I made it. I climbed to Kala Patthar the highlight of the Everest Base Camp trek. The video of me reaching the top, breathless and exhausted.
One reason why you should take a guide or porter guide with you…
…they teach you all the names of mountains ! But there are lots more reasons…
See the post about The Porter
I knew Day Three of our itinerary, climbing to Namche Bazaar was going to be a strenuous. We trained well for the trek and though it wasn’t easy we took the climb in our stride.
When we set out two days later for Tengboche, the Trainer told me it would be a relatively easy day. That proved far from the case. We had a breather at the top of Namche after a steep climb out of the amphitheatre-shaped town.
After a few more challenging hills with spectacular views, the track really levelled out. That bit was the honeymoon period.
The trail then descends 570 metres to the river, after crossing this, there is a relentless 750 metres two to three hours climb (according to the guide book) to Tengboche. I am sure this section took us much longer.
The biggest problem was the signage. Not long out of Namche there was sign which said “2 hours to Tengboche”. Two hours further along the track there was another sign “2 hours to Tengboche” and then about another two hours further on, you guessed it – “2 hours to Tengboche”. Hence the comment on the video and the post title. At one point after the third sign, we stopped to catch our breath. Another trekker was doing the same with his guide waiting for him. When we asked the guide how much longer to the top, what do you think he replied? I couldn’t believe it.
That day I learnt mental preparation is everything. I had heard it said in relation to physical challenges but had never really experienced it. For our next trek to Everest Base Camp we will be prepared for the “two hours to Tengboche”. In fact we are changing the itinerary to start the trek from Khunde or Khumjung and not Namche. The other tip is don’t believe the estimated trekking time between the towns and definitely don’t believe the signage.