Hitting The Himalayan Trail For The 150 Challenge
12 February 2015
Stephen Skalecki, a Costain Environmental Advisor working on the A5-M1 Link (Dunstable Northern Bypass) Project on behalf of the Highways Agency, is hitting the Himalayan trail to raise money for Costain’s 150 Challenge*.
Stephen flies out to Kathmandu, Nepal, on March 6 to take on the Manaslu Circuit Trek, which, at 8,156 metres, circumnavigates the 8th highest peak in the world. The 110 mile trek is expected to take 18 days.
Stephen is travelling with an old school friend, Stuart Dawson, plus a registered guide, which you have to have in order to get a permit. In terms of difficulty, Stephen says it’s comparable with the Annapurna Circuit Trek or an Everest Base Camp Trek, but with surprisingly less visitors each year.
The Manaslu trek begins in the town of Arughat Bazaar and ends in Syange. Due to the adverse weather conditions such as fog, high winds and freezing temperatures, as well as the risk of landslides, the only time of year the trek can be completed is between March-April and October-November, although there are high winds and freezing conditions all year round.
To get in shape, Stephen has been training at the Dunstable Swimming Club and the gym at Dunstable Leisure Centre, as well as playing the odd game of badminton and squash with colleagues from the A5-M1 Link project. But no amount of training will prepare him for two of the biggest challenges on the trek: altitude and donkeys.
“The main risk is obviously altitude, which we’re just going to have to deal with. And the other main risk is being killed by donkeys, where donkeys have been known to kick hikers off the path. Again, it’s not really something you can train for, so we’ll just have to be careful!” said Stephen.
For more information about Stephen’s quest and to donate to the 150 Challenge, please visit his fundraising page at:
Alternatively, people can donate by texting SKAL99 to 70070, pledging the amount in £s.
*The Challenge, which will commemorate Costain’s 150th anniversary, involves raising £1million in 2015 for the Costain Charitable Foundation’s four chosen charities – the British Heart Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support, youth charity The Prince’s Trust and The Samaritans.
Costain Communications Department