Many of us edging towards retirement use their holiday time to do laid-back such things as lolling on beach seashores, chilling by way of hotel swimming pools or taking cruises.
Dr. John Montague, 63, of Carmel Valley, spent his time without work in overdue October via early November by way of trekking just about 50 miles within the Himalayas, together with the ascent of Kala Patthar, an 18,300-foot mountain.
“I love to hike and I love journey and this used to be an exquisite mountaineering journey,” Montague mentioned in a up to date interview at his house.“A part of the explanation I took this shuttle is that I’m heading into retirement and sought after to kick off the following section of my lifestyles with some significant adventures. The Mt. Everest Base Camp shuttle used to be out of this global. It used to be a terrific revel in.
“It used to be additionally the non-public problem of being up at that elevation. The best I were prior to used to be 13,500 ft and I wasn’t positive 18,500 ft used to be one thing I may do. Thankfully, when the time got here, I used to be in a position to stand up there.”
A local of Oakland, Montague’s hobby for mountaineering blossomed in youth when he went along with his circle of relatives on journeys to Desolation Desert close to Lake Tahoe, together with backpacking jaunts along with his brother.
After graduating from highschool, Montague attended UC Berkeley, then pursued his research at UCSD prior to embarking on a occupation as a scientific psychologist.
He has lived in Carmel Valley since 1991. Whilst keeping up his occupation and supporting a circle of relatives, Montague endured his passion in shuttle and journey.
Closing summer season, Montague mentioned, he hiked as much as Alta Top in Sequoia Nationwide Park and Mt. Tallac in Desolation Desert. He’s additionally been to the Galápagos Islands and snorkeled within the Republic of Palau in Micronesia.
“I love being in nature and playing extra unique spaces,” Montague mentioned.
The new shuttle to Nepal wasn’t his first. He had traveled there in 2015 to consult with a chum running on the U.S. Embassy. They hiked as much as the bottom camp of Annapurna, the tenth best mountain on the earth at 26,545 ft above sea degree.
A base camp is the place mountain climbers relaxation up and acclimatize to excessive altitude of their quests to achieve upper summits. Annapurna’s camp is at about 13,500 sq. ft.
Many corresponding to Montague, alternatively, benefit from the revel in of venturing to a high-elevation base camp with out taking at the protection dangers and huge expense of conquering the likes of Annapurna and Everest, earth’s best mountain at 29,000 ft.
“My good friend and I assumed Annapurna used to be going to be our warmup to Everest base camp,” Montague mentioned.
This yr, he signed up for Stanford Commute/Find out about’s 2022 Mount Everest Base Camp Trek.
The shuttle used to be led by way of veteran mountaineer and high-altitude teacher Dean Cardinale, founding father of International Huge Trekking. He has summited Mt. Everest and lots of different tall peaks and led a large number of expeditions.
“He used to be an impressive information,” Montague mentioned. “I felt very assured underneath his management.”
The Everest crew consisted of 21 hikers, plus 20 Sherpas, the mythical Nepalese climbers and guides who supplied give a boost to, Montague mentioned.
Additionally, he mentioned, the entourage integrated a number of Himalayan oxen referred to as yaks that hauled equipment underneath the steerage in their tenders.
The trekkers had been handled to a excursion of web sites in Nepal’s historical capital of Kathmandu and then they flew to the doorway of Everest Nationwide Park.
Over the following 11 days, they hiked from 8,613 ft above sea degree at Phakding to the Everest Base Camp at 17,688 ft.
Montague used to be amongst those that selected to climb up Kala Patthar mountain at 18,300 ft.
Alongside the best way, the climbers skilled perspectives of Mount Everest, crossed deep river gorges on rope bridges, traipsed over treacherous glaciers and stayed at rustic Nepalese tea properties.
“I used to be repeatedly in awe, mountaineering via spaces the place I used to be surrounded by way of mountains that had been 22,000 ft or upper,” he mentioned. “The grandeur is tricky to position into phrases. The mountains are majestic and robust and awe-inspiring.”
Apart from the calls for of continuous elevation positive factors, the hikers persisted sparse oxygen ranges and freezing temperatures.
“Some other sure used to be the camaraderie,” he mentioned. “It used to be a excellent crew of people that love to hike and had been affected person with the demanding situations they confronted. Folks didn’t in point of fact whinge in regards to the chilly or the air or the country lodging. Everybody pulled in combination and helped each and every different.”
Montague is already making plans the following journey — a white-water rafting shuttle to Costa Rica along with his kids.
“I feel my bodily coaching and preparation for the (Everest) shuttle used to be excellent for my retirement,” he mentioned. “I think fitter now than I’ve at any time within the closing 5 years.”
In an e-mail Montague added that “I love demanding situations and sought after to begin my retirement by way of proving I may nonetheless do one thing onerous. I sought after to kick off retirement with the toughest factor I may recall to mind in order that in a while I may extra readily benefit from the more straightforward journeys to return. And the preparatory workout used to be a great way to organize myself for the approaching years.”