It's another tick off the bucket list for Karen Ellis, of Raumati South, after going trekking in Nepal and making it all the way to Everest base camp.

In October Karen took a month off work at NZ Police and went trekking in Nepal for 19 days doing a Three Passes Trek with her son Sam Ellis and nephew Tim Durkin-Wright.

"I've always wanted to go to Everest.

"I wanted to go for my 50th but the year I wanted to go was when they had the earthquake, then life and family and work got in the way.


"My son kept saying to me at Christmas time, birthdays, Mother's Days — any time he gave me a card, he'd write in the card 'let's do a trek together'.

"He kept saying to me 'we'll do a trek together, we'll do a trek together'."

The original plan was for Karen and her son Sam to do a couple of treks in New Zealand together.

"And then I forgot and thought 'I'm going to do Everest next year'," Karen said.

The research started and Karen started looking into treks in Nepal, found a company and started researching what they had to offer.

"And then I get a Christmas card from Sam saying 'I wanna come with ya', and my nephew found out and was like 'I wanna come too'.

"So they both came along and after all the birthday and Christmas presents my son ended up paying for my flights."

Community minded, and always wanting to support her local community as much as possible, Karen used local travel broker Adrienne Wilton from Waikanae and trekking company Beyond the Clouds, a New Zealand based charitable trust working to improve education at grassroots level in rural Nepal.

The trip also included five days of community work in Nepal for First Steps Himalaya, an organisation that builds schools and educates Himalayan children.

"It's a beautiful, beautiful place Everest.

"There are majestic mountains everywhere.

"You're in a beautiful tree house and you look out the window and there's this great big mountain just towering over you."

With many highlights to the trip Karen said, "I think the best part was when I first saw Everest, I was just like 'wow' — beautiful.

"Another highlight would have been going to Everest base camp but also going up Kala Patthar at 4am in the morning in pitch black with our head torches on.

"Our water froze, that's how cold it was.

"Watching that sunrise come over Everest I was pretty awestruck."

Kala Patthar provides the most accessible close-up view of Everest and is especially popular because it is one of the highest points that can be easily reached without trekking experience.

"What I say to everyone on return is if you haven't been to Nepal — go.

"There are so many different options, there's something for everyone even if you're not into trekking."