Surrounded by the most incredible Himalayan mountain ranges, the trek to Everest Base Camp has everything. High altitude, welcoming Nepalese locals, snow capped peaks, beautiful mountain rivers, a rich history of climbers facing the worlds highest challenge and a sense of accomplishment second to none. What better place to experience!
A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to fill my life with the very things that made me come alive, and that was adventure and exploring.
Everest Base Camp Trek seemed like the most logical start. Although an epic adventure in itself, it also had tea houses the entire way, so although the rooms aren't exactly insulated or 5star (how boring would that be anyway!), it meant for our first intrepid journey we wouldn't have to carry our own tent, cooking supplies and food. Going with a trekking company made everything super easy. Having all the internal travel, permits and accomodation booked just meant we could concentrate on enjoying the trek itself. Having our own local guide and porter was a fantastic decision. Not only was our guide a wealth of knowledge along the way, we also felt safe in the extreme alpine environment we were in, particularly with going to high altitude. We also hired a local porter, which in our case was an amazing young man from Lukla, which meant we were contributing to the local tourism industry which is one of the main economies in the region.
We decided to go in April, which next to October/November is the best time to trek, This turned out to be a great decision as it was also climbing season, so we met lots of people on the way who were summiting Everest and base camp was starting to fill up with tents with hopeful climbers.
Nepal is a beautiful chaos, so for those highly strung or who like to be in control of all circumstances, you would be advised to aptly learn to go with the flow. Flights can often be delayed to Lukla, however we were lucky as after just a short delay we were on our way in what can only be described as one of the worlds smallest aircraft.
Our trek was 8 days up to Everest Base Camp, and 3 days trekking back. This included 2 rest days along the way, which helped with acclimatisation. Every day trekking you were greeted with stunning views, regular lines of yaks passing with supplies and the welcome sight of tea houses for a snack (mars bars consumed quite regularly). There are some steep mountain passes, but with one foot in front of the other the trek is achievable for anyone with moderate fitness. On the trek were people from all walks of life and all fitness levels and ages, which made for great chats each night in the tea house as you met people from all around the world.
We finally arrived at Everest Base Camp early afternoon on our 8th day. To have reached this destination after days of solid trekking and to see the Khumbu Icefall and glacier and the entrance to Everest was a feeling I will never forget. We had walked on dirt and mountain rocks the entire way to Base Camp, then overnight a snowstorm hit with -25 degree wind chill and we awoke to the most stunning snow laden Himalayan landscape.
We went on this trek with the expectation of getting off the beaten path, to unplug from our day to day, and go on an epic adventure. It exceeded our expectation. This 'expedition' has only made me grow, and by pushing my own boundaries I now know I can accomplish so much more.
I would highly recommend the trek to Everest Base Camp for 3 reasons:
- You're reading this review because you're interested. Go beyond interested and follow your instinct for adventure, you will not be disappointed.
- Everest Base Camp is achievable but hard work. If you're looking for something that will push you, but just enough so that when you get to your goal (which you will - altitude reaction pending) you can give yourself the most incredible high five and know you have done something few others have. Then thats 2 ticks already.
- Why not :)
Stacey and Tim Hitchcock, NZ