Have you ever dreamed of hiking to Mt. Everest Base Camp? Well, Scott Palmer, the Gateway and Manufacturing and Engineering teacher of North Ogden Junior High actually did! Mr. Palmer has always loved hiking and climbing mountains, but he wanted more than just Ben Lomond Peak. He decided to make his dream come true by hiking to Everest. Mr. Palmer went with six other people, some of whom had already been. Mr. Palmer and his friends, the Utah to Everest BC 2018 team, planned this 24 day adventure for a year and a half before it even happened.
Leaving Utah on October 19, it took Mr. Palmer 13 days to finally reach Mt. Everest Base Camp. The weather for the journey up was perfect. It was definitely cold, but there weren’t any big storms, as it was sunny. On the way back down the temperature dropped, and some clouds came in that blocked the view of the mountains, but Mr. Palmer didn’t mind, because of how lucky they were coming up. Mr. Palmer described the view of Everest as, “Beautiful, just stunning”.
Mr. Palmer was impressed by how the people there treat each other with a manner of high respect. He says that when they are interacting with each other, they give their full attention and actually care. Their eyes and body language show that they have a deep respect for one another. When they say Namaste, they are showing that they really mean it; to them it is a very spiritual contact. Many people here say Namaste jokingly, because they think it is a funny word, but they don’t know what it actually means. “The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another,” said Mr. Palmer, adding that he felt very appreciated and respected by the people.
During his travels, several special scarves known as khatas were given to Mr. Palmer as gifts, each stitched along the bottom with Buddhist prayers of safety for their journey. He received both a white and a colored khata when he arrived in Kathmandu, a gold one when he completed his climb, and a pure white scarf for good wishes to send them home. He says, “You felt from the people who gave them to you that they sincerely enjoyed or thanked you for your presence of being there and making that experience along with them.”
Besides the way people treat each other, lots of things are different in Nepal, such as the vegetation. At high elevations on Mt. Everest, it’s extremely difficult to grow substantial amounts of vegetation. The environment also differs from America, because on Mt. Everest, it’s mostly jungle and lush forest. But, similar to America, there are huge cities with millions of people. And things are different in the cities, too. For instance, America doesn’t have hundreds of wild dogs running around the streets like Kathmandu does. Also, some of the local highlights are Monkey Temples, Yak Cheese and tomato sandwiches! Mr. Palmer’s students got to learn about all these things in real time, as they followed his adventures via social media and website posts.
Hiking to Mt. Everest Base Camp wasn’t easy, and it sure does change you. Mr. Palmer was working really hard, which resulted in him losing 22 pounds in twenty days! Another thing changed, and that was his understanding of the word “hard”. He experienced something that would change his life for the better. After the trip, he felt accomplished, but overwhelmed. He knew he just achieved a goal that he’d had for many years. He did it, but it wasn’t easy. This just goes to show that if you want something, and you keep trying hard, you can achieve it. He went to Everest to do this major thing, and he left feeling accomplished and proud. It is a lesson he now shares with his students at NOJH every day.
Besides having a wonderful adventure, Mr. Palmer and the Utah to Everest BC 2018 team had the goal of helping to raise money for the education of underprivileged children in Nepal. Partnering with the international non-profit organization Classrooms in the Clouds, the team gathered donations to help in the building of schools and to support teacher training for this impoverished area. As an educator, Mr. Palmer saw this as a way of giving back, and also of inspiring his students back home to follow their dreams and to do good. Mr. Palmer also used the trip as an educational experience for his NOJH students back home. While on his trip, Mr. Palmer posted frequently via social media and live video feed so that his students at NOJH could follow and feel part of the adventure.
Want to learn more?
For more information about Mr. Palmer’s trip: utahtoeverest2018.weebly.com
For more information on CTC Nepal: http://www.classroomsintheclouds.org/
To contribute: http://www.gofundme.com/utah2everest2018-for-kids
About Utah to Everest
“We are a team of 7 climbers from Utah who are embarking on the trek of a lifetime. We want to leave a lasting positive effect as we go on this journey. It is our hope that we will be able to provide school supplies, medical supplies, possible education equipment to the schools in the Kumbu area, Solukhumbu District in the Sagarmatha Zone of north-eastern Nepal.”
“In addition, as we travel we will be communicating with classrooms across northern Utah and the Galion, Ohio school district via web-presence and trending phone links, as available, in order to give students of all ages a first-hand experience of the world.”