What is it do you think that people enjoy most about going into work every day? Is it waiting for a delayed train on a cramped station platform in monsoon conditions before 8am? Is it the getting even more cramped inside a train carriage meant for 150 that is currently holding somewhere close to a thousand? Is it being told to ‘move down please!’ by someone at a station after yours even though your ribcage is about to be crushed by several hundredweight of dreary morning commuter? Maybe it’s the realisation that when you finally do arrive at your destination, in roughly 8 hours time you’re going to have to go through the whole nightmare all over again, only in the opposite direction.
Whatever it is that you miss about having a job, bear in mind that there are other things that you could be doing with your spare time besides drinking coffee and masturbating all day.
Have you ever considered climbing to the top of Mount Everest?
The views are apparently unlike any other on earth and you’ll get to pretend you’re Edmund Hilary for about 6-8 weeks.
If wearing thermal underwear and hanging around with Sherpas sounds like it might be a bit of a giggle, here’s what you’ll need to do to get to the summit of the tallest mountain on Earth:
1. Have a real yearning to do it
Climbing Mount Everest isn’t like learning to play the guitar. It isn’t something you do because you think it might make you appear interesting to girls at parties when they find out that you know how to play the opening chords to Let it Be and Redemption Song. Whilst climbing to the top of the world’s tallest peak may inadvertently make you appear worldly and marginally more shaggable than you were previously, to our knowledge nobody has ever suffered from altitude sickness or frost bite as a result of trying to play Coldplay on an acoustic guitar at a house party in the small hours of the morning.
2. Decide how practical it will be
Understand that apart from the cost of undertaking such a project, climbing Everest has the very real potential to be just about the hardest thing that most people will ever attempt in their entire lives, so you’ll need to be prepared for the effort that lies ahead. If you thought running the London Marathon was tough, imagine doing it in sub-zero temperatures, with very little Oxygen and the threat of avalanches at every turn to help you on your way.
3. Get some mountaineering experience in
The more prepared you are for the finer points of surviving in the great outdoors, the more pleasurable – not to mention safer, the experience of climbing Everest will be. Knowing when to take a drink, when to put your hood up and anticipating when it’s a good idea to take a selfie are all the skills you’ll need to ensure that you don’t come a cropper on the way up.
4. ……and be honest about it
You might have been on lots of mountaineering missions before, but having a highly experienced guide directing every step of your previous expeditions is a lot different to being an experienced mountaineer yourself. The key point here is to ensure that if you’re going to climb Mount Everest, the level of guidance you have is closely married to your level of expertise. In the unfortunate event that things get a bit ropey up there, the last thing you want is to become a liability to yourself and everyone around you simply because your thermal underwear needs changing due to the mild panic you experienced upon hearing a loud roar coming from the snow ledge above you and then realising that it was only a severe case of trapped wind.
5. Plan ahead
You need to look upon your Mount Everest expedition as an 8 week mission that is in need of a military grade level of forward planning. What can be an oversight on lesser peaks could possibly lead to disaster on the big one due to the higher elevation and thinner atmosphere. If you don’t apply sun cream up Ben Nevis for example, you’d more than likely just feel like you’ve had a quick tanning session in an Essex beauty parlour – amongst the Himalayan peaks however, you’re more than likely to get severe sunburn which comes with a whole host of other well documented problems. Your mountaineering training will help you decide the right gear to take with you, what your fitness obligations are, how the equipment works intimately and which operator to go with for the voyage. You can’t afford to leave any stone unturned in terms of your research and preparation for life on the mountain, so get watching those Sound of Music re-runs to ensure that you are ready.
6. Extreme mental strength
There will be times as you look across the snowy peaks, that’ll you’ll wonder who spiked your drink with a mind-altering substance to make you believe that trying to scale Mount Everest is something that would ever be attempted by a person of sound mind. These moments will eventually pass, but whilst your Gremlins are singing their merry tune in your ear, you’ll need to be able to summon a deeper strength from somewhere and continue on your way. Headaches, sleep apnoea, incontinence, loss of appetite when you’re burning more calories than you have ever previously used up in your life – are you sure somebody didn’t spike your drink with a mind altering substance?
7. A fair few quid
It costs about $45,000 to scale Mount Everest once you include costs like bottled Oxygen, a guide and logistics / equipment. It’s a lot of money, but think how much you’d spend at home drinking cider with nothing constructive to do all day.