The EBC Trek Trail in 20 Photos

How Difficult is the EBC Trek ? Here it is in photos.

Part of the answer to how difficult the trail is about what you are walking on. This shows why you need to do step training. And hill training of course.

Main Street Lukla, setting out on Main Trail EBC Trek

Cobblestones inLukla, there are flat parts through villages in the lower part of the trail.

EBC Trek Before Phakding after Ghat

When down hill is uphill too. And lots of steps.

EBC Trek Between Phakding and Monjo

Watch your step.

Lower suspension bridge over the Dudh Khosi taken from the higher bridge

One of the Bridges at Namche Bazaar.

EBC Trek Above Namche Bazaar

Rocks and rocky paths.

EBC Trek Coming Into Khumjung

Smooth path into Khumjung after a big climb.

EBC Trek Above Upper Phakding

Windy paths along the side of mountains,

 

EBC Trek Heading Towards Dingboche

The hills look innocent enough here but the altitude is increasing.

EBC Trek Towards Dingboche

Paths widen over turf

Bridge at the confluence of Khumbu Khola and the Imja Khola Nepal

and over rivers

EBC Trek Heading towards Dingboche

Flat but at altitude don’t rush.

EBC Trek Dingboche to Dughla

Across turf at 4,000 metres

EBC Trek Dingboche to Dughla above Periche

From Dingboche to Dughla above Periche

EBC Trek To Gorak Shep

To Gorak Shep an amazing part of the trail.

EBC Trek near Gorak Shep

The path from above…

EBC Trek The climb up to Kala Patthar

The hardest walk to Kala Patthar. Over 5,500 metres.

EBC Trek almost to Base Camp

Walking the last few kilometres to Base Camp.

Everest Base Bamp Trek

There are hills to go up as you go back down to Lukla. These are marathon runners.

Coming down from Tengboche EBC Trek

Coming back down can be slippery with those little loose rocks.

EBC Trek Looking back towards Periche

There are still hills coming down but still the magnificent views in reverse.

The thing to realise about these photos is that the really big climb days to Namche Bazaar and to Tengboche – you are too exhausted to take photos. And  the photos don’t really show the steepness of the climb.

Lukla-EBC-KP-Gorakshep_Elevation Profile

Here is a elevation profile I found. The triangular peak represents the acclimatisation day walk above Dingboche.

 

 

 

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. Looking through the hundreds of photos taken by The Trainer and our two treks through the Khumbu, the beauty is commonplace and you gravitate to the most spectacular photos. It is easy for a good photo to go unnoticed. Like this one.

I found it hiding in among some spectacular shots in my media viewer. When I looked closer I realised it was a great photo that had it all. The long milky river, the panorama of mountains, the track where you walk, the close up of the plus 4,4oo metres ground where I was standing and the settlement of Pheriche below in the distance. This walk on day nine of our trek from Dingboche (4,360 metres) to Dughla (4,600 ) was a relatively easy walk. And we took a side walk off behind Dughla to have a look at the lake.

An here is the view or should I say panorama taken down in the valley just before we walked through Pheriche. Sometimes I still can’t believe that’s me in the red jacket and our porter guide walking alongside. I walked through that magnificent landscape. Spectacular, hey?

Near Pheriche Everest Base Camp Trek

Want to know more about the trek. I have just updated the first day of the trek in 2013. It has a few interesting links added. Everest Base Camp Trek Lukla to Phakding

The Lukla to Kala Pattar Elevation Profile may inspire you increase your step training.

Don’t forget to check out my home page for a overview.

Simple Not Basic

A Post About Food on the EBC Trek Becomes More. Or Is it Less?

There is a difference between basic and simple. Especially when you are traveling.

Recently I posted about accommodation on the EBC trek being basic. A comment from a fellow blogger (thanks Miriam) made me rethink how I had labelled  the accommodation. It is the very fact the Everest Base Camp Trek is basic, makes it so good. Basic can be seen as a negative.  So simple, not basic, is a better word to use. Because it is the simplicity of the EBC trek that makes it so special.

Gorak Shep the end of the Everest Base Camp trek

Walking into Gorak Shep the end of the Everest Base Camp Trek

The simplicity of the accommodation, the simple food, the every day simple routine. The early to bed, early to rise. Get up, get dressed, eat,  leave. Which way to go? Up or down. Maps to consult? No, not really, there is one path. Just like a pilgrimage, you know where you are going and why. The people you meet, the common quest, the simplicity of the destination but the challenge of getting there make it special. A quest so well rewarded.

