Pancakes fuel Ellen’s Everest charity trek

Ellen, with the dark hair at the back of the group, at Everest Base Camp.
Ellen, with the dark hair at the back of the group, at Everest Base Camp.

A Kirkcaldy woman has raised more than £1173 for charity after trekking up to the Everest Base Camp.

Ellen Macgregor (24), an e-commerce product assistant, took part in the nine-day trek, and in doing so raised the significant sum for Scottish Mountain Rescue.

Ellen arrived back in Scotland this week having completed the challenge, and described the experience as “amazing”.

“It went better than I expected,” she said. “I was nervous before I left – I’d never done anything like that before so I was quite anxious.

“I wasn’t sure if I’d get altitude sickness or have the stamina but it turned out to be a really enjoyable experience.

“It was just incredible to be out there.”

Ellen was part of a group of seven treking from Lukla to the base camp, a distance of 40 miles which took nine days to complete, with eight hours of walking every day.

While she said the trek was “not as challenging as I expected”, that does not mean the walk was without its challenges.

She said: “By the time we got over 4000 metres I completely lost my appetite. It was an altitude thing.

“So the challenge was to force myself to eat pancakes in the morning.

“Also, dealing with the tiredness, because you were getting up quite early.”

Ellen described the moment she reached the base camp as “an emotional moment”.

“I think everyone was just very emotional,” she said. “We all had the same anticipation of not knowing if we’d be able to make it.

“We didn’t know if we’d be okay – but there was also that sense of achievement. Everyone was on a massive high.”

Ellen started tackling munros and hill walking last year, with the eventual aim of taking on a more challenging trek.

She said: “I knew I wanted to do a longer trek, but I didn’t think it would be the Everest Base Camp.

‘‘The opportunity came up and I thought ‘why not?

‘‘I started hill walking every Sunday and I already go to the gym four times a week.”

Being such an avid hill walker, Ellen decided she wanted to support the Scottish Mountain Rescue.

She originally set up a fundraising page with the aim of collecting £500, but has, to date, raised £1173 for the charity.

Ellen explained: “I spend so much of my time tackling Scottish munros and mountains, and I’ve heard a lot of stories.

“I hope I never need to use their services but I know the possibility is there.

“And I know they’re mainly volunteers and rely heavily on donations.

“I was just hoping to raise a little bit of money to help them out, but it kind of snowballed,” she said.

Despite just arriving back from Nepal, having just finished the challenge, Ellen admits that she is already planning ahead for her next trek.

“I’m looking for something that’ll be a good challenge,” she said. “I don’t think holidays will ever be the same for me now.”