Journey to Mount Everest Base Camp

Tripoto
7th Apr 2017
Photo of Journey to Mount Everest Base Camp by Aashish R

On January 19th , movie Everest was streamed on HBO . After watching the movie , I had a sudden curiosity to get to know about the trekkers who died and survived in 1996 Everest Storm Disaster ( wiki ) . This lead me to buy the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer . I am a usual trekker in the western ghats . Karnataka and Kerala and one of most amazing trekking destinations in the south . Few of them in my list are Kudremukh , Kumar Parvatha, Wayanad , Makalidurga , Kodachadri , Coorg and more . I am a trek lead with Plan The Unplanned. I had never been on an high altitude expedition before .

Stories behind 1996 Disaster , survivors who shared their stories about the mountain sparked a new dream in me to watch Sagarmatha ( Everest ) from its footstep .

On January 28th , i booked my expedition through thrillophilia . Nobody knew what i had done except me . This was my first time planning a adventurous travel solo . As the blood rushed through my veins with excitement , my body started to dance like a baby looking for a lollipop . In my case , it was a big one . The only thing in my mind was I am gonna walk the himalayas and touch the feet of Goddess of the world ( Everest ) .

Planning and Training for this enormous dream

I had no experience at all before on things to take , training my body and mind to be prepared for the expedition . I was confused on what to do . On Feb 5th , I visited Decathlon Mysore Road to talk to folks from the Trekking club . There I met this person called Ayan Brahma Ji ( bio ) . Everyone told me to reach out to him for any concerns related to mountaineering . He seemed to me at first this guy who knew the mountains and the equipments needed to the best of needs . I thought he is a part of Decathlon . Later only i was stupid enough to know he is an affiliate member of Indian mountaineering society . People called him “Brahma” ( Lord of Creation ) in the Himalayas. Soon i was connected to him and he pointed to me best-in-class requirements necessary for Everest Base Camp expedition .

Physical Training

Followed the below routine for two months during the weekdays.

1. Morning 5K Run

2. Evening 1 hour workout in the Gym.

3. Half an hour swim .

4. Weekends – 15k Run , 2 KM Swim .

Trek equipments needed

Ruck sack ( 60 – 70 litres ) – I prefer Symbian Access 70 + 10 .

Thermals – 4 of them

Round T shirts – 4 of them

Water proof cum Wind Cheater Jacket .

BalaClava – For covering the head and ears

Long Woolen socks – 4 pairs

Trekking pants – 4 pairs . I prefer Arpenaz 500 .

Trekking Shoes – Forclaz 500.

Ponchos

Water proof gloves – 2 pairs

Trekking Poles – Anti shock.

10 pairs of swimming boxers – ( Prevents chaffing between the legs ) .

Strong Will and Passion ????

Personal Medical Kit

As a personal experience , i did not need any of the below . But this is recommended to be in your pocket if necessary .

Dolo 650 – 10 Tablets

Avomine – 1 Strip

Avil 25 mg – 6 Tablets

Diamox – 32 Tablets

Combiflam – 5 Tablets

Dispirin – 10 Tablets

Norflox TZ – 10 Tablets

Crepe Bandage – 3 to 5 metres ( Helps in knee support ) .

Band Aid – 10 strips

Zintac 300 – 10 Tablets

Guaze cloth – 1 small roll

Leukoplast – 1 small roll

Cotton – 1 small roll

ORS – 5 packets

Betadine Cream

Water purification tablets – 72 tablets . In the Himalayas , even though you get mineral water bottles , trekkers prefer to fill tap water in every place and purify the same . More you live like a local in the trek , the better mountain absorbs you.

Moov / Volini – Needed after a long day of trek .

Skin Chaffing prevention creams .

The Journey

Bangalore to Kathmandu

Its a 5 hour flight to Kathmandu from Bangalore . I was very excited with a small Indian flag on top of my shirt .

