Everest base camp trek builds endurance, funds

TOMORROW morning as most of us enjoy an extra hour’s sleep with the end of daylight saving, a group of south-west adventurers will start on a 14-day trek to Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas.

The south-west adventurers include Woodford ultra-marathon runner Raj Samrai, Warrnambool orthopaedic surgeon Alasdair Sutherland and Hamilton and Alexandra College principal Bruce Simons.

They are part of a group of 10, many of whom are also from Hamilton and Warrnambool, who will battle arduous walks each day and thin, oxygen-reduced air to reach the 5545-metre height of the base camp by about April 15, before descending back down the Himalayan foothills.

Many in the group are walking not only for personal goals but also to raise money for community projects.

Mr Samrai is hoping to raise $3000 for Peter’s Project that is supporting the establishment of a radiotherapy centre in Warrnambool for people with cancer.

Mr Simons, one of the driving forces behind the trek, and others from the Hamilton area, have raised about $3000 for a school in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.

Mr Samrai, an experienced mountain climber, was invited to take part in this month’s trek by Mr Simons after speaking to students at Hamilton and Alexandra College about his entry last year in the world’s toughest ultra-marathon — the Comrades 90-kilometre event in South Africa. Mr Samrai intends to compete again in this year’s Comrades race.

He has combined his training for that challenge with his preparations for the Everest trek, recently completing a “brutal” 43km, six-hour training run through the Dandenongs.

People can donate to Mr Samrai’s trek at www.mycause.com.au/page/climbforpetersproject

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