Andrew Simons

global citizenMovement event

My Activity Tracking

2,923
kms

My target 2000 kms

I’m fundraising for citizenMovement to mobilise individuals through The Power of Bicycles

A bicycle helps save hours of time for communities racing the sun. With widespread access to reliable transportation, individuals within these communities can begin to lift themselves out of poverty by increasing productivity, income and access to education and healthcare. Help me reach my goal to empower communities through The Power of Bicycles.

My Achievements

travelled 35 km for citizenMovement

fundraised €25 for citizenMovement

fundraised €50 for citizenMovement

fundraised €100 for citizenMovement

My Updates

Basecamp or bust Day 10 Namche Bazaar to Lukla- 18km

Sunday 23rd Oct
As usual, the day starts with headaches and stomach cramps at 4am for a nice early morning wake up (oh how I’ll miss these natural wake up calls when everything seems back to normal!) and after some last opportunity to do some yoga looking out across the stunning Himalayas skyline we pack our backpacks one last time for the long hike ahead taking us out of Sagarmatha National Park and up towards the town of Lukla for our flight back to Kathmandu tomorrow morning. The trek down from Namche takes us across the famous Hillary bridge and through the final remnants of Sagarmatha Park as the rocky landscape becomes more fertile, more green as the Dudh Koshi river rages on below carrying the turquoise waters from up the mountain downstream towards the villages and towns below. As we continue descending down into the valley we came across plenty of caravans of donkeys today either telling you towards the park or down and out carrying cargo of empty gas canisters to be replenished or food and sanitary supplies up towards the villages we had previous out visited during this trip. As we come to cross more bridges or hairpin tight village roads it’s donkey carnage as 20 are trying to go one way while 20 others are trying to cross paths. The sherpas do their best to coordinate the chaos while the porters and fellow trekkers slyly try to smuggle their way through the donkey derby. With gas canisters banging around and the poor donkeys none the wiser than to just keep trotting on forward it’s best to keep your distance as they wouldn’t hesitate knocking you off the slide of the cliff without batting a donkey eyelid. Pop quiz question… do donkeys fart? The answer is yes… and a lot! Poor Richard in our group was leading the way forward but came too close at times to the back of the trail and it’s not a pleasant experience tasting what the donkey are for dinner I can tell you 😂 tip of the day… always walk at least 5 metered behind any donkey caravans when walking the EBC trek ;) With the slow moving donkey traffic taking its time we have no choice but to pace ourselves along the 1 route behind them for a good few hours until finally we can split at the fork in the road and head up towards Lukla… at last, the infamous town that didn’t seem to be possible to reach during this experience! As we start our ascent it takes every last bit of energy from the past few weeks to climb the steep hills, steps, bends and bridges as we scale up this last mountain over the course of the next 2 hours. Everything starts to hurt… it’s been a long 10 days and your body is telling you enough is enough but with mind over matter we continue to scale this last peak, one slow step at a time. And… at last! we reach the small town of Lukla to find a place to rest our head for the night and enjoy some meaty dish dinner (since it’s now more fresh than in the park) and sip down on a locally brewed beer to celebrate the success of our journey together. I can honestly say now I know how Frodo and Sam felt walking all the way to Mordor just to throw a ring in the fire but with all the stunning views, reflections, experiences and new friendships formed, this was one experience that brought a new meaning to the term fellowship for me this year and despite the pain, the distances, the challenges and the countless uncomfortable nights of no sleep, this was an incredible experience that I am grateful I had the opportunity to do in this short lifetime we have So? Basecamp or bust? ….Basecamp baby!! #nailedit

