Trekking to the Everest Base Camp
It was in October of 2013 and we were planning for a holiday. It was my daughter’s idea that we should go for a trekking to the Everest Base Camp. She and my wife were all excited as they like trekking and I was little worried as I am not of the same fitness level as theirs and I am 46 years old. However, they managed to convince me and we decided to take this challenge and go for it.
We wanted to go for the straight route from Lukla to Everest Base Camp and return. This is the most famous trekking route and considered to be the best one. We searched and managed to get a very attractive deal for the package from Kathmandu to Kathmandu with porter –guide, all permits and accommodation. It had cost us Indian Rupees.90, 000/- only for 3 adults (30k each).
We reached Kathmandu and our hotel was booked in the Thamel area. We purchased some jackets, trekking poles and few other accessories. They are very economically priced over there and have more options to choose from.
Tomorrow our trekking expedition will start, for easier reading I will list them day wise.
Day 2- Kathmandu to Lukla then to Phakding
We took a 10 am flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. It is a very short journey of about 40 minutes. We were flying above mountain peaks and the views were spectacular. The airport at Lukla is a tabletop one has small run way and which is why the small size flights fly in this area. One flight accommodates about 16 passengers. We came out of the airport and met our porter-guides. They were 2 of them and carried our luggage. We only kept our back-pack, water bottle and cameras, phones with us. Then we walked to Phakding, it took us 3 hours to reach over there. It was actually a very simple walk and was not difficult at all. Phakding is at an altitude level of 2610 meters. There is a nice river flowing near the village. I am unable to recollect the name of the river. The area is full of green mountains. We checked into a hotel at Phakding. It was a nice and small hotel.
One can get good accommodation options in this region throughout the trekking route. They are small, will have a restaurant and mostly with common toilets, especially as you go higher in altitude. But the hygiene level that they maintain is remarkable and every person / guest who uses the washrooms is well mannered and the washrooms stay perfectly clean. There are some accommodations with all possible facility but they charge huge moneys and not worth it. One more thing, over here it is expected that you will eat at the same hotel where you are staying. All hotels have the same verity of food and they sell at the same price. I also found the taste of food was very similar. It is only fair that you have your food in the same hotel you stay as running this facility in one of world’s most remote areas is the only job they do for a living. The price of food goes up as the altitude level goes up. You will have to pay for hot water bath and charging of mobile phones. We were using the natural stream waters and purified them with chlorine tablets and water purifier drops. We had purchased those at Kathmandu. We did not want to buy water bottles as they are expensive and also it does a bit of help to the nature by not dumping the bottles over there.
Day 3 -Phakding to Namche Bazaar.
We started our trek early around 8 am. For the most part of this path, there was a river flowing down the mountain and the mountains had thick green forests. We stopped at Monjo for rest and food. This is the last place where you can get food before Namche. From Monjo till Namche, the track goes amidst dense forest. We got a stiff incline in between Monjo and Namche, it was really a bit tough. I went slow, took my time and managed to do it. If you are an overweight person like me then it is better to begin your trek early in the morning so you have the entire day with you to trek in your own speed. Just before Namche, we saw a glimpse of the Everest and Lhotse. We reached Namche and checked into our hotel. It took me a little above than 6 hours to reach Namche. Namche is at an altitude level of 3440 meters. It is really nice place and has everything to offer.
Day 4: Rest day at Namche Bazaar.
The day was a rest day. We had walked a bit to go the museum. It is a nice place and saw a better view of Everest from here. We roamed around the streets of Namche Bazaar. We went to a cafe and a restaurant. This day was completely for rest and acclimatization. It is very important to acclimatize in higher altitudes before you ascend further.
Day 5: Namche to Tengboche
Today, I dint have to hurry my wife and daughter to start early morning. By now, they know that I am slow and I really need time. We had an early breakfast and began our trek a little before 8am. However, today I took less time to trek. The trail was an inclining one so it was a little tough. By now I am used to trek a little better and managing it well. It took us 6 hours to reach Tengboche. It is at an altitude level of 3860 meters. We went to monastery over here, it was really beautiful and worth the visit. We saw Mt Everest, Lohtse and Amma Dabalam. The view of these high peaks of the world was amazing.
