I am an adventurer at heart, but kids, work and life always get in the way. Scrolling through friend pictures is as far as I normally get to adventure these days. A friend of mine posted saying they trekked and slept at Everest Base Camp. I reached out to them and they said you must do it. I think the sunset view of Mount Everest from Kala Patthar sold it for me.
I used to run the 100m hurdles in high school but getting the time away from my commitments would be challenging. When I mentioned it to my wife, she said go for it. I was not sure if she thought I would drop it after a while or if I could shed the weight to prepare for this trip. Getting her sign off was a weight lifted and actually a motivator to train and get into better shape. I started that very day and started working towards my goal.
Where to Begin
I reached out to my friend how has been to Everest Base Camp. They said get in touch with Ian Taylor Trekking. They were impressed with guides, acclimatization and all the information provided. I reached out to Ian and was really impressed with all the information provided.
Ian actually helped me build a training plan that worked really well for me. I started getting out hiking once a week build up from 2 hours to 8 hour hikes. It was hard in the beginning. Ian encouraged me to build slowly over months. I also build up from 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes daily training sessions. It took me a few months before I started carrying weight in my backpack but I kept at it daily and could feel myself getting stronger and stronger as the months went on. This specific training made all the difference.
I was excited to spend some time in Kathmandu and get out and visit as many sites as possible. Arriving two days early was a great idea and Ian’s team pick me up and had guides available to take me out exploring Kathmandu. Boudhanath (or Boudha) Stupa is the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal was one of my favorite areas. It was amazing just walking around Swayambhunath Stupa and remembered this site from the Doctor Strange movie. Our hotel was very central, which helped with wondering aimlessly through the back streets of Thamel which I enjoyed. Getting out walking and stretching my legs and getting back on a sleeping routine was important for me.
The Helicopter to Lukla
Our group decided to take the helicopter into Lukla on the front end of the trip. There was an additional $360 for this ride. We were all keen to maximize acclimatization and this was so worth it. We arrived in early to and started the journey towards Monjo. This helped up get up to Namche 3,440m/ 11,500 feet by mid day the next day. We would then have 3 nights acclimatization. This was a great group decision early on as there can be weather delays getting in and out of Lukla.
The Trail to Mount Everest
It looks like there has been some recent improvements to the lower trail to Everest. I am glad I did those long hikes. I found the trail and pace manageable but not easy. There were so many people struggling on the Namche hill but looked like they had no idea what they were getting themselves in for. The pace was key to making our way up some of these 2,000 foot hills. There are a lot of stairs up and down on the lower trail and you need to be well conditioned for this type of hiking. Follow Ian’s advice it is imperative you do. Above Namche is there are still 2,000 foot hills to climb but the trail becomes more gradual. The
The Altitude Battle
Eat fiber or at least bring some fiber tablets. I can now see the value of hydration and early morning coffee to get things moving. If you know what I mean! Once we reached Dingbouche 4,350m/ 14,272 feet and tried to stay there for a few nights we could all feel the altitude. The additional acclimatization was so helpful as we all moved at a slower pace now. I didn’t get any headaches, but I felt bloated and could notice the lack of oxygen when I walked up the stairs. The team were all enjoying the experience and the two nights in Dingbouche were a great help as we inched closer to our goal.
The Khumbu Glacier
The hike from Dingbouche towards Lobuche was relaxed and easy at first. The Thukla hill was doable but again there were so many people trying to go at it too quickly and we eventually passed them as they were tired reaching the Everest memorial. I remembered the memorial from watching the 2015 Everest movie over 50 times.
Again the pace was perfect and so important for our safe journey to Everest. We all arrived in Lobuche feeling good. I think I took Ibuprofen 400mg that night for the first time to help me sleep. I had a great nights sleep and ready for the hike up Kala Patthar and that sunset view I had been waiting for.
Sunset Over Mount Everest
We left a little later than everyone else as there was no rush. The hike through the glacial moraine was hilly. Up and down, up and down all the way to Gorak Shep. It took us 2 hours 30 minutes and we arrived at 11am for some hot tea. We had time to rest and relax and have lunch. At 3pm we started the 2 hour hike up Kala Patthar and the weather was clear. You have to be there to believe it. It was a moment for commitments. I committed to keep up the training and maintain a healthier lifestyle on my return home.
Sleeping at Everest Base Camp
After a moment I will never forget on Kala Patthar, it was time to sleep at Everest Base Camp. This was the icing on the cake for me. Our whole group of 10 made it. Walking in the footsteps on Tenzing and Hillary was on my mind as I made my way into Everest Base Camp. What an amazing experience. The Sherpa staff prepared hot drinks, popcorn and even had a party before sundown.
Tendi made some amazing Dal Bhat and what a nice treat to have hot water bottle handed to us, to keep us warm for our night at Everest Base Camp.
Talk to Ian Taylor Trekking
What an amazing experience throughout the whole journey. I can tell you from experience, you need to be training hard on long hikes building strength and endurance. This training and preparation was important. Heed the advice you are given and this is no easy trek. Give Ian or Laura a call or email them. Listen to the advice and apply it to your training it will either make or break your trip. Read some reviews.