Meet the 2017 Hike Nepal Team: Gina Pangello

Gina has never done anything like Hiking Group before, and never even thought about a trip like trekking to Everest Base Camp! She was inspired by her best friend’s excitement and decided to take the leap when her sister also decided to join us! She is excited about sharing the experience with them both.


At first, Gina appears to have a rather nonchalant attitude towards the trip, saying “I don’t really expect it will get tough to be honest, I have the support of everybody there. I have the support of my family back home. Everyone looks out for each other” and “I don’t think I will fail. I am confident I will be fine. If I can’t do it I will try again another time. At the end of the day I am not going to put myself in jeopardy health wise to do something I can’t do. I’ll do everything I can.” Her mantra is “you can do it” and she says “I’ve got the confidence, and if I put my mind to it I can do it.

Gina was brave early on, when she showed up to a “Friday Groupies” session at the gym (on a Saturday). She met these guys for the first time, and boy, they can be loud!

However when we dig a little deeper we discover that Gina had a pretty rough childhood, and has struggled with confidence issues ever since. She says that they never had the opportunity to do different things, and that their parents only provided the bare necessities. If she hadn’t taken this challenge for herself, she’d be in the same place in life, doing the same things, with no idea of what she was missing out on. In this way, she says that hiking group has changed her already; she’s been taken out of her comfort zone, done new things and met new people: “I have been changed and inspired already“. Gina’s lack of confidence appears as “little things I wish I could do (that I don’t do); for example I don’t like driving anywhere when I don’t know where I’m going, things like that. They’re not big things but they do prevent you from getting out there. This trip will improve my confidence by inspiring me to do other things and try hikes in other places. It’s exciting!

Initially, Gina was doing this trip because her best friend is doing it. She says, “Yes, it will be wonderful to be there with my best friend and sister, but getting myself out of my comfort zone; i think i’m not very confident.”

Gina (on the right) with her best friend Gretchen (middle) and sister Terry (left)

Interestingly, Gina and her husband encourage their children to try new things and not to worry about failing; “When you don’t succeed that’s fine, at least you’ve given it a go.” She developed that philosophy when she met her husband, Frank. They met very young, and their family is a lot more relaxed. Gina says “He taught me it’s fine, you don’t need to worried about things so much, find a solution to the problem rather than dwelling on things.” Frank is very proud of Gina for doing this, he thinks it’s great for her, and that it will help with her self confidence. He has been there at all of our big hikes, helping out with the whole team and cheering his wife as she finishes each day.

A major, positive factor for Gina is both the comfort and assurance she can give others, and the reassurance and support that she will receive in return. She feels like the whole Hike Nepal team are there for her, backing her, and she is there for them as well; “I have always worked in an industry where there are frail customers, and I have always looked after people, my brothers and sisters, we always looked after one another, it’s inbuilt. I generally do that with people that I know anyway. There’s not many situations where people don’t offer help.” Her biggest challenge is coming before we leave – getting all her stuff together. She has never done anything like this trip before, and has a lot on her plate with her mum being unwell, and other family things. The time has crept up on her and she needs to sort herself out! Having said that, she’s happy with her fitness, secure in her place with her sister and best friend, and thoroughly enjoying the new experiences already!

Gina loves hiking already! This is her enjoying the rare flowering of a Waratah in Blue Gum Forest recently.

Helping Gretchen negotiate a very thin ledge in the Blue Gum Forest

Gina’s looking forward to “discovering something so beautiful, the place that we hear so much about. I would never have thought in a million years that I would do something like this. I am excited, and it’s something I can’t imagine – it’s a bit surreal at the moment. I can’t wait for my own experience, my own interpretation.”



In the future, she hope that she will be hiking more, with her husband and Gretchen. Thanks for your faith Gina, we have no doubts that you will achieve all this and more!




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