HR3 CEO takes on Everest Base Camp


The team at HR3 would like to congratulate our CEO Rick Verloop and his wife Jenny for their impressive accomplishment of reaching South Base Camp Mount Everest at an altitude of 5,364 metres. We did a quick Q-and-A with Rick and share a selection of pics below.

Q1. Why did you decide to climb to Everest Base Camp?

Jen and I have done a lot of multi-day trekking and enjoy getting out into the great outdoors. Everest seemed like the sort of challenge that we would enjoy. Truth be told, it was mostly my idea. Jen told me part way through that the next time I have a great idea like this, she’s going to Tahiti!!

At the conclusion of the Everest trek we met my sister and her family in Kathmandu where she was returning with her adopted Nepalese daughter Karuna for the first time since her adoption nearly eight years earlier. This was a fantastic experience for us as we got to visit the orphanage where Karuna lived for the first two years of her life, and we were able to spend some time with the kids there.

Q2. What sort of training did you do?

We have always done a lot of hiking so that was a good start but mainly - lots and lots of steps!! Towards the end we were going up and down 91 floors! We’ve also been going to boot camp sessions twice a week for the last eight years so we had a good fitness base to build on.

Q3. What was the single most difficult thing to contend with?

The altitude! No matter how much you train and how fit you are, there is simply nowhere in Australia that you can go that will prepare you for 5,500 metre altitudes. Simple things like stuffing your sleeping bag into a stuff-sack have you breathless let alone hiking for eight or nine hours with an 8kg pack at over 5,000 metres. You can also expect headaches, loss of appetite and for some people, a bad case of ‘Khumbu cough’.

Q4. What did you eat?

Potatoes!! Potato curries, fried potatoes, chips, mashed potatoes and more creative ways to cook potatoes. This is because potatoes are one of the few vegetables that will grow at that altitude. We also had lots of delicious chicken curries, fried chicken, vegetable curries, dahl and even the occasional pizza. We actually ate really well - what the cooks manage to put together in the camps is amazing!

Q5. What did you enjoy the most?

The magnificent scenery, the sense of accomplishment, the comraderie and yet still being able to be alone with your thoughts for hours at a time.

Q6. Would you do it again?

We wouldn’t do Everest Base Camp again, but we’d certainly look for other areas in Nepal to explore. Everest is in danger of being “loved to death” and the main trail is getting very busy. Lucky for us, most of our trek was in a more remote area which had far fewer people.

Q7. What advice do you have for others who are considering Everest Base Camp?

Make sure you prepare well and are fit enough to undertake the challenge. It is also mentally challenging because once you’ve started there is no turning back. Be prepared to only shower once or twice in 17 days!! I would also recommend avoiding the “Everest Highway” trips that just go straight up to Base Camp and back. There are far nicer routes available, we went via the Gokyo Lakes and the Cho La pass which was the highlight for us.