'On top of the world': Islander journeys through the Himalayan mountains
'Standing on that peak was amazing, you’re surrounded by 360 degrees of mountains'
An Island man is living life "on top of the world" this month, trekking through the Himalayan mountains in Nepal.
Ian Handrahan left P.E.I. for the Himalayas earlier this month and has spent the last few weeks exploring little villages in the sky and climbing mountains above the clouds.
"Its been incredible, just from growing up on P.E.I. everything here is so different and amazing," Handrahan said.
"You don't realize how big a mountain is until you see one and up here you're just surrounded with them."
Handrahan and his wife were small business owners their entire lives, until they recently sold the business.
With more free time, Handrahan decided to "take the trip of a lifetime."
'Barely enough oxygen to function'
Since last December, Handrahan dropped 30 pounds to prepare for the climb — biking, running, working out and climbing as many stairs as he could.
Handrahan said he has climbed three mountains in his time in Nepal: Everest Base Camp, Kala Patthar and Imja Tse.
The most challenging of the three, he said, was easily Mount Imja Tse — a mountain in the shadow of Mount Everest, reaching about 15 Empire State Buildings into the sky.
"At 20,000 feet, there's barely enough oxygen to function," he said.
After a nearly seven-hour trek up Imja Tse in the early hours of the morning, he figured he couldn't finish the climb.
"Halfway up the rope I ran out of gas. By the time we got to the base of the peak we were kind of second guessing what we were doing up there."
But the group pushed on and made it to the top.
'You just feel like you're on top of the world'
"Standing on that peak was amazing, you're surrounded by 360 degrees of mountains," Handrahan said.
"You just feel like you're on top of the world."
His excitement, though, doesn't end there.
Now that he's finished his third and final climb, Handrahan is making his way back to Lukla, a mountain town in Nepal that has what's been called the most dangerous airport in the world, taking off from a landing strip that drops off into a valley.
From there, he'll be flying to China and making his way back home, adding no way he'll be climbing any mountains in the future.
Unless, he said, it's "Mount Brookvale."
With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.