Kathmandu stay

On 5th April , i reached Kathmandu . As soon we reached , people rushed into this shop at the airport to buy an NCELL SIM card . I bought an NCELL Sim Card and called my driver who was arranged by SNOWYODA . SNOWYODA EXPEDITIONS was the company who was responsible for our accomodations throughout the expedition . They took care of our rooms , trek guides , sherpas . I would definitely recommend them to anyone who wants to trek in the Nepal Region .

Our ten member expedition team were accommodated in the streets of Thamel , main town of Kathmandu in a hotel called lemon tree. Its an amazing hotel with good wifi and free breakfast as a part of stay . Thamel is a busy shopping street with many shops for second hand trekking . Thamel Marg is the main place to visit . You will find exquisite restaurants and bars . The place is very economical for everyone . But do not forget to bargain .

Few of places to visit in Kathmandu are Durbar square , Pashupatinath temple and Thamel Marg. Make sure to have masks in Kathmandu as dust pollution is one of its specialities .

Day 2

Kathmandu to Lukla

On 6th April , we set out our journey to explore Himalayas . We went to Lukla by Tara Air . There are many airlines which take you to Lukla which is the starting point of the expedition . Few of them are Goma Air , Tara Air . This flight journey of around 40 minutes will be the best in your life as it takes you away from buildings to mountain ranges of the himalayas . This flight will show you how high are these mountain ranges compared to anything in the world . Its a beautiful journey passing through clouds , waterfalls.

Here is a small video showing you the journey – lukla journey

Pilot lands you to what is called as runway but that may be the only road in the Everest region .

Day 3

Lukla to Phakding

After landing to Lukla , we met our guide, sherpas and our porters . After lunch , we had a short trek around 2-3 hours to a place called as Phakding . Through this short trek , you will find lots of villages where you can fill water , buy some snacks if needed . As you walk to Phakding , you will realize how these mountains grow higher and they are almost unreachable by any means .

Day 4

Phakding ( 2,610 m ) to Namche Bazaar ( 3440 m )

On 7th April , we set out to one of the longest days of trekking in our expedition . Phakding to Namche Bazaar is around 10 hours of trekking . Along the way , you will find a river stream flowing between huge mountains , villages providing you with amazing food , bridges lined across at least 800 m distance between mountains , small holy tombs depicting the warmth , calm and purity of the mountains .

At one point just before Namche Bazaar , you will find the first glimpses of Everest .

Day 5

Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar

We reached Namche Bazaar finally . It was a huge town in the mountains . All that you would like to buy . This is the last place you will find any good number of shops . I would recommend anyone to buy their winter equipments in Namche as they are off good quality .

After resting one night in Namche which is at a height of 3440 m ( 11286 ft ) we set out for a short acclimatization exercise to Everest View point hotel . Along the journey , we visited Tenzing-Hillary memorial getting the blessings of the greats .

Before Leaving Namche , do make a visit to Cafe Danphe . Its a place which every trekker visits and imprints his name on forever in the Everest Region.

Namche Bazaar ( 3440 m ) to Pangboche ( 3,985 m )

This day is one of the most difficult , enjoying , beautiful part of the expedition . As we started from Namche , you find these short stops where you find holy tombs . You get a sensation that the mountain is talking to you into holiness . I met a guy who has climbed Everest 14 Times , Ama Dablam 4 times and what not . He is the King . It was such an honour.

After lunch , you reach Tengboche . Here there is a monastery which you can visit to seak blessing of Buddha for your expedition . View from this place is beyond any words.

Day 6

Pangboche ( 3985 m ) to Dingboche ( 4,410 m )

As we trek higher up , i could feel the low oxygen as we moved along . Need of water and food became utmost important . This is a five hour trek but you will go through lands with literally no sign of any winds to lands with heavy winds . As you go higher , mountain really tries to connect with you in different ways . You have got to find those signs .

Acclimization Day at Dingboche

There is a short acclimatization climb in Dingboche which will take you around 2 to 3 hours .

Day 7

Dingboche ( 4410 m ) to Lobuche ( 4940 m )

This day will test your mind a lot . It takes you through long barren lands , falls into deep rivers underneath . Get ready for cold winds and drinking more water . Make sure to carry few chocolates and protein bars for this day .

