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Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most exotic trekking journeys which is full of surprises and risks as well. Recently, my brother and I joined Everest Base Camp Trek with Mountain Sherpa Trekking & Expeditions who was our trekking partner for the journey. It was a 16-day journey out of which we spent 10 days on the walking trail.
In this post, we will try to explain our trekking experience to EBC with our travel partner MSTE. We had already shared out flight details with our trekking partner before heading off to Nepal. It was our first journey to Nepal and were quite excited about our trip. Besides excitement, we were also a bit nervous as we were traveling to a new country about which we had not much idea about except the pieces of information gathered through online medium.
We reached Tribhuvan International Airport at Kathmandu after a long tiring flight. Our trekking operator told us that their office representative and driver would receive us at the exit terminal of the airport. As we headed towards the exit terminal after getting our luggage, we noticed two people waiting with the MSTE banner with our name printed on it.
The representative and driver drove us to our designated hotel and helped us check-in. The hotel rooms were quite impressive and comfortable. We got fresh and spent our time resting at our hotel sometime before moving out to roam around the hotel. We were greeted with a welcome dinner in the evening with a beautiful cultural dance and folk music at a traditional Nepali restaurant. We got back to our hotel and slept off as we had a long day.
We woke up early today and had our breakfast. It was our 2nd day of the trek, and we had a half day guided sightseeing of the Kathmandu city in a private vehicle which was arranged by our trekking operator. We visited two most beautiful places Swayambhunath and Boudhanath which are also listed by UNESCO as world cultural heritage site. We did some gears shopping in the afternoon which was assisted by the MSTE guide. They helped us check the proper gears, pack up for the trek and provided with some essentials for the trekking such as duffel bag, down jacket, and sleeping bag. We had an early dinner and dozed off early as we had an early morning flight the next morning.
The next day was quite challenging for us as getting up early in the morning was never our cup of tea. Our flight was scheduled early morning, and we woke up after our alarm hit twice. We had a hearty breakfast at the hotel and drove to the domestic terminal of Tribhuvan international airport, Kathmandu. The plane was quite small, and I was quite skeptical about flying in it, but soon the scary feeling turned into an extraordinary, fantastic feeling because of the scenery we were able to witness from the windows of the flight. The next 30 minutes were one of the most beautiful moments spent on the plane along with beautiful and amazing views of mountains. Finally, the plane landed on a small airstrip at Tenzing–Hillary Airport Lukla. The landing was quite scary because of the geographical situation of the airport, but we landed well and safe.
We were received by our Sherpa guide and porter at the Lukla airport. They helped us arrange our luggage and checked our gears for the upcoming trekking. We started our trek to Phakding with our trekking guide, porter and other members of the group. We had about 3 hours walk from Lukla and passed through Pine and Rhododendron forest filled on the trail. We reached Phakding early and checked into the designated lodge which was booked by our tour operator. The hike was short today to help our body assist in acclimatization. The lodge was quite good with comfortable rooms and good food. We had an early dinner and retired to our bed because of the tiredness.
We started our 4th day early as we had retired to bed early the previous day. We were greeted by our guide and porter after the breakfast to start our trail to Namche Bazaar. We walked beside the Dudh Koshi river across the pine forest crossing multiple suspension bridges. On our way to Namche, we enjoyed beautiful views of Mt. Thamserku, Mount Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge and various other higher mountains of the Khumbu region. The views were incredible, and we climbed uphill to reach Namche Bazaar. It took us around 6 hours to reach Namche Bazaar, but the view of the village was mesmerizing. The village was really beautiful, and we could see many other tourists roaming around the village who were also on the journey to EBC. We checked into our mountain lodge and rested for sometimes. We had our dinner and slept early thinking about the next day and the upcoming journey.
We woke up by the call of our guide today. It was the 5th day of our journey and was meant to be an acclimatization day. The major purpose of acclimatization day is to help your body adapt to the change in altitude and prevent altitude sickness(AMS). People often confuse this day with the resting day, but it is not meant for complete rest. We walked up to Everest View Hotel after breakfast to enjoy the amazing view of Mount Everest and Ama Dablam from the hotel situated at the highest altitude. We also visited the monastery at Khumjung to witness the only Yeti skull in the world. We explored around the Kunde for some time more and also visited Edmund Hillary hospital before getting back to Namche. Our guide helped us check necessary gears for the upcoming trek in the evening. We had dinner and slept thinking about the exciting trekking journey to Everest Base Camp which was about to start tomorrow.
We started our trek to Tengboche after breakfast today. We climbed to the top of the ridge above Namche enjoying the wonderful view of Thamserku, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. We reached Tengboche after an uphill climb of 4 hours. The initial climb was steep, but it was normal later on. Tengboche us quite popular for the Tengboche monastery which is around a century old. We checked into a tea house booked by our tour operator. We had rest for some time at the tea house and visited the monastery and roamed around the village for sometime in the evening. We stayed overnight at the teahouse in Tengboche.
It was day 7 of our trek, and we left for Dingboche after having breakfast at Tengboche. We walked along the Himalayas background passing via the trenches of rhododendron forest. We reach Debuche passing through multiple up and down climb before finally reaching Dingboche. It is a beautiful and wonderful village in the Khumbu region. We started to feel the reduced level of oxygen in the environment. Our tour guide checked our health status time and again on the trail. The guide and porter made sure we were not affected by the altitude sickness and also helped us learn about the local culture and tradition of the Khumbu area while walking on the trail. We were so impressed by the knowledge and skills of the tour guide.
