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Great Outdoors
High School Student And Faculty Member Reach Mount Everest Base Camp As Part Of Three-Week Cultural Adventure

LaQuishia Stone, a 17-year-old junior from Winston-Salem’s Carver High School and school guidance counselor Theresa Hamer, arrived at Mount Everest base camp recently after a challenging 10-day trek through the Khumbu Valley of Nepal and 9,000 ft. of elevation gain.  Hamer, LaQuishia, and LaQuishia’s mother, LaShonda Stone, spent two nights at Everest base camp with the Expedition Hanesbrands climbing team as part of their three-week roundtrip cultural adventure to encourage students at Carver High School to set ambitious goals in life.

“It is really awesome to finally get to base camp,” LaQuishia said about her Nepalese cultural immersion, which included a stay in Katmandu and visits to Sherpa villages, bazaars, tea houses, monasteries, schools, and hospitals along the trekking route to Mount Everest base camp. “Experiencing a different culture has made me very appreciative of what we have at home.”  The final day of hiking to base camp was one of the hardest of the trek. On the way to base camp, the group detoured to climb to the top of Kalapatar, a hilltop at 18,500 ft. with unobstructed views of the upper reaches of Everest and nearby peaks, including Lhotse. The hike from the top of Kalapatar to Mount Everest base camp at 17,700 feet took two hours to navigate fallen rocks and glacier-strewn boulders.

“Today’s trek itself was very hard,” LaQuishia said on the final day. “My muscles are burning. It was one of the hardest days I’ve had, but we saw Everest and we could see base camp.”  Hamer said reaching base camp lived up to what she expected. “It was hard to believe that we were actually reaching our goal,” she said. “What a great sight it was to walk up and see our Champion tents and Climb With Us banner. I was waiting for that moment, and it really lived up to what I thought it would be.”

Expedition Hanesbrands is the partnership of Hanesbrands and its Champion and Duofold apparel brands with world-renowned mountaineer Jamie Clarke to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak at 29,035 ft. in elevation.  The expedition has trekking teams that are focused on the culture of Mount Everest below base camp and the climbing team that is focused on a summit bid this month using gear developed by Hanesbrands research and development team. The two parts of the expedition came together today in base camp.

“At one point I could see base camp, but we had an hour of hiking left to get there,” LaQuishia said. “Once I got there, I was greeted by Jamie, and I was very happy.”  “This is a great accomplishment for LaQuishia, her mom, Theresa and Carver High School,” Clarke said. “We all have it within us to dream and set our own personal Everests. I am proud of the team.”  Videos and other reports documenting the Carver High team’s expedition can be viewed on the Expedition Hanesbrands website

LaQuishia and Hamer were selected to represent Carver High School, affectionately known as Carver Nation, on the expedition after writing essays and conducting interviews with a selection committee.  Hanesbrands and its employees have partnered with Carver High School in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools district for more than 20 years. The company has focused on supporting students’ academic achievement and citizenship to improve attendance and graduation rates through project funding and employee volunteerism.

The Carver Team traversed the Khumbu Valley, where there are no mechanized vehicles. Commerce and everyday life depend on goods transported by humans and animals, including the ever-present yak. The trekkers crossed suspension bridges, hiked along rivers and traversed valleys with vistas of towering Himalayan peaks before finally making it to base camp. After spending two nights at base camp, the team trekked back down the valley on their long journey home.
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