Basecamp or bust Day 9 Pangboche to Namche Bazaar- 15km

Sunday 23rd Oct
Once again a very short night sleep as I wake up around 4am each day with a headache, muscle ache and stomach pains. AMS has set in and it makes the days longer and cost more energy than expected but… we’re here and we’re heading down in a heartbeat, ready to enjoy some home comforts once again in just a few days. After another breakfast consisting of carbs and sugar to give us the energy boost needed, we set off in high spirits and high pace down, down, down towards Namche. Everyone seems to be in high spirits despite the reducing energy levels as exhaustion from the past week sets in and with a lunch break in Dughla to boost morale and more carbs (soooo many carbs!), we set off up this hill towards Tengboche, then down again through the valley to head back up towards Namche. It’s a stunning realization the more we walk the valley to see the sights we missed on the way down towards base camp and once we reach the top of the climb towards Namche Bazaar, a quick turn back gives a mesmerizing snapshot of the khumbu valley with Tengboche and e monastery nestled gently on top of the hill with Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam dramatically towering up into the clouds. What a beautiful sight to end this unique experience. As we reach Namche and check back into the Nirvana Home lodge, we are welcomed back with open arms once again by the super hospitable Sherpa family. It turns out that the owner of the lodge is the son of Kencha Sherpa, the only living Sherpa form the original 1954 expedition where Ed Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquered the Everest Summit. The warm, hospitable Sherpa hospitality clearly runs in the family as today felt like coming home when being greeted by a friendly hug from all the family. Of all the lodges and homes we stayed in sharing this trip, Nirvana Home os by far the one that I will remember for this reason :) As the night draws in, Richard, David, Jan and I decide to visit the Irish Bar in town (highest one in the world apparently!) for a well earned beer. 4 beers later and we realize how quickly you can get drunk still at 3400m altitude but well worth the moment to celebrate together! Tomorrow is our final day of descent as we head back towards Lukla, ready for the flight home to Kathmandu

Basecamp or bust Day 8 Gorakchep to Kala Pather mountain and down to Pangboche - 12km

Sunday 23rd Oct
It’s 4am, the alarm rings and damn… it’s cold. The water in my water bottle has frozen and it’s -9 in our room! Ok I’m not gonna lie, it’s difficult to get out of bed this morning knowing it will be a tough, long day ahead but also the thought of watching the sunrise over the Himalayas is enough to drag me out of my nice comfy sleeping bag, throw on every item of clothing I brought with me (damn it’s cold, did I already mention that?), grab my head torch and meet with the crew at the entrance. As we wait outside for the group to gather, I take a look up at the night sky and marvel at the amount of stars burning bright in the dark against the mountain backdrop. I don’t think I have ever seen the sky so beautiful at night. With zero light pollution it’s almost like a backdrop scene out of a movie. But…. no time to hang around as it’s -10, my toes feel like they are about to drop off and everytime I take off my gloves to take a picture I think my fingers might stick to my phone 😄 So we set off on the extremely steep path up towards Kala Pather peak, tired, cold and hungry but determined to reach the highest point of the trek at 5600m. I think this was the toughest part of the whole trip as the end was in sight but so high up and far away. Every 10-15 steps the air becomes thinner, the temperature 1 degree colder and my ankles and knees are almost buckling under the stress of the intense walking over the past week. As 2 of our group dart off to reach the top, Jan and I take our time to make sure we don’t suffer form the increase in altitude and halfway up stop to take in the breathtaking views as the Himalayas start to light up with the purple and blue hue of the morning sky. Not willing to give up though, we push on to finally reach the summit of Kala Pather and turn to view the glorious morning that awakens across the entire beautiful horizon. Pictures can’t quite capture the stunning beauty this emotional experience brought as we celebrate together overcoming this peak after a long and exhausting week. As the sun rises higher and higher (and my toes are still getting colder and colder!) we start our descent back towards Gorakchep for a bit of breakfast and then ready to head off for the 10km hike down to Pangboche. It’s a pretty steady hike down, stopping every now and then for a breather or bite to eat until we finally arrived around 17:00, just in time for some more Dal Bhat (24 hour, Dal Bhat power!) and relax for the rest of the evening. As we reach the last hour or so of the trek, I feel my knees and thighs starting to burn with pain from the intense work having been done the past week and added with the altitude sickness starting to set in, sleeping has become a luxury that I think I will only appreciate once I’m back home in my own comfy bed 😊 It’s been a long, exhausting day both mentally and physically but I’m honored to have had the chance to witness the most beautiful sunrise this morning and in all honesty quite happy to be heading down towards more civilization, hot water and a warm bed to sleep in. But…. We’re not there yet as we have 2 more full days hiking back to Lukla, ready for our flight back to Kathmandu on Friday morning!

