We Are Off for Trek Number 3 in Nepal

We’re off to Trek in Nepal. Again.

Above Dingboche Everest Base Camp trek

Above Dingboche Everest Base Camp trek

Yes, I am in love. In love with the Nepalese landscapes and with the simplicity of the trekking in Nepal. A colleague asked me what’s the attraction, she knows it is my third trek.

Why Go to Trek In Nepal?

If you ask The Trainer (aka my husband) he’d say he’s doing it to keep me fit! In fact, the need to keep up a general level of fitness and then to train four times a week for two or three months before we leave for Nepal, is a big side benefit. But I really liked the feeling of achievement after taking on the challenge of trekking to Everest Base Camp. And feeling so incredibly fit from the simple days, sustained walking, fresh air and fresh food walking through magnificent landscapes. It felt amazing. And I was glowing when I returned home.

Good Planning is Important for a Successful Trek

Signage in the Khumbu

Although we have to the Everest Base Camp region twice before or maybe, because we have been before, I am conscious to not become blasé about what we are about to do.

  1. We have kept up the training.
  2. We (that would be the Trainer) have researched the route and itinerary options
  3. We are reviewing what we are taking. I have bought a new Osprey day back pack.
  4. We are reviewing the packing list
  5. We reviewed the drug list – the Trainer bought out the chemist
  6. We checked in with our contact in Kathmandu that everything is on track with flights to Lukla, organising our Porter and getting our TIMS Card
  7. We have booked our hotel in Kathmandu

So, we fly to Nepal in two weeks. I am very excited to be staying at the Kathmandu Guest House when we arrive and when we leave. If it is good enough for Ricky Martin, it’s good enough for us too.

We are trekking independently again but will be taking a porter/ guide, like on our second trek.

Trekking to Gokyo Ri and the Gokyo Lakes

We are going back to the Khumbu, the Everest Base Camp region but we are trekking to Gokyo. The trek is marketed as Gokyo and the Glacial lakes. If you read the trekking tour blurbs this is what they list as the highlights.

  • Stand at the shores of a chain of six turquoise, glacial-fed lakes
  • Hike along Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest glacier in the Himalaya
  • Avoid the Everest crowds, but enjoy the selection of great views
  • Climb Gokyo Ri (5,357 m) for spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, and Cho Oyu
  • Trek through the Sherpa town of Khumjung, home of a ‘real’ yeti skull
  • From ‘Scoundrel’s viewpoint’ near the fifth lake, peer over the vast Ngozumpa Glacier a wasteland of rock and ice
Khumjung Everest Base Camp trek September 2015

Walking into Khumjung

In fact the view from Gokyo Ri is meant to be better than the view from Kala Pattar on the Base Camp trek. Also, weather permitting, we will be crossing over Cho La Pass. We haven’t done that before. Climbed a pass. This will be a hard a long day. Easily the hardest.  But we will only go if the weather is good otherwise it can be treacherous. We have a day and a buffer day at Gokyo to help with this. We have been told that the walk to Fifth Lake is well worth while.

And in true Nervous Nelly style I am anxious about it. Again. This time I am anxious about the pass. However, the Trainer is talking me up. Cho La Lou he is calling me. Cho La Lou, Queen of the High Passes. Sort of has a nice ring to it doesn’t it ?

Everest Base Camp trek

 

Any advice on the Cho La Pass an Gokyo, comments are very welcome.

Nepal Captures Your Heart Forever

Himalayan Landscapes Are Forever in Your Heart

I have become addicted to wanting to walk in these landscapes. Forever.

Main Everest Base Camp Trail

Well at least one more time. But then I know it will be one more time. Again.

That’s me on Day 13 of our Mount Everest Base Camp trek returning to Lukla. From the top of Kala Pattar we had the closest view of Everest, two weeks before I turned 58. That was October 2015. Now, we just have to go again. Back to see, and be a part, of these massive landscapes.

