THE latest adventure of intrepid Douglas woman Helen Lamming began on Friday, as she set off from the island on her way to take on the world’s most famous mountain, all in the name of charity.
The 44-year-old employee at the island’s Pre-School Assessment Centre will attempt to reach base camp at Mount Everest, to raise money for Crossroads Caring for Carers.
Originally from South Africa, keen hiker Helen was one of a Manx expedition to the summit of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2010 in aid of the Children’s Centre.
Since then she has had two other ambitious targets in her sights, Europe’s highest peak Mont Blanc, and the Himalayan monster Everest.
Helen organised the trip herself with UK-based friends, whom she met up with in London on Friday before the group all set off for Nepal.
She explained: ‘At 8,848 metres, there is no greater mountain than Everest. I will be doing a 16-day trek, a route that follows in the footsteps of the great climbing parties.’
She continued: ‘It passes through Sherpa country, past cultivated fields and small villages. I will follow the Dudh Kosi before the hard work begins as I climb up to Namche Bazaar.’
From there the environment will become all the more formidable.
‘The incredible monastery at Thyangboche is set against the backdrop of Ama Dablam, Everest and other huge, snow capped peaks, said Helen.
‘With time for acclimatisation en route, my goal is Everest Base Camp on the Khumbu Glacier, and the opportunity to climb Kala Pattar – 5,545m above sea level – for a breathtaking view of the highest mountain on Earth.’
It was Helen who approached Crossroads, where she used to work before taking up the post with the Department of Education.
During her time there she saw the value of the charity; she worked on the Holiday Scheme which accepted children with difficulties, often requiring one-to-one support, during the Easter and summer school holidays as a break for their carers.
Crossroads’ Alex Wilson said: ‘We are really grateful to have been thought of as Helen takes on this breathtaking challenge.
‘A lot of charities do adventure challenges, which is great, though it can be expensive. We don’t organise our own trips, so it’s great when people come to us with ideas.
‘It’s definitely becoming more popular,’ she added. ‘We’ve had a few parachute jumps and a trip to the Great Wall of China!’