With little knowledge of what lay in front of us our training was a little under cooked. The distances traveled each day are not that far the challenge comes in the steady steep inclines or the downhills. So here some things we did and others we should have done more of.
There a lot of stairs on the trail, far more then we expected, so if we were to do it again we’d do many more stairs, both up and down. Make sure you find a good tall building and enjoy.
Squats to strengthen knees.
Train with the backpack and water bladder / bottles that you are going to use and fill them up so you get used to the extra weight and get used to drinking from them.
Wear the hiking boots that you are going to wear on the trail.
You’ll be staying at various tea houses along the way that are very basic in accommodation to say the least. Here are some tips and descriptions so you can plan accordingly. It may sound a bit rough but you’ll be soon getting into the swing of things.
Beds are made for shorter people so if you are taller then 6 foot expect to have some over hang.
Bedding provided is often just a sheet to cover the mattress and a pillow so make sure your sleep wear and sleeping bags are accurate
The only place they heat is the main dining area, so this becomes the place to hang out play cards etc. Be ready for the temperature difference when you leave this area.
There is no heating in the rooms at all with little to no insulation so the outside temperatures are the same or very close to the room temperatures.
The walls between the rooms are very thin so noise passes straight through them
The showers (if there are any) and the bathrooms are communal and often there is only one for the whole group.
The sink for washing hands and brushing teeth etc is sometimes outside.
The do not clean the facilities very often, so bring lots of wet wipes and hand sanitiser.
The staff are very friendly and will get you anything very quickly and always with a smile.
Even though it says “WiFi Available” you may not have internet access or it maybe very slow. Check with the staff and they will tell you first. Use the trip to have a technology detox.
They have central points for charging cameras, phones etc and charge around 100 – 200 rupees per hour. They do not have power points in the rooms. This is to conserve energy. I brought small USB battery packs to recharge. they are also handy on the trail in case of an emergency and can recharge your camera or phone several times per charge.
As we got up in the morning you could tell the group was excited as today was what we had come for, in a few short hours we’ll be sitting at Everest Base Camp.
Leaving Lobuche we headed out on narrow tracks that are at times a few feet wide and several hundred metres above the ground. At other times we were trekking in wide valleys.
Then there was a sign that we were heading in the right direction.
The vegetation at this time is sparse with the the trek into base camp becoming a challenge to rock hop amongst the many large rocks that form part of the trail.
Although very limited there are some beautiful flowers that line the path to base camp,
As well as the flowers, some birds and other other animals find refuge and live in the mountains.
We finally reach the area of the base camp. We trek across the rocks towards the many many prayer flags that mark the spot. Celebrations and screams fill the air as the group reaches the spot that marks where base camp is. Some enjoy the moment a bit more then others.
The Everest base camp area is basically a big glacier mixed with rocks and a lot of dust. The size of the glacier is impressive and hard to get the true perspective in film.
Large pools of water and ice are formed by melting ice in the warm autumn sun.
Once the celebrations are complete as well as all the photo taking we start to head towards Gorak Shep for the evening. Thinking about the 4am start to see the sun rise over Everest.