Flying to Lukla

All my reservations  left me when I saw the first vista from the plane flying to Lukla.  And my eyes filled with tears. In 2013 it was the first time I had ever done anything like this – hike or trek. Me, walk all the way to my next destination? Never.

EBC Trek Day 2

On the lower part of the trek the vistas are smaller. Remember it’s all relative. The noisy river, the trees, the small villages along the trail. And the bridges which cross back and forth over the river. The blue roofs are at Benkar and our porter is a little up ahead with the orange pack.

Then there is the iconic bridge which features in in the movie Everest. After crossing the suspension bridge and the fast moving Dudh Kosi river below there is the steep big climb to Namche Bazaar.Bridges across to Nacmhe Bazaar hill

Day 4 Above Namche Bazaar heading towards TengbocheIn the photo above look closely at the bottom point of the river to see the two bridges. Looking back at different points and seeing how far you have come gives you a great sense of achievement. It’s all part of the addiction. Lodges in Nepal

There can be amazing views even from your room. The climb to Namche Bazaar is worth the view. You can even climb higher, pay more and stay at the Everest View Hotel and get a view of Everest.  Above Namche Bazaar on Acclimatisation Day

I love the view of the two rivers below. The two bridges in the photos above cross where the two rivers meet. The day before I had walked alongside the river. There was a bit of cloud and rain as it was the very end of September. But we didn’t get wet.

Namche Bazaar to Tengboche EBC Trek

When we flew to Lukla the first time there was an man sitting next my husband who was on his seventeenth trek to Nepal. I told you it was addictive. He pointed out the mountains by name. I want to be able to recognise all the mountains and name them too. The one above is Ama Dablam, she is distinctive and easy to spot.

EBC Trek Walking to Dingboche

Above the tree line and blue skies. The track levels out in places.

Day 7 EBC Trek to DingbocheLittle hamlets and big views. Part of the attraction is no crowds. I loved Dingboche and the acclimatisation day walk above it. Half way up the hill you can see the C-shaped track above the stupa and to the right. That’s about 400 metres above the town and where the flag pole below was. The views were stupendous. I loved it.

View of mountains above the small village of Dingboche on the EBC Trek

There are walks to be taken from Dingboche so I just have to go back…

EBC Trek Dingboche to Lobuche

EBC Trek Dingboche to Lobuche

The massive landscapes put things in perspective.

Above Pheriche, Everest Base Camp trek

You could look at the view forever but you have to move on to the next amazing vista.

EBC Trek near Gorak Shep

And the views feel so special because you have “worked” and walked to get there. Note the people in the bottom left hand corner.

Gorak Shep and Kala Patthar

And when you get to your final destination and climb that final brown hill and stand in front of Everest and above Everest Base Camp…

On top of Kala Patthar in October

you understand it’s not just about getting there. The whole journey and the effort to get there is special. But be warned. It’s addictive.

Everest Base Camp in the morning

A morning view from Mount Everest Base Camp.

Posted on February 1, 2018 by Louise Terranova

Dingboche My Favourite Day

Tenzing Got There First

Our Acclimatization Day in Dingboche

Yes thank you to our Porter .. Basanta he was lovely… for always watching out for me.

I loved , loved, loved this day and Dingboche. I could go back to this part of the world every year.

Ok there is a fuzzy bit in the video but – who cares….

Who is coming next time we trek here ?

Don’t forget to check out my Home Page Our Itinerary for our Everest Base Camps Treks

 

Beautiful One Day Breathtaking the Next

A Photo is Worth a Thousand Superlatives

Above Pheriche, EBC Trek, Nepal

From the moment you walk out of Lukla to trek to Everest Base Camp the views are beautiful. The higher you go the more amazing the views, higher again the views become breathtaking panoramas. Continue reading

Things You Should Know about Trekking to Everest Base Camp

Things you might not know about Kathmandu, trekking to EBC and Nepal in general.

If someone says that they are trekking to Everest Base Camp it doesn’t mean they have to sleep in a tent or are intending to climb Mount Everest.

