Layer 1

'Why I sold my pharmacies and went mountain trekking'

Mr Shah isn't letting his 60th birthday halt his trekking ambitions

Rajesh Shah owned two pharmacies, until a life-threatening illness changed his perspective.

In 2004, at the age of 47, I suffered a stroke, and I realised that life is too short to spend it worrying.

So I sold my pharmacies and embarked on my lifelong ambition: to trek some of the highest mountains in the world, and raise money for charities.

So far, I have trekked the Ecuadorian volcanoes, the Dolomites, the Atlas mountain range and the Himalayas. My highest climb to date is Stok Kangri – the highest mountain in the Himalayas in Ladakh, north-west India, which stands at 6,150 metres.

My toughest and most memorable trek? A 14-day hike to the Everest base camp in 2013 (see image below).

I have also covered various long distance treks in the UK. For example in June, I’ll be trekking the Wainwright Memorial Walk, a 102-mile walk through the Lake District. I’ll be doing this to raise awareness of the importance of keeping fit and healthy. Here I am in training with my family.

In 2017, I’ll also be turning 60, and will face my biggest challenge yet: completing the Annapurna charity trek in Nepal in March.

I’ll be joining a group of 90 people who are going to trek the Annapurna circuit, to help raise money to build schools in Nepal. This trek is more than 5,400 metres at its highest point, and the total length of the route (below) is between 100 and 145 miles, depending on the route taken.

Our aim is to help raise money to rebuild the country after the devastating earthquake in 2015. With your support, we can collectively make a difference to Nepalese children, in particular to their education.

I'd appreciate support from fellow community pharmacists. To find out more, feel free to visit our Facebook page, and consider donating here.

Rajesh Shah is currently a locum pharmacist in Bedfordshire. 

What would you do if you sold your pharmacy to fulfill a lifetime ambition?

Olukunmi Popoola, Community pharmacist

The lesson here is do what you want to do NOW

Amal England, Public Relations

Great... Good on you. But Stok Kangri is not the highest peak in the Himalayas Or is that a typo? In the current climate... Life is even shorter as a locum.... So why locum. If i had a couple of pharmacies to sell i would start an online consultancy. The worst thing i could do is locum. But hey you know what's best for you. Maybe all that fresh air and tranquility cleared the cache in the brain, allowing you to come back into pharmacy. I hear a climb to Everest base camp can do wonders and peaking Everest comes with super hero entitlement. Which is why me and a fellow pharmacist wanted to climb Everest, two or three years ago, but THAT flight is more dangerous and put me off. I don't think could cope with the 11-day land trek alternative to THAT flight.

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

He was one of the lucky ones when pharmacy was a worthwhile profession, to find one now you need to leave pharmacy.

ok if you had two pharmacies to sell, most pharmacist do not even have the shirt on their back to sell!

Anyway goodluck in your endeavours and why bother doing locums must have money in the bank by now a few millions at least.



R G, Pharmacist Director

One day may never come. Plan ahead since you are limted to spring or autumn for Everest Base Camp treks. Have done both and would say autumn weather was was better, Well worth the training to see the beautiful scenery and no mobile phones to interrupt conversation or own thoughts. Almost a holiday. 

Rajesh Shah, Community pharmacist

Agree both are spectacular .



Rajesh Shah, Community pharmacist

Thanks Amish...Inca trail on the bucket list....

So are all these.


I would like to spend some time doing the much needed Charity work in the countries I trek...also

Leon The Apothecary, Student

The classic mantra of working to live versus living to work comes to mind reading about Rajesh's adventures. Wish him all the best!

Dipan Shah, Community pharmacist

Great article and hopefully thought provoking to all pharmacists. Be mindful of how fast life is passing by whilst stuck to the dispensary bench or consultation room.

Amish Patel, Community pharmacist

Highly recommend the Inca Trail.

I would love to do Everest Base Camp one day

Job of the week

Pharmacist Manager
Midlands, Cheshire & Dorset
Salary dependent upon experience