Ever dream about being on top of the world? One Enterprise employee made this a reality when he decided to take on Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain with a peak of 29,029 feet (5.5 miles) above sea level.
Pedro G., Enterprise Holdings’ Group Operations Manager for Spain, spent 14 days trekking up the Himalayas in Nepal last month to fulfill his lifelong dream.
“I’ve been preparing for Everest for the past 20 years,” says Pedro, a 45-year-old native of Spain who joined Enterprise Holdings through the ATESA acquisition in 2012. Pedro has been a trekker most of his adult life, having ascended Kilimanjaro, Kinabalu and a host of other mountains, “Having wanted to climb Everest for so long, I knew it was now or never. I’m so glad I had the chance.”
Reaching for the stars
With gear in tow, Pedro, his guide and five other hikers spent eight days making their way to the Everest base camp, which sits at 5,340 meters above sea level.
“Being there was absolutely amazing,” says Pedro. “I’ll never forget how close I felt to the sky from that point on the mountain. The sky was incredibly blue, everything was quiet, and there weren’t any lights or pollution — it was just me and the stars. There’s no other feeling quite like it.”
One foot in front of the other
Those moments of tranquility kept Pedro going as treks through the Cho La pass brought on more physical and mental challenges. Some days Pedro and his group would walk only six hours and other days they’d log more than 12, always careful to allow their bodies to acclimate to the altitude and to continually hydrate. The other challenge is the frigid temperatures. Anything exposed freezes quickly.
According to Pedro, the hardest part about climbing Everest, though, isn’t actually the climbing. “I think conquering Everest is more of a mental challenge,” he says. “You have to trick your mind into doing it. Sometimes you’re cold and walking on a glacier at 3 a.m. wondering, ‘Why am I doing this?’” he adds. “But at the end of each day, I wanted to be there and was thrilled to encounter such an eye-opening experience.”
Being in Nepal after so much was devastated by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake last April also was a humbling experience for Pedro. “I saw people living in collapsed houses,” says Pedro. “As soon as I completed the trek I gave my boots, backpack, rain jacket, sleeping bag and shirts to the guides who helped me up the mountain. It just seemed like the right thing to do.”
Doing things out of his comfort zone helps Pedro keep an open mind — something he says is a valuable part of overseeing Spain’s operations. “Whether I’m dealing with suppliers, customers, distributors or landlords, everyone has a different background and most speak different languages,” Pedro says. “In my position, it’s important to keep an open mind because I never know what others are dealing with behind the scenes.”
But the scenes Pedro will remember more than any other came from his recent experience. “Climbing Everest was by far the best experience of my life,” he says. “Being in the Himalayas, overlooking a glacier and taking in the sights are second to none.”