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AM I TOO OLD TO GO TREKKING IN THE HIMALAYAS

71 year old Harry on the Everest Base Camp Trek.

AM I TOO OLD TO GO TREKKING IN THE HIMALAYAS – NEPAL | BHUTAN | TIBET | INDIA 

It is a great healthy lifestyle if you have been hiking/trekking or any form of exercise. However, if you haven’t already done it, you are not the only one; don’t panic! It’s never too late to start. Luckily a few excellent arguments are favouring leaving it until you’ve turned 50 or older.

Life probably has taken up your time with starting a family, establishing a career/business & discovering humility. When you turn 50, you are more immune to worldly pressures; your children have gone off to college or left home by now for most. By now, you know who you should be, what you should look like. Your experiences have become more important than anything else while you are acutely aware of time. So your view is not to squander life’s most valuable commodity once the 5-zero hits.

Top three advantages for SENIORS to book a fantastic trekking trip to Nepal

You make better choices:

You’re older; you probably need to exercise more if you aren’t already doing it. You might have some grey poking through, but you sure do make sounder decisions now. Gone are the days when you’ll book a boozy trip to Thailand – nothing wrong if you still do occasionally, lie on a beach, and go home with nothing really to show for it. In fact, as you are more established in your work/business, you might have the luxury of taking more extended vacations.

You can combine a trekking vacation, followed by a short beach break on your way home. Your adventure travel choices are still based on an element of escape. Still, because your time is valuable, that hiking vacation in Nepal or the overnight stay in a Colorado mountain hut is more likely to have a more fulfilling experience than a trip to the Mardi Gras that you can hardly remember apart from the neon lights.

You could do better at altitude than youngsters:

Being more sensible in your middle age is an added advantage when you go trekking in the Himalayas. You know yourself and have a better appreciation of nature’s beauty and the friendliness of the locals. You will most like to admire nature’s beauty, take many photos, interact with local villagers, and take your time. This will work to your advantage as gaining altitude slowly gives your body more time to acclimatize.

You won’t succumb to a younger person’s peer pressure and ego and don’t mind coming in for lunch or the camp last. Instead, you care more about how fulfilling every trekking day has been. Appreciation of how fortunate you are can make this an experience of a lifetime. In addition, it will undoubtedly remind you how important it is to stay healthy to continue this kind of lifestyle. After all, unforgettable experiences are what is essential at the end of the day.

No more roughing it:

You no longer need to rough it like when you were 20. Part of that reason was finance. When you’re 50 and older, there’s just no pressure to slum it anymore, and you can say you want somewhere comfortable and memorable to stay and enjoy it. You’ve just hiked through the challenging Manaslu circuit trek; why wouldn’t you want to kick your feet up in a Boutique Hotel with a glass of wine and some local delicacies?

Here are some of the experiences of our founder’s time with older trekkers:

Namaste! I have been fortunate to rub shoulders with people from all walks of life and all age groups meeting fascinating people worldwide. There have been numerous trekkers I have handled in their 50s and 60s. Of course, I am only mentioning those above ’60s.

a man standing in front of a mountain

Harry Tan standing in front of Everest

We took a 71-year-old Singaporean on a trek to Everest Base camp in December 2019. Not only did he complete the hike, he even set a world record of the highest golf tee-offs above 5000 meters by a foreigner, making him the first and oldest trekker to do so.

Raj Questions Harry;So Harry, what is the difference between teeing off in the Himalayas and the wonderful Seletar Golf Club in Singapore?

Frist, you have to look around at the clear blue sky, snow. The thin air makes breathing and hitting the golf ball just as difficult. Since there is no stability, we do what is a ‘quarter swing’. Great Experience!“, Harry Tan’s 

Raj says,People like Harry are an inspiration to me. I hope to be leading treks in the Himalayas in my 70s, if not well into my 80s. So keep the adventures rolling in!

a person playing golf on a grassy field

Harry Tan playing golf on a grassy field in Nepal

As he comes from Singapore, a tropical country at sea level, it was extra difficult for Harry to do the EBC trek in the middle of winter.

Last May / June 2016, our team brought a 63-year-old U.S citizen to Everest base camp and back safely. He had no prior experience of an extended trekking holiday.

In March 2015, I led an English group on an Annapurna Trek. There was a 77-year-old lady, and she was the fittest in the group. But, unfortunately, she had only started hiking four years after her husband passed away.

In 2010 an American couple booked to go on the Luxury Everest trek; they were 70 and 73 years old. However, they were determined to keep trekking until they were in their 90s.

In 2003 I led a group of 4 persons in their late 60s and a lady who was 74 years old on the Markha Valley trek in Ladakh. There are two passes on this trek – just below 5000 meters and another 5100 meters in altitude. Now, this was a significant part of their experience. They had a day of rest after the 9-day trek, and all of them ran a full marathon at 3500 meters above sea level. They all completed the full marathon and were up dancing with the locals before dinner that same evening.

a man standing on top of a snow covered mountain

Raj Tamang near Everest Base camp

We did a trek into The Nar Phu Valley in March 2018 with a group of nine trekkers from Singapore. 4 of them were in their 60s.

20/10/2017 – Our founder went on a 26 day Upper Dolpo Traverse from Juphal to Jomsom that involved going over six high passes above 5000 meters. The clients consisted of 4 Polish Nationals, and the three male members were 67 and 68 years old, while the only female member was 48 years old. They all did tremendously well.

Having met these elderly trekkers has me inspired to keep trekking until I am in my 70s. Raj Tamang

a close up of a sign