By Chris Marshall
After a long flight and a shorter connecting flight, we arrived in Kathmandu where a taxi took us around a dusty, noisy and chaotic environment, Finding the hotel and settling in for a few days.
The trek technically begins when you take a short flight up to Lukla with your daybag which can’t exceed 5kg. Labelled the most dangerous airport in the world, the runway is roughly 530 meters long and uphill, it didn’t feel dangerous at all personally, the landing was better than that of the airbus
I left London on.
After that, it was a quick meal, a briefing and started the trek, crossing the first of many long bridges that swayed in a slight breeze and walking on dust paths, arriving at the first teahouse where you set up bed for the night in the way of a thin walled plyboard room, my shower gel had leaked in my bag, so I had to make that last for the next week and a half, not that I wanted a shower without any heating.
The altitude increased progressively, making it to Namche Bazaar at 3440, a village where markets are held. Despite its setting, there were coffee shops, ATM machines, places to get wi-fi and various other things. After eating rice for about 4 days straight, I decided to try one of the local dishes called “momos” which then became my go to snack at every stop.
After a 200m climb up to Syangboche hill, there was the first unobstructed view of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and a few other notable peaks. It was then onward on a windy, dusty path, shared by people, cattle and some dogs.
Adding weight to my bag in the form of Mcvities chocolate digestives and water which could be purchased at any village.
Altitude sickness started to become apparent at this stage, which I had taken quite lightly but wasn’t affected yet. Despite it being cold at night, the daylight hours were equally tough as the sun beats down melting the snow from the night before, rain was not a factor at this altitude, ate macaroni cheese at 4270 meters.
We averaged about 6-7 hours a day of trekking, going at quite a pace considering we were almost at EBC. Gorak Shep was the last teahouse we stayed at before making the push for base camp, however when we got there, Everest was obscured by a huge cloud, but the sense of accomplishment sinks in despite the aches and pains. You could get a better view the next morning at 4am where it was about 10 below, and make the steep climb up of roughly 200 meters.
On the way back, you get to cross the Hillary bridge for the second time! also buy some trekking poles as going down was worse for me than going up.
Totally worth it, despite getting the worst headaches I’ve ever had, I do recommend it highly, October to November is the dry season, so it’s the best time to go.