It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m getting the last camera goodies packed away and ready for take-off. I’m also taking my first (and extremely belated) foray into blogging.

After reading Kait’s post, it is clear that she is the intrepid part of this ADIntrepid project. I guess that makes me the “ad” part. I’m a fairly recent addition to the marketing team and I’ve been tasked with collecting footage for our latest ADI Hero campaign – an advertisement, if you will – so that seems appropriate.

So, what’s the trip all about? You’ll need to keep checking back here to see how events actually unfold but the plan is to shadow Dr Trevor Day, Associate Professor of Physiology at Mount Royal University in Canada, as he treks with his cohort of eager twenty-somethings from Lukla in Nepal to Everest Base Camp. It’s a climb of over 2,500 metres, with the highest point being Kala Patthar over five and a half kilometres up. The aim is to monitor and track acclimatisation at high altitude and measure the effects of hypoxia and acute mountain sickness that can occur at these heights. He’ll be testing out some fancy new methods to assay things like sleep apnoea, renal activity and respiratory chemoreceptor function – and using some ADI gear to do it.

Kait and I will be filming, photographing and documenting as much of this as possible. We intend to capture the experiments in progress and the data that they should yield (maybe even for some future Lt lessons). We also want to document the milieu of the expedition and its participants – and of course capture the awe-inspiring scenery! Additionally, there are other researchers travelling with us who will be performing tests on cognition (including EEGs on some Himalayan monks!) that should prove to be quite fascinating. We are also visiting the local school and hospital, which has a very deep New Zealand connection by way of Sir Ed. Finally I’d like to shine a light on the plight of the Khumbu locals, a year on from that horrific earthquake and two years on from Everest’s climbing nadir.

Yes, I have a few reservations: there is a busy schedule for the trip and being able to function at altitude in order to capture everything is a worry. I’ve had the odd sleepless night over batteries not performing in the cold and whether the valley’s fickle power supply can reliably recharge them at all. It’s also been a decade since I’ve done any serious traveling but I think it will be good to get back on the horse.

So that is a primer; hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot more activity on here as internet connectivity allows. And seeing as Kait ended her first post with a Hillary quote, perhaps I should do the same…

“Well George, we’ve knocked the b*st*rd off”

Let’s hope we can do justice to our own little Himalayan endeavour. See you in Kathmandu!