No phone calls, television, emails and internet access is limited. All put into perspective in the big landscape or simple path you are on. Up or down.

And yes,  simple meals too. This simple meal below in  simple surroundings is one I remember well. A bowl of hot simple potato soup made with the broth and grated potatoes. A well earned bowl of soup after a hard steep walk out of Namche Bazaar and a 600 metre trek down hill to the river to Phunki Tenga.  Three hours plus of a hard work, it was a meal well earned.  A simple meal, simple surroundings the roar of the river, the sound of the yak bells as the yaks pass. Simple stunning beauty all around.

Potato soup at Phunki Tenga at 3250metres EBC Trek trail

So back to the food, yes the food is simple. But it is good. It is organically grown along the track and cooked in a simple kitchen.

Vegetables growing in the Khumbu

Food in a Namche Bazaar lodge

A meal in Namche Bazaar above.

Potato Soup Nepal

This bowl of potato soup was al fresco at Debouche on the trail down. In a stunning landscape. How much simpler and more beautiful can you get?

December 2013

The umbrellas above,  weren’t the norm. The Sherpa stew was.

Vegetables growing on the EBC Trail

Simple, but addictive. Everest Base Camp Trek too simple to say no.

Need more convincing?  25 Reasons to Trek To Everest Base Camp

Trekking to Everest Base Camp ? Are you up to it?

 

Things I Liked List

Boxes of ancient papers Khumjung Manastery Nepal

  1. momos
  2. the first day walking to Phakding
  3. walking everyday
  4. talking with Dawa in Lukla
  5. hearing the rush of the river
  6. hearing the yak bells
  7. the vista in Dingboche
  8. the feeling having climbed to the top of Kala Patthar
  9. seeing eagles soaring high above
  10. the boxes of papers in the monastery at Khumjung
  11. the hot shower in Dingboche
  12. hearing the stone masons and the noise of the town above Namche
  13. the donkey trains
  14. sitting at our meals at the end of the day with a sense of achievement
  15. water
  16. black tea
  17. everything yak

with inspiration from this lovely blog  https://listsofthingswelike.com/

via Daily Prompt: Minimal

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

Fashion on the Track

Striding Through Pheriche in the Khumbu

Periche

Here I am walking through Periche looking like the Michelin Man. There are lots of terrible shots of me on the trek with hat hair, up way too close etc. Showers are a rare thing on the track, so is clean hair and there are no mirrors. Complete with the hat and given today is the first Tuesday in November, the day of the nation stopping Melbourne Cup (horse race) I decided on a twist the Fashion on the Track theme. Tongue in cheek of course. However my ensemble does show off some accessories that you shouldn’t leave home for Everest Base Camp without. Continue reading

Dingboche Door Framed View

Lodge in dingboche Everest Base Camp trek

Our lodge in Dingboche

Heading Out from Lukla for Everest Base Camp – Day One to Phakding

Walking out of Lukla

trek n.1. a long difficult journey, esp. on foot 2. SA journey or stage, esp by ox wagon            3. make a trek  – trekker 

Saying Goodbye in Melbourne

In September 2015 my husband and I flew to Nepal to trek to Everest Base Camp. At the departure hall at Melbourne Airport saying goodbyes to our adult daughters,  the eldest hugged her father and said

                          “Dad, go easy on Mum remember it’s her holiday too.”  She turned                                      to me and said “Mum, ….man up.”

And with that sage advice… Continue reading

Recharging in Nepal

Resting Spots Along the Trail to Everest Base Camp

A post about the porters on my Everest Base Camp Trek blog is long overdue. The Daily Post Daily Prompt Recharge has given me a perfect launching point.

Trekking through the Khumbu you see resting points for porters to unload, rest and recharge. These resting spots are at a height so the porters can easily unload and reload onto their backs without having to lift their load from the ground. Porters loads at a resting point on the EBC TrekThe photo shows the typical oversized baskets called a doko used by porters. The T-shaped wooden walking stick at the bottom left of the screen is called a tokma. Continue reading

Travel to Nepal Now

Last year we booked our flight to Kathmandu two weeks before the first earthquake.

We changed our minds several times over the months following the quake and at the last moment thought about cancelling the trip. But not going didn’t feel right. So we left Melbourne with me being quite nervous and the Trainer being, optimistic, of course.

