Slip Sliding Away at Everest Base Camp
The Walk You Have To Do
Gorak Shep : 5170m Everest Base Camp : 5300m
The walk into Everest Base Camp took me by surprise. The track isn’t much of a track, making the walk a little crazy. At the end you just clamber over boulders and slip everywhere.
The photo shows the middle section of the trail which had lots of boulders and scree. A defined path becomes non-existent, so we headed in a general direction picking our way as best we could, following our trusty Porter Guide. Because of clambering over boulders, I developed blisters on my toes. Applying band aids before setting out is probably a good idea.
EBC has the reputation of looking very dull as most trekkers visit it in the afternoon when the area is in shade. We took the advice from some trekkers we passed on the way up a few days earlier, to visit in the morning when the area is in full light. It was quite lovely.
I plan to write a post about the runners and the marathon as they were a feature of our trek. We bumped into them several times along the trail much to the Trainer’s delight.
The Main Everest Base Camp Trail’s highlight is the view of Mt. Everest and the Himalaya Range from the top of the hill Kala Patthar. Not everyone has heard of Kala Patthar. However, Everest Base Camp is famous, so it’s a must do. Or is it? I felt uneasy at Base Camp, being directly underneath where the 2015 avalanche came off Mt. Pumori into Base Camp (or so I was told). If I go back I would climb Kala Patthar twice, climbing it once in the afternoon and again the next morning at sunrise.
The triumphant team of three, lined up to take the obligatory photo by the sign and flags.
The sign for my choir had its big moment here. 130 people sang Climb Every Mountain to me before I left Melbourne. It was very special.
The round trip to EBC from Gorak Shep is 8km and takes 6.5 hours. Back at Gorak Shep (the end of the trail and starting point for Kala Patthar and EBC) we had lunch at the lodge where we had slept the night before and left. We headed back down to Lobuche (a 2.5-hour walk) through the long valley that feels like a moonscape. Back in our lodge in Lobuche we ate and went straight to bed. Exhausted but very happy and very pleased with ourselves.
All the training had prepared us well. The trek to Everest Base Camp is more than the walk to that point. It is a long journey in many ways, for which you are rewarded in just as many ways.
Now we just had to get back down to Lukla in one piece.