Along the way , you can view the high rise Annapurna region after Tukla where you will be having your lunch .

Day 8

Lobuche ( 4940 m ) to Gorakshep ( 5,164 m )

This is the D-Day . Morning you wake up different , brush different , eat different , everything around you feels different because at the end of this day you are gonna be on Everest Base Camp .

Heart starts to beat hard but take it like any other day . Walk like you did always , breathe normally , be calm but do not stop to live the dream this day .

As you reach Gorakshep , on the right hand side you would see Nuptse just staring beside you . You can literally feel you are in the clouds here .

After you reach Gorakshep , have an heavy lunch .

Locals recommend you to eat Dal Bhaat which is an official energy provider in the Himalayas . It really posses a power which keeps you energized the whole day .

Day 9

Gorakshep ( 5164 m ) to Everest Base Camp ( 5368 m)

Finally , as you walk towards Everest Base Camp . Emotions start to flow down your blood stream along with oxygen . Tears start bursting out from your eyes , the happiness in you grows to the extent of Mount Everest . All that you have dreamed about till now is about to be reality and you are gonna be very few in the world who would dare to attempt this expedition .

Finally its just your palm and Everest Base Camp . How slow do you want this both to meet ?

For me it took atleast 10 minutes . It was a moment which was blissful and never ending happiness . I was in tears .

Day 10

Gorakshep ( 5164 m ) to Kalapathar ( 5,643 m )

Next day early morning , wake up at 5 . Get some layers on . Pair of woolean socks in the feet and you start to Kalapathar . Trek to Kalapathar is difficult as the cold is around -20 to -30 degree Celsius . Strong winds . Your devices start to freeze. Your water starts to turn into ice but you gaze through to watch sunrise over Everest and all its other sisters lit up .

Day 11

Gorakshep ( 5164 m ) to Pheriche ( 4,371 m )

We had planned to three day descent back to Lukla from Gorakshep .

It was a good challenge to take up as this would require every day 10-12 hours of trekking below .

As we were coming down , snow fall hit us out of nowehere . It was a mild snow fall but weather start to get cloudy and visibility was taking a hit .

Just before half an hour before reaching Pheriche , i was lost . I did not where i was . As i shouted past the clouds , i heard mild voices and i followed the same as i could not see any houses or any presence of a human being .

As i followed the voice , i met Erika Hesselroth ( bio ) . She was an mountaineer from Norway . Lives in Oslo . A climbing instructor herself . She was on her expedition to Climb Island Peak for Charity (A4D – Fight towards diabetes ,please donate ) . As she and me were the only person and my next dream was to visit Norway , it was a blessing in disguise that as i was living my current dream , it brought me closer to another dream . Finally , we reached Pheriche and i could not thank Erika more for saving my life and completing my day with a hug .

Day 12

Pheriche ( 4371 m ) to Namche Bazaar ( 3440 m )

10-12 hours of decline .

Along the way to Namche , i met Indian Navy Team at Tengboche . There were on their second expedition to Summit of Everest . 18 brave persona’s climbing Everest to represent our country . It such such an honor . I met Vinit Doshi , the Lt. Commander and the leader of this expedition . He welcomed our team with a cup of coffee. Introduced me to all the officers . I really felt lucky to have lunch around Indian Navy Officers . We talked for about an hour and i promised Vinit to greet him in Bangalore after the summit expedition .

In the night around 7 , you will see moon gazing over the mountains into Namche Bazaar . Spectacular View.

Day 13

Namche Bazaar ( 3440 m ) to Lukla ( 2,860 m )

After 10 hours of decline to Lukla , our team was very happy all of us made it back in great shape and finally the trek ended on an amazing note .

I could not thank more to our Guide Nima Sherpa , our sherpas Sonam Salaka and Pasang Sherpa for their love and support all through out the journey . I hope to keep in contact with them and meet them again in upcoming expeditions in Nepal .

Thanks a lot .

Be the first one to comment