Basecamp or bust Day 7 Lobuche to Gorakchep & base camp… here we go! - 12km

Sunday 23rd Oct
So…. Todays the day! We have a super heavy hike ahead of us, ascending from Lobuche (4940m) to the tiny village of Gorakshep (5160m) which is approx 9km but one hell of a steep climb up! After hitting the porridge and toast to give us some carbs for the journey ahead, we set off on a cold and frosty morning heading up through the valley on a steep incline towards the village of Gorakshep. From the marshy and shrub lines cliffsides you can definitely tell we are getting closer to the glaciers as life becomes less present and the way is paved with piles and piles of rocks and stones from years of landslides cascading down the mountain side. The view becomes more stark and barren as we cross this rocky wasteland ascending and descending through rolling hills of stone. After a good 3-4 hours of pacing on, we reach the tiny town of Gorakshep nestled high up in Sagarmatha National park, have a quick cup of tea, drop off our backpacks and get ready for the 2 hour walk up to the infamous base camp sign. The path is littered with like minded trekkers looking to make the journey to reach base camp and as you walk the same oath as many others, it’s inspiring to hear of everyone’s different drive to reach their goal. Some for the fame, some for the perfect instagram picture, some for charity, some for the fun of it and some to achieve their life dreams. No matter the purpose, it’s so rewarding to see no matter anyone save, race, gender, size or ability, everyone has the same grit and determination to make it happen no matter how long it takes. After a long 2 hours of clambering over rocky pathways, ascending boulders the size of small cars and crossing glaciers that crack and melt under your feet my heart fills with joy, pride and emotion as we finally reach Everest base camp nestled at 5360m in height. It was such an emotional moment to realize this was actually happening, after 10 years of wanting and wishing, my dream came true and I couldn’t have been more proud to have made it happen. As the 4 of us walked up the infamous base camp rock side by side, I couldn’t have been happier to share this special moment than with the 3 new friends I had made only a week ago who were there to support and cheer each other in when the night got cold, the climb got tough, the rain got heavy or the will to continue got lost among the energy and exhaustion. Despite coming from all different backgrounds and nationalities, this journey of determination and both mental/physical strength had bonded us strangers who met just a week ago but connected through the hardships and challenges that were laid before us. After plenty of posing for pictures and a little me time to reflect on the personal journey I had undertaken and pride I recognized in myself for making it happen, it was time to head off back to frosty Gorakshep for some dinner and an early night as tomorrow morning we set off at 4am for yet another challenge to scale the mighty Kala Pather (5600m in height) to watch what has been described as the most beatific sunrise on the earth ass the day breaks over Everest and the Himalayas. Time for a cold nights sleep as the temperature drops to -10 outside and a nice warm -8 inside our room. Thankfully I brought my sleeping bags and plenty of thermal undies!

