Moama grandfather Barry Cox succesfully completed a 103km mountain climb to Everest Base Camp as part of the World’s Highest Shave last month.IVY WISE April 29, 2014 3:44am
Standing more than 5000m above sea level, watching the sun rise over Mt Everest, Barry Cox felt a sense of achievement wash over him.
The Moama grandfather braved two weeks of freezing temperatures, breathing difficulties, altitude problems and a gruelling 103km mountain climb to make it to Mt Everest Base Camp as part of the World’s Highest Shave last month.
The 71-year-old recently returned home from the trek, in a healthier state than many of his team-mates; only suffering a slight chest infection.
‘‘Of the 18 of us, four had to be medevaced (medical evacuation) out,’’ he said.
‘‘One rolled her ankle and tore some ligaments and the other three had altitude sickness and were hospitalised for between three and five days.
‘‘I was the oldest one and besides a chest infection, I had nothing wrong with me, so I got labelled a ‘tough old bastard’.’’
Mr Cox said daily 10km walks with a 10kg backpack, gym sessions and walking up and down Victoria Park grandstand’s steps 80 times every Sunday, had prepared him well, but the trek was by no means easy.
‘‘It tested me right to the limits,’’ he said.
‘‘The 400m climb up to the suspension bridge, I had breathing difficulties because of the altitude.
‘‘There were times I thought: ‘Am I going to be able to do this?’
‘‘I was confident in my fitness, but I was struggling to breathe at times.
‘‘The altitude does test you.’’
The cold was also a challenge, with temperatures dropping down to -18°C at some points.
Joined by his son Stephan, Mr Cox described the feeling of reaching base camp as ‘‘absolutely awesome’’.
‘‘It was an unreal feeling to see it and to say I’ve done it,’’ he said.
‘‘The views are just amazing. It’s a dream feeling.’’
Reflecting on his experience, Mr Cox said watching the sun rise over Mt Everest was a highlight, but also made him realise how close he was to where an avalanche killed 16 Sherpa guides two weeks later.
‘‘They are such lovely, beautiful-natured people and it makes me feel sad that these people who you associated with just two weeks before, a lot of them died,’’ he said.
Mr Cox said as of last week, his team had raised almost $50,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation.
‘‘I’d like to thank all those who supported me and Echuca Lions Club, Murray River Chiropractic Centre and Moama Village Pharmacy for sponsoring me,’’ he said.
Shepparton Swans and Benalla both had altered coaching panels for the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final rematch on Saturday.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
As part of Lyme Disease Awareness Month in May, the Riverine Herald will shed light on the debilitating, yet controversial, illness through the eyes of those fighting it.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
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Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
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A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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