As soon as we left Melbourne I felt less anxious. What were we expecting? I should probably say what was I expecting because the Trainer and I rarely expect the same thing. I was expecting to see Kathmandu really devastated when flying into it. And it wasn’t.

Damaged Durbar Square

Although we didn’t visit Durbar Square until after our trek people were walking around the area but hardly any tourists. The Square was badly affected and I’m sure it will be a while before it is restored.The photos below show some of the area.

Earthquake damage Kathmandu

Nearby not actually the Square

Durbar Square Kathmandu and old buildings being propped up after the eartquake

Historic buildings in Durbar Square being propped up by timber

Durbar Square Kathmandu damage after the 2015 earthquake

Starting the Everest Base Camp Trek

We flew into Lukla and after leaving the small airport building,  I stood looking down at the short runway and looking around me and cried. I got teary seeing the owner of the Paradise Lodge again. She gave me hug.

After a cup of tea and a short break for our porter to sort the packs we started out down the main street of Lukla, the Porter, the Trainer and me. I felt we had made the right decision.

Tourists are starting to return to Nepal but it is still very quiet. If you are thinking of going to any part of Nepal to trek, go and go this year. Get ready for the the October to December season. If you want to have a life changing adventure that you will never forget. Go trekking in Nepal or simply visit Nepal – Kathmandu, Pokhara or the jungle of Chitwan. Your tourist dollar is what is desperately needed to help get Nepal back on its feet.

Stupa at Khumjung in the Khumbu region of Nepal

Sadly earthquake damaged stupa at Khumjung

 

If you need some more encouragement read

25 Reasons to Trek to Everest Base Camp.

Who wrote this post and why I blog 

Worth a read if you are still worried about Earthquake damage.

Two Earthquakes and Two Films

Trouble for the 2016 -17 Seasons? Visit Nepal and Help Rebuild

Monjo Guest House EBC Trek
Will there be another slow season of empty lodges ?

On April 25 a 7.8-magnitude quake devastated parts of Kathmandu and rural Nepal. Two weeks later on May 12 a second 7.3-magnitude quake hit. It is the anniversary of the first quake this week.

In the last six months two films were released about climbing Everest. One Everest about the fateful climbing season in 1996 when rival trekking company leaders lost their lives climbing. More recently the documentary Sherpa-Trouble on Everest was released. The film covers the 2014 avalanche when 16 Sherpas were killed. In an interview with director Jenny Peedom, she said that the Khumbu Sherpa community were very pleased with the film. A key message is the risk Sherpas take in working on the mountain to enable tourists and climbers to summit the peak. Put simply without the Sherpas the tourism around the climbing season would not be possible. Another message is the exploitation of the Sherpas in terms of pay and conditions.

This film may have affected the Everest Base Camp Trekking  season. A work colleague of the Trainer, a keen Australian bush walker announced that he was planning a trip to walk the Inca trail. The Trainer suggested to him he should trek to Base Camp and his reaction to this was negative and he said no way. He had recently seen the Sherpa documentary and he didn’t want to be part of such an exploitative adventure. I think there may others who are turned off because of the film.

Trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp to climb Everest is one thing. Trekking to Base Camp to trek to that point is quite another. The trail does not have the same commercial  pressure. People pay a lot of money to climb Everest. There is a huge pressure on the climbing companies to deliver. This pressure does not exist trekking on the trail to Base Camp.

Most of the people living along the trail would rely largely on the trekking tourism either directly or indirectly. The Khumbu region has had three quiet seasons. If you are planning to trek to Everest Base Camp or the Annapurna or any of the other areas please don’t change your mind because of a film. Nepal needs tourists. Be part of the rebuild.

everest base camp trailBuilding along the Everest Base Camp trail

 

Article about the Sherpa – Trouble on Everest 

25 April Earthquake Wikipedia 

Not convinced ? – 25 Reasons to Trek to Everest Base Camp 

 

The Trainer and Me

And Why I Blog

The Blogger and the Trainer

Always the Watchful Eye in the Background

Hello I’m Louise

In 2013 the Trainer and I trekked the Main Everest Base Camp Trail. I really didn’t want to go to Everest Base Camp. It was the Trainer’s idea not mine. I was worried about an endless list of things – getting robbed, murdered, lost, breaking an ankle, the trek being too difficult, getting sick, getting altitude sickness, freezing, oh and being tipped off a mountain by a yak. But I didn’t want to be left behind to worry about the Trainer either. Given I met him on a felucca on the Nile and later he dragged me across the Sahara when all I wanted was to relax on a beach in Thailand well, after 30 years I should expect these things.

