Freemasons trekking Everest battle two inches of snow and -11°c temperatures to reach Base Camp

​A Horncastle Freemason is currently heading for the top of the world as part of a mountainous challenge for charity – after battling two inches of snow, 3.30am starts, and temperatures plummeting to -11°c.
Rob Wight (left) and Jez Hyland begin their Everest trek.Rob Wight (left) and Jez Hyland begin their Everest trek.
Rob Wight (left) and Jez Hyland begin their Everest trek.

​Jez Hyland, a Freemason with the round Table Lodge of Lincolnshire based in Horncastle, and Rob Wright, Master of the Franklin Lodge at Boston, have reached the Mount Everest Base Camp.

They’re making the trek to raise money towards Lincolnshire Freemasons’ aspiration to raise at least £2.25m over five years by 2025 for the Freemasons’ Charity the MCF, (Masonic Charitable Foundation).

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The duo landed at Lukla airport, said to be the most dangerous in the world, on Monday March 25 and began their epic challenge.

The team on the hike to Tenbouche at 12,700 feet.The team on the hike to Tenbouche at 12,700 feet.
The team on the hike to Tenbouche at 12,700 feet.

The first day saw Jez and Rob trekking for four hours, but Jez said that the second day was “brutal”, with 3,600 feet of climbing and a few foot bridges.

"Not great for someone like me, who doesn’t particularly enjoy heights! But look on the bright side; it was better than walking down and back up again,” he said in an online blog detailing their progress.

“All our group are fit and well, with no signs of altitude sickness – the big thing we fear, but can’t control.”

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Tuesday was their acclimatisation day at Namche Bazaar, which sits at 11,400 feet above sea level, and consisted of a 1,500-foot climb to the Everest Hotel, and then a walk back down to where they’d started.

The team on the hike up Mt Everest.The team on the hike up Mt Everest.
The team on the hike up Mt Everest.

“Wednesday was a hike to Tenbouche at 12,700 feet. However, we had to descend to a river crossing, which meant 2,880 feet of climbing on the day.

"It was a tough trek with terrain consisting mainly of steep switchback boulders. On the upside, the weather was perfect and we saw Everest without cover for the first time.

"The scenery was stunning and these photos probably don’t do justice to what we could see with the naked eye.”

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In his latest update from the Himalayas, Jez said that in order to view a sunset or sunrise viewing of Everest, the completion of the experience is to hike to a viewing area on a mountain called Kalapathar, and the team’s guide advised them to reach Everest Base Camp on the Saturday (March 30) and Kalapathar on the Sunday morning for a sunrise view.

“Reaching Base Camp was a nine-hour day from Lobuche via Gorakshep, then returning to Gorakshep ready for the sunrise climb,” Jez said, “The Camp day was tough, with so many rock and boulder step overs, but we had brilliant weather again and achieved the goal.

“On Sunday, we woke up to at least two inches of snow, which would’ve made Base Camp nearly impossible, so massive thanks to our guide for calling it correctly.

"However, two inches of snow and -11°c at 3.30am made the Kalapathar climb, with no descent or flat on the hike, probably the toughest of all. But for our efforts, we got to see Everest sunrise in all its glory at 5.47am.

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"Viewing the tallest place on the planet with your own eyes is an incredible experience.”

Rob and Jez have extended their thanks to everyone who supported their challenge.

Formed in 2016, the charity, which provides support, care, and services to Freemasons and their families in need, has raised more than £100million to a variety of good causes.

To follow their monumentous challenge, and to make a donation to their cause, visit