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Reviews of Mount Everest • 23
Day5: Flight to Mumbai from Lhasa. Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Tibet you won my heart. I shall surely visit you again.
Everest view trek is one of the best and favorable treks for those who seek to enjoy the classic view of Mt Everest and others mighty peak of khumbu region. In this trek trekkersEverest view trek is one of the best and favorable treks for those who seek to enjoy the classic view of Mt Everest and others mighty peak of khumbu region. In this trek trekkers can enjoy the combination of cultural, spiritual and natural beauty of the Everest region of Nepal. The friendly Sherpa people, picturesque villages, great variety of cultures and traditions, colorful festivals and monasteries of this region provide the life time memory to the visitors. Everest view trek is a famous trek into the famous Everest region with fascinating beauty of culture and nature to offer. Everest view trek starts with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to lukla. From lukla we trek the adventurous trekking trail of Everest. Following the upward and downward trekking trail and passing some of the most scenic laces, cultural villages and rivers.Nepal is known as the country of Mt. Everest and every one may have such desire to see this highest mountain in the world. This trekking is not only popular for highest mountain. This trek also provides the warm hospitality of Sherpa people, so one can experience Sherpa culture, way of living style, visit monasteries, wild animals and enjoy the mountain views of snow capped peaks. Following the trail of Everest region and passing via villages like Namche Bazaar, Phakding, Lobuche and more this adventurous trek is worth commencing for.
According to a report by ChinaDaily, the Chinese government has big plans to invest a considerable amount of money to build up infrastructure in Gangkar, the base camp on the Tibetan side of the Mount Everest. The $14.7 million development will include a mountaineering museum, rental and repair centres for cars, motorbikes and bicycles; restaurants, hotel and a helicopter rescue base.
The Everest Base Camp Kalapathar trek is an excellent Himalayan trek with unbelievable perspectives and prizes. This Khumbu area is the home of Mount Everest (8,848m) the planet’s most noteworthy mountain, and a few different goliaths. This trek is intended to satisfy the long for numerous individuals to experience the noteworthy track to the base of the planet’s most astounding mountain.On Everest Kalapathar trek of a lifetime we have studied never to hurry a trek to height in the Himalaya and taking an additional not many days has all the effect to truly having the ability to delight in your trek.
Everest view trek, a short and easy trek in Nepal, offers breathtaking views of the world’s highest mountain peak: a snow-capped Mt Everest. And its neighbors.
Everest Base Camp Trekking can be your right choice to experience the adventurous and historic route to the base of the world’s highest mountain. Everest base camp has been popular destination for trekkers since the very first expeditions to the Nepalese side of Everest in 1953. After a mountain flight to Lukla, your journey begins with the spectacular mountain scenes, trails lined with Mari stones and winsome view of Rhododendron forests. Buddhist temples and monasteries will welcome you in your every footsteps which keep you moving on with great hope of having unforgettable experience during the trip.
It started with the crazy team at Mahindra Adventure who organises expedition drives every year. The crazier the better! Last year this time, I was part of one such expedition. A 7-day drive from Kathmandu to the Everest Case camp in Tibet, China.
October 1995 saw Kropp set out on one of the biggest adventures of his life. He started cycling from his home in Sweden, all the way to Nepal, in order to climb Mt Everest."As he cycled across Eastern Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal, he covered a distance of over 12,000km (7,000 miles) carrying 108kg (240lb) of gear and food, and arrived at the Everest Base Camp in April 1996."Source
"Ever since I was 10, I've wanted to achieve this feat and I'm so glad my parents were supportive of my dreams. There haven't been many youngsters to have climbed the Everest and I took that as a challenge and I'm fortunate enough to have become the third youngest Indian to achieve this feat", said Vajpai, who has continuously been setting examples for the youth and inspiring them to take up and explore mountaineering. "Everest is not the most difficult mountain peak to climb. There are more technically challenging peaks in the world like the Lhotse", he adds.
The expedition was undertaken to send a message to the world climbers that Everest trekking route was not damaged by the earthquakes that devastated other parts of the country, said Thupden Sherpa. Sherpa said they would try to get the children’s names in the Guinness Book of World Records and India’s Limca Book of Records for becoming the youngest climbers to reach the base camp.Last year too, Harshit, another climber from India, had broken the record held by seven-year-old Aaryan Balaji, also an Indian, who reached the Everest base camp in 2012. In 2010, Jordan Romero, a 13 year-old from California became the youngest man to climb Mt. Everest, while in 2014, a 13-year-old girl from Andhra Pradesh named Malavath Poorna became the youngest girl to scale the peak successfully.