The 8th day of our trek was meant for acclimatization to help our body adjust with the elevation. But we were not supposed to be resting idly. Our guide took us for a fantastic excursion to Nagarjuna peak (5100 m) which is situated at the north of the village. We enjoyed the wonderful views of some of the highest mountains Mt Lhotse, Mt Makalu, and Mt Cho Yu as well as Cholatse (6440 m/21,126 ft) and Taboche (6542 m/ 21,463 ft) on the west.
We returned to our lodge in the afternoon and had our lunch. We stayed at the mountain lodge for the for the overnight.We trekked to Lobuche on the 9th day from Dingboche. It was an uphill walk, and we could see the change in the surroundings by now. We were in the freezing desert today. We reached Lobuche after walking for about 4-5 hours. We could witness the memorial Chorten and stupas on the way which was dedicated to people who lost their lives while climbing to Mount Everest.
We checked into the tea house at Lobuche, and I had started to feel a mild headache because of the elevation by now. Our tour guide provided with the medication which helped me deal with the situation. We rested at our rooms, had an early dinner and went to bed early with the excitement to reach Everest Base Camp tomorrow.
We started early in the morning on the 10th day to reach Everest Base Camp. The initial hours of the trail were flat but the landscape changed as we climbed higher. We walked slowly and steadily alongside the Khumbu Glacier, enjoying the serene views of mountains covered with white snow. We reached to the Everest Base Camp walking across the vast lake of Gorakshep crossing the small patch of ice rock. The trail was rocky, sandy and undulating with the Khumbu Glacier, Khumbu icefall and multiple high mountains around us. The emotion of reaching Everest Base Camp and enjoying the view of the world's highest peak from the closest point was just incredible. We could remember all those childhood dreams, and our training to reach the base camp. The feeling to witness the sacred mountain was just we could share in words, we never felt more proud of ourselves. After spending some time at Everest Base Camp, we got back to Gorak Shep and checked into a tea house and spent overnight there.
The 11th day of our trek was the most important and crucial one. We had to witness the sunrise over the Everest, so we started our climb early at 4:30 Am with head torches and multilayer of clothing to tackle the cold. It was one of the most difficult but worthwhile days of the entire trekking journey. The cold environment and less oxygen took every bit of energy from my body. I wanted to quit but the tour guide motivated and helped me to climb up. We reached the top of Kala Patthar taking few breaks. We witnessed the most beautiful sunrise above the Everest and a few other highest mountains in the world. We took as many pictures to relive the memories later in the future.
We got down from Kala Patthar, had our breakfast and left for Pheriche. The excitement and feeling of witnessing the highest mountains from the closest point filled me with energy that I left behind everyone while trekking down to Pheriche. We stayed overnight at Pheriche at a beautiful tea house.
We trekked down to Namche Bazaar from Pheriche on the 12th day of our journey. We descended through the hillside which was filled with juniper and rhododendron trees. We walked multiple ups and downs and lost approximately around 2000 feet while trekking down to Namche Bazaar. We reached Namche Bazaar and spent overnight at a mountain lodge.
On the 13th day morning, we departed from Namche Bazaar and took the same path once we took to hike up from Lukla. It took us around 7 hours to reach Lukla from Namche Bazaar, the place from where we started our Everest Base Camp Trek journey. The trail seemed to easy while walking down and the pain in the legs and blocked nose all were gone with the loss in elevation. Once we reached Lukla, we checked into our guest house and took a long hot shower which relieved all the stress and pains of our bodies endured during the trekking. We had a final dinner with our trekking guide and porters who were our companions on the entire journey. We celebrated our successful climb to Everest Base Camp. We were amazed to see that our Sherpa guides were more happy that we completed our trekking journey without any issue. We celebrated the Sherpa custom to celebrate the success of trek with our guide and porter and enjoyed the time dancing and drinking.
We flew back to Kathmandu taking an early morning flight from Lukla on the 14th day. The early flight dropped us Tribhuvan international airport from where our tour operator representative and driver escorted us to our hotel. We spent our whole day relaxing at the hotel and thinking about our journey to the closest point of the highest peak in the world.
The 15th day was kept as a reserve day by our tour operator in case the flight cancellation took place from Lukla to Kathmandu which often takes place due to bad weather. It was a free day, and we roamed around the Kathmandu city. We did shopping and bought some souvenirs and gifts for our family and friends back home. We had our dinner and retired to our bed early after packing our baggage.
It was the day to leave for our home from the beautiful country Nepal. We were transferred to the airport in a private vehicle by our tour operator. We caught our flight back home and thanked our trekking operator for arranging a comfortable trekking journey to the closest point of the highest peak in the world.
We are very thankful to Mountain Sherpa Trekking and Expeditions for the remarkable journey to the Everest Base Camp. They had arranged real Sherpa guides and porters for the trip who made sure our trekking journey went normally. They guided us all the time on the trail and helped us tackle the altitude sickness. Overall, our trekking journey to Everest Base Camp with MSTE was wonderful, and we are thankful to the company owners, guides and porters who made our trekking successful without any issue.