Disney or Everest? Guess which one these kids picked

An Ottawa family is packing their bags and heading to Nepal to hike to Mount Everest base camp, more than 5,000 metres above sea level.

Todd Lavigne and Gina Kim want to instill sense of wonder in their young daughters

Gina Kim and Todd Lavigne will be trekking with their three daughters (seen here from left to right) Sarah, Hailey and Casey to base camp at Mount Everest. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

An Ottawa family is packing their bags and heading to Nepal to hike to Mount Everest base camp, more than 5,000 metres above sea level.

Todd Lavigne, Gina Kim and their three daughters decided on the adventure after Lavigne climbed Everest years ago and wanted to share some of the experience with his family.

They spoke to CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning before leaving for their trip.

The climb will be physically demanding, but according to Lavigne, as long as they take it slow it won't be dangerous.

"We'll check their oxygen [saturation] levels, check their heart rates and make sure that everything is in keeping with where it should be — make sure they don't have any headaches and their speech isn't slurred or anything like that," Lavigne said.

Kim said Lavigne's experience on the mountain meant she didn't have too many concerns.

"I was there too," she said. "I know what to expect a little bit, and I trust our beautiful princesses to follow the instructions."

Todd Lavigne and Gina Kim will be heading to Nepal with their daughters Hailey, Sarah and Casey as they plan to climb to Mount Everest base camp. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

Girls will carry own packs

Hailey and Sarah are 10-year-old twins, while Casey is one year younger.

Their parents let them choose between Mount Everest and a trip to Disney World — and they chose the mountain.

This is a trip that will give them some emotional, mental and physical strength.- Todd Lavigne

The three girls haven't done much out of the ordinary to prepare, aside from riding their bikes and taking their taekwondo classes.

It won't be an easy trip: Lavigne and Kim said they expect them to carry all their own gear up the mountain as they trek to base camp.

Finding the right gear was a challenge, too: the girls will mostly be wearing extra small women's sizes because most mountain climbing equipment doesn't come in children's sizes.

Ultimately, the family is hoping to share a unique experience with their daughters, while also giving them a sense of adventure.

"This is a trip that will give them some emotional, mental and physical strength," Lavigne said. "When we're done, it's going to have taught them that they can do something that's pretty big in life."


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