Eight Malayali women scale Everest Base Camp with zeal

Akshara Arjun

2 min read
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From Everest Base Camp trekking

A group of eight women from Kerala after months of stringent training has accomplished their ambitious plan of hitting the base camp of Mount Everest. The travel group ‘Appooppan Thadi’ extended full support to the team members- Nihala Nazer, Bindu, Rajalakshmi, Preetha, Smitha, Anuja, Sheeja, and Saranya, all under different age groups and from distinct parts of the state.

The journey for the two-week camp started in its full spirit from Kathmandu. From there, the team flew to Lukla where the trekking began. The icy cold morning and evening, and the scorching heat in the noon at the high altitude made the trekking arduous day by day. To keep themselves hydrated, they drank water often, which became highly expensive with the climbing. A 1-litre bottle of water costs even Rs 500 near the destination. However, due to the high inflow of foreigners, food and water were readily available.

Other obstacles awaited in the folds of the mountain were difficulty in breathing and lowering oxygen levels. Two of the members could not proceed with the trekking by foot as their oxygen levels dropped significantly. However, they continued the journey on horseback and reached the base camp one day before the other trekkers.

While returning, those who were completely exhausted by the onerous climbing opted for helicopter service from Gorakshep camp. As two more members of the group were affected by health issues, only four members of the group descended the mighty mountains on foot. A guide and Sherpas, who carry the luggage accompanied the travellers throughout the trekking.

The travel group ‘Appooppan Thadi’, which has over 5000 women registered so far, had announced the Everest base camp trip months before. The group urged the participants to go through a regular fitness programme. The group had decided to include only those participants who post regular workout videos and keep a check on fitness in the team. Though nearly 100 women gave their names initially, only eight members displayed implacable determination to join the Everest base camp team.

Interestingly, Appooppan Thadi and a 17-member women’s group named ‘Buddies’ have joined hands for many trips since their first excursion to Rosemala in Kollam in 2016. At least one or two members of 'Buddies' will accompany the Appooppan Thadi team on their trips. Nihala Nazer was the Buddies member who joined the Everest base camp team.

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