Trekking or rather walking on trails is the best way to
Our quest to challenge ourselves is what is so fulfilling when trekking to Everest base camp. With this challenge comes risks, and none is more dangerous than that of high altitude. Altitude is generally associated with extreme conditions such as avalanche danger, freezing temperatures, remote locations and limited oxygen – and if not properly planned for it can cause serious consequence like altitude sickness. There are no specific factors such as age, gender or physical conditions that correlate with susceptibility to altitude sickness. Some people get it and some people don’t. Of course our physical training is the foundation required for any mountain trekking experience regardless of overall elevation.
Day 0–2 : KLIA –
With all above in mind, we begin our journey to the ‘
A direct flight from KLIA to Kathmandu airport took 4
hours, and approaching
For the next 15 days, we know that we would have done nothing but walk. Then of course, there is the occasional photo and video session. We also know that we probably can’t get a shower for a week. Well, if that’s the price for the fun ahead, so be it! J
Well, challenge we seek for, then challenge was what we
got. Our flight from
For the rest of the 13 days, the following features are common on almost all the days.
We were lead by our experienced guide of 9 years, Rame Tamang and the porter, Edu. Rame has taken scores of trekkers up and down the mountains. In fact he took another group up a few days after we finished our adventure. He had taken good care of us, patiently waited for us each time we had to catch our breath throughout the adventure.
As we took off to Lukla, 2840M ( 9317 ft ) at 1.20pm where our trek begins, the stewardess pass out sweets and cotton wool. The wool is used as ear plug and during the 45mins flight we’re rewarded with a beautiful view of Himalayan region and a dozens of houses dotting down the mountain ranges below.
Then from a distance,we saw the “airstrips “ – a slanted piece of land cut into the side of the mountain, and considered one of the most dangerous airstrip in the world. A group of German trekkers were killed in 2008 as their plane crashed, due to poor visibility while the pilot try to land at the very same airstrip. We were lucky this time around as landing are remarkably smooth and this was followed by big applause from fellow passengers. We passed our 1st challenge afterall….
Upon arrival we were greeted by trekking crew who organize the luggage and hustle us off for tea. After a leisurely short tea break we start the trek in earnest, setting off for a gentle walk to Phakding (2800m), a further 3 hours to the north. The trail leads through Lukla, past hotels, shops and airline offices to the edge of the Lukla plateau where the trail drops to meet the intersection of the Jiri trail at Chheplung.
From here the trail follows the Dudh Kosi north through
Day-04 : Phakding - Namche Bazar (3446m) - 6½ hours.
From Phakding the trail
continues north up the
From there we continue our ever-steeping trail to Namche Bazaar (3446m), known simply as Namche. En route we crossed the spectacular suspension bridge high above the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and the Dudh Kosi, and shortly after glimpse first view of Everest, way off to the northeast. The trail to Namche was steep and long, but eventually we reached the remarkable Sherpa capital perched high on the hillside and dominated to the east by the immense bulk of Kwangde (6187m).
We bunked into Hotel Namche, one of the best hotel available in Namche Bazaar area.
Day-05: Namche Bazar, one-day rest for acclimatization.
We had to stay put for a day in Namche, and this is crucial, as acclimatization is important before trekking higher, and this is a scheduled stop, which will allow us to gradually become used to the effects of altitude - the lower pressure and the thinner air.
Namche is a fascinating place simply to 'hang out' and take in the culture of the mountains, from the trading of visiting Tibetans to the stories of departing mountaineers. We did some shopping too!
Day-06: Namche Bazar – Khumjung ( 3700m.) -3 hours walk.
We took a walk to Khumjung from Namche Bazar is to get acclimatize and saw the real Sherpa land from the ancient history since in the beginning of their settlement after the Sherpa people migrated from Tibet. The hospital in Khunde, the Yeti sculpture in Khumjung Monastery and Hilary school are the main interest of the village as well. It was foggy and pretty cold weather, which prompt us to walk back to Namche for another night stay.
Day-07: Namche-Tengboche (3867m) - 5½ hours.
From Namche we trekked northeast on a direct line to Everest, starting up the hill to the Visitor Center and continuing on a reasonably flat easy trail high above the Dudh Kosi then saw one of the most beautiful mountains in the Khumbu - Ama Dablam (6856m), as well as Everest but it is still far off in the distance. At Sanasa we branch off the trail and head up the hill to the small settlement of Phunki where we stopped for lunch.
The trek from Namche Bazar 3440M(
11,286ft ) to Tengboche 3860M( 12,664ft ) has to be the most scenic of the
entire route. The mountain side are lined with pines
trees, scrubs and flowering plants. Before Kyangjuma 3550M, one can have
majestic view of Everest,
From here it was a steady
descent to the Tengboche. This is a beautiful settlement where we arrived at
the famous Tibetan Monastery and this was the place where we spent a night at
Amadablam Garden Lodge. Tengboche is the sacred land in the
Day -08: Tengboche- Dingboche (4343m) - 6 hours.
Today we descended from
Tengboche and cross the Imja Khola, then walked side
hills gradually to Pangboche. We came accros an
interesting Gompa site above the main village and by now we were in the midst
We may be in the middle of nowhere but every path is well-trodden. We regularly bump into other trekkers. We pass locals carrying huge weights on their backs, with baskets packed with food and other essentials. It is utterly amazing – a little sad – to watch them carrying such loads up and down the mountains with only a T-shape walking stick to help to ease the burden when they are resting. And they are poorly clothed too – to resist the cold.
Nevertheless, the Nepalese are beautiful people, friendly and humbled by a modest existence. They always greet us warmly with “namaste “meaning hello.
We spent our night at Hotel Family DingBoche, one of the famous hotel available in Dingboche.
Day -09: The Dingboche Rest
At this level we spent another
extra acclimatization day in Dingboche because when we crossed over an altitude
of 4000 meters it’s always recommended to get another day to adjust
ourselves. Dingboche has very clear and beautiful sight of several mountains
and famous Trekking Peak Imjatse or
We also had some bad news that one Nepalese guide was killed at Cho La Pass by a falling rock. To add to the tragic news, 2 Japanese trekker were died in their sleep due to the severe AMS attack a few night before. Most of the guides and trekkers were numb with such shocking news.
Day -10: Dingboche- Lobuche (4930m) - 5½ hours.
Today we continue our journey to another village called Lobuche. The route past Pheriche slants over a ridge and stays above the village. It joins the trail below Thungla beautiful views of Cholatse 6440m across the valley. After another steep ascend, the trail climbs up and over the terminal moraine of Khumbu glacier.
The trail was rough in some of
the parts with stark and rugged rock, and it’s
beauty creates almost moonscape camp site at Lobuche and the wind swept a
collection of huts tucked in a narrow meadow between the glacier and the
Lobuche was our final destination for the adventure this time around. It was an interesting and challenging experiences and yet we love to come back and experience it again.
If only time and money permits….. J
Coming Down and Back.
Day-11: Lobuche – Periche.
Day-12: Periche – Namche Bazaar
Day-13: Namche Bazaar – Thamu - Namche Bazaar
Day-14: Namche Bazaar - Phakding
Day-15: Phakding - Lukla then