Accessing the internet on Everest became a very common but extremely expensive practice after some mountaineers documented their ascent live on Snapchat in 2016. So it isn't the availability of WiFi or internet on Mount Everest that's fascinating, but the fact that it will cost nothing.An IT entrepreneur, Tsering Gyaltsen, is to be credited for internet services actually reaching the Everest region. Writer Daniel Oberhaus shares the history of the internet on Everest on VICE Motherboard. He says,"The roots of Gyaltsen's "extreme internet" company go back to 2001, when he and a group of young Nepali entrepreneurs formed an internet service provider called Namche Technical Support with the goal of finally bringing the internet to the Everest region. In 2003, they succeeded in their goal and launched the first "cyber café" at base camp – a 200 square foot tent populated with a handful of satellite-enabled laptops. Climbers could pay a bulk rate of $2,500 to access the internet for the duration of their expedition, or go with the piecemeal rate of $1/minute."
“He has pulled his red fleece up around his face, hiding it from view, and wrapped his arms firmly around his torso to ward off the biting wind and cold. His legs stretch into the path, forcing passers-by to gingerly step over his neon green climbing boots.”
I heard candid call of mountain and this time it was journey of life time, the Mt. Everest Base camp. Each Himalayan trek transforms my soul and churns each mitochondrion (The Energy cell of human) from my mundane though exciting chemical engineering. Nepal has been privileged to have the tallest and mighty monolithic black rock encapsulated with snow and ice-The Everest and I feel lucky to touch the base of Sherpa's kingdom. The journey enthrals from Lukla to Gorakhshep amidst vivid flora and fauna at each corner and hillocks.Altitude: 18500 ft., Temp: -12 Deg. C
The trek to Everest Base Camp happened on a whim! We bought/rented all trekking gear 11 hours before boarding the flight to Lukla, had no itinerary other than a map from supermarket, no guides, no porters and no trekking shoes either. It was just me and another crazier girl from Australia, and we've known each other a month.While the original plan was to chill in Pokhara, one fine day, sitting in a cafe lining the Phewa lake, we decided to trek Everest Base Camp...just like that!Surprisingly we did it and I can't stop myself from bragging about it endlessly!While we did our quick research, there were several questions to which we didn't have answers, like 'are there atm's on the way', 'is chola pass possible in the time we had', 'how much money should we carry' etc. So this blog is my attempt to provide some answers to the craziest trekkers who find themselves in a similar situation.First and Foremost – The itinerary*Unlike most trekkers who start with an itinerary, we had one in the end. Day 0 – Reach Kathmandu (1400m) Day 1 – Fly to Lukla (2860m) and trek to Phakding (2610m) Day 2 – Trek to Namche Bazar (3440mm) Day 3 – Acclimatisation Day in Namche. Trek to Everest View Hotel and return to Namche Day 4 – Trek to Tengboche also known as Thyangboche (3867 m) Day 5 – Trek to Dingboche (4530m) passing through Pangboche Day 6 – Acclimatization day in Dingboche. Trek to the highest possible altitude and return Day 7 – Trek to Lobuche, also spelt Lobuje (4940 m) Day 8 – Trek to Gorak Shep by noon (5164 m). Head to EBC on same day (5364 m) if possible Day 9 – Kalapattar (5545 m) and EBC if not already done (5364 m) Day 10 – Head to Dzongla (4860m) through Lobuche Day 11 – Trek through Chola Pass to Tragnak (also known as Tagnak, Thagnak, Dragnak (4700m)) Day 12 – Tragnak to Dole (4038m) Day 13 – Dole to Namche (3440m) Day 14 – Namche to Lukla (2860m) Day 15 – Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu If you are interested in the detailed account of our trek, please read "an unplanned trek to everest base camp/kalapattar/chola pass - the full story"Questions answered1) First and foremost, how to go about the trek? Agency, Individual guide/porter, or do it all by self?Given our limited budget, the only option for us was to go by ourselves. No guides, no porters, just us. Although, we did end up hiring a guide/porter for half a day in Dzongla to cross Chola Pass.But if you do have some budget, you could hire a guide/porter on a daily charge basis from Lukla. Reasons: Flexibility with itinerary, pace, starting time each day and being able to choose your own accommodation, compared to booking a fixed schedule through agency. If something were to happen, i.e. altitude sickness, spraining an ankle or knee, they know what to do. There is a limited window for guides/porters to earn, specially after the massive earthquake. Whatever you pay would directly be the livelihood of a family. And it still is cheaper than paying an amount to the agency for a scheduled trip. 2) How clear is the trail?During the season, it is quite hard to lose the trail on the more popular route (Lukla-Phekding-Namche-Tengboche-Dingboche-Lobuche-Gorak Shep-EBC).But if you do plan to include Chola Pass/Gokyo Ri, the trail is not quite as marked. There were several times where we didn’t know if we were on the right path nor met another living being. And I certainly wouldn’t recommend crossing Chola Pass without a guide.3) What is the