Before writing about my experience in Everest Base Camp trek. Firstly, I would like to mention that from the beginning of my job, career, I mean for the last 6 years I have been working and feel proud of being specialized trekking and tour leader in Annapurna Region from the Royal Mountain Travel. Which is one of the top-ranking travel company in Nepal and has the biggest international network that offers extensive variety tours, treks, hikes and other adventure travel activities for Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. Since 1992-2017, this travel organization has satisfied about hundreds of thousand adventure enthusiast from the worldwide. The most likely of this company is sincere and caring about their employees and clients. Even though, they provide many training as well as offers many fun travel vacation options to their employees time and again. Among them, I am the one who chooses an opportunity to trek, Everest Base Camp (EBC).
Apart from the awe-inspiring landscape, tourists to this area definitely will experience unique Sherpa tradition by seeing monasteries together with museums along the route. A few days are filled up with strolling for the all-out excitement of it, following vibrant prayer wheels and even across suspension bridges. Tough evenings are honored with pretty foods and nutrients and as a consequence interaction with similar minded visitors around the dining room fireplace. The rich choices of natural charm, interesting way of life and a confidential feeling of accomplishment, including comfortable Nepalese compassion from the natives of the Solukhumbu vicinity, tends to make the Everest Base Camp trek certainly one of the world’s best memorable.
1st Day: Fly 25 Min from Kathmandu (1350 m) to Lukla and trek to Phakding (2610 m) for 3 hrs.
As we are driven for 15min to the airport from the hotel. We took a 25 min scenic flight to Tenzing-Hillary airport at Lukla. After arriving, we went to Mira Lodge for a morning breakfast. After breakfast, we headed towards Phakding with perfect scenery view by passing suspension bridge, Chorten, Mani stone and prayer flag with beautiful mountains like Karyolung (6511 m), Nupla (5885 m) and Gongla (5813 m). On the way in the middle place at Thado Koshi, we had stopped for a tea break. From where Mt. Kusum Kangaru (6367 m) rise behind. After a tea break, we just had walked for 1 hours to Phakding. Lunch and Overnight at Shangri-La Lodge. In the late afternoon, went to visit nearby attractions of places by following the Dudh Koshi River, we crossed suspension bridge and hiked for 40 min to the Pema Choling Gompa, Which has a 350 years Old history.
Fact Note: Phakding used to be the sources of white micaceous clay which was used to whitewash house walls. And this what word Phakding means. Today it is most trekkers stay on their way to Namche and for good reason across the bridge on the western side of the Dudh Koshi river, there is Pema Choling Gompa, it is also known as Rimishung Gomba, which is one of the most important Gomba in Khumbu.
2nd Day: Trek from Phakding to Namche bazaar (3440 m) around 6 to 7 hrs.
On this second day, trail condition in the beginning was a comfort and at least two and half hours were difficult which mean going all the way upwards up to Namche bazaar. Till Namche, we crossed four suspension bridges, which gave us an amazing experience. Now, after the early morning breakfast, we walked gradually and crossed the suspension bridge by following crystal blue white water river Dudh Koshi. Afterwards, we passed through narrow trails along with wide stone trail beside suspension bridges up to come where we stopped for a tea break as well as stopped to show the TIMS cards. After tea break again we moved further by rounding clockwise to many Chorten and mane stones with the view of greenhouse and Mountain View like Mt. Kongde (6168 m), Mt. Thamserku (6608 m) and Kusum Kangaru (6367 m) then reached Monjo, a last village before the Sagarmatha National Park. After showing National Park permit the trail leads few up and down and reached Jorsalle. Where we stopped for lunch. Then, last two and half hours upwards by crossing Hillary Bridge and by viewing Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse and Nuptse from Tope Danda, we reached Namche bazaar. A bustling mountain town. The heart of Khumbu, which was built in an ancient valley is the largest of all Sherpa settlements. This was a place where we stopped for rest tonight and for acclimatization as well. The lodge we stayed in Namchebazar was Snow land Lodge.
3rd Day: Acclimatization Day in Namche bazaar.
