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Australian Professional Cyclist

Mount Everest Base Camp: Day by Day…..

First, a little background. I have no (ZERO) background or experience with hiking, trekking, climbing etc. wait, wait, wait, I may have lied… I was good at indoor rock-climbing when I competed (1 or 2 times) at primary school (9 years old). I was light, fast, agile and very competitive. Dam, I always wanted to get to the top first!!


Not anymore, this time I have new ambitions; 1) Stay healthy 2) Enjoy the serenity. 3) Connect with the 15 members of our group. 4) Stay warm. 5) Just relish the experience of being dirty and not having luxuries, mod cons, fluffy beds and hot showers. 6) Complete the hike.


The reason I am climbing Mount Everest Base Camp (Hike Starting Sunday) is simply because a very special family ask me to join their adventures every four years and it’s always a great experience. Our last adventure was 15 days in the Grand Canyon and, I even got to MTB on a lovely WET muddy day – it was awesome.


My fiends are known as The Belgian Tornadoes. They are made up from an extraordinary family – the Borlee family.  Saturday 26th October 2019.  Saturday 26th October 2019; they’re fun, they’re talented, professional and very humble superstars. Did you watch the recent athletics championship (Doha) on TV? On the last night, in the last event, the Belgian Tornadoes took a Bronze medal in the 4x400m relay. They’re special because they’re a very close family of exceptional athletes. In Tokyo you’ll want to watch them in the final, they’d be happy with a medal however they a striving for and…. capable of GOLD. Three of the four runners in the Tokyo Olympics will be brothers, among them, twins. The coach of the successful Tornadoes Team is their father – Jacques Borlee.


I’m here in Katmandu to climb Mount Everest Base camp not because it has been a life dream/ambition but because I love to be inspired – and this group of people inspire me. They are normal, down to earth, kind and very giving of their time, to charity and, to everyone they meet. Friday and Friday and Saturday is all about supporting the SOS charity and inspiring young children, teaching them something whether it be about life in general, sport, relationships, education or careers…. We will be there to inspire them and, hopefully to make them smile.


My preparation experiences so far…


After my duties with BBC at RideLondon I found a three week gap in my program so I decided to travel to Livigno & St Moritz to find some mountains at Altitude to hike up. Remember, I was staying there at 1800m and that’s only at the level where we START our hike however, the other positive of heading up there was that there are many hiking stores where I could get advice from professionals. I never imagined that preparing for your first hike would be so technical. My first priority was boots. I tried 10 brands, lots of models and even had the innersoles moulded etc… they felt comfortable in the shop however after 3 days of hiking up an elevation of 1000m…. my feet (specifically my heals) were crushed. For the rest of my stay at altitude I could only run in soft Sketches, hike in Sketches (dangerous – lucky I have good balance and strong ankles)…. and, I rode my bike and swam a lot too. I got fit and….. I purchased about 3000 euro of hiking kit!


Hiking Kit:


Boots, backpack, camelbak, headlamp, carbon fibre walking sticks, trail walking shoes, lots of compeed plasters, altimeter, microfiber towels, the North Face rucksack for my Sherpa/Donkey to carry, big solar power charger, power adapters, waterproof bag for phone, cables, passport, cards, meds etc… I also bought all the small things like batteries for my headlamp, smaller portable charger, baby wipes, sanitizer, (I opted not to buy the pee funnel) as I’ve grown up in the bush and would say I have no problems going to the loo off track – in the nature. Baby wipes stocked. Lip balm, emergency whistle on my backpack, water proof cover for my backpack. ✓


Clothing; I’ve packed:


2 x Long thermal underwear for sleeping (Merino wool)

5 x Underpants (Walking)

5 x Sports bra’s (Walking)

3 x Marino wool socks (Sleeping)

3 x Compression socks (walking)

2 x Short sport socks (Yoga)


1 x Thermal Skins compression tights (Evening Yoga)

5 x Summer singlet tops (walking – first few days)

3 x Summer shorts (walking – first few days)


