Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek


May, 2010

A trek to the base of the highest peak on earth…an amazing adventure.

It started in Kathmandu with a shout 45min. flight to Lukla, the gateway to the Everest region. From there we trekked for 12 days through lush valleys passing Sherpa villages and Buddhist monasteries.

The scenery was amazing with spectacular breathtaking mountain panoramas with the views of Everest getting closer every day.

We ascended from 2,800 meters in Lukla to 5,500 meters at Kala Patthar, a viewpoint recognized as the best vantage point to see Mount Everest. It was exhausting to say the least! With only half the oxygen at that altitude than at sea level, the going was slow with frequent rest stops required.

Reaching Base Camp after 8 days of trekking, we trekked back down to Namche and Lukla for the return flight to Kathmandu.

click on map to zoom and pan

I arrived in Kathmandu to find the city under control of the Maoist Rebels.
The city was under a full strike with no vehicles allowed on the roads.
Luckily they are sympathetic to tourists and allowed us to travel to our hotels
on special buses under armed police escort.

I was to have a day of sightseeing in Kathmandu but since the city was under contol of the Maoists and nothing open,
we decided to start the Everest Trek early.

Boarding the 'little' plane to Lukla.

Stewardess handing out cotton balls and candies...cotton is to put in your ears!

Landing in Lukla, Nepal

Start of the trek to Mount Everest!

Mani stones inscribed with prayers.
Out of respect, people should walk to the left or clockwise around Mani Walls.
The stones are placed along roadsides and rivers as an offering to spirits.

First nights guesthouse stop in Phakding.

The owner cooking dinner at the 'See You' guesthouse.

Typical guesthouse room...very basic. No heat, no showers! USD$2.50 per night here.
You could actually see into the next room through the cracks in the wall. I guess that's why they call it 'See You' lodge!

It's a long way to school...

Little boy on the trail on his way to class.

Entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park.

Luckily I did not get sick except for a little loss of appetite. We had rest days planed as we ascended.
Also took 120mg of Diamox twice daily as a preventative measure.

Yak food delivery!

My hotel in Namche (3,440 meters, 11,300ft.). We stay here for two nights to help acclimatize to the altitude.

We share the streets in Namche with the yaks!

A liitle day trip to the 'hill' overlooking Namche.

Back on the trail we met this Sherpa who has spent his life repairing the trail to Everest. All paid for with donations.

Making small rocks from large rocks...what a job!

Lunch stop in Phungi Thanga.

My guesthouse in Tengboche (3,860m, 12,600ft.)
My room is the last on the right...over the toilets! This was a disgusting place!

Dingboche Monastery...famed worldwide as a center for Mahayana Buddhism and teaches compassion and universal salvation.

Monks at the Tengboche Monastery.

Back on the trail on a beautiful morning.

Starts to get cloudy, misty and cold as we go higher.

Finally reach Dingboche (4,410m, 14,500ft.)...well above the tree line.
The thin air is starting to get to me making the going slow. Also stayed here for two days to acclimatize.

Drying yak poo to use in the stoves to heat the dining room.

Solar powered internet cafe.

View from my room at sunrise.

Solar cooker. This contraption concentrates the sun’s rays and actually cooks the food!
Cooking fuel is very expensive (a porter has to carry the cylinders for a week to get to this village!)
and there is no wood as this is above the tree line. This is a perfect, environmentally friendly alternative.

Near Gorak Shep (5,140m, 16,900ft.)

Mount Everest through the prayer flags.

From the summit of Kala Patthar(5,500m, 18,000ft.). This was the most difficult part of the trek!
The dark hunk of granite on my right is Everest. The summit is another 3,000m higher than where i am here.
It took every ounce of energy and determination to get to this point (some people did not make it and had to turn back!).
I can't imagine the effort it takes to get to the top!

On the way back down to Gorak Shep from Kala Patthar. Desolate but beautiful.

After 10 days of trekking...finally arrived at Base Camp!
Left at dawn from Gorek Shep to get here...and still had another 7 hours to the next village!

Base Camp with groups making preparations for their summit attempts of Everest.
May is the busiest time at Base Camp.

Above the Khumbu Glacier.

Volunteer doctors giving an altitude sickness seminar at the Himalayan Rescue Association office in Periche.

Porters carry everything required for the tourists and guesthouses along the trail.
Building materials, food, water, supplies, etc.
The higher we got the more expensive things were.
A bottle of water in Kathmandu was 15 Gorak Shep that same bottle was 350 rupees!
Some poor porter needs to haul it for a week to get it there!

Back to 'civilization' in Namche after 11 days on the trail.
Looking a little weather beaten and feeling very worn out after a grueling 9 hour trek.
Only one more day to Lukla!

One of many rebuilt suspension bridges we crossed as we made our way through the valleys.

Schools out in Lukla.

Lukla airport.
That's the runway on the right which ends at a cliff!

Chaos at the airport counter.
All ticketing and checking-in is done manually...not a computer in sight!

Boarding the flight back to Kathmandu...

Back in Kathmandu...
click here for Kathmandu images