An Aberdeen man is feeling on top of the world after a gruelling 18-day trek on the world’s highest mountain.
Robert Strachan, from Torry, laced up his hiking boots to scale 5,380 metres to Mount Everest’s base camp to honour his late mother’s memory.
The 38-year-old was raising money for Roxburghe House, where his mother Nicola June Strachan, 66, spent her final days.
Robert, a personal trainer, won the trip of a lifetime to Katmandu through EverTrek, a travel experience agency.
He said: “I had been looking to do something different in my mum’s memory after she passed away in June.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I attempted to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in 2006, but I got really ill with altitude sickness and I wasn’t able to finish.
“My dad used to read from adventure books when I was younger and I’ve always been interested in exploring.
“So I thought this would be a good way to raise some funds.
“Roxburghe House is an excellent NHS facility that always went an extra leap for my family and especially Mum in her last days.”
Before Robert took off for Nepal, he trained for about three months.
He said: “I would travel up to the Cairngorms and train for about four to six hours a day.
“I also have a German Shepherd dog so I would go running up mountains and hills like Bennachie to keep my fitness up.
“Towards the end I was just focusing on putting my kit together and getting the injections.”
Aside from the adventure of climbing to Everest base camp, Robert had to first touch down in what is widely considered to be the most dangerous airport in the world – Lukla.
Robert said: “Lukla has a very interesting airport.
“It’s basically on a cliff and all I heard were the airplane’s machines beeping and it saying ‘pull up’ over and over – it was a bit nerve-racking.”
Once on solid grund, Robert spent the first few days getting used to the weather and altitude sickness.
“We had enough breaks to acclimatise and get used to the altitude,” he said.
“I was able to visit the nearby villages and local areas, which was great.
“For the trek itself, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I had to base it on was my previous hike in Kilimanjaro, so I was worried about altitude sickness but I was really lucky this time.
“One night it got to minus 20 degrees Celsius and the inside window of our hut froze over – it was grim.
“There was a snowstorm the day we got to the base camp and we had to head back down immediately.
“The trek was a good way to clear my head while doing something good for charity.
“And I couldn’t have done it without my partner Lucy Rowe, who was posting on social media for me and keeping the interest in the fundraising.”
Although Robert is now back in the Granite City, his Nepal adventure has rubbed off on his life in other ways. He said: “I’ll be fixing up my back garden with the breathtaking colours I saw on the trip.
“I’ve just finished painting my shed red – that’s how I’ve brought back a piece of Nepal with me.”
So far, the Torry resident has raised £1,500 out of the £2,000 he hopes to give to the NHS-run facility.
To contribute to Robert’s cause and find out more information visit: bit.ly/2KpNWZo