Basecamp or bust Day 6 Dingboche to Lobuche - 12km

Saturday 22nd Oct
So…. Here we go! Just 2 days away from reaching my life goal achievement of ascending Mt. Everest Basecamp and it’s time to get warmed up and get moving. Quite a tough nights sleep last night as I tried the infamous yak cheese the region is known for but my delicate European stomach did not agree so it was a nice cold evening with plenty of trips to the bathroom keeping my sleep to about 4 hours in total for the whole night 😒 Waking up feeling groggy, grumpy and with a rumbling stomach, some morning yoga in the sun was just what the doctor ordered (well, not officially as I don’t think I’ve seen one doctors practice here since leaving Kathmandu a good 6 days ago!). We set off with our bags packed and high spirits for the 12km walk to Lobuche, ascending further up to 4900m. The trek started well with an easy walk through the rolling hills and as we continued our slow and steady ascent, I recall some great advice from my good Nepalese friend not to forget to turn around at times and take a look back at the scenery behind you. In doing so I had the privilege of taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding ridgeline snowy peaks. So we took plenty of water breaks along the way to be sure to be in the moment and take it all in 😉 As we pick up the pace and the height increases, so does the wind and cold. It’s a weird feeling having the warm sun beat down on you while sweating away carrying your 10kg backpack, wearing your thermals, waterproofs and down jacket while getting sunburnt… talk about all 4 seasons in one day! As the trek starts to get tough with the uphill climb, my stomach’s discipline isn’t as tough as the walk and when you’re out here in the open and nature calls, well…. You don’t really have much choice. So yeah, this made todays trek a little longer than expected but after a super slow (I’m talking the pace at which your 99 year old granny walks) stroll up we finally reach the sleepy (and chilly) town of Lobuche. While the boys all decided to head out for a little trek, I decided today was the day to relax in the warm lodge with a hot water bottle (which the super sweet Nepalese mama gave me) and chillax with a Netflix movie to try and call my stomach. Tomorrow is the big day where we head off to gorakshep and then base camp whoop whoop 🙌

Basecamp or bust Day 5 Tengboche to Dingboche- 10km

Thursday 20th Oct
What a beautiful way to start the day with a bit of yoga in the sunshine at 7am, the warm sun beating down as I stare across the stunning views of the snow capped Himalayas in front. Todays trek started off once again slow and steady descending down pine covered valleys and crossing Sherpa built bridges over beautiful turquoise blue waters of the Imja Khola river. As we reach the bottom of the valley I take a peak up to the right to see the stunning snow capped peak of Mt. Ama Dablam ascending into the clouds, a stark reminder of how beautiful this region is and how small we really are compared the force of Mother Nature! The hike then starts uphill (and whoooo it was a big uphill!) for a good 2 hours as we finally reach the small town of Dingboche. Having trekked a good 10km and ascended to 4400m or so, we decided to go for a further hike to help acclimatize so set off for a further 3 hour trek reaching the stunning surrounding peaks and hitting the goal of 5010m (first time in my life reaching this height, whoop whoop 🙌) After heading back down to lodge, weak at the the knees, ankles throbbing and altitude sickness creeping in it was time for an early night in the nice, cold cabin. There’s no such things as central heating here up in the mountains so it’s a case of wearing all your clothes, wrap up warm and zip your sleeping bag up tight to embrace the chilly night ahead! Tomorrow another new day as we set up to reach Lobuche at 4900m, just one day away from the making our final ascent to base camp… bring it on baby 👌

Basecamp or bust Day 4 Namche to Tengboche - 10km

Saturday 15th Oct
Another day of adventure as we set out from Namche making our way down past the town of Sansa through the beautiful pine forests before crossing the Dudh Koshi river and ascending almost 1000m back up to the town of tengboche. Once again, the hike up was challenging all the way, taking it nice and slow one step at a time but with perseverance and determination we made it into town around 12 noon just in time for a cuppa tea and cake. The center piece of the town of the Tibetan Buddhist Tengboche monastery which is beautiful on the inside but a spiritual feeling within the whole area. After some sightseeing with my new found climber friends I decided to sit by the monastery looking out across the stunning views of the Himalayas, with Everest peeking between the monastery behind me and mediated for a whole hour with the warm welcoming sun beating down while breathing in the fresh mountain air. Once you can look past all the noisy trekkers (I know, I’m one of them too 😂) and snap happy tourists passing through, There is something so spiritual about this place which really helped me to find myself within my thoughts. It was such a deep and newfound experience I haven’t felt before and will forever remember this turning point moment for the rest of my life 🥰 So today, no pic of me climbing or smiling or sweating or meditating, just a snap of the beautiful scenery that made today so special and impactful for my mind, body and soul ❤️

Basecamp or bust day 3 - namche to Khumjung to Kunde and back to Namche

Thursday 13th Oct
Acclimatization day today, a chance for the brain to catch up with the body and feel good with the change in atmosphere. Beautiful start to the day with a hike up to Everest view hotel (3880m) and take my first glimpse at the beast. Quite stunning to finally see this majestic mountain in person and although still far away, each day will be bring me closer to my Basecamp goal! Hike was pretty tough but with stunning views along the way of Ama Dablam and the rest of the Himalayas. Since today was a rest day 😜a couple of us decided to continue climbing up to the villages of Khumjing and Kunde and even further to a stunner of a viewpoint showing all corners of the surrounding area. Tough climb up and down so a well deserved leg message to round off the day and prepare for the 10km hike tomorrow up to Tengboche!

