Sleeping at Everest Base Camp for my 50th Birthday

Three years ago, I set a personal goal to be at Base Camp on the 22nd October, 2015.  Therefore, I started checking out trekking guides, and I came across Ian Taylor trekking. Ian was the youngest Irish man to summit Everest in 2008. So he should know what he’s doing. I contacted Ian and told him my goal, to camp at EBC on the 21st October 2015,” No problem John I’ll put it on my web site and we can start the ball rolling,” he said. Learn more.

My kit for Everest base camp

Starting to Train for the Adventure

I decided to start a bit of training, but on my own, I found it hard.  Therefore, I joined a boot camp and told them my plan. They worked me hard to bring up my cardio and all over body fitness. Also, I tried to walk in the hills nearly every weekend. I was so glad I put in the extra training as it definitely made my trek more enjoyable. Extra training is a must for a trek to EBC. Sleep in Everest Base Camp.

On route to Dingbouche

The Earthquake

Everything was going great, then the terrible earthquake in April 2015 and people started getting worried and pulled out of my trek, so when I arrived at Kathmandu on the 10th of October this year I found out it was going to be me and one other trekker, Kenn. Kenn was from Calgary, Alberta in Canada, a gentleman.

On Route to Everest

From the moment I arrived outside the airport, I was greeted by Pasang Sherpa Lama, who was to be my guide for our trek to EBC. After being giving a tour of Kathmandu by big Dawa and meeting his wife Kay (lovely women) we went out for dinner then went back to the hotel and prepped for our early flights to Lukla.

At the start of the Everest trail

Arriving in Lukla

At Lukla we meet up with Kancer Rai our porter and started our trek towards EBC. Monjo was the first overnight stay and the first experience of Nepalese lodges. You have to remember what you sign up for and where you are then you realize that they are pretty good. The lodges supplied duvets. Some trekkers used their sleeping bag and duvet. I used a sleeping bag liner for the lodges and found it grand. The food in the lodges was great with a great choice of local and European dishes, my favorite meal was the “Chicken Sizzler” I would recommend it.

Stay hydrated on the Everest trail

From Monjo we trekked to Namche. We were able to take in the whole experience because the walking pace was so relaxed. Namche is a 3 day acclimatization stop with a day walk to Khumjung village where Hillary built his first school for the locals and a visit to a monastery and another day up to visit the Tenzing Norgay stupa and visitors centre nice easy days but necessary to help with the altitude as you progress towards base camp.

From Tengbouche to Dingbouche is a trek of some major up’s and downs. I mean from river to hill, but with blue skies and warm weather it was just perfect.  Once the sun left the valley floor, then it got cold, but bearable. Dingbouche was a 2 day stop. On the second day we trekked up to a ridge, and spent a few hours acclimatizing.  The views were beautiful. It was just perfect.

The Amazing Scenery as we Moved Higher

Dingbouche to Lobuche then onto Gorek Shep the last stop before Everest Base Camp. Lobuche to Gorak Shep is about a 3 hour trek. We arrived in Gorak Shep at 11.15 am. We then decided to go up Kala Patthar, which at a height of 5,645m will give us the perfect view of Mount Everest. For the first time, I was feeling the effects of altitude.  However, with the nice slow pace, we all seemed to manage the trek and it was so worth it.

View of Everest

So the next day we left Gorak Shep and followed the Khumbu Glacier to set up tents at Everest base camp, what a feeling when you arrive at the official prayer flags at EBC, the sense of achievement of being at the base of every mountaineer’s meca “Everest” That evening we shared noodles and soup with a cup of tea.  The sounds in and around Base Camp that night were amazing.  You would hear maybe a small avalanche miles away or the cracking of the glacier. I woke that morning the 22nd October 2015, Pasang and Kancer Rai had cards and presents.  With Kenn, my new friend, and trekking buddy, we celebrated my 50th birthday. Sleeping at Everest Base Camp was my goal and my dream had came true.

John and Everest

Energy Surge on the Way Down

What takes you 10 days trekking up to EBC, only takes 3 days to descend back down.  However, you find that your energy level increase. Pasang, our guide, and Kancer Rai, our porter, did everything for us. They took all the hard work out of the trek, they were brilliant. The local people are great and very welcoming. With the last day spent exploring Kathmandu. It was a trip of a lifetime.

Coming down from Kala Phattar

Take the Experts Advice

My advice for a trek like this, is listen to the people who have done it before, remember your paying for an experience of a life time so if you try and bluff yourself about your fitness and you do little or no training then a trek like this becomes difficult. Increase your fitness just a bit it makes it more enjoyable. The hardest thing I personally found to do, was drink 3 to 5 litres of water every day to stop dehydration and if you don’t it will stop you finishing your trek. Be aware of the wind. If the wind picks up then cover up the ears and head and use a buff.

Birthday success in Everest base camp

If you would like to sleep in Everest Base Camp, CONTACT Ian at Ian Taylor Trekking. They have the staff, proper acclimatization, unique itinerary, training plans and quality service throughout. They used the best lodges with the best food. they have the best staff and support throughout the whole experience.

John Porter – Sleeping in Base Camp 2015

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