Father and daughter John and Pamela Ross from Johnstone have achieved what to most is unachievable by conquering the trek to Base Camp Everest to raise money for Erskine’s Veterans.
Having witnessed the care and compassion of family members who have been lovingly cared for within Erskine Homes, the couple wanted to help the charity continue to care by fundraising.
John’s father-in-law and Pamela’s much loved grandpa James was cared for at Erskine Park Home for over three years until his sad passing in December 2016. James’ wife Anne is now a resident in The Erskine Home.
Having caught the trekking bug on a previous trip to Peru, Pamela had Everest on her bucket list and had booked to go. John then decided that he would like the challenge and it be would be a great opportunity to raise much-needed funds for Erskine.
Both are avid hillwalkers having previously completed the West Highland Way but trekking in the highest mountain range in the world was taking things to a different level, so six months before they set off they sought the advice of a fitness trainer. A schedule of exercises was recommended to help build up their fitness for the challenge ahead.
The adventure began on 29th March when John and Pamela flew from Glasgow to Kathmandu via Dubai. The journey to the Himalayas started with a scary flight (where the sick bags were most certainly required) in a very small, old plane from Kathmandu to Lukla. The airport situated at 10,000 feet has a short runway of less than 600m and is one of the most dangerous airports in the world.
The gruelling climb to Base Camp started on Sunday the 31st March and took eight days of long, hard trekking. Trekking for 10 to 12 hours every day as they acclimatised to the altitude and change of temperature, which could be as low as minus 20 degrees. Altitude sickness, sore heads and weariness were all worth it when having left at 5am, they arrived at Base Camp at midday on Sunday 7th April reaching heights of 17,600 feet (5380m) conquering Everest Base Camp.
The descent was much quicker taking four days!
John, age 61, a Project Manager at Robertson Group said:
“It was really challenging, the hardest thing I have ever done both physically and mentally, but it was totally exhilarating when we got there! It is an amazing achievement and to go through the whole experience with my daughter was really special.”
“We took on the challenge because we cannot thank Erskine enough for everything they did for James and are now doing for Anne. James was living with dementia but the staff brought back the man we knew due to the love and care he received. We wanted to raise money to help Erskine continue to provide exceptional care and we are thrilled to have raised over £7,000 for the charity.”
Pamela, age 32, a teacher at Largs Primary School said:
“Trekking to Base Camp is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done. The sight of the yellow tents on the horizon is one I will never forget. The feeling I had when we reached our destination is difficult to put into words but getting to share that moment with my dad is one I will cherish forever. I would like to thank everyone who encouraged and sponsored us from the bottom of my heart. Erskine means so much to me and my family and being able to give them this money is amazing.”
Ian Cumming, Erskine Chief Executive said:
“This was a heroic effort on behalf of our Veteran heroes. We are extremely grateful to Pamela and John for their fundraising and are left in awe of their stamina and determination on our behalf!”
Jim Watret, Erskine Community Fundraiser for the West said:
“We are blown away by the achievement of John and Pamela and what they went through to raise money for our residents. On their Just Giving page, they set a target of £2,500 and we are not surprised they have far surpassed this amount. From everyone at Erskine we want to say a heartfelt thank you for the incredible support.”
If you would like to add to John and Pamela’s fundraising total you can donate via their Just Giving page here.