The optimistic Trainer had been to the Annapurna area years ago and saw no problems with trekking to EBC. But I wanted to hear another viewpoint and be told I would be ok by them. Talking to a few people helped. Youtubes helped get a sense of the trail experience. But I really wanted to hear from a woman like myself – in her fifties and not a veteran trekker, who had been there. I searched for a blog but at the time I couldn’t find any.

The time came to decide to go or not. I didn’t want the Trainer to go by himself.We flew out in late November 2013 and we nearly made it to Everest Base Camp. Could have and should have. But didn’t. We were disappointed and  it felt like unfinished business and I was hooked.

We returned to Australia and I wanted to tell everyone how special the trail to EBC is and how alive and incredibly fit I felt from the experience. I was the fittest I had been. Ever. I wanted to tell everyone a not particularly fit middle aged woman, with training, could trek to Everest Base Camp and love the experience. We planned to try again and this time get there. I decided to share my training journey and the Main Everest Base Camp trail from an older woman’s perspective in a blog.

We trained and trained,  me and the tireless Trainer.  We bought our flights to Kathmandu early 2015. Two weeks later Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. That changed everything. The following months the Trainer researched, trained and was optimistic. Me, well I trained and of course, worried. Finally we agreed to believe the reports the EBC Trail was ready, it was business as usual and we flew to Kathmandu in late September. And on 2nd October 2015 the Trainer and I, with our porter made it to Everest Base Camp.

But this wasn’t the only reason I wanted my message out there….

I discovered that the important thing was, it wasn’t just about getting to Base Camp it was about the whole journey. The training journey was big lifestyle change for me. It was a fitness first. 2013 was also the year I touched my toes for the first time. Ever.

25 Reasons to Trek to Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp Trek

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.

  1. 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

  1. 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.
View from Kala Patthar with Mount Eversest

Mid afternoon from Kala Patthar as clouds started rolling in

  1. 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.”
Climb to Namche Bazaar, main trail to Everest Base Camp

Part of the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar before the rest point

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.

Perfect for Everest Base Camp Hill training

Our favourite training hill in Melbourne -that’s the Trainer half way down and my daughter is the speck at the top.

  1. 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.
Above Periche Between Dingboche and Dughla

Between Dingboche and Dughla

Brief Anxious Moments and Some Tears

  1. 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.
Suspension bridge at Chheplung

First bridge on the Everest Base Camp Trek

  1. 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.Flying to LuklaIt 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.
Lukla Airstrip

The airstrip at Lukla airport

Amazing and Beautiful Nepal

  1. You walk through the most amazing and beautiful landscapes and pass through lovely little villages on the way.
  2. Nepal is beautiful full stop.
  1. 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.
  1. Tourism and trekking to Everest Base Camp supports those beautiful people.

Why Would You Choose Anywhere Else?

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
Lodge in dingboche Everest Base Camp trek

Our lodge in Dingboche

  1. 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.
  2. You meet other trekkers staying at the lodges. People are keen to hear news of what is happening along the trail.
Talking to a trekker returning from Base Camp.

Hearing about the trail people’s experience of Base Camp and the weather was always good. Our porter waiting patiently for me.

  1. 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.
Donkeys on EBC Trek

Keeping the slow donkeys moving from the safety of the sidelines. CHUK!

Great for Your Health

  1. 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.
  2. You breathe fresh air at least five hours a day and think of all the vitamin D.
  3. You eat well. We ate vegetarian food and many lodges grow their own vegetables.
  4. You sleep eleven hours a night.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. No emails, no phone calls, no stress.
  8. 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?
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Lower suspension bridge over the Dudh Khosi taken from the higher bridge

Lower suspension bridge over the Dudh Khosi Gorge

Lobuche to Gorak Shep

Crossing a Stream over the Rubble Strewn Trail to Gorak Shep

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.

Our Diamox Experience

Everyone has different advice about Diamox. This post is how we managed the altitude and the Diamox.

Advice – Diamox is your Friend

People following our trek to Everest Base Camp know the Trainer was also the researcher extraordinaire. I found printed information he had and have linked the sites at the end. Trekking companies often have information too.

Advice from your Doctor

Visit your doctor for advice. A doctor at the clinic we visit had been to Base Camp three times. His advised us to not take the Diamox too early and only if we needed it. He reasoned taking it too early didn’t allow any reserve to fall back on. He suggested if we had problems to take the Diamox, descend, sleep lower and come back up. Time permitting this is a good plan.