Tents of the 2015 Ultra Marathon Runners at Everest Base Camp

Tents of the 2015 Ultra Marathon Runners at Everest Base Camp

Accommodation is simple on the trail there is not a lot of up market accommodation.

There are no roads into Lukla the start of the Everest Base Camp Trek. Generally  people fly into Lukla and start trekking from there. The nearest road is at Jiri and you can walk from there. The airport was built in 1964. People still walk in from Jiri. Jennifer from Jennifer’s Journeys did it.

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Some villages along the track have wifi but it doesn’t always work. Great places for wifi are Namche Bazaar, Dingboche and maybe Pangboche and Lobuche. It is a combination of the location but also the lodge.

The early part of the trail is not that remote and you will see children going to school along the trail.

Children running home from school EBC trek trail Nepal

You need to research the season and the months you are traveling well. There advantages for the different seasons.

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December – cold but beautiful dry sunny days

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Late September two years later. Warmer days when the cloud lifts.

Going there you are helping the local economy.

Stick to vegetables on the trail. Refrigeration is not brilliant.

Neplese food on the EBC trek

It is not normal walking and Diamox is key. Make sure you have it an I would tend to follow the trekking guides’ recommendation, as in experienced guides who lead treks on a regular basis. A slow trek is key to getting there without be sick. Altitude headaches can be really horrible. I’ve heard and read. We didn’t have any.

There is a thing called a Go Girl. Apparently female rock climbers use them to urinate. Practice is advised.

Kathmandu has lots of places to see including Durbar Square where you can see lots of pigeons.

Durbar Square and pigeons Kathmandu

Having a massage after a trek is a very good idea. I didn’t do this and I felt really sore and stiff a few weeks later, back home in Australia. I felt like my body was seizing up. Next time I will have a massage.

The lower part of Nepal is quite tropical almost and you can even go on a jungle safari. We went to Chitwan. Buses are very scary and the journeys are incredibly slow.

You can fly into Lukla for a day and take flights up over Everest.

You don’t have to go to EBC you can take a shorter trek and just go as far as Tengboche. There are other side treks you could go and not go to EBC.

Step Training? Affirmative

Three Months Until Your EBC Trek? Get Training

Do I need to include steps in my training ? You bet. By the end of your training you should be able to do 1 hour of steps with a ten minute break in the middle.

Main Everest Base Camp Trail between Namche Bazaar and Tengboche treacherous steps but a great view.

There’s the man with the vision and the all the plans. Trek to Everest Base Camp, Nepal. He had been to trek the Annapurna circuit in the 80s and he knew there is a lot of uneven ground so he insisted on finding uneven hills to train on and lots of stairs too.

And stairs were in abundance …..

Between Lukla and Phakding
Eveerest Base CAmp trek trail
Aproach to bridge at Jorsale
trekking Phakding to Monjo Everest Base Camp Trek September 2015
Between Phakding and Monjo
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Donkeys making their way down these stairs – wait for them to pass.

Everest Base Camp trek

Kids an their way home from school running down the stairs. October 2015

Outside Monjo towards Namche Bazaar

An eighty plus year old woman with 40 kilos plus of cabbages, beating me down these stairs. November 2013

Everest Base Bamp Trek
Everest Base Camp Marathon day 2015

Base Camp Marathon runners after Tengboche heading to Namche Bazaar. October 2015

If you are planning a trek on the Annapurna Circuit or to Everest Base Camp and you’ ll be there in three or four months you need to start your incline training, or hill training now. Find some good hills close to home to start walking them twice a week with a more intense session on the weekend.  All you need is one good hill with some uneven ground. Go up the hill turn around and go back up. Turn around and do it again and again. Ad nauseum.

Find Some Stairs to Train on

We did stair training for the last two and half months once a week and twice a week for the last six weeks. We started off at ten or twenty minutes building up to 45 minutes to an hour. Up four flights , down four flights. You get the picture.

