So this post is going to be all my experience trekking to Everest Base Camp...
A little background story before I jump in! I personally have never been that into mountains and things like that but my mum loves them - she loves going to Wales and climbing Snowdon and all things like that.. So how did I end up going to Nepal and the Himalayas? Well it was a dream for my mum to go to Everest Base Camp and she needed someone to go with her. Well that someone was me and so in November 2013 after many arguments we started our journey...
The company that was doing the trek; www.actionchallenge.com
The Everest Base Camp trek is arguably the most famous trekking route in the world and one of the most popular in Nepal. It gives an insight into the lives and culture of the Sherpa people combined with a journey into some of the most breathtaking scenery. Climbing from 2840m up to 5545m in 9 days is not something to be considered lightly, but the route that we take, and the pace at which we walk up to Everest Base Camp ensures that you have the best possible chance to acclimatize along the way. - action challenge.
Day 1 - Departure (14th November 2013)
This day consisted of me and my mum having another argument (At the time I really did not want to go) and packing. For the record we packed way too much crap! With around 2 hours to go before leaving for the airport I think we were still well over the weight limit of the plane. TRUST ME when I say you are not going to need the ABH contour kit and curling irons. You will not use them. And also don't think you need 100 pairs of clothes because with the temperature you will literally end up wearing the same clothes a bunch of times and only showering like twice throughout the full trip! But don't fret everybody will be in the same boat.
I highly recommend that before you leave for the trip that you make sure you are up to date and have the relevant vaccinations. I strongly suggest you speak to your GP about taking something for altitude sickness because me and my mum took a drug called Diamox (slow release) and we both felt that this really helped since we didn't really have any signs of altitude sickness during the trek. (But we did get a little tingle from the Diamox every now and again).
Day 2 - Kathmandu - 1330m
On this day we arrived at Kathmandu and were taken to our hotel, we had a little talk within the group and the guide gave us a briefing. We also had a welcome meal that evening, my mum also had a birthday cake since it was her birthday - which was a really nice touch. Then after that we went up to our hotel room and we again tried to sort out our luggage situation because if I'm not mistaken we had a higher weight luggage allowance coming in to Kathmandu than we would going forwards to Lukla airport. We were allowed to put things in a bag to collect again once we had done the trek and were back in Kathmandu. I broke our digital scales for our bags (highly suggest you invest in a somewhat decent luggage weighing scale) and after all that I think we ended up getting around 4 hours sleep before we had to move on.
Day 3 - Lukla & Monjo - 2850m 14km/ 7-8 hours trekking
After about a 9 hour flight and 2 different time zones and then 4 hours sleep we were up and at it again. This was a day I was definitely not looking forward to - I had heard everyone talking about how scary and dangerous Lukla airport was and I was bricking it to be honest. All in all the flight wasn't that bad - the plane is literally tiny and the runway is seriously something you don't see everyday, but we got there without any problems and I was happy about that. The views whilst you are up in the air are stunning, you get to see some beautiful mountains such as Ama Dablam, Nuptse and of course Everest. Not long after arriving in Lukla we were on our way to Monjo. I was absolutely shattered and totally not prepared for a long day of trekking.
Day 4 - Namche Bazaar - 3449m 6km/ 5-6 hours trekking
This was our first full day trekking since we had arrived and the village of Namche Bazaar is a hidden gem. The village has a fair few shops where you are going to be to find necessities and lots of great souvenirs. The teahouse we stayed in was more like a hotel! An actual bed, with an actual toilet and a actual working shower! This will be the last place where you have these luxuries..
The village of Namche Bazaar
Our teahouse/hotel at Namche Bazaar
Day 5 - Acclimatisation day
This was the first acclimatisation day we had since the trek had started and I found it really lovely, it gave us a chance to have a look out and about but know that we were going back to the same teahouse at the end of the day. We got up early to climb to the ridge above Namche to see the dawn and sunrise over the panorama of the Khumbu peaks. We then just had a pretty chilled afternoon where we could just explore Namche.
Day 6 - Khumjung 3860m 7km/ 5-7 hours trekking
During this trek I remember seeing beautiful views of the mountain Ama Dablam (6812m). We got to see really spectacular mountain views and just appreciate how beautiful the himalayas are.
Day 7 - Tengbouche 3860m 8km/ 6-8 hours trekking
Another day trekking! This particular trek had views of the Tengboche Monastery and the summit of Everest peaking above the Lhotse-Nuptse wall. We walked through the Edmund Hillary forest to Phunki Thanga on the banks of the Dudh Khosi. From there we then went onwards to Tengboche with some absolutely gorgeous views! I could not get over how stunning each and everyone of these areas are, it's like your eyes are constantly wide open trying to take in all the scenery.
