Mike Deane (back row

High on water

Surrey's Mike Deane makes a nine-day trek to Everest Base Camp in support of WaterAid Canada humanitarian projects.

Mike Deane admits he’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Despite losing his sunglasses on the way down, falling twice (again, on the way down) and suffering migraines from the high altitude, the 31-year-old Surrey man would head back into the Himalayas in a heartbeat.

Deane hiked up to Everest Base Camp in October during a two-week trek with nine other Canadian and American volunteers with WaterAid Canada, a chapter of a non-profit organization that works to build and support safe water, sanitation and hygiene projects in 37 countries throughout the world.

Deane joined WaterAid two years ago, inspired by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon of 2014.

He raised more that $2,000 for WaterAid this year and $9,000 last year.

Deane says he chose clean water over a specific disease because focusing on it would have a greater global impact.

And rather than just raise money and leave it at that, Deane left behind his girlfriend Sian and cat Hubert and put his feet to work – seeing for himself WaterAid’s projects in Nepal since the April 2015 earthquake that killed 9,000 people and damaged many clean water sources.

He visited schools and villages outside the capital Kathmandu and saw how water treatment equipment worked to help locals.

Photos above submitted by Mike Deane and Paul Carey/WaterAid.

After landing and meeting other trekkers in Kathmandu – located in a valley with intense air pollution, but having what Deane calls “harmony to the chaos” – he and the group flew to Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, a landing strip described by some as the most dangerous in the world.

The trek to Base Camp took nine days, with five to nine hours of hiking each day. (The descent took four days).

Some days, the hikes were loops to give the hikers time to get acclimated to the altitude.

Deane describes great changes in the terrain and foliage each day, from oxygen-rich rhododendron forests to nothing but rocks to challenge one’s footing.

“It was the most beautiful region I’ve ever seen.”

Everest Base Camp – actually the first of several base camps used by climbers – is at an altitude of 18,000 feet, or 5,350 metres above sea level.

Mountain climbers who plan to venture further up usually spend days or weeks at Base Camp to get used to the high altitude.

While the camp is full of tents during climbing season, Deane says that while he was there in the off-season, “essentially, it’s like a bunch of rocks on a glacier.”

The group stayed at Base Camp for three hours, long enough for pictures and celebrations.

Looming in the distance was the great Everest, the top of the world, higher by some 3,500 metres.

“I always wanted to see it,” says Deane.

For more about the charity, visit wateraidcanada.com/

Just Posted

City of White Rock hosts official pier reopening

Event included ribbon-cutting, speeches, live music

Surrey school district to allow students to miss class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

Surrey rallies for change in global climate strike

Holland Park event part of marches around the world Sept. 20

Surrey RCMP need help to find missing man

Denis Godard, 64, who was reported missing on Sept. 19

Little library stolen in Clayton Heights

Thieves permanently check out family’s book collection

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Most Read