On our acclimatization day, we had planned to hike 440 m Uphill Mountain from the sea level in order to acclimatize our body before going higher elevation next day. After having our breakfast, we ordered for lunch, then we headed upwards through stone steps for a few minutes and gradually a steep hill for total two and half hours. Finally, we reached to Syangbuche, a top hill on the elevation of 3880 m from the sea level. As we accomplished to the top hill, Himalayas gave a 360-degree contrasting view. Khumbila (5761 m), Cholache (6440 m), Tawache (6542 m), Nuptse (7864 m), Mt. Everest (8848 m), Lhotse (8516 m), Amadablam (6812 m), Kangtega (6779 m), Thamserku (6608 m), Kusum Kangaru (6367 m) and Kongde (6168 m) are some of the famous mountains that we could see from top hill. On that top hill, there was a resort which is called Everest Sherpa Resort. There we had piquant tea by viewing the mentioned magnificent majestic Himalayas. Around one hour we spend there by taking the picture and drinking tea. After that, we descended to lodge to have our lunch and spend a whole day by surfing on the internet and went to see the market of Namchebazar in the late afternoon.
Secret Note: On the Right side of Mt. Kongde, there is a secret mountain called Khumbila. At behind of Khumbila, there is a small village which is popularly known as a green valley. Because of that, in a few years back people used to keep on the roof of their house a white sparkle Zinc. So, due to sunlight heated on Zinc and reflected into Khumbila Mountain and all the snow melted. After that, people replaced a white Zinc roof into green painted zinc roof. Thereafter, the village is called Green Valley. Another, the Khumbila mountain is restricted to climbing. The water which is flowing from this mountain is used for a drinkable purpose.
4th Day: Trek from Namchebazar to Tengboche (3860 m) for 5 hrs.
After breakfast, we started our trek through narrow trails by passing stopped with an outstanding view of Mt. Amadablam, Mt. Everest, Mt. Tabuche (6367 m), Mt. Thamserku etc. And even on our continuing way, we saw a beautiful village called ports, where ice climbing training is organized and it is also said that each house person are able to climb High Mountains. Afterwards, we arrived at Kyangjuma for a tea break. Then after, few minutes we walked into a rhododendron forested area with conifer trees. Fortunately, we saw a mountain goat, a Himalayan Tahr gazing in the middle of slope on the high rocky mountain hill. Next again we got other information that the valley Phortse area has the highest number of Tahr, Snow Leopard signs and high density of Himalayan Monal and another type of pheasant in Khumbu. Subsequently, we descended through rhododendron forest and pine tree at the end before lunch we crossed suspension bridge and stopped for a meal at Phunki Tenga beside the Dudh Koshi River. Once more, we heard that this is a good spot for Himalayan Griffon’s birds which nest in the cliffs. Of course, we noticed and saw many griffons flying in the sky. After lunch, we trekked for two hours all the way upwards direction passes by the pine tree and intent conifer trees up to Tengboche. Where we stopped to rest for the night at Tasi Delek Lodge and Restaurant. From there spectacular Mountain View of Mt. Everest, Mt. Amadablam, Mt. Lhotse and really, the Mt. Thamserku are so close, feel like touching. After one hour freshens up, we went to visit the nearby Tengboche Monastery, which was established in 1915 AD.
Fact Note: In the Tengboche Monastery, 60 monks are living which are from Eight-Year-Old trainees of Eighty Years old reincarnate Rinpoche. Major things to see inside monastery are Mani Rimbu, Kalachakra, Lama Sanga Dorje, Lama Gulu, Earth-witness Posture, Prayer wheels, and Thangka.
5th Day: Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche (4410 m) for around 5 hrs and 30 min.
On this 5th day, the trail was quite easy to compare other days. But we had briefed about to cross the tree line and should reach above 4000 m from the sea level. Similarly, we had to go to a high height place and had to take a rest for acclimatization. Because of no tree line, we got an information that there would be a lot of chances of winding. So, we were already prepared to keep warm our body. After our morning breakfast, we descended smoothly by walking through rhododendron forest and following the Dudh Koshi River, we crossed an iron bridge and headed upwards with Mani stone and conifer for 45 min up to the lower Pangboche. The real last village where we stopped for a tea break and continuing foot to focus for lunch at Syomare. After that, we crossed the tree line and moved forwards by viewing high height mountains and animals; yak and nak on the ridge path before reaching Dingboche. Where we stayed for a night and for acclimatization day as well as a Hotel Peaceful Lodge. We heard that Dingboche used to be a summer settlement for yak grazing. We even saw lots of yak and make grazing over a slope of the cliff. Mountains such as Lhotse, Imjatse, Amadablam, and Taboche were amazingly skyline which was beyond the expectation.
