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Everest Base Camp Trek - Part 3

To the top of the world and back again

View Round-the-world-trip on samandmarta's travel map.

The day we have been waiting for started very early. We had our breakfast at 6 AM so we could make it to Everest Base Camp (EBC) before the clouds appear. Mornings were usually very clear, but clouds started creeping in most afternoons. This day we felt how fit we had become in the recent month, due to the high-altitude trekking we did in Tibet. On the way to Gorakshep we passed hundreds of trekkers that had started even earlier than us, but that were struggling with the thin air, while we were feeling very energized. In Gorakshep, at 5150 meters above sea level, we were supposed to spend the night, but not before making it to Everest Base Camp. We rested briefly at our guest house, drinking a few cups of tea.


The path to EBC was running parallel to the lower parts of the Khumbu glacier. This was technically the most difficult part of our journey, as many parts were going through fields of huge rocks deposited there by the glacier. The EBC trek is, in general, very busy. Around 400 trekkers start the path every day in October, so there was never a feeling of isolation or solitude during this trek. But this very last segment was surprisingly empty. It seemed like we have left most other trekkers behind and we were able to enjoy the views in peace and silence. Along the way, Mount Everest came back into view, now closer than ever, after being hidden from us for the past three days.


When we finally arrived at the Base Camp, around 10:30 AM, it felt somehow anticlimactic. Mount Everest is only climbed in spring, so in October there are no climbers and no tents there. Only an inscribed stone and some prayer flags remind visitors of what must have been a very interesting place in spring. Also, the views of Mount Everest are actually best half-way between Gorakshep and EBC. At the Base Camp you can hardly see the peak. Still, we were happy to have made it till the end of the trek and spent around an hour there, absorbing the energy of this place where so much history has been written. The entire time, there were never more than 20 other trekkers there and we could really enjoy our time. Only on the way back to Gorakshep the crowds started to come our way.


We were back in Gorakshep around 1 PM and there was nothing left on our itinerary for the day. The next day we were supposed to climb Kala Patthar, which is one of the best viewpoints for Mount Everest, but Sam felt like he had enough energy left to go there already for sunset. From the 5650 meter high peak, the views were amazing. Sunset was also a much better time for photos as the sun was illuminating the Everest peak.


The next day, we woke up at 4:30 AM to climb Kala Patthar again, this time together. From the top of the peak, we watched the sun rising from right behind Mount Everest.


Most people who trek to EBC would now start the descend back to Lukla. This involves three long days of climbing down. We chose to save us the effort and have booked our trekking with a helicopter ride back to Lukla. Neither of us has ever been in a helicopter so it was quite an interesting experience. However, the flight was almost too short. In only 15 minutes, we flew back the distance that took us nine long days of hiking.


After one night in Lukla, we were again very lucky to have a clear morning where our flight was able to depart roughly on time and bring us back safely to Kathmandu. In conclusion, trekking to the Everest Base Camp was a lifetime experience for us. Sam, at first, did not want to do this trip, because he prefers quiet places with less people. But while it is true that this trek is very busy and you even run into “traffic jams” from time to time, you don’t notice the crowds most of the time. The mountain panorama is so impressive, that the other people on the trek are easily forgotten. It is not just about seeing Mount Everest, but the entire area is astonishing. You can see three of the world’s five highest peaks and countless other amazing mountains. In the end, Sam was extremely happy that Marta convinced him to do this trek.

Posted by samandmarta 18:30 Archived in Nepal

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