weather like?We trekked around end of September. It was cloudy or slightly drizzling on some days. Generally hot during the day and extremely cold at night as you go higher.4) How much cash to carry?It depends on how good you are at rationing. The absolute minimum is NPR 2000 per day. Accommodation is not very expensive for a common room with shared bathroom. Expect to pay NPR 200-300 at most places. Most guesthouses require you to have meals in their own restaurant and charge extra if you choose not to. Expect to pay average of NPR 600 per meal. Food and bottled water get expensive quite expectedly as you go higher.5) Are there any ATMs on the way?There is a bank in Lukla that provides for cash withdrawals at a charge (approx 5%). Although Indian card holders need to check if their card works in Nepal. Some cards do have a written term that it can’t be used in Nepal/Bhutan.Although there is an ATM in Namche, apparently it hasn’t been operational for months due to no electricity. Our only option was to draw cash through forex store paying a 10% surcharge.6) Buying or renting trek gear?Kathmandu is flooded with options to rent/buy trek gear. I read great reviews about Shona’s rental, but was seriously disappointed. I rented a sleeping back and down jacket from Kalapattar trekking gear shop, near Kathmandu guest house. The gear was practically new and at one-fourth the cost of what Shona’s were going to charge me.Most of the trek gear, i.e. poles, water bottles etc are cheap and best to buy rather than rent. You could always give them away to porters if you don’t plan on carrying them back home.I used my runners and Beth used new trekking shoes, and we didn’t have any major issues.7) What route to take?There are two more widely used options: Shorter and more widely used route to EBC/Kalapattar which could be done in 12 days. Longer 16 day route which includes Chola Pass/Gokyo Ri. Although most trekkers do the route 1, to and fro, I am glad we did a circuit. Taking the popular route to EBC/Kalapattar and then returning via Chola Pass.8) Where to start?Booking flights through travel agency from Kathmandu to Lukla and return for an estimated date [USD 330**]. Indian nationals are charged less though.9) Permissions needed?We got the TIMS permit for USD 20** through the same travel agency. National park entry permit can be taken on route at Monjo for $35**.10) Insurance?We’ve seen enough people being airlifted to know that we were just lucky. We also saw a woman visibly sick descending by foot (who probably didn’t have insurance). Altitude sickness is real. Although we didn’t get sick to the point of descending, we did suffer our share of symptoms.Make sure to get insurance that covers altitude of over 5000m11) What to do on Acclimatization Day?Make sure you climb as high as you could. I could feel the difference the next day. Although at the same time, don’t over exert yourself too.12) Storing luggage at Kathmandu?Most hotels offer to hold luggage for trekkers so we didn’t have any issues.13) Should I take altitude sickness prevention medicine?Although we carried Diamox, we didn’t use it. But if I trek this altitude again, I will surely use Diamox or anything similar. Although make sure to consult your physician.Some key points Flights between Kathmandu-Lukla depend highly on weather. It is not unusual for travelers to wait for days to take off. Ensure your visa remains valid. Buy water purification tablets in Kathmandu. We couldn’t find them once we reached Lukla. If possible, buy all essential items in Kathmandu. Indians don’t need visa to enter Nepal, however, it’s best to carry your passport, specially when flying to Lukla to avoid any last minute surprises. Finally…What to pack? Well worn in hiking boots and extra pair of sandals for evenings. In saying that, we did it without hiking boots, so you’ll be fine if you just have your runners like me. Good quality raincoat and plastic wrap for the backpack (really important). Sleeping bag Down Jacket Fleece jacket Light weight track pants. For ladies that are wondering if leggings are acceptable, they perfectly are. Warm socks and cotton socks Beanie/Hat/Gloves Two leak proof water bottles Torch Camera (with spare batteries if possible. You will be paying to charge the devices as you go higher, sometimes as much as NPR 500 per hour) Ipod/mp3 player (trust me, this is a must have) Walking stick (don’t take this lightly) Knee support pads (must if you have any knee issues) Water purification tablets/tang for flavor. Snicker bars/Energy bars/mini chocolates/cookies/Tea bags Medication as per physician’s advise: Anti-inflammatory pills i.e. ibuprofen, Painkillers, Cold and Flu tablets, altitude sickness prevention medicine, along with your usual medication. *altitude is from various sources on web, primarily Wikipedia. ** Prices in 2014This trip was originally published in the blog ThatOneFrame on October 26, 2015.
you know how many bodies remain on Mount Everest today? You don't; neither do I. But there are certainly more than 200. Climbers and Sherpas lie tucked into crevasses, buried under avalanche snow and exposed on catchment basin slopes.Mountaineers largely view such matters as tragic but unavoidable. For the rest of us, however, the idea that a corpse could remain in plain sight for nearly 20 years can seem mind-boggling.
