Winston Lo, the executive chairman of Vitasoy International Holdings, an honorary court member of HKUST, and a director of the Bank of East Asia and Ping Ping Investment. He holds a Silver Bauhinia Star and had served as the Chairman of the Outward Bound Hong Kong Executive committee for many years to 2003.
Winston Lo at his age 77, who has been actively involving in a lot of Outward Bound Hong Kong’s fundraising events is going to embark on his signature mountaineering expedition in mid-December! As an enthusiast in the outdoors, climbing high mountains has always been in his bucket list. This time, he will climb up Aconcagua - the jagged, humpbacked 6,900 meters peak – the tallest mountain in the Western and Southern hemispheres.
I am fascinated, fantasized to climb high mountains early on while I was a student in St. Stephen’s grammar school and high school in Stanley. We stayed at school and only got to go home every three weeks. We were taken out to hike in Stanley on most of the weekends because our house master came from Wales and he loved to take us up on hiking and trail-running. Throughout my life I experienced different stages of outdoor activities from cross harbor swimming, marathons running and offshore sailing. It was not until ten or fifteen years ago that I have turned to mountaineering.
I hike with a group regularly and it was led informally by a renown gentleman who has scaled the Everest under a Vitasoy sponsorship some years back. As my interest gathers, I hike more frequently with Cham and his group. My body responded and I felt better after my bridge-operation on my left archery some 6 years back. One may say that it is a combination of fascination and health maintenance that keep me hiking; but it is the satisfaction after reaching the top of a mountain, a destination that I thought I could never reach, that gives me the drive to take up the challenge, a self-invoked challenge, a dream and nothing else.
I have not been to Argentina and some in our group like me, want to give it a trial. It is a big mountain and is notorious for strong wind and cold wind-chilled temperature at 6,900 meters, on the summit day; sufficiently challenging but not too technical as I learnt. I have done some other snow caps before and feel ready to take it up.
Not enough. I tried to do two short hikes during the weeks and two long hikes over the weekends. As the weather improved, I was able to stick closer to this schedule. As we do not have high mountain in HK, it is tough to prepare for altitude. We will have to rely on the experience of the guides who advised us to plan our route in such a way that we climb higher every day after the base camp and drop back down to the previous day’s level to sleep to give time for our body to adapt. I have followed a similar regime in my Kilimanjaro climb and it has worked for me; but again Kili is 1000 meters easier than Aconcagua. There is definitely a fear in my heart that I may not be able to make it this time.