EBC Trek
There’s the river between the trees…
Namche to Tengboche
Approaching some tricky steps …
Everest Base Camp Trek
Almost there! The infamous climb to Namche Bazaar almost finished.

November 2013

Oh course you will be rewarded by fabulous views at the top … before you go down hill to go up again…

Everest Base Camp Trek Tips

  1. Practice with your boots and all your gear.
  2. Buy trekking poles to protect your knees, especially going down hill. Train with them before you leave for Nepal. I mean for a few months at least. If you not used to them you will really feel the pain.
  3. We recommend taking a porter and or porter guide. The photos of me with the orange pack are our 2013 trek without a porter. The shots with the small purple pack were taken on the 2015 trek when we took a porter guide.
  4. Remember your step training and then you will enjoy your trek.
  5. Go slow. Slowly, slowly. Bistari, bistari. It is not a race.
  6. And remember another reason you train and do all of the above – the elevation see Everest Base Camp Trek Elevation profiles and my comments.

Todd Samson and How Not to Trek in the Himalayas

Todd Samson’s Salute to Sherpas and Climbing Lobuche

todd-samson

What Todd Samson has been getting up to lately is far from tame. Todd Samson is an Australian Canadian television celebrity is currently in a show called Body Hack.

Each episode looks at a different group of people who are involved in extreme activity and how the body copes with it. Taking it one step further Todd Samson walks in their shoes for some time. The Nepalese episode looked at the life of the Sherpa people who work as porters along the Everest Base Camp Trail. Continue reading

Farewell to the EBC Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek

Day 16 Phakding to Lukla

Nepalese dog

The first photo for the day was of a dog sitting expectantly outside the kitchen of our lodge. The Trainer had taken it because “everyone loves a photo of a dog.” The dogs we saw on the trail appeared well cared for.

Mani Walls coming into Ghat
Mani Walls coming into Ghat

On the last day of both our trek it was with a feeling of sadness that we made our way back to Lukla. Lingering on the trail as we went. Standing aside for the last lot of the donkeys and yaks, crossing the last bridges which on the way up were the first scary bridges. Savouring the last of the views of green fields of vegetables, mani walls and stupas as we would back down through a string of villages.

Stupa and Mani Walls at Ghat
Prayer Wheels, Mani Walls and the Stupa at Ghat

Waiting for Donkies to Pass on Everest Base Camp trail

We saw groups of trekkers fresh off the plane new to the trail and not sure quite what to expect. I pointed at the brand new boots of a young woman and I pointed to my boots all covered in white dust and told her that her boots would look like mine after Base Camp.

Small villages on the hills on the way

Resting spot for porters outside or Lukla

I smiled a woman we passed who pointed behind me indicating there was someone behind me. I think she thought he was trying to get past. I wanted to say yes, he has been behind me for 16 days, he’s my porter. Although he wasn’t always behind sometimes he was ahead and leading. But he was always there walking beside me in essence, keeping an eye on where I was stepping. Only a short time before he had pulled me out of the way from a donkey, because I turned around and wasn’t paying attention.

Empty Street in Lukla

Starbucks and the Irish Pub in Lukla

In the end, despite not wanting the trek to end we were glad to get to Lukla’s entrance gate. The last of the hills seemed endless. And we had just walked 130 kilometres.

We walked through the streets of Lukla which we very quiet. Lukla would normally be a bit of a party town with people celebrating the end of their treks. It is always a place people stay at the end of the trek not at the beginning.

At the lodge we were happy to have a shower, do some washing and explore the town a bit more. Basanta came back later in the afternoon. We had a few beers together and said thank you and goodbye. He was going to have three days’ rest and then going to back on the trail again with a group.

Basanta and Louise
Basanta our lovely porter guide and me in Lukla at the end of our trek
Paradise Lodge Dining Room
The dining room at Paradise Lodge Lukla

After dinner and a chat with the woman who owns the lodge we were ready for an early night. We had the first flight out in the morning.