It all started due to the unending turmoils in life and the need to get out and find some peace of mind which seemed to be lacking from long! Mind you I have never trekked before and what started as a search to head out for a trip to Himalayas ended up in booking a trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC)! Yes, you heard it right....EBC baby! So here I was at Bangalore Airport on Oct 27th, 2012 waiting to board the flight to Kathmandu with 4 other unknown human souls destined to go for a trek together what would be one of the best soul stirring -life experience . If it weren't for the a-bit-pushy attitude of the organizer (in a good way pushy) I would have not thought of going ahead!!So I owe her for this ! To give a preview of events that led me here.... Dads permission ( though informed him after booking the trek ) Check!.. Getting leaves sanctioned from office..( 15 days) Check! ...Fitness for the trek.... Check Errr never been to a trek before and just worked out in the treadmill for half an hour a day for a month. Did I worry about fitness....not really since deep down I had lot of confidence regarding my stamina. All that was there in the mind was" Himalayas" "Everest" and "Himalayas" ...so the rest of the stuff became secondary :) ( I know in reality it sounds crazy).
Most tea houses have a common dining hall and small rooms with plywood walls offering little protection from cold temperatures at night. Though rudimentary these tea houses offer good food topped with the warmth of Nepali households. We spent the evenings huddled around a heated fireplace in the common area playing card games and getting to know people from different parts of the globe. One group of French trekkers we got acquainted with were doing impressively well for people in sixties! Clearly age is not a factor, their unflinching spirit was our motivation during times when the trek felt like a relentless struggle.Our guide, also a Sherpa and a commendable three time Everest summiteer gave us a glimpse into the Sherpa culture. Sherpas are a friendly and extremely hard working community without whom the whole mountaineering adventure in the Everest region would be a tougher ordeal.
What does the world look like from the summit of Mt. Everest ? How hard is it to get to the top of the world ? Is climbing the highest peak a dream that can easily materialize? Questions as these may have crossed the minds of many, it certainly has crossed mine umpteen number of times but hadn't given it much thought until I happened to read a book on George Leigh Mallory. George Mallory was part of the earliest expeditions led by British to conquer the highest peak. During his third attempt to summit Mt.Everest, George Mallory along with his climbing partner Andrew Irvine are known to have left from the last camp towards the summit, never to return.Whether or not they successfully reached the summit has to this day remained a matter of speculation. I personally hope they did summit but there isn't substantial evidence to prove it.Mallory's life, his passion, relentless efforts to accomplish the big dream and his famous three words "because its there" has inspired many many mountaineers. It did leave an impression on me and Mt Everest has captivated me ever since. While climbing Everest still remains an impossible dream (mostly), trekking to Everest base camp, I realized, is an achievable goal. The thought of walking in the footsteps of legendary mountaineers to get a glimpse of the world's highest peak is quite alluring.An article on the same was published in Deccan Herald - on road to Mt.Everest
These are literally the words that I wrote down in my personal diary the day I made it to Everest Base Camp. Ok, they are slightly over-dramatic, but you get the point right?14 days, 160km covered, 2615km ascended, 5365m altitude reached, 50% oxygen levels withstood, temperatures down to -15°c endured.This is the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek.But don’t be put off. With the right equipment (details to follow), the knowledge of an experienced guide at your side and with an adventure-seeking spirit, anyone can complete this spectacular trek to the base of the Earth’s tallest peak.Nestled amongst the vast Himalayan mountain range, straddling the borders of Nepal and Tibet stands the mighty Mount Everest. The holy grail for many mountaineers, climbers and bucket-list enthusiasts. The privilege of getting up close and personal with this wonder of nature was once reserved for an elite few of experienced and wealthy adventurers. Not anymore. Nowadays, reaching EBC is not only achievable physically but with a multitude of travel companies offering deals to get you to EBC, its affordable too.Booking your trekBooking way in advance is not necessary. For the more laid back traveller, booking your trek after arriving in Kathmandu shouldn’t be a problem. For those who like the peace of mind of knowing that everything is sorted before arrival, like I did, then a quick search on Google will provide you with plenty of choice.I picked a few local companies and sent out e-mails. After a few exchanges with a couple of companies I settled with Green Valley Nepal Treks. Their EBC package took care of everything on the 14 day trek and included a pick up and drop off at Kathmandu Airport and 3 nights’ accommodation in Thamel, the tourist hub of Kathmandu, at the price of $1047 USD or 70,000 rupees. I had the chance to meet my guide Gopi, a lovely and highly experienced local Nepalese man, a couple of days before my trek started which was great as the thought of spending 14 days with a complete stranger made me a little bit nervous!Best time to visitIt's possible to complete the trek all-year around however there is an off peak season (November – January and June-August) and a peak season (February – May and September – October). I started my trek at the end of October, a great time to trek.The equipment you’ll needYou need to come well-prepared. The weather conditions and the terrain on the EBC trek can be challenging so having appropriate equipment is a must. A pair of strong, comfortable and preferably water-proof walking boots is essential. A comfy day-pack (25-35L is good), a light, water-proof jacket, a fleece, 3 dry-fit t-shirts, 2 warm base layers, 2 pairs of trousers (one water-proof and one thermal-lined), a few pairs of thick socks, a warm hat and gloves, a balaclava that covers your nose and mouth as it can be very dusty, sunglasses to prevent sun or snow blindness and factor 30+ sun cream. You may also want to bring a couple of packs of baby wipes as toilet paper is a luxury on the trek and they also come in handy to freshen up when you don’t quite fancy a freezing shower in sub-zero temperatures!
