By Lindsay Diduck It all began with a list. Most people call it a “Bucket List,” I call it a “Life List.” This list is composed of all the things I want to see or do in my life. Mount Everest Basecamp was by far the largest task I had on the entire list. It was considered the hardest task because it required a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of preparation to complete. I set a date of April 2012 and gave myself two years to prepare. In the twelve months prior to departure, I was training quite intensively. I would be at the gym four times a week doing laps on the track with a 50 lbs pack on my back. I would also do an hour of training climbing. In the last three months prior to departure, I was climbing 1500 stairs a night to ensure that my knees were able to handle the intense vertical of the 21 day trek. Despite all the training, I knew there was no way I could prepare for the difficulties associated with the high altitude and lack of oxygen I would have to face.
A few weeks before I was set to leave for Nepal, I stopped by the dance studio to say hi to a few friends and Stephanie Sirman mentioned to Mykola that I would be going to Mount Everest. Mykola instantly suggested that I put a Cheremosh flag on the mountain. I thought it was a great idea! The following week I came back to the studio and asked Zorya Belanger if there was any promotional material I could use. She gave me a Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Festival t-shirt that I cut up and silk screened to read “Cheremosh Ukrainian Dancers Canada” around the Cheremosh logo. That is when the Cheremosh flag started it’s 11,000 km journey to Nepal.
The trek was a total of 17 days up and 5 days down with a total of 62 kms covered and a gain of 2.5 kms vertical. On April 5, 2012, the Cheremosh flag that had lived in my backpack for weeks was tied on to the Mount Everest Basecamp rock. This rock is covered in Buddhist prayer flags and stones left by previous trekkers. Cheremosh’s logo will now be seen by the thousands of trekkers that visit base camp every year at an altitude of 5364m on the greatest mountain in the world.
When I returned from Nepal, I had a picture printed for Mykola. I reminded him that he asked for a flag on Everest and told him that is exactly where the flag hangs. He put the picture up in the studio almost immediately.