A group of Illawarra adventurers will be doing more than taking in the gorgeous scenery when they head to Mount Everest's base camp next March.
Their trip will raise money for the Himalayan Education Charity Foundation (HECF), an organisation that helps keep children who live near the mountains in school.
In Lukla, where the charity originated and where the trek begins, students are often pulled out of school so they can work to help their family financially. The HECF helps break the cycle of students not attending school by paying for school fees and supplies and assisting families with financial difficulties.
The trip has been organised by Brian King, an experienced Illawarra climber who has already tackled Mount McKinley in North America and Aconcagua in South America.
He will, at this stage, be joined by 11 others, most of whom have little experience with such trips. There are eight spots left on the trek.
The journey has attracted a number of Illawarra educators, with primary and secondary teachers and university lecturers making up half the group.
"They've related to the fact the HECF is mostly devoted to breaking the cycle of non-education in the area and trying to get the kids educated so they can return that education back into the local area," Mr King said.
The group will stop at schools along the Everest trail as they make their way to the camp to meet the students, and are planning to donate second-hand books, laptops and other supplies to the schools. The proceeds from the trip go directly to the charity.
Mr King said the trek wasn't overly challenging, likening the 18-day adventure to climbing the Illawarra escarpment.
For more information on the charity visit www.hecf.org.np.