6th Day: Acclimatization day at Dingboche.
Again, we had our breakfast and ordered for lunch. After that, just headed 300 m up in Chukung height (4735 m). The local people said that the height is a very popular destination for acclimatization and also a gateway to the very popular Island Peak. From this hilltop, we saw a striking view of Amadablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, Tabuche, Peak 38 (7590 m), Thamserku, Island peak (6189 m), Baruntse (7152 m), Amphula (5630), and Makalu (8485 m) etc. Even we saw very beautiful birds like Himalayan crows also called Himalayan Ravan, Common Kestrel, Himalayan vulture etc. Animals like, Nak and yak were grazing that made us feel like how they can survive on the mountain above 4000 m in this cold region. After spending half an hour at the Chukung height we came back followed by the same trail and had a lunch. But, the day was sunny so we spend our rest of the time by sitting in the sun and listen to music, drinking hot water and tea as well as by enjoying a view.
7th Day: Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche (4940 m) for around 4 to 5 hrs.
On the seventh day, a trail led through little upwards like half an hour through setup and smoothly walked into grassland where no tree area. But, we saw a yak hard house. It is said that in summer, the number of yaks and naks can be seen that are grazing in the field. After walking slowly but surely, we touched at Thukla, where we at a standstill for the tea break. After having a hot tea, we directed uphill for one hrs which was difficult section. As we crossed the toughest part, we met a lot of memorials Chorten built in the memorandum who were summited the Mt. Everest and other mountains lie in the Everest region. For example; Hristo Prodanov who is from Bulgaria who scaled mount Everest alone without oxygen on the 20th of April 1984. But, he died on his way back from a summit on the same day. Another person, Babu Chiri Sherpa from Solukhumbu, at very young age of 13 he started his career as a climber. By the age of 36, he summits Everest 10 times. But, on the 29th of April 2001, when he tried for the 11th time he left this world. Likewise, there is a number of them who summited Everest and left their lives. After passing memorials part we again walked for around more than 1 hrs bit by bit and arrived at Lobuche. Where we had a lunch and stayed for a night at the Sherpa lodge. In the late afternoon before sunset, we went to see the Khumbu glacier from 100 m uphill and came back to stay in Lodge. Moreover, we already knew that next day early morning we have to wake up and should move by wearing full of warm clothes. After dinner, before going to bed, we had prepared for warm clothes and packed up rest of belongings to move earlier tomorrow. Because the next day was the longest day.
A fact of Lobuche: This place offers some of the most breathtaking view of mountains as well as there is a high altitude research center which can help with communication for the rescue operation.
8th Day: Trek from Lobuche to Gorakshep (5170 m) and Everest Base Camp (5364 m) for total 8 hrs.
On the eighth day of today was a final day of accomplishing the Everest Base Camp. Which made us feel proud to be excited near to the top of the world. Actually, the trail was smoothly up and down. Comparatively easy trails. But, according to elevation was the toughest day. Now, early morning sharply at 6 am, after breakfast, we started our trek to Gorakshep for 3hrs over the wide trail from the mid of two rocky hills with the view of the Khumbu glacier and mountains. As we reached to Gorakshep at Buddha lodge, we left all our things and had another meal. Afterwards, we went to Everest Base Camp, which had taken five hours up and down. Rest a night at Gorakshep. The major highlights of the day are many mountain views along with top of the world Mt. Everest (8848 m) other includes Mt. Nuptse (7861 m), Mt. Pumori (7138 m), Lingtren (6749 m) Tibet mountain called Changtse (7543 m) etc. Rocky landscape, Awesome Khumbu glacier, Birds (Himalayan Ravan), if we stay silent Pica (A small mountain Rat).
