Getting close to Everest — Three peaks, three passes

Reflections on the trip

Michael Freer
8 min readNov 29, 2022


Dawa and I at Renjo La pass, the final ascent.

It was all part of a plan in 2017, that after five years in Croatia I would take a month or two to venture out and decide what was next. Then Covid-19 delayed the adventure, and with this the trip evolved.

I decided I wanted a few weeks away from everything and everyone, somewhere stunning, remote and beyond. After toying with Tanzania or Kenya, Nepal was chosen. November is a good time for hiking here, and I had worked with some great Nepalese people during Covid.

I was the least prepared ever for travelling, I knew little about what I had signed up for due to unforeseen circumstances. Now, after a few days to rest and recoup, it’s time to reflect.

Don’t judge a book by its cover

The Fellowship

I only found out a week or so before that we would be a team of five undertaking the challenge. Just knowing their names sent my imagination all over the place, as I tried to guess who was who.

I was extremely wrong. The youngest group member was in her early twenties, and the other three all around retirement age. This group diversity was reflected through all the trekkers we saw, as we encountered people from 18 to 80, of all different shapes, sizes and nationalities. It was truly wonderful to see.

What did change however was the fitness of different people and the routes they were doing. Our group, with its wiser legs, passed groups and individuals on many occasions, in fact the only people passing us tended to be those in their 20s.

Whilst we opted to spend 18 days hiking 180 km in total, others got helicoptered in to do a couple of hours. Unfortunately, this quick dash failed to prepare them for one important thing.

Entering the stretch/panic zone

5555 metres high. Five is my lucky number.



Michael Freer

Social enterprise enthusiast, avid traveller and fiction writer.