CUPE Local 4848

Paramedic Climbs to Base Camp on Everest

TREVOR MCNALLY Campbellton Tribune



Campbellton paramedic Yves Goudreau spent about two weeks travelling to Nepal to climb to the base camp of Mount Everest earlier this month. Here he's seen with a city flag.

It was the journey of a lifetime for a Campbellton paramedic and preparing for it seemed like an eternity.

Yves Goudreau said going to Mount Everest was something he’s always wanted to do.

“Everest has always been a dream to conquer,” he said on Oct. 28. “I had dreamed about ascending to base camp for many years and about 18 months before the trek, I had made the decision to get back into shape, which meant I needed to lose around 50 to 60 pounds. The motivation to push me to better health was committing to meeting this dream by my 50th birthday, so I worked really hard to lose the weight which I did.”

He said he booked his trip through G Adventures, a Toronto based adventure organization.

“I left for Nepal on Oct. 3 and began the trek on Oct 5. I ascended to the base camp on Mount Everest on Oct. 13, a day after my 50th birthday. About 12 months prior, I booked my trip with G Adventures and there was no turning back.”

He said he was only about 50 kilometres from where an avalanche swept down the mountain killing 31 people, including four Canadians. He was in the area until Oct. 19.

He said getting to the base camp was itself gruelling.

“We were managed by two guides from Nepal and six Sherpas who helped carry our belongings. All trekkers carried around 10 pounds of their belongs by backpack.”

Goudreau admits that prior to going to the southeast Asian country he wasn’t much of an outdoorsman but was always up for an adventure.

“Because of my decision to meet such a goal, I did begin to climb Sugarloaf Mountain three to four times a week. I needed to work on long distance treks and improve my cardiovascular fitness. I like adrenaline type things. I have parachuted, bungy jumped and white water rafted and in January, I completed and passed my private pilot’s test.”

Goudreau has been a paramedic for about the last 30 years. While at the base camp, he snapped up a few photos and had the time to spread his father’s ashes.

“The trek consisted of daily walks which would begin at 7:30 a.m. and we typically finished our daily trek at around 4 p.m. Base Camp is at 5,364 metres above sea level.”

He said that with the completion of one of the items on his “bucket list”he has no intentions of trying to climb to that altitude again, though he would like to visit the country’s capital, Kathmandu. He said the people there are amongst the friendliest he’s ever met.

“This trek was very gruelling and difficult. When they say that it takes 50 per cent of mental preparedness, I really believe this. I did experience altitude sickness; however, I did recover pretty quickly.”

As for the trip itself, it was a test of his abilities but he’s back home and back at work. Just this week he was giving a hands only demonstration of cardio pulmonary resuscitation at the Village Nursing Home.