Everest in the Lakes – What’s it really like?

On a cold weekend in December last year, a brave group of people were tackling Everest in the Lakes – The Recce. Amongst them was EiA Personal Trainer Becky Scott, ready to test the theory, the route, the kit and whether tackling half the height of Everest in one weekend was even possible!

What does it involve?

Everest in the Lakes has been designed to be a short sharp hiking challenge. How far can you get out of your comfort zone in one weekend?

The goal is simple: You and a friend will ascend the height of Mount Everest – the world’s highest peak, whilst raising money for a cause close to your heart. The goal is simple. The challenge is anything but.

It’s a tough event taking place in the beautiful Lake District here in the UK. The idea is you each will be climbing 4424 metres to achieve the overall height of 8848 metres.

Becky, can you describe how the weekend went?

We all arrived on the Friday evening and met the rest of the group and guides. Everyone enjoyed dinner together and the guides ran us through what to expect over the weekend, the kit we need to have in our bags, some safety points and what the weather forecast is. We were up early doors on Saturday morning, with breakfast soon after 6am so we could be booted up and ready for a 7am start.

We did the recce in December so at this point the sun still wasn’t up so we needed our head torches to start the day. However this was well worth it as we were at the top of our first ascent for sunrise.

At the top of each climb we stopped quickly to refuel and put on an extra layer before we were on the way back down again. The day continued with ups and downs with the last climb being Scafell Pike. We reached the top at 6pm, we were the highest people in England and it was pitch black darkness with snow on the floor.

As we returned to the barn, the fire was on and dinner ready. Lights were soon out and we repeated the process all for a second day. The weather was glorious for the weekend, which we were extremely grateful for. The Lake District is such a beautiful area and the weekend was a great way to explore.

Have you ever done anything like this before?

Years ago at college I studied sport and outdoor adventure where we went on many expeditions, some for 1 day and others for multiple. Since then I have continued to do many hiking trips with family and love being in the outdoors.

Did it live up to your expectations?

Above and beyond. It was a challenge for sure but that was the best bit. Being with guides let us take routes that normally we wouldn’t have done so. It was a real adventure.

Was there anything you struggled with over the two days?

The hardest bit was the uneven terrain, especially on the descents. You had to focus on every step you took and this did take its toll on the knees over the weekend. But after a good rest, the body was soon back to normal.

What was the best bit?

For me it was the descent from Scafell Pike on the Saturday evening, it took us nearly 4 hours! It was pitch black whilst we scrambled on our hands a feet to negotiate the trail down with head torch light. Definitely something I hadn’t done before but the adventure was brilliant.

Being a personal trainer, I’m sure you have lots of advice about how people can prepare themselves to take on this challenge…

You’re on your feet all day long and being at a time of year for colder days, it’s best to keep moving to. So I’d definitely get some endurance training done in the months leading up to the weekend. To support this the body needs to be strong in the hips, knees and ankles as the terrain is uneven for almost every step. Any strength training you can also do prior will be of huge benefit come the weekend. Like any event I believe the more you train for it, the more you’ll enjoy it to.

Any kit recommendations to make the experience more comfortable?

Most definitely a head torch as a lot of the day is hiking in darkness and also walking poles. These we invaluable over the weekend and helped support you on the trickier spots.

Who do you think this challenge will appeal to?

Anyone who loves the outdoors and the thought of adventure. There were spots needing team work and helping one another up or down, whilst others were a little easier and you could enjoy the wonderful views.

Any last bits of advice?

Sign up! Everest in the Lakes really is such a wonderful weekend that you can enjoy with a friend. Tom and his team of guides are fantastic, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the event.

Anna Rae Dowling