3 x Undershirts (my own Italian made RMG brand)

3 x First layer fleece jackets

2 x Second layer puffer jackets

1 x Top layer down feather jacket

2 x Gortex waterproof layers

1 x Gortex vest/gilet


1 x Warm fluffy beanie (Sleeping)

4 x Universal buffs/head/ear warmers (Walking)

2 x Skins calf tights (walking – first few days)

1 x Box of ear plugs

1 x Eye Mask


Oakley Sunglasses:


1 x White (New Sports Fashion)

1 x Yellow (Like Snow Goggles)

1 x Pink (Comfy Sports Style)




1 x Lightweight gloves (with waterproof/windproof mitt to flip over the fingers)

1 x Gortex midweight gloves (walking or sleeping)

1 x Wetsuit swimming gloves (walking or sleeping)




Diamox (Altitude sickness)

Probiotic Sachets (Immunity)

ORS (High5 Zero Tabs)

Epi Pen (Allergies)

Ebastine (Allergies)

Ventolin/Symbicort (Allergies)

Cortisone Cream (Bites/Stings/Stub Rash)

Compeed (All shapes/Sizes)

Versartis Patches (for extreme foot pain)

Paracetamol (General)

Ibuprofen (General)




Garmin watch + cable

Solar Charger + Cable

Small Portable Charger + cable

Head Lamp + 3 x AAA

Altimeter Finger Clamp

Mobile Phone + Cable

Computer + Cable

Airpods (Music)


Bathroom Bag:


6 x Wet Wipes

6 x Tissues

1 x Dry Shower – Muc-Off

1 x Dry Shampoo

1 x Roll-on Deodorant

1 x Body Moisturiser

1 x Tinted 50+ SPF Face Cream

1 x Lip Balm – Paw Paw

2 x Small Micro-Fibre Towels

1 x Small Mirror




Heavy Scarpa boots.

Olang trail walking shoes.

(Both have grippy Vibram soles)

Lekki carbon fibre white trekking poles. (I’m not planning to use them)


Sleeping Bag:


I plan to buy the best, warmest, (mummy shape) down feather sleeping bag I can find here in Katmandu. We could be sleeping at minus 10 to minus 20 degrees so I wont skimp on this one. Apparently they can cost 1000 euro however I don’t fancy the idea of using a hired/used sleeping bag with a liner….. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable. I also still need a pillow or pillow case.


What people say I’ve forgotten:


Comfortable shoe option for the evenings

– slides (used with socks)

– Sketches

– Ugg Boots

I’m not sure if I want to carry another pair of shoes on this trip. My trekking shoes are ok – comfort wise…. However as I’m writing this, I’m having second thoughts.


Hot water bottle for the night – I hear it’s not easy to get HOT water so I’ll just make sure I have a good sleeping bag, my marino wool longs and if necessary more layers, neck, ear, head warmers etc…


Thermos – again, will we have access to HOT water? I don’t drink coffee so it would be tea and anyway, I’ll have my camelbak with disinfected water and High5 Zero tabs so as long as the water doesn’t freeze, or freeze my insides, I should be ok without a thermos?

So, as you can see now, most of my preparation for this expedition has been related to selecting and packing the right gear. I had a good fitness block in August and then went back to Mallorca to prepare the Pro’s Hub before I was off again for the World Championships in Yorkshire – another great week with the BBC team.


I then had three weeks in Mallorca running the Pro’s Hub – it was a crazy three weeks. I was trying to ride, run or walk in the mornings and then be in the shop by 1pm to set up for my opening hours. Late nights, little rest and a busy mind however…. I’m still healthy (but right on the edge)!


I’m currently in Kathmandu and will be busy today (day one) and tomorrow (day two) – visiting villages and schools for the SOS charity – this is something I’ve most been looking forward too!


4am Sunday morning we take a small plane to Lukla and immediately start hiking up the mountain.


Day 3: Sunday Oct 27th

Fly to Lukla (40 min flight)

Trek to Phakding (2830m)

3hr Trek


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