GAWLER’S Mikayla Queissner is preparing to tackle the world’s highest mountain.
The 22-year-old will leave for Nepal in late September, where she will spend two weeks hiking to Mount Everest’s base camp, located over 5000 metres above sea level.
Mikayla said she is very excited, but also nervous, as she is expecting it will be a huge challenge.
“I’m so excited, but I am scared out of my mind,” she laughed.
“It is going to be incredible and it is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.
“While I’m willing and physically able to do it, and while I have the ability to do it with money, I thought ‘why not’.”
The decision to undertake the 130-kilometre journey was made in the spur of the moment, with Mikayla’s family finding out about her trip through social media.
“I was talking to a friend about the ‘you only live once’ kind of trips, and then the next day I just thought ‘well, why not go and do it’,” she said.
“After I booked, mum and dad found out on Facebook – I didn’t tell them only because I was a little scared of them talking me out of it.
“I do understand why they would, as there are some risks of death and people do get injured.
“There is also risks of altitude sickness.”
Mikayla said, so far, she hasn’t faced any mountains as big as Everest, with the closest being a volcano in Bali.
“I did that really quickly and I managed to get the biggest headache I think I’ve ever had,” she said.
“That was only 2000 metres above sea level and I’m doing around 6000, so I’m wondering if I get a headache, like that, and how I will go.
“We will be going a bit slower, though, so that will help.”
To train for the hike, Mikayla is walking every day and completing hikes at Mount Lofty weekly.
She said, aside from her own drive, she hopes her trip will show her friends and the community that it is okay to adventure solo and that Nepal is a good travel destination.
“A couple of my friends, who are females, are scared to travel, especially alone,” Mikayla said.
“I’m 22, so it’s one of those things where I can say, ‘well, I’ve done it, so can you’.
“(Also) with the earthquakes that happened a couple of years ago, I think it is good to show others that you can still go to Nepal and do this.”