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Millionaire gives guide to hiking Everest without training

A millionaire “desk jockey” has recounted his incredible journey hiking Mount Everest without any training.

Neel Parekh, 35, told how the climb of a lifetime began when he and his wife arrived at one of the world’s most dangerous runways in Nepal – danger that stems from the fact that it is just 500m long.

What followed was a thrilling journey through some of the world’s most high altitude villages that saw Parekh push his body to the limit and find himself “humbled” by the natural world.

But while he believes that almost anyone can make the climb, he has been frank about its challenges too.

“I firmly believe that ANYONE with average fitness can do this. The trek itself isn’t too technical. It’s long, yeah, but that’s expected. The hard parts come from the unexpected,” he explained on Twitter (X).

The entrepreneur said his journey to Everest Base Camp, which is 17,598 ft above sea level, got off to what felt like an “easy” start on day one.

This is when he met his Sherpa guide – a Tibetan local genetically suited to life at high altitudes – and checked into his accommodation.

But by the second day of his trip, Parekh realised that just getting to the foot of Everest is a task in and of itself and he had to hike for seven hours through uneven terrain.

“I quickly start realising that trudging uphill, with a pack, in thin air, is crazy hard,” he admitted.

He admits that this part of the journey was “humbling” especially when he was “huffing and puffing” but passed by a group of local children who had no problem with the tricky terrain.

The millionaire said that one of his favourite parts of the journey was travelling through various remote villages and witnessing “a different way of life”.

This journey through villages and nature eventually saw him arrive at Namche Bazar, the biggest town in the area.

By the third day, he had reached 13,000 ft elevation, and his body was struggling to acclimatise to the height, and he said his lungs were “gasping for oxygen”.

“I’m rewarded with a viewpoint and a glimpse of the homie Everest peeking out beyond the mountain range,” he said of his ultimate goal.

Parekh said the weather was one of the unexpected challenges because of how frequently it changed and admits that the fourth day of hiking was “one of the hardest”.

“The trekking, and even the rain, is manageable by itself,” he said. “But multiple days of bad sleep, freezing at night, tough accommodations, and fatigue is starting compounding around this time.”

He found the accomodations at this point in the trip incredibly basic because the area can only be accessed on foot, which meant that getting a comfortable, civilised night’s sleep to recharge was tricky.

“The weather is schizophrenic,” he said of day five, by which point he had reached 14,468 ft elevation.

“When it’s sunny, the sun is BRIGHT. Then it’s windy all of a sudden. Then snowy. Then back to sunny,” he said.

The millionaire’s perseverance through the hike is rewarded with “an incredible” view on day six at “15,100 ft elevation”, which he might have seen earlier had it not been for the unfavourable weather.

“Today is ‘acclimatisation day’, meaning we hike up super high to try and get our bodies to get used to the thin air,” Parekh explained.

Unfortunately for the self-confessed “desk jockey”, it was at this point that he developed altitude sickness, which left him struggling to breathe and focus.

He claims that this was his own fault for failing to consume enough supplementary oxygen, drinking two litres of water a day instead of the recommended four to five.

By the seventh day of the hike, he was feeling better, helped by the necessary water and “Liquid IV”.

Then, on day eight, after a week of trekking through the unforgiving landscape and getting used to life at a high altitude without training, the millionaire reached 17,598 ft and Everest Base Camp.

“Oxygen at this height is 50% of the oxygen at sea level,” he explained. “The final stretch is hard. I’m winded. I’m stopping every few min during the last two hours. But, my excitement at reaching the promised land keeps me going.”

Parekh did not stop there though and climbed on day nine to an even higher viewpoint at 18,519 ft.

He explained that at this point both he and his wife felt “incredibly accomplished”, but they were ready to begin the long journey back to civilisation.

Had the couple attempted to summit Everest, which would have been incredibly dangerous without adequate training, it would have likely taken them an additional 40 days.

This is because of the amount of climbing and acclimatisation required to reach the highest point in the world, which is a staggering 29,031.69 feet – almost twice as high as base camp.

While Parekh did not have any training ahead of the climb, he admits that he did spend three weeks attempting to improve his fitness through boxing and hiking in Beverley Hills, a near enough world away from the remote, mountainous region he conquered.

“I was fine physically doing the trek,” he said. “The altitude made me exhausted some days, but there isn’t too much ‘training’ you can do for that.

“In hindsight, I would tell someone to just do stairs daily until you can go up and down stairs for an hour without issues.”


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