A WEST Cork councillor had, for the past few months, been straining at the 5km limit because he wants to do 6km – vertically to Everest Base Camp.
Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind), together with his brother Kevin, have been training to do the climb at the end of March.
‘Initially, we were due to fly out to Kathmandu on March 28th for a three-week trek to the base camp of the world’s highest mountain. The tickets were booked last year, but obviously the pandemic put pay to that,’ he told The Southern Star.
When the lockdown restrictions were lifted, Paul went out every chance he could with the Cork Hillwalkers group and clearly relished the challenge.
However, during the Level Five lockdown, he was confined to training on one of the flattest terrains in West Cork.
‘Since Christmas, I have been walking on the beach at Broadstrand in Courtmacsherry, and along the Seven Heads Peninsula, doing about 10k a day and longer at weekends, but it’s at sea level, which makes it hard to train for a 6,000 metre challenge.’ Paul, who gave up alcohol in July 2019 as part of a health and wellness programme, said he’s never looked back. And with the lockdown travel restrictions now lifted, he’s hoping to get in a few peaks, such as Hungry Hill in Beara.
Last year, Kevin and Paul joined the gym, but that’s closed during lockdown, so they are working on their own home training regimes.
As for diet, Paul’s never had a sweet tooth, but he is trying to keep a high calorie diet for the purposes of gaining weight and for the energy needed for training.
‘We are hoping to reschedule our trip to Nepal for early 2022,’ said Paul. ‘It would be a dream come true for both Kevin and I to be following in the footsteps of mountaineering legends. It would be a major accomplishment and something to tick off our bucket lists.’
As soon as they can Paul and Kevin will be heading back to Carrauntoohil, which is Ireland’s highest peak but a mere one-sixth of the height of their destination in the Himalayas.