While the trekkers make their way to EBC from the south side of Everest from Nepal, the north face is accessible by road via Tibet, China.Next thing you know, a team with two Thars, two XUV500s and one Rexton were made ready for the ‘Mahindra Adventure Summit Challenge’, a 7 day drive to the north face of the Everest Base Camp in Tibet.
Everest Base CampEarly 2014 I had decided to do Leh Ladakh in the later half of 2014, however one day I get this mail about Everest Base Camp (EBC) and 2 months later I was on my way to Nepal.The flight from Delhi to Kathmandu was delayed by 2hrs (I know not the best start to a trip where your nerves are already jittery to start with)On Delhi Airport I met the other trekker of the group a 14yr old girl (believe it)!We reached Kathmandu on the noon of 5th Oct’14 directly went to the tourism office got the trekking permit for EBC, rest of the day we spent in Kathmandu market shopping for trekking gears.Next day we left for Lukla in a 14 seater non pressurized aircraft and what a flight it was. The Cockpit was just an arm’s reach and you can have a conversation with the pilots if you are feeling adventurous and want to take a chance of distracting them while they maneuver that toy of a plane through the huge mountains.In the plane I got a glimpse of the scenery and the beauty I was going to be a part of, snowcapped mountains, lush green valleys dotted with small colorful house with milk like river flowing through.In 33 minutes we reached Lukla airport, surrounded on all sides by mountains, clear blue sky with tufts of while clouds, an airport not bigger than a football field, actually smaller and an airstrip not more than 100mts which abruptly ends into a steep valley (scary)We meet our guide Narayan Lama and so began our trek.Lukla is at a height of 2800mts we reach lukla around 8:30AM, transfer our stuff into one knapsack, have breakfast and by 10AM we are ready to move.We decide to call it a day when we reach Phakding which is at a height of 2600mts so the first day trek is mostly downhill. Clear weather, blue sky, mountains on all sides and we pass through a small stretch of forest, and while I was enjoying the till now comfortable trek I come across my first wire bridge hung over a deep gorge AND!!! I was scared, the bridge went sideways with the wind and up and down when you walk on it, essentially moving in all directions possible. It took me atleast 15-20 baby steps, holding the bridge railing to overcome my fear and then I was behaving like I have been walking this bridge since childhood :-DThese wire bridges are the only way of connecting one side of the mountain to another, they are life line of this place. The transportation of goods would have been a nightmare without them.We came across Buddhist houses and monasteries. Our guide told us that all the houses we see which have multi-color flags (Red, Yellow, Green, White, Blue) outside of them are Buddhist households. The flags looked beautiful fluttering in the cool breeze under the sunny blue sky.There were lot of stones and boulders carved with Buddhist Mantra (Hum Mani Padme Hum) in Tibetan.These stones/stupas/sculptures are usually put in the middle of the path and people passing by have to make sure that the structure is always on their right hand side.After a walk of 2+hrs we reach our lunch place on the outside of Phakding and I had taste of Nepali Dal Bhat with Garlic soup and a hint of Timbur added in it (local herb: said to prevent Altitude Sickness), and the meal was tasty.We decided not to call it a day in Phakding but to continue walking don’t know if it was initial excitement of the first day or what but we continued to trek and again downhill for next 2-3 hrs towards a village known as Monju.We passed through some amazing waterfalls and my first thought was these are the falls to try waterfall rappelling J (being too adventurous, I know), the waters were as clear as glass.We trekked along Doodh Koshi, as the name suggests (Doodh=Milk) the water from distance looked like Milk, this river is formed by two different rivers coming together, Bhot Koshi from Tibet and Everest Glaciers waters from Nepal. I was in awe of the force and sound of the water hitting against the rocks.We reached Monju around 5PM, it was getting dark and cold. The place where we stayed for the night got extremely cold and I was shivering even with my jacket, gloves and monkey cap on.The night was so silent and quite not even a sound of a cricket, I could hear my heartbeat and after sometime the heartbeat became so loud that my ear drums were throbbing due to that, I clearly understood that night the meaning of the phrase ‘deafening silence’, initially the silence was irritating even scary but once I got used to it, I felt one with the world, with the nature around, as cold as the night and as warm as the blanket. You feel small, alone, insignificant but still a significant part of something unimaginably big.Anyways JNext morning was just an amazing sight for the eyes, we got up at 6:00AM and by 6:15AM started seeing the first rays of the Sun hitting the mountains, the streaks of Sun illuminating the blue sky from behind the snow clad peaks.If you are a few minutes late you have to wait for yet another 24hrs