The trek to Everest Base Camp was one of my most enjoyable and relaxing trekking expedition and was made even more amazing in the company of Dr. Suresh Gopinathan and Mr. Vijendra Singh. Our 10-day journey with Adventure Imagine took place mid-March 2013.
A forty-minute flight from Kathmandu to the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla at about 2,853m, on day one was a fascinating experience in itself. Nepal’s picturesque mountains look stunningly beautiful from the air. I experienced true magic of the wonderful mountains of Himalayas.
Walking and hiking we passed through stunning villages, colorful monasteries, beautiful valleys and met some amazing people, learning different cultures and experience was refreshing. The hikes were not difficult 3-4 hours in the morning and another couple hours in the afternoon, our itinerary was laid down very well by our tour operator for a successful adventure. While we were climbing, many excited hikers who after making the summit were on their way down cheering us.
The trek as such is not technical, but being physically fit helps, most important we did it slow at our own pace, the team was very flexible with schedule. I personally prepared myself by walking, jogging at least three days in a week, once in a while climbing stairs of my seven-floor building where I stay, all this for two to three months prior to the trek. I love mountain climbing and am comfortable with the outdoors, so mentally I was prepared for the quest.
I had all essential gear for the trek – was carrying a comfortable waterproof pair of trekking boots, bought myself extra layers and warm jacket to beat the cold, carried a sunglass and sun cream to cover myself from the scorching sun during the day, with other basic items in my bag I was all set.
The complete journey, starting in Lukla then to Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorak Shep and finally the base camp of Mount Everest in the year 2013.
As the base camp is very popular among tourists, the route to the camp is very busy with tourists, and yaks with loads always on the move. Our tour operator made excellent arrangements on accommodation and food, though I am not very fond of food but dhal bhat, curd rice, and occasional egg omelets were good enough and vital to keep my energy going.
After the night in Phakding at the Sunrise Lodge, the following day we embarked on a much demanding ascent of the trip, crossing suspension bridges decorated with prayer flags. We Switchback beautiful mountains, giving way to yak trains and porters carrying loads. We did the trek slow taking rest at intervals, had fun meeting people and taking pictures on the way a very refreshing experience.
After a wonderful days trek on day two, we reached Namche Bazaar (3420m), at Namche we had an extra day for acclimatization and a visit to the Sagarmatha National Park was a memorable experience.
Next, trekking the Sherpa heartland to stunning mountain view and beautiful Monastery of Tengboche. Worth the visit, great experience, absolute silence, had a peaceful time taking a nice break after trekking.
Continue the incredible journey through Khumbu Valley to Dingboche. Exceptional treat of the surrounding clear mountains to the Everest. The weather cold, very cold.
Ascent to Lobuche -> Gorak Shep -> Everest Base Camp. From Lobuche we headed out on narrow tracks, climbing isn’t long or intense, but the elevation started affecting me and I would get exhausted and gasping for air. After a very long walk, we reach Everest Base Camp from Gorak Shep. We pass the rocks towards the many prayer flags that mark the base camp. The walk to EBC is a lot on the glacier so plenty of up and down. After the photo session, we head towards Gorak Shep for the evening.