Day 6: Tengboche to Dingboche
This was also a similar route like yesterday, in fact the distance is little longer than yesterday. It had taken us about 7 hours to reach Dingboche. We saw many high peaks on our way. We had crossed the Lobuche River and passed the famous Imja Valley. Dingboche is at an altitude level of 4360 meters.
Day 7: Rest day at Dingboche
It was a rest day for acclimatization. We took complete rest and just stepped out to get some views. Some of the others guests in the hotel went for some hike to see good views of the high peaks like Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Yu. In fact there so many mountains and high peaks that are visible from the hotel.
Day 8: Dingboche to Lobuche
This is the entry into glacier region. We saw many mountains like Pumuri, Lohtse, Mahalangur and Khumbutse. It took almost 7 hours to reach Lobuche. All of these peaks are around the Mt.Everest but it is not possible to get a view of Everest from here. Lobuche is at an altitude level of 4940 meter.
Day 9: Lobuche to Gorakhshep and Everest Base Camp.
This took us almost the same amount of time to reach base camp but the excitement was high as we were going to the base camp today. We started at 7 am today and reached Gorakh shep a little before 11 and kept our luggage in the hotel. We had little snacks and then trekked to Everest Base Camp. On our right were Mt.Everest and the Khumbu Glacier. It took us 2.5 hours to reach the Base Camp. We will descend to the right and come on to the Khumbu glacier, there after a walk of 200 meters and we reached the Base camp. It was crowded and there lot of Buddhist flags and flags of other countries. We spent about 30 minutes there and took lot of photos. It was not possible to get complete view of the Everest peak from base camp. We then returned to Gorakh shep to our Hotel. It took us the same time to come back to Gorakhshep. While returning we got that sign board of everest camp and we had to literally wait for 10 mins for others to take photo and managed to take a photo with my family. The Base camp is at an altitude of 5364 meter and Gorakh shep is at 5170 meter.
Day 10: Gorakhshep to Kalapathar and return to Lobuche
We left juts around 7am and hiked to Kala patthar. It is at an altitude of 5545 meter. It took about 3 hours to reach Kala patthar. Over here, we got to see the Everest clearly. It offered us full view. We even saw many mountain peaks from here. This was worth the hike. We then started our descend, we had to be careful of descend at Kala ptthar as it is little slope kind. After that it was all easy descend all the way to Lobuche. We reached in 5 hours from Kala ptthar. From now on, things were easy till we reach Lukla. I am listing the estimate of time and points covered for the remaining days of the trek as it is the same route.
Day 11: Lobuche to Pangboche
It took us about 6 hours and we reached Pangboche, which is at an altitude level of 3930 meters.
Day 12: Pangboche to Namche
It took us 6 hours to reach Namche. I remember, we had one patch which was a very moderate incline.
Day 13: Namche to Lukla
It took us 6 hours to reach Lukla. The hotel in Lukla was nice.
Day 14ukla to Kathmandu
We got up a little late had breakfast and we then took the flight to Kathmandu at about 11am and landed at 11:45 and before 1pm we were at hotel. We went to the Pashupatinath Temple, Darbar Sqaure and Evening we had dinner in Thamel at a restaurant. We did some shopping
Day 15: We checked out and took 12noon flight to Delhi from Kathmandu. It was a wonderful trip. We were together for 15 days amidst the nature. The experience of seeing nature from this close and spending such a wonderful time together with my family is really amazing. Sharing the fear, anxiety and doing an activity with my loved ones was an experience of life time. We have gone on many vacations together all of it has given so many memories, but this one will remain as something really special. In our busy life all of us hardly manage to spend so much time with each other and getting that amidst the nature without any noise made it special. Above all, we all lost significant weight. I lost 8 KGs, now that is even more special.
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Trekking to the Everest Base Camp