Advice before Leaving Kathmandu

The company who organised our porter, Lukla flights and TIMS cards brought our tickets to our hotel. We had met Doma who manages the business in Kathmandu in 2013. This time her husband accompanied her. Lhakpa is usually out  with a group trekking somewhere. His advice was to definitely start taking half a Diamox twice daily at Dingboche (4,000 metres) if we weren’t already taking it.

So what did we do?

The Trainer smokes but he is very fit. He started taking half a Diamox twice a day in Namche Bazaar. I had decided to take our doctor’s advice but changed my mind to take Lhakpa’s advice with his experience of many treks. So what did I do? Altitude can affect your sleep. You momentarily stop breathing and then your body wakes you. A bit scary and annoying. The trainer with his husband hat on suggested taking the Diamox purely to sleep better. I started taking half a tablet twice daily in Phortse (I think) two nights before Dingboche and slept much better. The trade off is Diamox makes you wee more . So read all the info, get medical advice, guide’s advice then do what feels right at the time, all things considered.

The Altitude Rule – the Key Factor

The golden rule is not to sleep more than 300 metres higher each day. Sticking to the rule the Trainer planned a sixteen days trek which meant staying in Dughlia. Not the most beautiful place and with only two lodges. Most treks stop for lunch here and then continue on to Lobuche.

We  experienced no headaches. Our itinerary was a slow trek. The night we factored in Khumjung gave us an extra day to acclimatise at a slightly higher altitude after our two nights in Namche Bazaar.

Bistari, bistari – slowly, slowly our porter used to say. And we did go slowly and rested regularly. It is not a race. We took time to savour the amazing views. We kept hydrated and didn’t drink alcohol on the trek, not counting my Mohito in Namche on the way back.

Acclimatisation days are important for day walks to a higher altitude. Then you sleep at the same altitude a second night.

Useful Links

Indiana University Health Center – Diamox 

The Travel Doctor – Altitude or Mountain Sickness

Interested in reading my packing list?

Read about our acclimatisation day in Namche Bazaar or
our acclimatisation day in Dingboche which was a big walk.

 

Leaving Lukla

Day Seventeen Lukla to Kathmandu

The final day of seventeen wonderful days trekking from Lukla to Everest Base Camp and back in October 2015. Having fare-welled our Porter Guide, my husband “the Trainer” and I flew to Kathmandu grateful for completing the trek safely and already thinking of a return trek.

Lukla Airport

Above: The tarmac at Lukla airport and the parking spaces for the four planes that fly back and forward to Lukla every day.

We were up early for one of the first flights out. The Paradise Lodge where we stayed the night is a one minute walk to the airport. The owner of the lodge said goodbye to us and presented us with the traditional cream scarf to wish us well.

Lukla with the mountain behind

The larger yellow building in the middle is the control tower at Lukla Airport

The departure hall at the airport is a bit crazy and we were glad to have someone with us to direct us where to go and in which order. We very quickly passed through the tickets and security checks and into the hall to wait boarding where passengers are always keen to watch the planes landing. The unloading of passengers and baggage is amazingly quick and the same goes for loading and boarding.

Being our fourth flight we were fairly relaxed. I was more relaxed about take off rather landing at Lukla.

As we flew back along the line of the Himalayas I wondered if it would be our last trip as I was hooked on this magnificent  part of the world.

Other Posts

The Infamous Lukla Airport 

Missed the beginning of the 2015 trek? Here are the first five days to get you started.

Day 1 2015 Trek – Lukla to Phakding

Day 2 2015 Trek – Phakding to Namche Bazaar

Day 3 2015 Trek – Acclimatisation In Namche Bazaar

Day 4 2015 Trek – Namche Bazaar to Khumjung

Day 5 2015 Trek – Khumjung to Phortse

and here is the 2015 Trek Itinerary with links

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Savouring the Last Days of the Trail

Day Fifteen Namche Bazaar to Phakding

From Lodge to Lodge to Lodge

Lodge at Namche Bazaar

Leaving our lodge in Namche Bazaar was a bit sad. We had stayed there four times and a total of six nights with the acclimatisation days. It was located in the middle of Namche, the owners and staff were lovely, the menu and food good and the hot showers wonderful.

Namche Bazaar and the Kwangde Range

Leaving Namche Bazaar and the Kwangde Range

Not long after we started out, Basanta our porter guide pointed out a Danfe or Danphe Nepal’s national bird, a beautiful large black pheasant with a metallic green head and a chestnut tail.