for this marvel.We had our breakfast by 7:30 and were ready to start our day which was supposed to be a hard trek, so made sure that we had a filling breakfast. Today our objective was to reach Namche Bazar which is at the height of 3400mts so in all we were supposed to do a trek for 6-8hrs to cover a distance of 800mts (child’s play, right). The trek took us from plains which were strewn with rocks and stones with a strong surge of Doodh Koshi flowing in the opposite direction of our trek. The plains (kind of) ends with steps leading to a wire bridge which is around a few hundred feet up in the air, but I’m a pro now J, the upward incline kept on going for 3-4hrs and trust me after you have crossed 3000mts altitude a 30mins climb feels like a 8-10kms run. Our guide was very clear on the speed aspect, he kept on saying “jo insaan dheere jaata hai voh kahin par bhi pahuch saakta par jo tezi se jaata hai voh bahut jaldi girta hai aur sirf neeche hi jaata hai”. Go slow but steady and moment you need to rest, go ahead and take a breather for a minute of two.The climb/trek to Namache Bazar was quite tiring, but the scenery never lets you feel tired, every minute of the trek was something never seen or experienced before. You could see altitude catching up with trekkers, breathlessness, difficulty in walking, but that’s kind of normal after 3000mts. Make sure you have enough supply of energy bars you will need it now.We reached Namche around lunch time we are supposed to stay here for 2 days for acclimatization at 3400mts.The trek to Namche was hard and tiring but Namche is beautiful, colorful, lively. There are lot of shops selling things right from trekking clothes to local artists handiwork, Cybercafe, pharmacy shops, bakery. When is Namche make sure to visit Namche Gumba (Monastery), they charge Rs.100 but the small museum and the information contained there about the people, culture and the history is quite interesting and helps you understand a lot of things which you have seen or will see during the trek. (Do not try to click the Monks, they don’t like it)When staying in Namche for acclimatization, on the 2nd day we went for a little hike of around 500mts to Syangboche airport although besides choppers nothing else lands there anymore but the birds eye view of Namache there is worth the hard work, if you think Namche is colorful when you are in it, you will be convinced that its even more colorful when you see it from up top.However before going to Syangboche, we also visited the Conservation Memorial Park and guess what I got the first ever view of the Majestic Mountain and trust me I couldn’t stop looking at it and then couldn’t stop clicking. I had my 55-300mm lens and I was almost caressing each and every jagged edge of Everest with my eyes. I don’t recall how many pics I clicked. It is a beauty, an enigma. I was almost ready to run and climb up the peak, just that I was still 5 days away from the base and about 5000mts below the peak. Besides the magnificent Everest there were equally beautiful and astounding peaks Lhotse, Lhotse Shar, Peak 38, Ama Dablam, Nuptse.All the peaks were amazing but every time your eyes will land on the peak of Mt. Everest. I’m not sure whether it was spectacular or was it just so in my head.Moving ahead we went to a small museum/information center which had info about the culture, flora and Fauna of the region.From Syangboche airport we went a bit downhill to Khumjung Village also known as Green Valley because all the houses are colored green. One thing about this village ‘Do not click photos of the people here as it might not be good for you or for your camera. People here don’t like to be clicked and show their displeasure by throwing stones or asking you to hand over the SD card.When in this village make sure to visit the Khumjung Gumba which has Yeti’s scalp on display (ticket of Rs.100). Have a look at the Khumjung School or Edmund Hillary High school, this school is run by the donation given by Edmund Hillary’s family, in this school the teachers and the students both get salary and every year 1-2 bright students are sent abroad for better education.We went back to Namche to call it a day almost 300-400mts downhill trust me if you feel uphill is hard then trust me downhill is painful.Next day as other days, we started early towards Tengboche (3900mts), on our way to Tengboche we met this old man Pasang Lama Sherpa (Khumbu Sarkar), this gentleman has been collecting donations from the trekkers for past 30yrs and has been making the trekking routes walkable.The scenery today was breathtaking, white river beds, with cream water, streams criss-crossing the vast river bed. We reach Tengboche around 3:30PM after a trek of 5-6 hrs.One thing about the mountains is that by 2PM the clouds start descending and start to cover the mountains and then by 4PM its almost as dark as late night. In Tengboche you have to visit the monastery, it’s the biggest of the region, not very different from the others but big, beautiful, colorful and again don’t try to click the Monks, you can take photos of everything else though.Tengboche doesn’t have anything else to offer., charge up your cell phones, camera although the cost is like Rs.300/hr but still do it as you