Phil treks to Everest Base Camp to raise money for Prospect Hospice

March 2019

Challenges, Fundraising

The care his brother Mark received from Prospect Hospice inspired Phil Horwood to climb to Everest Base Camp and raise over £2,000 for the charity.

Mark spent his last days in Prospect Hospice and Phil found the staff to be such a comfort to his whole family that he wanted to do something to say thank you. Having previously trekked from Swindon to Swansea in four days almost fifteen years earlier, Phil decided on another attempt – this time on a much grander scale.

Phil has never been further than USA or Europe and was originally going to be taking part in the three peaks challenge in Wales. However, with the support of wife, Caroline, he felt it was the right time to take on something further afield and enrolled in the Nepal to Everest Base Camp overseas challenge in May 2018, covering over 100km of steep climbs and difficult terrain. The first two days trekking saw Phil and other trekkers walk from the mountain airport of Lukla to Namche Bazaare, a large town located in the Khumbu region in North Eastern Nepal, to acclimatise before commencing the climb over a further five days, taking in the breath-taking views of the Himalayas.

“Initially everything was so beautifully green, with a series of high bridge crossings over rivers and ravines,” said Phil. “The temperature in Nepal changed a lot; it was very warm during the first few days so the team found themselves walking in t shirts. As our height and altitude increased, forest gave way to sand and rock and, eventually, volcanic, barren land the closer we got to our target.”

Phil took along his own food supply but he found that once he was there, he hardly ate, and became hardened to the lifestyle. “I did take energy bars and snacks of my own, but after a few days of not eating much due to the quality of the cooked food and the increased altitude, my appetite almost disappeared totally and I was surviving on very little food,” he recalled. “We were advised to constantly drink water – eight to ten litres a day – and our guides supplied us with tablets to counter the effects of altitude sickness, which I was lucky not to suffer too badly from.”

Phil arrived at base camp a day ahead of schedule, and completed the descent in just two days as opposed to the recommended three, mainly due to his fellow trekkers being keen to get home (one in particular suffered problems with his vision). He remembered feeling relieved and unbelievably pleased not to have felt the effects of the altitude, get injured or suffer any illnesses. “I hadn’t realised just how many people don’t make it and actually get quite ill and have to be evacuated, and also just how physically and mentally demanding it would be,” he said. “Therefore, on reaching Base Camp, my overwhelming feeling was one of relief initially followed by achievement, wonder at my surroundings and then just pure emotion.”

Alex Cooper, Community Fundraiser, said: “We are just so amazed by Phil’s efforts considering this was his first trek. He took it on with such a can do and relaxed attitude and raised a staggering £2,111.06 in the process. Thank you so much to Phil for his fantastic support, and we look forward to seeing him again at the Challenges Open Evening on March 27th!”

For more information about the Challenges Open Evening, visit our web page here.

Back to News