Me and my mum (check out my unwashed hair)
Day 8 - Dingboche 4410m 10km/ 9-10 hours trekking
On this day we descended to Devouche. We trekked through the beautiful rhododendron forest, then crossed the Imja Khola which had stunning views of Ama Dablam. Our accommodation that day was in the Dingboche village. I think this was around the time were altitude started kicking in for me in the sense of I always felt a bit tired. Had a crazy dreams - although I'm not sure if that was the altitude or the Diamox tablets. I my appetite did start to decline I found myself ordering food and then struggling to eat all of it. With all that being said compared to some of the other members of my team me and my mum were doing pretty well. Nothing but maybe the occasional headache.
Day 9 - Acclimatization day
This was another of our acclimatization days and we headed up the Chucking Valley where we got to see fantastic views of the south face of Lhotse and of Island Peak as well as all the other mountains. I personally found acclimatisation days really helpful because even though you were out and about doing things it was still like a relaxation day. You also got to see some of the famous sights.
Day 10 - Lobuche 4930m 8km/ 8-9 hours trekking
We headed up the Chola Khola valley on this day and ended up arriving at the village of Lobuche. This village again had stunning views but it was a bit cold!! This day was pretty mellow since tomorrow was the big day and the day everyone had been looking forward to. By this point I was really starting to see a change in myself - I mean I didn't even want to come on this trip! But here I was absorbing everything I saw like a giant sponge. It's amazing what being out of your comfort zone can do to you. I am by no means whatsoever a good trekker or even a good walker but with a little bit of will power you can do everything you set your mind to. Secretly besides being cold, having to trek all day long and having to sleep on uncomfortable beds with a hole for a toilet... I was starting to enjoy the trip.
Day 11 - Everest Base Camp 5364m 10km/ 8-10 hours trekking
The big day had arrived!! Now I seem to remember getting up really early on this day but for once I didn't mind because this was what we came here to do! And we were actually doing it, never did I think in a million years we would make it this far, I mean I struggle climbing Snowdon.. We traversed the Khumbu Glacier and headed up towards Gorak Shep - which name apparently means 'Graveyard of Crows'. Nice. From what I remember Gorak Shep was pretty basic but if I remember rightly it had a toilet with a SEAT. I know the things you get excited about.. I mean by this point I had almost managed to squat over hole.. (I tried a shewee before we traveled - people that can actually use these deserve a medal!!) We continued on to Base Camp. The whole day for me was a mixture of emotions. Both me and my mum felt that the time at Base Camp was quite short - although in saying that we got pictures and a chance to eat a mars bar. The feeling was amazing to have actually reached Base Camp - something that nearly everyone told me that I wouldn't be able to do. My mum robbed some stones as a gift for people at home. Typical. The day was long and hard, I think you could really feel the altitude at this point. But seriously the feeling of achievement is amazing.
Mum and me at Everest Base Camp
Day 12 - Kala Pattar 5545m 15km/ 8-10 hours trekking
Now this day was slightly different for me - I don't know whether is was because we had done what we had set out to or I was just really tired from all the excitement.. I was not feeling Kala Pattar. Now looking back I'm really glad that we did because the views are stunning but I found it really really hard. So hard I think I might of cried. But I put that down to being a hormonal 17 year old?? Kala Pattar was probably the most physically exhausting climb for me. But the views... After this we descended to Pheriche.
The view of Everest from Kala Pattar.
Day 13 - Descend to Tengboche 11km/ 6-8 hours trekking
Day 14 - Descend to Namche Bazaar 10km/6-8 hours trekking
Toilet. Shower. Decent bed. Enough said..
Day 15 - Descend to Lukla 20km/ 8-10 hours trekking
I was not happy about getting on a plane again..
Day 16 - Fly to Kathmandu
Day 17 - Free day in Kathmandu
So the trek at this point was pretty much over - the hotel at kathmandu (which I was not a massive fan of when we arrived) was now a freaking palace. There is really nothing better than having your own toilet with a shower. My poor hair. This day was pretty much a free day for us to do anything we wanted. I think it was to allow for possible flight delays. Me and my mum decided we would make the most of our last day and visit Durbar Square and Swayambhu - which is a large Stupa that has stunning views of kathmandu and lots of monkeys. We also had a last meal with our Sherpas which was actually really sad.. These people become part of your lives and help you whenever they can, they seemed to never sit down and would even carry your bag for you if you were really struggling. The Sherpas are the ones that make this whole entire trip. They are some amazing people and I am blessed to have been able to spend some time with them. Although I don't miss lemon or ginger tea..
The hotel we stayed in at Kathmandu
All in all this is the experience of a lifetime and if you ever have the opportunity to do the trek.. DO IT - you really do rediscover yourself and take in gorgeous beautiful scenery at the same time.
Thanks for taking the time to read;
- AmberBentleyy xo