The Road to Everest Powered by Plants with Jeff Leech
We are beyond excited and proud of our very own Ambassador Jeff Leech aka
#thclimbinggorilla as he prepares to jet off to Nepal to complete a once in a lifetime trek up Mount Everest.
Jeff is a firefighter, fitness guru and completed his degree & honours in Psychology last year and will commence his doctorate in Psychology next year after he completes Everest. Jeff is involved with the charity 'Aussie Action Abroad' in Nepal, is an advocate for equality and is a motivator in the fitness and wellness field.
For Jeff's trip to Everest he must undertake cardiovascular training, equipment
training, acclimatisation training, physical endurance training and must also obtain a permit to access and climb Mount Everest. Due to Covid, there has been very limited climbing for the last few years which adds another level of excitement to Jeff's climb.
Preparing to summit Mount Everest is no joke.
Climbing Mount Everest is only possible within short windows of the year due to harsh winds, extreme sub zero temps and conditions on the mountain.
It can take up to 3 months to complete the trip - it takes 19 days (round trip) to trek to base camp and an average of 40 days to climb to the peak.
As of 2019, approximately 5,250 mountaineers have triumphantly climbed Mt Everest. On average, around 700 to 800 climbers attempt to climb Mt Everest every year.
We caught up with Jeff prior to his trip to discuss all things training, nutrition and what it means for him to summit Mount Everest.
Tell us about your pre Everest climb training and what that has involved?
It has been 20 years in the making! I summited my first mountain as a novice in 2002, since then climbed in Nepal, New Zealand, and the Swiss Alps. Preparing for this trip has been difficult getting in the vertical ascent with the floods and landslides closing national parks etc. so a lot of training has been moved indoors to incline treadmill and smaller hills done multiple times on repeat.
How long have you trained for?
What is your trip itinerary?
Depart Aus, five days getting ready in Kathmandu, flying to Lukla and trekking up to Basecamp. Followed by periods of acclimatisation on smaller mountains and then onto Everest itself. Expected timeframe to finish acclimatising 4 weeks, with a further 2-4 weeks of rest and waiting for the perfect weather window.
How long will it take to climb?
What will you be taking to get you through your climb in the way of nutrition and why?
Apart from the essential PPE (clothing, boots, gloves etc) I will need fuel, so BCAAs (Intra Strength) and protein bars (Power Plant Protein bars) to assist with fueling my body at high altitude where eating is difficult and space is limited
Why are you attempting to summit Mount Everest and what will it mean to you?
It has been a lifelong dream, stemming from a passion for the environment, mountains and nature. I am a firm believer in giving back to people and Mother Nature and conquering the mountain to conquer yourself. The effort involved in the adventure, and the deep connection I feel with nature and Mother Earth while high in the mountains always offers valuable introspection. By summiting I hope to provide positive impact to the Nepalese people and to illuminate the dangers of climate change on our most precious natural wonders.
PranaOn are so proud to support Jeff in his climb and we can't wait to see you hold that flag high and summit Mount Everest, powered by plants! If you would like to get behind Jeff, you can donate to his chosen charity: Aussie Action Abroad and follow his journey on Instagram @theclimbinggorilla