Everest Base Camp Trek Diaries - Day 10

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February 11th 2010
Published: August 9th 2017
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Geo: 28.1543, 85.5615

Morning came and i had slept in the latest since the whole trek, 6:30am, and i was feeling good. 10 hours of sleep and the headache and nausea were gone and i was relieved to be able to go to Everest Base Camp. So i strolled into the dining hall and grabbed some much needed food. We were in for a long day, Gorak Shep to Base Camp, about 5-6 hrs, and back then continuing back down to Thukla, another 4 hrs.
So with semi dry boots, we set off to Everest Base Camp.
The start of the trek is pretty flat but the rest of the way is continuously up and downhill. At the start, Chelsey had breathing difficulties and almost headed back, but thankfully she pressed on, taking her time to rest. She did well, as this was something she wanted to do so badly. It's an amazing trail, through the rocks and alongside the glacier. The glacier itself is spectacular, so big and jagged. You can see a couple of ice caves within in which Dustin described the glacier and ice caves as Superman's fortress of Solitude.
The rocky path leads to a ridge which is pretty flat. Landscape is always remarkable, i love the silence that accompanies the area, absolutely dead silent. Sometimes you can hear falling rocks or ice from the glacier. It's nice not to hear voices and cars. Something to savor before i get back to Kathmandu. We had been going for almost 2hrs and Krishna told us that we had another hour and twenty to go. But what we thought would be an hour and twenty was only 40 min.
We came to the top of the ridge and climbed onto the glacier. We headed towards the middle and Dustin saw a sign. Within five minutes we had reached Everest Base Camp. We all hugged and cheered to have made it.
My first impressions were relief to have made it and how lucky i was to have the opportunity and to have almost gone back to Kathmandu with Radek. I am so glad i decided to continue with Dustin and Chelsey, and to have Krishna by my side, even though i didn't want a porter or guide, has been more enjoyable.
At first appearance, base camp looked very small. Within it lies a big rock with the sign saying Everest Base Camp and then prayer flags arranged in a small circle, only big enough for 3 or 4 tents, so I'm not sure where everyone stays when it's climbing season. A reason why it is small is because its on the glacier, and with the glacier moving all the time, base camp has to be re-located and setup. We had been told many times that all there was at base camp was a sign and ice fall, it didn't sound glamorous at all, but once we got there, with the glacier, snow, mountains and base camp itself, it's actually all that and more, absolutely fantastic.
The views from base camp are still spectacular and amazing even though you don't see Everest itself. The looming mountains tower above and surround the ice fall. The glacier presents itself as rugged, powerful and cold.
Once we had arrived we started the 30 min photo shoot, taking photos of the landscape, the sign and of everyone together. Even Dustin and Krishna did some fighting poses. Dustin and Chelsey had bought a black texta, so we signed the base camp sign, well the rick that it was on. We were all in high spirits and were also looking forward to heading back down in altitude, getting some of that sweet oxygen action.
This was the halfway point from Lukla but were 3 or 4 days past the halfway point of the trek. We said goodbye to the surrounds and headed back. At some point on the way back, about 4 hrs into the trek my toes had finally thawed out.They had been frozen since i started in the morning.
Getting back to Gorak Shep from Base Camp was a little faster. Not sure why, maybe it was from the excitement of reaching Everest Base Camp or the fact that we were excited to be heading down in altitude. On the way back i started to feel a bit sick and had a small headache, so just to be safe i popped another Diamox. It seems that i get worse when I'm dropping in altitude rather than heading up. But we finally got back to Gorak Shep to collect our bags and have some lunch.
After paying for my bill, i realized that if i was not with Dustin and Chelsey that i would have been struggling for money. I had only 3 days left and only 2500Rs, and i was trying to budget for 1000Rs a day but was stuggling with that. It's hard seeing as food and water are pretty expensive, especially when you get higher. So i was definately going to have to borrow some money.
After some good food and drinks and rest, the diamox had kicked in and i felt a whole lot better. I was excited to be heading down. I kept thinking how great a shower will be in Kathmandu in just 4 days time. Baby wipes are good but it's just not the same. But the baby wipes were frozen solid, so i couldn't use them. So we set off downhill to Thukla, all the while having great views and great weather. We had a quick stop in Lobuche where we has stayed and then set off once again downhill to Thukla which was about 1 1/2 hrs away and down a massive hill that somehow we manage to climb.
We followed the snow path where parts were in ice, making it more slippery and dangerous when going downhill. But we got there and immediately sat around the fire and ordered dinner.
Also satying at the guesthouse was the Canadian couple we had met in Namche, they also met a British guy, Dean, who was trekking solo after his friend got really sick and had to go back. Like Radek but worse apparently.
Jamie and Paul had some issues with acclimatisation, so they were slowly making their way up, but were also running low on money. They were lucky to have run into Dean who helped them out and i guess it was good for Dean as well to meet Jamie and Paul so that he could trek with them instead of solo. Jamie and Paul also had some problem with their porter where he was telling them that their accommodation was 500Rs when in fact its usually 100-200Rs, so he was pocketing the extra 300Rs. We all sat and chatted around the fire until it was time for bed at around 8pm.
It still feels wierd to go to bed sop early. At this guesthouse, the toilet is outside, not directly outside either, but probably 50m from the entrance, and of course is a squatter. So it's difficult when you want to go to the toilet during the night. You have to take a torch and rug up as it's flippin freerzing outside. And i just happened to have the furtherest room and had to get up 3 times during the night. But being lazy, i just went around the corner. Still had to walk outside though. But the stars were amazing outside.
It had been an amazing journey from the start. It took us 10 days and for me it made it more special that i had trekked with my own backpack on my back and that i had great people to share this accomplishment and experience. This is something i will not forget and glad that i have had the opportunity to do. It has been hard at times, but every step, heatache, muscle ache and sweat has been worth it.
As Chelsey has said, that even thoughyou climb steep hills for hours or have a difficult day, as soon as you get to the guesthouse, have a warm drink and put up your feet as well as taking in the views, you instantly forget what you have just through. It was also a day for reflection, to think about the amazing experience, to feel proud of accomplishing such a goal.
I love Nepal. A beautiful country, amazing scenery and amazing people. I can't wait to come back, when ever that will be.
Hopefully Soon.

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