Rob Brown will turn 50 today having spent 9 days trekking through the Khumba Valley, the gateway to Everest, with a whole team of people he’s only just met and surrounded by the beauty of Nepal. We asked Rob why he chose to celebrate in this way and why he’s fundraising for Help for Heroes.
Why did you choose to trek to Everest Base Camp?
"I was looking to do something “significant” to celebrate my 50th birthday. I’ve always loved hill walking, and used to be a member of a “survival club”; I was leaning towards an ice climbing course or something in the arctic circle before I came across the challenge. The fact that it’s for Help for Heroes and the date of the trip itself made the decision a no-brainer."
Have you done anything like this before?
"Physically no. I’ve walked the hills and dales of the UK for years but nothing at proper altitude. My favourite and highest walk has been Ben Nevis via the Carn Mor Dearg Arete. I’ve done that route twice (once as part of my training earlier this year) and still can’t pronounce it properly!
"Mentally, the closest thing I’ve done was a six-month overland trip across Africa when I was 18 (a little while ago!). I was at loggerheads as to what to do with my life at the time and learned very quickly to expect the unexpected on that trip."
What are you most excited and nervous about?
I’m excited about the whole thing! The sights, smells, the feeling of exposure, the people and the food. I’m most nervous about not making it due to altitude sickness.
Why did you choose to support Help for Heroes?
Clearly the timing of the trek was a major factor – but I also have a deep-rooted belief in the work Help for Heroes does. My partner is ex-forces and works for the Charity. She’s the one who flagged it to me in the first place (as I keep reminding her when she asks who’s going to put the bins out when I’m away!).