Have you ever wondered what it takes to participate in a physical challenge for charity?
Jesse Dees is a development officer at the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital Foundation. Last year she and her husband were two of nearly 400 people who took part in a really unique fundraiser.
The Everest Challenge, put on by the CGMHF, is a fun one-day event that takes place in the Village at Blue Mountain. Teams of two to 20 work together to climb a combined height of 29,092 feet—the equivalent of Mount Everest and 40 times the height of Blue Mountain.
Dees has valuable, firsthand advice for those who may be interested in participating in this or any other similar physical challenge for charity.
1. Assemble your team
Start by getting your team in place, she advises. This year teams of up to 20 can participate. Since you compete as a group, the larger your team the fewer hikes up the mountain required by each individual. Team of 20? You only have to climb the mountain twice!
2. Hike the trails ahead of time
Planning out your route helps you know what to expect. “Pick your favourite Blue Mountain trail and go ahead and hike it before the actual climb,” she says. Some are longer and not as steep so beginners might find these a bit easier. Dees and her husband separated on their last trip up, taking different trails and agreeing to meet at the top. Her husband chose the shortest and fastest route—called “Straight Up”—while Jesse chose an easier route that had great views along the way. “There’s something for everybody,” she assures.
Blue Mountain also opens up a few trails exclusively for this event, so participants get access to trails they wouldn’t usually be able to hike, including some that are normally reserved for mountain biking.
3. Buy some Epsom salts—in advance
You’ll need these after the event, says Dees, who was sore after. She and her husband were part of a group of ten, which meant four trips each up the mountain. Surprisingly, it took their team only two and half hours to complete. “We thought it would take much longer,” she says. “It’s more achievable than people think.” Before they knew it they were enjoying a nice lunch back at base camp.
4. Layer up
October can be quite cold. Sometimes there’s even snow in the morning. Make sure you have layers ready and appropriate clothes. Once you get going you will heat up quickly, so layers that wick away sweat are a must-have. It was very cold the morning of last year’s climb, though once they got hiking it was the perfect temperature. “It’s a nice time of year for an event like this,” says Dees. It’s also rain-or-shine, so pack a rain jacket just in case.
5. Heed mom’s old-fashioned advice
Get a good night’s sleep before the climb. The added rest will give you an extra physical and mental boost. Also be sure to eat a healthy breakfast the morning of the event.
This year’s goal is to raise $400,000. Funds raised will help purchase new operating room tables. Anything raised over and above that amount will help purchase surgical equipment for the OR.
Date: Saturday, October 19, 2019
Location: Blue Mountain Village