A STRENSALL man has crossed off a goal on his bucket list after trekking to the base camp of Mount Everest.

Eric Walton, co-owner of Acomb Travel, on Front Street, Acomb, said he read quite a few books on the first conquering of Everest when he was a young boy and it had always held a fascination for him.

His friend John, also from Strensall, joined him on the adventure.

The pair were part of a group of 14 trekkers who scaled more than 17,000ft to the base camp of the giant Himalayan peak over eight days.

They were led by a Nepalese guide.

Eric said: “It was a pleasure to be with some lovely people and it promised to be a very enjoyable time together.”

Within minutes of them starting their trek the “the scenery was stunning,” Eric said.

Describing their journey, he commented: “Slow and steady was instilled in us from the first minute and this advice is not to be ignored if you wish to achieve your goal of reaching base camp. At times you felt you were walking in slow motion and even if you did then it was certainly the correct way to approach this challenge.”

The first few days included stops in the villages of Phakding and Namche Bazar and after this headaches started to become a problem.

Eric said: “Although I was suffering a little, I was aware that other people were finding the altitude quite a struggle. However, they were a determined bunch of people and had only one objective in mind.”

They reached the base camp one person short, as a member of the group had to return to a lower altitude the day before.

The group were overcome with emotion when they arrived at the camp.

Eric said: “We all shed tears and hugged each other profusely.”

He added: “Time does not allow you to spend more than one hour there so after numerous photographs we began our walk back down to Gorakshep. I was exhausted and for the latter part of the journey I was stumbling over rocks barely focusing on where to place my feet.

“It is the hardest thing I have ever done and I have run a marathon but the mental and physical demands this adventure puts upon you will challenge every resource you think you have.”

Eric and John are keen to trek to Machu Picchu in Peru in the future.