George and Ciarán Bulman have fulfilled a lifelong dream by reaching Mount Everest Base Camp.

Everest was ‘spectacular’

A flag familiar to many in Cork was raised recently at the base camp of Mount Everest.

Fulfilling a lifetime dream, George Bulman, Operations Manager at Munster Technological University (MTU) Rubicon Centre in Bishopstown, travelled with his son Ciarán to Mount Everest base camp last month.

George and Ciarán, who are both MTU alumni, began planning their trip of a lifetime several years ago but due to Covid-19, they were forced to postpone their adventure twice.

On 30 March, the father and son finally flew out from Ireland as part of a group of 16 headed for Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu.

Upon arrival in Nepal, the group was accompanied by five sherpa guides and five yaks who carried their provisions.

From Kathmandu, they flew in a 15 seater plane to Lukla Airport in the mountains of Nepal, which has a reputation for being the most dangerous airport in the world due to its altitude, short runway and surrounding landscape.

Reflecting the lifechanging trip, George said: “We started trekking from Lukla Airport and each day we walked for approximately six to eight hours, gradually climbing higher each day. We had to take a daily dose of Diamox to help with altitude sickness. In all, we walked for thirteen days to get up and down and the highest point we reached was at 5,600 metres. Our longest walking day was eleven and half hours.”

At 4am one morning, using headlights, George and Ciarán climbed to the Kala Patthar Peak at 5,600 metres.

George said it was so cold that morning their water bottles froze solid: “When we reached the summit and saw the sun rising over Mount Everest, it was spectacular. The size, scale and beauty of the mountains could not be captured by a camera. One would have to see it to appreciate it.” Along the way the group had to cross over a number of large gorges using swing bridges, some of which stretched 200 metres upwards.

While there, the group dined only on local cuisine which consisted of eggs, porridge, bread, soups and Dal Bhat, a Nepalese dish made of lentils and rice.

George said: “The tea houses that we stayed in on the mountain were very cold and you just jump into your sleeping bag each night for heat. The stoves in the main dining rooms were fuelled by burning the dried yak faeces, so there was a nice aroma as you can imagine, but we were glad of the heat.

“All in all, it was a really wonderful experience and to think that we were at the foot of the tallest mountain in the world is unbelievable. It was also great to walk across the glaciers and see all the different types of rocks and stones. I found it strange to see sand up on the mountains but then we must remember that these mountains were once under water.”