independent

Friday 20 September 2019

Cousins light candle for Kelly on Everest

CLIMBERS LEARN OF TRAGEDY DURING 18-DAY TREK

FINTAN LAMBE

A TRIP OF A LIFETIME to Mount Everest was marred by tragedy for two North Wexford cousins, when the heartbreaking news came through from home that their cousin Kelly had died in a tragic hit and run on Gorey's Main Street.

Dylan and Tony Gregan were on an 18-day trek to the base camp in Everest, when the shocking news came through, but they were persuaded to continue on their trek, and to remember their cousin in their own way when they reached their goal.

The pair this week thanked everyone who supported them in raising an incredible €14,000 for Fighting Blindness before they left.

'We want to thank anybody who helped in any way with sponsorship cards and fundraising events,' said Dylan this week. 'It was a very worthy charity.'

They left Dublin on October 18, and trekked for 18 days to get to the base camp.

They went through Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal during their journey. ' The highest points we made were base camp at 5,500 metres and Kalla Pattar peak at 7, 161 metres,' explained Dylan. 'Most days would consist of getting up at 6 a.m., walking six or seven hours up hill and then sleeping.'

'As we got higher, the cold became a big problem,' he added. 'It was near impossible to sleep and all the water you had would freeze solid at night. It was often -25 at night as we slept in tents.'

However, he said the trip was amazing. 'A brilliant experience, which I'll never forget,' he said. 'We were lucky as well because the group we got were all great people.' Included in the group were six Irish, six Australians, three Americans, and one from Britain and from Singapore. 'Up on base camp, myself and Tony and our Sherpa leader held a type of mass of sorts,' added Dylan. 'We lit candles and tied a prayer flag to the mountain. The reason for this was the death of our first cousin Kelly Gregan in the hit and run when we were away. The flags usually are for people who died on the mountain but the Sherpa people made an exception for us.'

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