Basecamp or bust day 2 - (almost) Lukla to Namche (20km)

Wednesday 12th Oct
So the day got off to a great start with tired legs, neck pain and sore knees but with high hopes and ambition to make to today to Namche Bazaar at 3400m. It rained for most of the day which made the climb a little tougher but didn’t dampen our spirits (get it? 😜) with the newfound crew in tow we set off, crossing bridges over beautiful ravines & waterfalls, feuding through the mud and rain and then making an almighty climb with steps the size of what I can only describe would be suitable for the most long legged Dutch guy. With a gentler pace than yesterday and some good cheerleading from my newfound climbing buddies, we made it to namche to check into our hotel and enjoy the first hot shower on 3 days and a good comfy bed (no sleeping bag tonight whooooo)! Much more manageable day than yesterdays struggle with some beautiful scenery and views along the way. Tomorrow is our day of rest with a little walk to help acclimatize but the knees and ankles feee e a good rest 😜

Basecamp or bust day 1 - kharokola to lukla (23km)

Wednesday 12th Oct
So after a rocky start and things not going exactly to plan, day 1 was spent hiking from Charikola to (almost) Lukla (where our flight should have landed the day before but was cancelled). Now, I’m not gonna lie folks, it was a tough first day, trekking through rain, cold, sludge, mud up to your ankles and clambering up mountains that I didn’t expect because of a reroute. After almost 9 hours of painful hiking I didn’t quite make to lukla but found a quaint little house late at night to nestle down, get a hotel meal and a nights sleep. Great to have met with some fellow hikers David, Jan, Lars @ Richard who are happy to share the experience together and continue our climb over the coming week. Tomorrow a new (hopefully more dry!) day and the goal is to get to Namche bazaar and catch up on some lost time

Run, run reindeer

Friday 16th Sep
With just 3 weeks to go until my adventure in the Himalayas I thought it’s time to also focus on my cardio as much as my yoga and strength training. So here we’re are, 7am in a Friday starting the day with a good 5.5km run whoop whoop ✌️

Wednesday morning and it feels so goooood

Wednesday 3rd Aug
So…. Wednesday morning, 7:30am, and I’m off biking once again to my workout! Hey s#*t this getting moving has got me motivated so early in the morning 😄

Biking to work… oh what a sunny day

Monday 1st Aug
Despite the dark gloomy clouds gathering over Leiden central station this morning, I still decided to hop on my OV fiets and bike my way to the office… whoop whoop 🙌 (for to take a pic this time or I would have been late for work, sorry 😜)

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard….

Sunday 31st Jul
So I decided to bike to milkshake festival which is literally from one side of Amsterdam to the other (and back!) so another good 22km round trip to add to the scoreboard. I’m pretty sure I must have danced about 50km yesterday during the festival 😂 but that doesn’t count haha

Saturday morning and those legs are working hard!

Saturday 30th Jul
So in my effort to keep fit and raise awareness for a great charity, this morning I biked to my workout and back. I know right! Biking! To a workout! This whole new healthy lifestyle thing has got me all motivated and moving 😄 the first step(s) in many more to come. Thanks for for the support and keep liking my s*#t so I stay motivated to keep moving :) shake n bake baby 😜

Thank you to my Sponsors

106

Huug Scholten

Good luck Andy!

26.50

Ivana & Panos

Go for it!

10.60

Bess Krairat

I hope you make it!

10.60

Rachael Crighton

Well done Andrew. What an amazing achievement xx

10.60

Anonymous