Gus is no newcomer to adventure, having launched his own YouTube channel, ‘Gusman - what to do in Phuket’, which features him flow boarding, rock climbing, skateboarding, surfing and more.
Gus and Nan have been preparing by walking the many trails around Phuket and have adopted a strict training regime to get them as fit as possible for their upcoming challenge. They will be hiking around six to seven hours each day in Nepal, so their training is reflecting that as much as possible, says Nan.
They recently travelled to Krabi where they trained on the 1,260 steps of Tiger Temple, followed by the trek to Dragon’s Crest. They strongly recommend these walks to both Thais and tourists as the views are spectacular and worth the effort.
Gus and Nan will be part of a small team, including local Phuket identities Michelle Hossack and Sherri Drolet. Michelle recently returned from competing in the World Masters Athletics Championships in Tampere, Finland, where she won a Gold and a Silver medal. Sherri. a super fit and keen triathlete, has lived in Phuket for over 17 years.
Dealing with altitude will be their biggest hurdle, as they are constantly living and training at sea level in Phuket. However, their itinerary has been specifically designed to allow for two acclimatisation days, allowing their bodies to get accustomed to the lack of oxygen.
Mt Everest Base Camp sits at 5,360m above sea level, below the towering summit of Mt Everest, and is where teams camp and prepare before attempting their ascent to the summit. In 2014, a tragedy occurred when an ice fall above base camp killed 16 Sherpas. This was followed in 2015 by a magnitude 7.8M earthquake which devastated regions of Nepal, killing 9,500 and leaving 3.5 million homeless. Nepal relies on tourism, and with the COVID outbreak preventing travel, the country is just beginning to get back on its feet.
Temperatures at this time of year drop to around -12°C at night and -3°C during the day. Gus, who recently returned from a trip to Australia where the temperatures were more than 40°C, says he is looking forward to seeing snow and throwing it at his dad.
Trek organiser Kevin Mansfield says the team will be well equipped to tackle the cold conditions, having trekked there previously and knowing what to expect.
Gus, a student at Kajonkiet Thalang School, has a lot of support from his teachers and fellow students. Asked how he feels about his big adventure, he said, “I will do my best, I think I can make it.” A remark similar to his mum’s back in 2014.
Gus invites everyone to follow him on his YouTube channel, where he will post regular updates on his and the group’s progress, as they head to the base of the world’s highest mountain.