Everest Base Camp

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October 19th 2016
Published: November 11th 2016
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Finally made it to Everest base camp - been on my dream list for years. First I heard about this trek in 2001 from some people who had been there. At that time I had no real hiking experience, never really seen snow capped mountains and was not even aware there is something called altitude sickness. That is when I first thought how wonderful it would be to do the Everest Base Camp trek. Of course at that time it was a dream that I thought would never come true. And 15 years later, here we are ...

To be more precise, we made it to Kala Patthar (5550m) the highest point from where you can see the base camp, Everest in its full glory and peaks with 360 deg view. A true Himalayan view.

We started from Lobuche after relaxed breakfast, deciding what to do. Given the cold and situation, we decided not to stay overnight at Gorekshep, instead go up to Kala Patthar direct from Lobuche. This is the option which I thought was most ridiculous before as it required a really long day, almost like a summit day and I did not feel prepared for that. From past experience I know that I start to slow down and altitude takes over around 5300m (18000ft). So I was quite sure that I won't be able to make it to the top starting from Lobuche. I needed the day at Gorekshep and early start to make my way up slowly. This seemed a race against both time and altitude to reach the summit and reach it before clouds take over and cover all the views.

Lobuche to Gorekshep I thought was an easy 200m elevation gain. It turned out to be quite difficult though, lots of ups and downs as we cross the debris left by the receding glacier. At Gorekshep I did not know what to do. I was already tired and the summit of Kala Patthar seemed quite far away. We were already somewhat late which means the clouds will most likely role in before we reach the summit wiping out any rewarding view. But finally we decided to make a go for it anyway. Slowly slowly we made our way up. Every few steps up the views got better and better. There were few more people make their slow way up and seeing that I was able to keep up with most of them made me feel better. Soon the Everest base camp on Khumbu glaciers came into view, and then of course Everest. We saw an avalanche on the glacier far away.

Once the summit was visible, it felt like finally we are going to make it. We were also lucky that clouds had not yet completely covered the sky, so we had good view all around. And then we did reach the summit. I was totally exhausted, I could not move a bit, still the feeling that we actually did make it was amazing. Almost hard to believe. We took lot of pictures and then started making out way down. In the rush to go up we did not had much to eat. The way down was simpler, still exhausting but simpler than way up. On reaching back to Gorekshep, I thought I will feel much better and elated, but I was not. Lack of food and exhausting trip had made me too tired to enjoy. We sat at the lodge, but were too exhausted to eat anything. Just some tea and off down to Lobuche again. I was not looking

Finally looking majestic
forward to that trek as I know it was full of ups and downs which will be even more exhausting now.

We started back, not knowing how we will make it all the way to Lobuche. Slowly walking. There were another group and some folks also walking back. Mid-way our guide said he will go ahead and arrange for a room for us as space is quite limited at Lobuche. The way was quite clear so we could easily walk back on our own. No problem. Slowly slowly we made our way back. It was taking far too long. Then soon we found ourselves alone. All others were either far ahead or left behind. It was also getting late and I was wondering if we have lost our way somehow. It did not seem very likely. But I was still thinking what would happen if we did get lost in this cold barren land, we probably won't survive the night. Well, thankfully soon we saw people going up from Lobuche to see the glacier. So we knew the village is not far. So glad to finally see the lodges and reach. Too exhausted to even enjoy the fact that we are back. We just sat in the lodge, not able to move a finger any more. Some dinner, most sitting around and then off to bed. Thre is only twice before I have been so completely exhausted. Once at Machu Picchu when I was not fit for the trek, and other on summit day at Kilimanjaro. Thanks to our guide who had indeed managed to secure a room for us. Tomorrow will be better and will get even better as we get down to lower altitudes.


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