Back in September 2008, I decided to go on the Everest base Camp Trek in the Everest region of Nepal. Budget trip, cost around £550 plus some local fees. Booked through a company called Intrepid Travel. Trek lasted for 21 days. Highlights of the trek were Kala Pathar, EBC, GokyoRi, Cho La Pass and AmaDablam Base Camp. All these were around 5000m above sea level. Our guide was Ashok Phuyal, a local experienced guide. This was a good achievement for a first time trekker coming from just trekking the highest peaks in the United Kingdom.
We had to fly in from Kathmandu to Lukla early morning. This meant waking up at around 4am, showering and then heading to the airport with all our baggage. The flight took just over an hour.
First few days were fine since we were trekking below 3000m but once we went over 3000m at Namche Bazaar, I experienced headaches due to high altitude. Everyone was of different fitness levels, most of them did not suffer with the high altitude symptoms unlike me. Going in a group was very stressful as I suffered with symptoms for the next 2 weeks and yet I still continued despite the symptoms and with great support from the guide. This could have been due to dehydration.
Namche Bazar is a lively village with cafes, museums and shops and even has internet facilities but does a very fast connection. The museum in the middle of the national park’s visitor’s centre is worth a visit. At Namche, there are some great views.
Crossing the Cho La Pass or trekking upto Kala Pathar or Gokyo Ri or even EBC was quite a challenge due to not being properly acclimatized and also not forgetting the early morning wake up call at around 3am.
Acclimatization can be serious issue and there was one death during the trek but not from our group. This guy made the fatal mistake of sleeping on the Cho La Pass and no one turned to see if he was okay from what we heard. Sometimes people have to turn back in the middle of the night due to severe headaches and sickness as was the case with another trekker from another group. However everyone from our group including myself successfully completed the entire trail.
Below are some group photos from Kala Pathar and EBC respectively.
Below is Dingboche Monastery we visited on the final days of the trek.
Due to my experience I had decided that if i go on a trek in future, it will either be solo or in a small group so I could trek at my own speed.
There are lots of peaks in the Everest region such as the most commonly climbed Mera Peak and Island Peak. Climbing Himalayan peaks is another challenge altogether as some are quite straightforward such as Mera Peak even though it is 6476m above sea level and some are require entry level mountaineering skills such as Island Peak.
However during the trek at one of the tea-houses was a large photograph of someone in a red down suit on the top of Everest. This photo kind of inspired me in way to do something more challenging on my next Himalayan trek.