Journey to Mount Everest inspires Mississauga couple to ‘scale new heights’

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Published November 1, 2023 at 4:43 pm

Mississauga couple make it to Mount Everest Base Camp
Mississauga's Suneet Gill approaches Mount Everest Base Camp on the "journey of a lifetime." (Photo provided by Suneet Gill)

An adventurous Mississauga couple who just completed the “journey of a lifetime” to the foot of Mount Everest for a good cause say they’re now looking forward to reaching even greater heights.

In a “thank you, we made it” message posted to their Instagram site (see below), Suneet and Gaurav Gill didn’t waste time letting their followers know their hearts are already set on the next adventure — whatever that may be and wherever it will take them.

Speaking from Everest Base Camp in Nepal at an altitude of 17,598 feet (5,364 metres) above sea level, the Gills’ message was a short, simple and grateful one.

“A big thank you to everyone who donated to Canadian Cancer Society for leukemia research. It means the world to us,” Suneet began, referencing the cause close to their hearts that prompted them to journey to the other side of the world and make the difficult trek to the foot of the tallest mountain on Earth.

“Thanks to everyone who supported our journey, who shared our journey,” she continued, Gaurav by her side. “Our journey was super tough, but we made it. This trek has inspired us to continue to…”

“…scale new heights,” Gaurav chimed in, adding, “See you in the next one.”

The Gills trained for many months in preparation for the fundraising trek to Everest Base Camp, located at a height (17,598 feet) to which the human body takes time to adapt, or acclimatize.

By comparison, the highest point in Canada is the summit of Yukon’s Mount Logan, at 19,551 feet.

“The trek to Everest Base Camp is no cakewalk. Altitude sickness is a real concern, so acclimatization is crucial,” Suneet said in an earlier email to insauga.com.

The couple, who set out on their trip in early September, documented their “journey of a lifetime,” sharing videos and “compelling stories” on their Instagram channel. They also regularly updated insauga.com on their travels via email.
They were joined by Gaurav’s brother, Gurvijay, who met them in Nepal to set off on the trek for base camp. The trio completed the mountain journey without a guide/escort.

Though they didn’t climb the world’s tallest mountain, their trip was still fraught with some uncertainties and dangers. That area of Nepal is known as one of the harshest environments on the planet.

And it all began with a bit of an unsettling, but expected experience as the Gills flew from Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, to Lukla. Lukla is a small mountain town (nearly 9,400 feet altitude) that’s home to the world’s most dangerous airport — with a short runway that challenges pilots — and serves as the starting point for any trek to Everest Base Camp.

The bottom line for the Gills is that they completed the journey for a cause close to their hearts — raising money for leukemia research. The trip was made under the online banner Scaling Heights for Leukemia.

In an earlier story posted to insauga.com, the Gills, who say they’ve always shared a love of exploration and a commitment to making a positive impact, noted their ambitious journey to the other side of the world to fight cancer also stemmed from a personal connection.

Having witnessed the impact of the disease on individuals and families firsthand, they say they’re determined to make a difference by raising both donations and awareness for the cause in hopes of creating some positive outcomes for patients.

 

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A post shared by Gaurav & Neeti Gill (@gilling.it)

 

(All photos courtesy of Suneet and Gaurav Gill)

(Image: BBC)

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