The fact of Gorakshep: This Gorakshep came by the name of the bird, the raven, which is called Gorak by the Sherpas. One day Sherpas saw a dead body of the Himalayan Raven (Gorak) at this place. After that, the meaning Gorak found by Sherpas which is popularly known as Gorakshep. This place is the end of lodges as well as for the trip to Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar (5550 m).
9th Day: Trek from Gorakshep to Pheriche (4250 m) for around 6 hrs.
Early in the morning before breakfast at 5 am we had a tea and hiked upwards for 2 hrs to Kalapatthar (5550 m). From Kalapatthar, 360-degree of panoramic Mountain view along with Khumbu Glacier looks amazingly awesome. But, the temperature was like -9 degree Celsius before moving from the lodge. When we get to the top, it was like – 20 degree Celsius. Freezing cold. Actually, the Mount Everest, a top of the planet of the sea level looked perfectly stunning which even we cannot expect that much greater and impression like touching. The Even better view than EBC (Everest Base Camp). Another, after returning back from Kalapatthar we had our breakfast around at 8 am and at 9 am we moved from Buddha lodge which was descending trek. As we descended by following the same trail and reached to a Lunch place at Lobuche, we felt very relief and calm. After lunch, we just trekked for 3hrs to Pheriche. Which lies in a valley, surrounded by rocky hills and mountains. But, the town was very much windy and better for summer settlement. Here, we stayed at panorama lodge and restaurant with dinner and breakfast. The mountains that we see from here are Amadablam, Thamserku, Kangtega, Tabuche, Cholatse and Lobuche peak (6119 m).
10th Day: Trek from Pheriche to Kyangjuma (3610 m) for around 6 to 7 hrs.
We followed a different trail up to Syomare. The trail led efficiently down and uphill by crossing the Iron Bridge. But, it was descending trek. Because from 4250 m we descended to 3610 m. Which is around 600 m down. We took a tea break at Syomare where we had a lunch in last time before heading towards Dingboche. Again by following the Dudh Koshi River we encountered the tree line and returned back through the same trail by transit real village Pangboche and headed through rhododendron and pine tree. We stopped at Tengboche for lunch. After that, over again we descended to Fungki Tonga where we had lunch before directed upwards to Tengboche. Crossed the suspension bridge and headed few minutes upwards by passing rhododendron and pine forest, we arrived at Kyangjuma. This was a perfect place to breathe in the mountain scenery. Where we stopped for an overnight stay. The name of the guest house was Amadablam lodge and restaurant.
11th Day: Trek from Kyangjuma to Chumoa (2800 m) for 5 hrs.
Today again the trail move gradually downwards. As we followed by the Dudh Koshi River, Mani stone, Chorten and stupa, we reached Namche bazaar and had a lunch at Namche at the same lodge where we had spent two nights in the snow land Lodge. After lunch, another time as we followed same trail descending highly through rhododendron and blue pine conifer trees, by walking on Dudh Koshi river beach, crossing suspension bridges, and showing national park permit and TIMS, rounding clockwise prayer wheel, we reached Chumoa guest house. The best of Chumoa was a large rock territory along the trail that locally used for storage and playground of volleyball court in a lodge and surrounding green nature and landscape which made us a fine for rest place.
12th Day: Trek from Chumoa to Lukla (2850 m) for 5 hrs.
Very soon my Everest Base Camp trek experience going to end. Today, after our early breakfast all over again as we inclined through many, many stone, Chorten and prayer wheel along with by enjoying the mountain and green view, crossing a suspension bridge and gave a time to pass a mule train that are transporting goods to remote part of the Everest region, and other facts of ridge trail, we grasped second time on the same place to have a tea break at Thado Koshi. After that, the trail led downwards for a few minutes and headed up to the Lukla. We stayed at same Mera lodge where we had first breakfast and tea cessation began.
13th Day: Flight back to Kathmandu from Lukla which take 25 to 30 min of scenic flight.
Because of inclement weather we had a flight at 10 am in the morning. After arriving at Kathmandu airport, we collected our language and drive back to the hotel and went to have a lunch at a nearby restaurant for Dal and Bhat. After that, took a taxi and driven at Home.
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