25 Reasons to Trek to Everest Base Camp
From the perspective of a woman who is over 50 and never particularly into being fit, never wanted to go to Everest Base Camp and would now happily go there annually.
- Trekking to Everest Base Camp is amazing, amazing and yes amazing. I make no apologies for the overuse of the word.
Tears for the Big Picture and the Big Challenge
- Climbing Kala Pattar, looking at Mount Everest at sunset, sunrise or even at noon or standing at Everest Base Camp could possibly be one of the best things you will ever do in terms of travel experiences. It might even rate as one of the best things you do in your life. Certainly it will be an achievement you will be proud of. Guaranteed.
- Why? Trekking to Everest Base Camp is something you have to work at. And we always value things we have to work for, more. Don’t we? And you have to work for trekking to Everest Base Camp before you leave for Kathmandu. It’s what you call Training for EBC – that’s Everest Base Camp. And to do it you need to train for six months or more depending on your base fitness level. We did. My trainer often reminded me; “Remember it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey.”
I’m not sure who said that but I discovered on my journey that this is true. Your training will be part of a journey you experience when you realise what things you can – underline the word can – achieve, when you have a big challenge before you. The trek to Everest Base Camp is a life changing experience. Taking on an amazing challenge and achieving it feels amazing. You will cry on Kala Pattar or at Base Camp because you will have made it. Guaranteed.
- Standing in a valley in Dingboche or on top of Kala Pattar totally surrounded by mountains is an amazing experience. You get a little understanding of how astronauts feel when they view earth from space. You walk through the massive landscapes and feel so small. We are a small part of a very big picture on this wonderful planet. You might cry here too.
Brief Anxious Moments and Some Tears
- I confess I didn’t linger long on the bridges. At first I felt a bit anxious crossing the suspension bridges that span the roaring rivers and jiggle about a bit. But no tears. You do get used to them and people are very careful on them. But the bridges are one of the reasons on the list because they are an exciting part of the trek.
- Add flying into Lukla one the world’s most dangerous airports. Granted it is a bit nail biting the first time. It was a dot point on my 2013 “Why I Don’t Want to Trek to EBC” list. I was so worried about all the things that might go wrong that I hadn’t thought about the amazingly beautiful place and adventure I was about to embark on. So when I saw the view out the window of the little plane, I cried. For most of the forty-minute flight you fly along the line of the Himalayas.It is an experience in itself. After doing it once it’s a piece of cake. The pilots fly into Lukla every day. They have lots of experience and there are lots of procedures in place now since there have been air crashes. So you will be able to add that to your list of amazing travel adventures.
Amazing and Beautiful Nepal
- You walk through the most amazing and beautiful landscapes and pass through lovely little villages on the way.
- Nepal is beautiful full stop.
- The people are beautiful. The opportunity to have some time with the local people – your porter or guide and maybe some of the lodge owners is special.
- Tourism and trekking to Everest Base Camp supports those beautiful people.
Why Would You Choose Anywhere Else?
- In terms of treks you don’t have to carry a big backpack, just a daypack. This is the job of the porter who will carry your gear for you. In doing so you will be employing a local person and be helping build the local economy.
- In terms of treks and challenges you don’t have to stay in a tent unless you want to. There are lodges which used to be called tea houses, all the way along the trail.
- You are part of life on the track. It feels like you are on a pilgrimage. There is only one track and you are either going up, or you are going down. And you see the daily life along the track of the porters, trekkers, kids going to school, yaks, donkey trains, people going to market, lodges being built.
- You meet other trekkers staying at the lodges. People are keen to hear news of what is happening along the trail.
- And if you are a couple like we were or a small group you probably will stop and talk to people going the opposite way while you catch your breath or rest or maybe even help with a bit of donkey traffic control.
Great for Your Health
- The trail provides a path to your goal also provides a great opportunity to practice mindfulness. You need to be watching where you are stepping all the time. For that reason I found the trek quite meditative.
- You breathe fresh air at least five hours a day and think of all the vitamin D.
- You eat well. We ate vegetarian food and many lodges grow their own vegetables.
- You sleep eleven hours a night.
- Very few decisions need to be made. You get up in the morning and you know you have only one thing to do. Get to the next town on your itinerary. And you know how you are getting there. You are going to walk and you are either going up or down.
- No traffic, traffic jams or fumes. There is lots of foot traffic though and there are donkeys, yaks and a few horses just give them the right of way.
- No emails, no phone calls, no stress.
- You feel so fit and amazing. I looked and felt ten years younger. I have never felt as fit as on that trek. Ever. So, why wouldn’t you want to trek to Everest Base Camp?
- Even if you don’t make it all the way you will have tried and had an amazing experience and you can always try again.
- You learn taking on a big challenge is a great thing to do; whether you achieve it or not. The important thing is that you have tried. The journey is as much about the how you get there, the training, the preparation and how great it feels to get out of your comfort zone as is the final destination.
WARNING: You may get addicted to Nepal and to trekking in such an amazing place. We are seriously thinking of returning a third time.
After reading the 25 reasons, you might have a few unanswered questions. Like why on earth did I try to trek to Base Camp the first time if I was worried about it?
Or might want to see some of the bridges you will cross some high and long and others low and short.
You may want to do a shorter trip and take in Namche Bazaar, Khunde and Khumjung and Thame or go as far as Pangboche or a bit further to Dingboche my favourite and climb the Dingboche Ridgetop for an amazing view. You will still have had an amazing experience. Most of the villages have side treks. I will be researching those a bit more for future posts.
And then there is Kathmandu itself with lots to see and great food.
Here is the itinerary for our trek in 2015 when we made it all the way to EBC.
Convinced? Ready to go? Here is a suggested packing list.
And don’t forget you need to train to enjoy it, that way you will have no aches or pains and better still, you will feel fantastic. Guaranteed.