go up the charges just keep on increasing.Next morning as soon as you get up make sure its early, go and get yet another view of Everest, get a good look because now you will see Everest after 3 days of trek only and nowhere in between.Today we start our trek to Dingboche, the trek first goes downhill through a small village and forest, keep your eyes and ears open for some nice local brids (is you are interested).The trek today is going to take you through some jungle and even further downhill towards the river side and if you leave Tengboche by 8AM you should be in time for lunch in a small village by river side Phuttefunga. Rest your legs and have a good meal because for the next 3-4 hrs it’s just an upward climb, but don’t forget the scenery, waterfalls, riverbed, the valley and the snow capped mountains in the distance and as all other days its gonna be spectacular and will keep your engaged so that you don’t really feel the climb.Make sure to enjoy the shade offered by the trees while you are climbing because in the next few hours the landscape is about to change.After a 3 hrs climb and a 45mins of walking before you reach Dingboche(4400mts) and as I mentioned the landscape has changed, small shrubs, thorny but colourful, mountains mostly barren but someplace heavily dotted by small green shrubs. Dingboche is the place where we are supposed to stay for 2 days for acclimatization, sleep early around 7PM.Next day is a hiking day, there are two hiking spots. One on the left side takes you up to the top of a peak (5000mts) to a small Shiv temple, on the right hand side is a trek which takes you to 4900mts to Ama Dablam base camp.We chose to go to Ama Dablam Base Camp, the climb takes around 1hr 45mins and you can see and smell the green shrubs dotting the mountain it is known as sonpatta and its smell is very nice, however due to the number of shrubs being very many the smell becomes too much for some trekkers, some even faint or vomit due to the strong smell, so before starting the hike make sure you smell the shrub and if you feel irritated with the smell inform your guide so he can take you from a different route.After a 2hrs steep climb when you reach the top you will not believe your eyes, you will see a lake which is formed from the glacier water, picture perfect blue, clear water surrounded by Ama Dablam glacier on one side and plain barren land on other. The lake is so beautiful that you might have to pinch yourself couple to times, you will get the temptation of taking of your clothes and taking a swim but the water is freezing cold (Duh!!) combined with cold breeze at that altitude.We spent 30mins there and then climbed down in next 40mins in time for lunch, rest of the day you actually have nothing to do. So play cards with the guides and the porters roam around a bit and then off to bed .Next day we trek to Loboche (4900mts), the trek is fairly easy and/or moderate, the only reason why some people find it a bit difficult is that the landscape changes yet again and the small thorny shrubs which were visible in Dingboche that are replaced with small rubbery or moss like growth (less vegetation/plants means less oxygen, make sure you are checking your oxygen level (anything above 65-70 at this altitude is good), the trek takes you to Thukla after walking for 3hrs.Have lunch there rest and then there is a climb of 30mins, which takes you to a memorial, this is constructed to pay respect to the trekkers and sherpas who have lost their lives during the Everest expeditions. Stop there for sometime read the memorials. The trail now is much more rocky and absolutely no vegetation, another one hour and you reach Loboche, we reached there by 2PM. Have a quick bite and go for a small hike of 50mts up a small hill, on the other side of the hill is the Everest Glacier, the start and the end of the glacier is nowhere in sight but the depth of the glacier must be around 40ft, it makes you wonder if the Everest Glacier is this huge what will Everest be like.Make sure you have your windcheaters on as the winds here can be very strong and chilly.We were back by 4:50-5PM, but don’t retire into your room yet, as the sunset is about to happen and its nothing like you have ever seen, the mountains turn golden, the sky changes color from yellow to red to orange to magenta, with clear blue sky in the background. It’s natures light show put up just for you at the height of 16,000 ft. we took as many photos as we could, I was actually running around the whole of loboche (not that it’s a big place, just 3-4 hotels J)Next day we left for Gorakhshep, however last night at 2AM we get a weather update that weather in Gorakhshep and EBC is not going to be good (the reason we realized later was the HudHud hurricane in East of India). We anyhow started out trek quite early 6:30AM we were out. It was quite cloudy and chilly, our guide told us a very disappointing news that if it continues like this we will not be able to have a glimpse of Everest.On this very disappointing note L we started our trek as I had said about the landscape, this time it was just stones, rocks, boulders and just more of the same for as far as you can see. The trek again is not difficult just keep a tab on oxygen levels, and