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Calgary rotarians plan return trip to Everest Base Camp

Fundraiser supporting locals hit by 2015 earthquake

Holly Milne-Ives of Calgary pretends to touch the top of a Himalayan peak in this shot from Everest Trek 2012, which was sponsored by The Calgary West Rotary Club.

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Holly Milne-Ives of Calgary pretends to touch the top of a Himalayan peak in this shot from Everest Trek 2012, which was sponsored by The Calgary West Rotary Club.

Once you’ve had a taste of the Himalayas, it’s hard to resist a second helping.

That’s why Mark Ens is planning his second trip to Nepal next year. He’ll be going along with 20-or-so other Rotary Club members – several of whom are also going back for a second time.

Ens said he had already hiked Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and was thinking about trying the hike to Machu Picchu when the chance to go to Everest Base Camp came up.

“It’s a gorgeous country – you walk through the mountains and the views are just amazing,” he said.

It was about a 10-day hike that went up and down the mountains to Everest Base Camp according to Ens. Hikers had to backtrack down the mountains in places to help them adapt to the altitude.

He said anyone who’s not a couch potato and in good health could probably make the journey.

“There are times it feels like you’re going up stairs for an hour, but nobody’s in a hurry.”

Ens said while the scenery is great, he really wants to go back to see the people of Nepal, especially after the earthquake in 2015.

The hikers taking part in the 2017 Rotary trip will be helping the Nepalese. In addition to paying the cost of the trip out of pocket, each participant has to come up with a minimum of $2,500 which will go to three charities in Nepal.

Karl Herzog, another sophomore basecamp trekker and leader of the 2012 and 2017 trips, said the money will go to Shelterbox, Child Haven International, and a third charity yet to be determined.

He said he was of course amazed to see Mount Everest, but was really struck by the citizens.

“What was most impactful was the people in Nepal – how hard they worked and how little they had – you almost feel obligated to help,” he said.

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