The Macra na Feirme Group treking up Mount Everest.

Macra lass reaches Everest base camp for charity

A Cavan student has made the tremendous climb to Mount Everest’s Base Camp to raise money for charity and to prove to a friend she could do it, writes Michelle Taite.

Eimear Coyle made the 5,510 metre hike accompanied by members of Macra na Feirme earlier this month.

“It was brilliant, I’d love to do it again, go back and do a different circuit and a different peak of some sort,” she said.

The Sliabh Glah Macra member decided to climb the peak when she saw it advertised on Macra na Feirma’s social platforms.

“One of my friends said I wouldn’t be able to do it, so then I said ‘I have to do it to prove you wrong!’,” she revealed.

Eimear worked multiple jobs in order to pay for the entire trip on her own. She then created a GoFundMe page to use her climb to raise money for Cavan Monaghan Palliative Care.

The Cavan Town native travelled to the airport where she met other members of Macra na Feirma from all over Ireland who were set to take the journey with her.

“I didn’t actually know any of them. I only met them in the airport that morning.”

This is when the real work began. “We flew out to Nepal to Everest Base Camp and we were there for three weeks. We spent 12 days trekking and that included going up and down to get to base camp.

“It was tough at times, there were parts of it that were fine, not too steep. The toughest bit wasn’t the climb itself, it was the altitude sickness. I was lucky I didn’t get it too bad but some of the members of the group did feel quite unwell with headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, that sort of stuff. That was nearly the toughest bit, but that’s inevitable when you go up that high,” she recalled.

The group hired Sherpas, who acted as guides while also carrying some of the belongings of the climbers.

“Going up the mountain we carried our own backpack and then we hired porters to bring up our kit bag. In our backpack, we just had to bring layers of clothes because it can get quite cold, lots of suncream because you’re exposed to the sun, water and snacks were very essential, we brought snacks from home, just jellies and stuff, and they were lovely, a bit of a pick me up sometimes.”

The group stopped for meals in small tea houses on their route, eating mainly rice, pasta and soup.

“We didn’t eat meat because it had to be carried up the mountain. As you can imagine after a day of meat being carried on a man’s back, it’s not exactly very fresh. So we didn’t eat meat, but just very standard food. We had to have garlic soup before each meal because it’s good for your immune system.”

When she finally reached base camp at 7pm, Eimear decided she had “a bit more to give”, so she set her sights on the next peak.

“After base camp, myself and another girl in the group, a girl from Cork decided we had a bit more to give, so that night we finished basecamp at 6 or 7pm and we went to sleep for a few hours after dinner.

“The two of us got up then at 3am and left the teahouse at three in the morning with two guides and we did another peak, it’s called Kalapatar, it’s the same height as Kilimanjaro. We did that through the night and we made it to the peak then for sunrise. It was lovely.”

Eimear’s climb has raised a total of €1,610 for Cavan Monaghan Palliative Care.