Last year our famous bars of Romney’s Kendal Mint cake returned to the location that solidified their position in history, as Stirland Bradburn trekked up to Everest Base Camp with both white and brown flavours of the original energy bar.
Below is a first-hand account of Stirland’s expedition where he explains the significance of taking Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake back to Everest accompanied by a selection of photos.
‘I actually live in Outgate just outside Hawkshead. When I decided to do the trek I remembered reading the Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake packet many times over the years and it stating Hillary took a bar to the top of Everest. Well unfortunately I'm not that brave so I settled for Base Camp. As it takes about 12 days of hard hiking to get there I wanted to take something that would give me energy. I had bought 10 bars and consumed 5 on the trek up.
The trip was in November 2021 and It took me 12 days to reach base camp from Lukla. The weather was superb the whole trek but nearer the base camp the night temperatures dipped to -16 to -22.
On the day I made it to Base Camp there were very few people there due of course to covid. Well, I thought it would be the done thing to share my remaining bars with the successful trekkers and point out the significance of them. It was multinational group from US, Korea, Germany, France, India, and UK. Of course, they wanted to keep the wrappers as memento's of the occasion. I only wish I had had enough to give one to each of them, but when trekking up to Base Camp every gram counts.
After leaving Base Camp, and on the same day, I ascended Kala Patthar which gives a better view of Everest band and takes you up to an elevation of 5644 metres with only 50% oxygen levels. At sunset Everest glows like it's on fire for a brief 30 minutes. My return to Lukla from Base camp was by chartered helicopter with my friend Gary Lesley from America and his guide Sauhgat. To see the full trek from the air was simply amazing.
I'm sure your mint cake was well appreciated by all that received it. A mint cake stall would be ideal at Base Camp but I would leave it to the Sherpas to carry it up there! I've actually always eaten the original mint cake since a young age.
Anyone out there contemplating doing the EBC trek I recommend you do it, you won't be sorry.’