Trekkers Complete Virtual Hike to Everest Base Camp

VIRTUAL HIKE TO EVEREST: In these trying times, we all have to find some fun and unique ways to add a dose of adventure to our lives. For many, that has included going on “virtual” adventures in our own backyard, which we’ve seen with numerous runners doing laps around their kitchen table or completing circuits in their own backyards. But British trail runner Rory Southworth came up with a creative way to kill some time while under quarantine at home, much to the chagrin of his girlfriend.

Last week, Southworth completed a virtual trek to Everest Base Camp, climbing some 5364 meters (17,598 ft) on the stairs in his flat. That alone is amusing enough, but he was also joined by 30 other “trekkers” who he inspired to take part in the hike as well.

The trail runner took things even further, however, posting photos of himself on Instagram completely geared up for the hike, including backpack, trekking poles, jacket, and boots. He even pitched his tent in the living room to camp out along the way. Those images often included Southworth’s exasperated girlfriend who looks like she’s completely over the entire thing rather quickly.

The group of virtual trekkers reportedly reached “Base Camp” together via a Zoom call last week, although many of them weren’t quite ready to call it quits from there. The plan was to continue an additional 3484 meters (11,420 ft) to the “summit” of Everest this week. There is no word about whether or not they made the ascent without the use of bottled oxygen, but at least they had a good weather window to finish the ascent.

Of course, as we all know by now, the real trails to Everest BC are closed this season, as is the mountain itself. I’m sure there are more than a few climbers and trekkers who are disappointed by that turn of events and it will certainly have made things extremely quiet in Nepal.

Hopefully, we’ll be back in some form of “normal” by the start of the trekking season in the fall. Until then you might be stuck training at home with a climbing hangboard.

A big thanks to everyone who sent this my way. Especially my good friend Explorer George who was the first to share the link.

Kraig Becker