Darren Murphy, a Pieta supporter, recently took on the challenge of trekking to Everest Base Camp - an impressive feat that resulted in raising a total of €2,632 for Pieta’s services. Below, we take a look at his incredible journey and the challenges he faced along the way.

The Hike to Base Camp

Darren’s friend and legendary explorer, Pat Falvey, led Darren and a group of 25 on a trek to Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 17,598 feet. They covered over 60 kilometres to reach Everest Base Camp, hiking between 5-7 hours per day through various villages along the route. Landslides posed a significant danger, and often the team had to navigate across them. Along the way, Darren experienced a loss of appetite and had two doctor visits but was determined to soldier on.

Altitude Challenges:

The trek presented unique altitude challenges, with oxygen levels dropping significantly above 3,000 metres. Blood oxygen levels dipped into the low 90s, a significant contrast to the typical 98-99 at sea level. Darren witnessed other hikers requiring helicopter rescues due to altitude illnesses, highlighting the importance of careful acclimatisation.

Rest Days and Adaptation:

During the trek, the team had 'rest days' in their itinerary. These weren't actually rest days but hikes to higher elevations followed by sleeping at lower altitudes. This allowed the body to adapt gradually to higher elevations and enabled the heart and lungs to expand. Darren was under constant supervision by local Sherpas, who watched every step he took.

Gaining Insight:

Throughout the trek, Darren gained insight into Nepal and the poverty experienced by many. He discovered how hard the Nepalese community works to make an income, with many porters and guides earning less than £5,000 a year. Darren also praised the Sherpas he met on the journey, the unsung heroes of Nepal.

Facing Personal Limits:

The journey also involved a planned ascent of the technical mountain, Island Peak, at 21,000 feet in -20-degree weather. Despite rigorous preparation and being equipped with harnesses, fixed ropes, crampons, ice axes, and technical gear, Darren listened to his body and decided to return to Ireland.

We can’t thank Darren enough for his bravery and for choosing to support Pieta’s services.

Make a world of difference by donating to Pieta Today!