Staff Spotlight: Mike Lowden Ascending Everest

In 2017, Mike Lowden decided it was time to start ticking some items off his bucket list. Less than a year and a half later, he had reached Mt Everest base camp. Originally a personal challenge, Mike started out hoping to improve his fitness levels and do something pretty extraordinary. However, his motivations soon changed.

 

Inspired by the work of Sir Edmund Hilary, his goal snowballed from wanting to climb Mt Everest to wanting to help Mt Everest – and all its inhabitants. Mike reached out to Ann Young at Trekking Adventures, an experienced Everest ascender, to see if she knew of any way that Mike and the team that he had assembled could help the locals of Nepal – locals who were still recovering from the 2015 Nepalese earthquake that cost many their lives and many more their homes.

 

One of worst hit villages was Khumjung – a place Edmund Hilary spent a considerable amount of time during his stay in the Himalayas. Many families had taken to living in crude, temporary accommodation due to the destruction of their homes, and Mike pledged to raise money to help one particular family with their rebuild. At the time of Mike’s trip, the family of six was living in a number of tents fused together – hardly the most robust protection from the harsh environment of Nepal.

 

Mike had the backing of a number of supporters, ranging from Macpac to the Kashmir Club. Together with his sponsors and the support of his Ideal family, Mike and his fellow climbers have now amassed 10,000USD – a third of the total cost of the build.

 

A number of other contributions have been passed onto to Nepalese communities in the form of toothbrushes, beanies, tools and other small items which can make a world of difference. One particularly special gift was a pounamu necklace, blessed with good luck, which Mike passed onto the family whose home he was helping to rebuild. “The emotions that came over the family were just amazing”, Mike recalls of the special ceremony he did to gift the pounamu, and in more recent chats with the family the kids have spoken of the good luck that’s befallen them in recent times.

 

While on a personal level the climb was a huge achievement for Mike (finishing it in 20 days all up), the “icing on the cake was the family home rebuild” and the difference he and his group have been able to make to the lives of many of the Nepalese people. He is especially thankful to all the sponsors and contributors that have helped him along the way – it really has been a great team effort.

 

For anyone who is interested in contributing to the Nepalese family home rebuild in Khumjung Village, please contact Mike at mike.lowden@ideal.co.nz