remember the golden rule “GO SLOW”. On the way to Gorakhshep you will be trekking along the Everest glacier and you get to see the enormity of this thing.After a trek of almost 3-4hrs we reach the destination, eat something quick and keep your bags and head out for EBC (make sure to carry some energy bars). Since the weather forecast was not favorable so our guide told us to be prepared for temperatures around -12 to -15 along with chilly winds in the base camp.When we started for base camp the weather gods were not so pleased with us, the clouds were still blocking our view, snow flurries started landing on us (no biggie) but within 30mins or so the flurries transformed into heavy snowfall and of course strong chilly winds. Whatever little hope we had of getting a glimpse of Everest disappeared, vanished then and there. We kept going towards the base camp and the landscape changed from rocky grey to ice white. The trek isn’t tough but the temperature which had fallen to -25 with the chilly winds and fresh snow on those rocks made it dangerous and pain stackingly slow. Due to the fresh snow it was becoming slippery and dangerous.Ok what is base camp, its icy cold water with a thick layer of frozen ice topped with huge boulders and rocks and you walk on top of these, in some places you have icy water on either side and one wrong step and off you go to you icy grave and no way to rescue you and to add to it the trekkers use the same trail for coming and going, so you have trekkers coming from the other side.After trekking for 2hrs now we are just 5mins away from the base camp and the top right hand side of my skull is numb!!!Finally we reach base camp VOOO HOOOOO!!! And what do you see there, is a small banner which reads Everest Base Camp 5364mts, tied to rocks…that’s it!! Beyond base camp is solid jagged ice and beyond that is the majestic Everest which as luck would have it we were unable to see (that time I thought that this is the sign that Everest wants me to come back again)To celebrate our success we had snickers at the base camp as we had decided, there were others celebrating it by opening beer cans. We stayed there for 20mins and then started back. Because of the snow the trail was lost, the rocks were slippery and by now the right side of the head was completely numb and I was literally running, my only motivation was to reach a warm place before my head freezes. But it was a good 2hrs of walk to reach our lodge, so besides my right side of skull, my chin, lips and nose were also numb J. But what an experience it was. I realized the limits of human endurance, the thrill of achieving something under the harshest of conditions.Rest of the day was spent in proclaiming our conquest of EBC to our friends and family. It was beyond freezing outside so we just stayed put near the heater talking with other trekkers and guide about the plan for the next day, as per our schedule next day we were supposed to go to Kala Pathar (5500mts) because you get the best possible view of Everest from there, however due to bad weather and snowfall Kala Patthar becomes very slippery and dangerous to tread. All of us decided that its fool hardy to go there and from next day onwards we started our downward trek towards Lukla and what a descent it was, as expected it was snowing heavily even more than yesterday, based on our guides estimates it would be snowing till Thukla, so we were prepared for a very slow, tedious, slippery descent and so it was, but the rocky barren landscape as it was during the ascent was a sheet of white, with no trails in sight and it was fun making your own way in the snow. We slipped a few times, came close to banging our heads against the rocks.In a day we crossed Gorakhshep, Louboche, Thukla, Fherruche and reached Pangboche. To cover this much uphill we had taken 4days.So, our estimate of snow ending at Thukla was wrong, it was all the way till Pangboche. We had covered 1100mts in a day and we were freezing, stiff, wet, tired, shivering but excitedJ. Next day our target was to reach Namche Bazar and we did reach it, but trust me Namche is hard to reach when going uphill and hard to reach when going downhill. The moment I reached Namche I was like I need a shower and a shave, it had been 11days since I had taken a shower and what a feeling it was to have a warm water bath though it costs you to take a warm water bath but trust me its worth it.And here is where we heard the tragic news of trekkers dying in Annapurna Base Camp due to ice breaking atleast 40-45 trekkers were killed and a lot of them were still missing. RIP!From Namche, next day we reached Lukla another 6-7hrs of descent, reaching lukla was a mixed feeling, I was not sure if I should be happy to have accomplished what I had set forth for or should I be sad that such an amazing experience had come to an end and that I have to return to the usual mundane life.But I was sure of one thing, I’ll be back!
Every year hundreds of mountaineers make it to the Mount Everest after Edmund Hilary and Tenzin Norway first summit it in 1953. But there are very very few people who put their dreams aside to save the life of another.
A few thousand bucks, lots of courage and luck will take you up as close as possible to Mt. Everest.