First and last view of Everest

First and last view of Everest

Lower suspension bridge over the Dudh Khosi taken from the higher bridge

Lower suspension bridge over the Dudh Khosi Gorge

We had our last look of Everest at the resting spot on the way down. We crossed the high bridge again across the Dudh Khosi gorge. The fourth time over it I was still glad to get off however Sam stands in the middle looking over at the view.

Back down on the old river bed we posed  for a photo together and watched some of the porters with huge loads of building materials slowly make their way up to cross the bridge.

The suspension bridges across to Namche Bazaar

The trainer and me heading back down to Lukla

We stopped at Monjo Lodge where we had stayed on the first trek and another place that I felt a connection to. Waiting for lunch in the garden in the sun we took some more happy snaps feeling relaxed, fit and happy. The trainer, yes my husband Sam looked really relaxed in the photos, his job was done. His training and planning had got us up and back without mishap. Following the no more than 300 metres increase in altitude a night had been a key factor I am sure.

Porters carrying building materials up the trail

Porters carrying building materials up the trail

Garden at Monjo Lodge Everest BAse Camp trek

Waiting for lunch in the garden at Monjo Lodge

Lodge in Phakding EBC trail

The lodge we stayed in Phakding on the way up and on the way down

 

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One Trek and One Marathon

Day Fourteen Pangboche to Namche Bazaar

The trainer was very excited about finally seeing the marathon runners who had started early that morning from Everest Base Camp running past,  all of us on our way to Namche Bazaar. The event was originally in May but was rescheduled to the beginning of October after the earthquakes.

We left our lodge at Pangboche as doctors prepared the medical check point and lodge staff the water bottles.

View of Tengboche in the Middle Distance

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The Temple Gate in Tengboche (Thyanboche)

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A half marathon runner who started at Dingboche at the Tengboche check point

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The following photos show the track. The steep uphill climb (600m) had nearly killed me on our 2013 trek.  Coming back down isn’t easy either.  It can impact on your knees which is why I chose to use trekking poles. The steep track with lots of small loose rocks can be slippery so the only way to go is slowly.

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That’s me picking my way down with the trekking poles.

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Runners taking their time

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The trail from a distance… crazy

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Sanasa with women selling jewellery

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The Finishing Point at Namche Bazaar

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Namche Bazaar from Above

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The view of Namche Bazaar from above. I had my sights set on the red roofed lodge in the middle, right …. which for me meant our favourite lodge, our own bathroom and a hot shower at last.

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Cafe Danphe Bar named after the National Bird of Nepal

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We had a drink here to celebrate our successful, wonderful trek to Everest Base Camp. Huddled together in the bar we looked at all the photos Sam had taken.  For the best of an hour I sat with tears streaming down my face, hardly able to believe the photos of the magical places we had just been.

 

 

 

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Slip Sliding Away at Everest Base Camp

The Walk You Have To Do

Day Twelve Gorak Shep (5170m) – Everest Base Camp (5300m) – Lobuche

The walk into Everest Base Camp took me by surprise as I hadn’t read the section in the guide book. The trail isn’t much of a trail, making the walk a little crazy. At the end you just clamber over boulders and slip everywhere. But that’s getting a little ahead.

Almost at Everest Base Camp

Insane trail to Everest Base Camp

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. And following our trusty Porter Guide, of course. As a result of clambering over boulders, I developed blisters on my toes. Applying bandaids before setting out is probably a good idea.

EBC has the reputation of lookng very dull. Most trekkers visit it in the afternoon when the mountains can shade the area. We took the advice to visit in the morning and with the light it was quite lovely.

Exploring Everest Base Camp

Large boulder perched on ice above a small stream

Exploring the Everest Base Camp Area

Exploring the Everest Base Camp area

Everest Base Camp Area

Our Porter Guide Basanta exploring

Tents of the 2015 Ultra Marathon Runners at Everest Base Camp

Tents for the 2015 Ultra Marathon Runners at Everest Base Camp

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.

We Three at EBC

The Trainer, Me and the Porter with the Yellow Wig at Everest Base Camp

At Everest Base Camp

Climb Every Mountain – The Open Door Singer’s sign at EBC

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 hours 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 about the training before hand, getting all the right gear and training with it, the research and preparation and then the trek itself. It is a long journey in many ways, for which you are rewarded in many ways.

Now we just had to get back down to Lukla in one piece.