planned a three-week journey to Nepal and began climbing the highest mountain in the world.”
Having set his plans in 2017, and with the motivation from friends and family, Rhonson took his first steps into accomplishing one of his lifelong goals. “I’m not getting any younger too, and I want to enjoy.” He added.
He first began by flying to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. From then, he went on to Ramechapp, and then onto Lukla – the world’s most dangerous airport (famed for its extreme landing and harsh landscape surrounding it).
The nine-day journey involved a series of treks to different camps and settlements. An incredible, but taxing journey, he had to set days specifically for adjusting to the change in climate and altitude. Despite the amount of preparations, guide assistance, conditioning and loads of information, Rhonson recounts the change in altitude as the biggest test in climbing so far – affecting breathing, eating, sleeping and mental wellbeing all at once.
“Day six was Pangboche to Dingboche. Dingboche was at 4260 meters, and I’ve heard so many stories of climbers getting airlifted due to altitude sickness. At this point, I could feel the height affecting my breathing and causing minor headaches too.”
As with every great adventure, it wasn’t just the climb or process that made the journey, but also the people he met and the culture he experienced along the way. From finding a helpful local guide to befriending various climbers, stress was alleviated as relationships were forged and hardships were shared. Various aspects of Hindu and Buddhist culture dotted the landscape too, including many prayer flags and shrines.
On the day of April 28th 2019, Rhonson Ng finally reached the Mt. Everest Basecamp at 11:30am.
Another tick on his bucket list, he finally achieved his goal of reaching the basecamp of earth’s highest peak.
“As a travel and adventure photographer, the best parts for me were the breathtaking views of the mountains. You’d realize how small we are too from up there.”
“I would definitely encourage my fellow Pinoys to experience it, especially if you love adventures and mountaineering,” Rhonson says. With many places to go and even more sights to see, he urges travelers out there to keep traveling and sharing experiences with their peers. “It’s a privilege if you have the resources and time to travel. Not all you can do it, but those who can, will always share sceneries and stories. Keep the adventure alive within you.”
On adventuring – 5 tips to get you prepared
Do your research:
Research lies on top of the priority list. The internet is a bountiful place full of guides for all aspiring and experienced climbers out there. Through this, you know how to equip yourself, know what to bring and learn some handy tips from veteran climbers. Background information always comes in handy too!
After mentally preparing for your next adventure, physical training comes next. Climbs and hikes are arduous but rewarding journeys that require fortitude. Cardio is an absolute must, followed by lifting in order to build up stamina and muscular endurance. Depending on the destination, acclimatization training may be needed (especially when traveling up mountains).
Stay nourished and hydrated:
Food, hydration and a steady amount of oxygen are essentials in sustaining the body. Consider hearty, high energy foods and temperature regulating fluids (especially water and tea) as a lack of nutrition and oxygen can lead to depression and proneness to sickness.
Go at your own pace:
Things are always dangerous when rushed, resulting in things like exhaustion and extra stress. Adventures always take a physical toll on the body, so go at your own pace in order to minimize the damage.
As with all good adventures, it’s not the destination that’s rewarding, but all of the sights and people you see along the way. Interact with the locals, smell the flowers and be sure to take some nice photos to savor the experience!
For more information on mount Everest, visit the Nepali Tourism website.
Rhonson NG is a traveler, adventurer and photographer based in the Philippines.
View his photography on Facebook.