Scott Rogers, who works in Ft. Collins at Wire Stone, a digital marketing and social media firm, traveled to Nepal with his wife Amy in mid-October to summit the Mt. Everest Base Camp, a massive 17,598 feet up. That’s more than 3,000 feet higher than Colorado’s tallest 14er, Mt. Elbert at a still impressive 14,440. In tow, he brought one of our brand staples, the original flag tee in order to show some Colorado love along the way.
“I wore it on multiple days up there because you can only carry so much gear, and other people on the trail would see the Colorado shirt and it was great,” he says. “They’d say, ‘Hey, are you from Colorado?’ ‘Yeah, yeah.’ There are a few Coloradans up there.”
The excursion, which Scott and his wife undertook with another couple from Colorado who they had previously met on a previous trip to Peru, was planned and booked 18 months out. That way they could appropriately train for the thin air trek to the foot of Everest, a gain of more than 8,000 vertical feet over about eight days from Lukla (elevation of 9,383 feet), a small town in northeastern Nepal that acts as the starting point. One doesn’t simply hike it all in one day though, but rather between 1,000 and 1,500 feet each day, setting up camp for a couple nights before continuing up in order to acclimate appropriately and avoid illness. At 14,000 feet, Scott says you noticed the elevation, but it was at 17,000, which the band of hikers only reached for one day, it definitely hit.
“You’re tired, it’s cold, you’re lightheaded,” he says. “A number of people were getting altitude sickness, and not everybody in our group made it to the base camp, and all of us were definitely feeling the effects of going there and coming back.”
So how did Scott and Amy prepare for the difficulties the summit brought? In fact, there’s no better place to do so than right here in our lovely state.
“We were talking to one of the guys at REI who runs a Nepal tour,” Scott explains, “we’re saying, ‘What kind of training can we do for this?’ And certainly he said do the Colorado 14ers.”
As it turns out, not everything could be anticipated.
“I ended up getting pneumonia on the trip,” he adds with a slightly gravelly intonation. “You can tell from my voice I’m still recovering a little bit from this. But I blame some of that just on the long airline flights to get home.
“The other thing on this trip that was a shock to us was just the sleep, because it gets hard at higher altitudes. So you’re not getting much sleep at night, it’s cold, you’re sleeping in strange places, and you’re eating food you’re not normally used to. The combination of that really makes it more of a challenge.”
The Rogers’ adventure represents a lot of what we firmly believe in here at Coloradical. It’s really all about being around those you care about most, getting outdoors, traveling around, and having good times. Sure, getting to the peak of Everest is quite a feat, but summiting its base camp is obviously a notable accomplishment unto itself, and we’re proud to have played even a small part in their trip. So long as you’re out there enjoying the experience with your friends and family, the journey is the destination.
Scott, who is originally from Tennessee, but has lived in Colorado since 1992 after finishing college in Wyoming, is outdoorsy outside of just hiking. He and Amy also enjoy biking, snowboarding and camping around our great state, and others. They still make it up to our neighbors to the north every year to camp at Yellowstone National Park, where they first met.
After the Nepalese expedition, Scott and Amy next traveled to the southwestern beaches of Goa, India to spend a week relaxing and recovering from the exhaustion before returning to Colorado in early-November. “We figured after so many days on the trail,” he says, “we’d want something a little more relaxing.”
The couple is happy to be back in Colorado having represented the state abroad.
“You know, now people say, ‘Now you can do 14ers easy.’ Well, no, not necessarily. It’s still a shock to your system. And the way your body reacts each time is different. A lot of times, especially when you leave from Ft. Collins, you’re starting at 6,000, 5,000 feet, and go do a 14er in a day and come home. I mean, that’s a big gain, that’s 9,000 feet, in one day. At least on this trip, you were gaining, at most, 2,500 feet in a single day. So you had more time to acclimate. In some ways, it was easier.”
Friends. Mountains. Love. Radness.