Conquering Heights and an Adventure Like No Other

Kyle Ravin, professional emcee, climbed the Everest Base Camp and the snowy mountains of Everest this year! Kyle has been training with The Ring for two years, and shares with us how he has prepared for this ultimate adventure.

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What inspired you to climb Everest Base Camp?

I felt at the start of my 30s, I should achieve something to keep me going for the next 10 years. I believe in setting goals and each milestone of one’s life should have a motivating factor. Everest is the pinnacle of great heights in the world and camping on the mountains is one of my ultimate goals. I told myself “If I can do this, I can do anything.” It was a total life changing adventure, camping on the base and the summit expeditions, and I’ve never felt so accomplished.

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How have you prepared for this Everest adventure?

The initial stages of getting in shape was boxing lessons 4-5 times a week. Eventually, I sat down with Haikal, The Ring’s Strength and Conditioning coach and developed a 4-month plan. My tailored training plan involved various facets of physical fitness and we consistently trained and followed the plan religiously. This involved 3 sessions a week in the gym, and homework sessions when I’m not at the gym. Heaps of recovery workouts, swimming, stair climbing, weight training and cardio. What I love about my coach is that he knows how much to push you and when to take things slow. It wasn’t about always about working hard but also working smarter. I’m truly glad for Haikal’s guidance.

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What are the challenges you faced when going up or camping the base camp? How did you overcome these?

The trip was a myriad of challenges. First, there was the constant physical stress. Climbing 8 to 10 hours a day can take a toll on the knees. The altitude is something that definitely gets to you. Headaches, dizziness, lack of appetite were all part of the package.

Second, the cold. It was VERY Cold. It hit -27 degrees on basecamp. When it’s that cold, the water you carry freezes. Halfway up the Kala Pattar, my Camelbak tube (a bottle specifically designed for the cold) was frozen. Third, that night was supposed to be dry but we got hit by a snowstorm and it snowed down hard! It was freezing cold, everything in the tent was covered in frost and I was also suffering from food poisoning.

Ironically, the most beautiful night of my life was also the most challenging experience I had ever been through. Being ill in a snowstorm, at 2am on Mount Everest isn’t exactly fun. I had to constantly remind myself that it was all in the mind. A lot of what I was experiencing and doing was a mental challenge. It’s all about how I choose to endure my challenges. Of course being physically fit and having the right training helps.

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Any advice for someone who aims to do the go on the same adventure?

Train smart, get well conditioned and prepare for the lack of normal comforts. It’s smart to get a personal trainer to work with you on your journey. Cardio is key - your heart will be racing for most of the day when you’re on your feet. Most of it is uphill but even the downhill can be daunting on the legs. There is a lot of information out there on what to bring (a good set of hiking poles, purification tablets), what to wear and what kind of insurance (should include helicopter evacuation) but the most important one is to strengthen your mental mindset before such an adventure.

It’s not that hard, but it’s hard enough. However, the positives outweigh the challenges. The views are spectacular, the locals are amazing and the experience is like no other. Overall, it’s an adventure. It’s designed to test the mind and body. Enjoy the experience and every step will be bliss.

Mary Rose Hajjar