//My first Journey to Everest Base Camp Trek – Trail to the Top of the World
Breakfast at Hotel Everest View

My first Journey to Everest Base Camp Trek – Trail to the Top of the World

Climbing Mt. Everest has always been a dream of my life since I was kid. However, it’s like a far reality for me which can never come true. As I grew up and tried to understand things as it was, I realized that it is impossible for me to summit the top of the world – Mt. Everest. After realizing this, I continue to research about the alternatives and that is when the trek to Everest Base Camp strikes my mind.

Even though I had heard a lot about Nepal, I barely had enough time to visit there. But, this time it was different. This time it was about my dream; dream of viewing Mt. Everest with my own eyes. Also, it was crucial for me to do it sooner, while I’m healthy, determined and have enough resources for it.

So, I, Anna, decided to plan a trek to Everest Base Camp with a group (my buddies), Kaira and David, who were always with me during vocational trip. Since we were trekking for the first time in the Himalayas of Nepal, we planned to trek with Adventure Himalayan Travels and Treks rather than trekking independently to Everest Base Camp.

Note: We started our trek only after 8 months of our planning as Adventure Himalayan Travels and Treks suggested us to take training such as hiking, strength, and cardio training beforehand the trek to deal with Everest Base Camp difficulty. Training that we took made our trip easy and comfortable.

Day 1: Stepping in the Himalayan Kingdom: Nepal

After a few months of our plan, when all three of us were fully prepared and trained, we were all set to head towards our destination. We left for the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu on April 6, 2021. Upon our arrival at Kathmandu’s airport, we were welcomed and escorted to the hotel by ABC Company’s guide. We took shower and rested in a hotel for a while. In leisure time, we visited Thamel, major tourist hub, which was quite uncrowded with only a handful of stores being opened. Locals told us that it was all the effect of Covid-19 which was slowly disappearing, but fear of it was still alive on people.

The night life on the Thamel, and Ason Bazaar was wonderful. We picked up some quality gears and equipment for Everest Base Camp treks from the store which was very familiar to ABC Company. We visited Pashupatinath, where lord Shiva is worshipped. Also, we visited Swayambhunath, also known as ‘ Monkey Temple’ and enjoyed the great view of Kathmandu valley. Nevertheless, visiting Kathmandu Durbar Square was ultimate fun as we explored the major historical stories of Nepal. In the evening, we were introduced to Guide Pemba who explained briefly about our following days’ Everest Base Camp trip.

Day 2: Flying into Lukla

One of the Challenging Airports in Nepal & Heading towards Phakding

Alarm was set off for 4:00 am; however, we snoozed because of the chilly weather. It was already half past four when we woke up from the bed to enjoy the hot shower. After checking our bags and equipment, we checked out from the hotel and moved towards the airport along with the guide Pemba and porter Nima to catch the flight which was meant to be at 6:15 am.

Upon our arrival at Kathmandu airport, our temperature was checked by a guard and he gave us a drop of sanitizer. The airport which was meant to be bustling, was serene and we barely saw any of the travelers. Also, the rule of distancing made it impossible to have contact with any other people around there. It was nearly 7:00 am when our flight left which was kind of too late.

The view from the flight was outstanding; panorama of the snow-capped peaks, beautiful lower hills, sunrise over Kathmandu and memorable flight over the parallel to the Himalayas. After our arrival at Lukla, all we could see was a tiny strip of mountain. We had read about this airport in many blogs and it was true. However, the landing was smooth and safe. We enjoyed our popular Lukla tea by exploring the surrounding stunning views. We didn’t notice any other trekkers in this village and finally, we were free from masks too.

Our First Trekking Experience in Himalayas: Phakding

Our Everest Base Camp route followed Phakding from Lukla. We trekked following the trail down to Chheplung and Nurning and made the slow climb to the Phakding (2,610m). Throughout the way, we observed the lifestyle of the villagers and we were so amazed to see how all of them were so friendly and ready to chat with us every time with a smiling face. Also, our every conversation started with ‘Namastey’ which is the favourite greeting word that I learnt in Nepal. Before reaching Phakding, we also enjoyed another photography session at Bhote Koshi Nadi (River) which was passing parallelly with the trail. We took omelets and pasta for dinner. It was fun to see how David’s trouser was spoiled by pasta getting all over it. LOL!!

Day 3: Ascending to Sherpa’s Capital: Namche Bazaar

We started our today’s trek at 7:30 am after enjoying a breakfast consisting of porridge and milky tea. We began our journey by walking for a while through the Phakding village. Later, we descended and crossed the suspension bridge over the Koshi River. Then, we climbed up to the Bengkar village. Our permits got stamped at the checkpoint of Monjo and from there we headed towards Jorsale for lunch. Our lunch consisted of boiled egg and veg noodle soup which was delicious with the ethnic taste.

Yak heading down to Tengboche

Sharing Trail with Animals

After resting for a while, we started our trek by gradual climb to Larja Dobhan. On the way, we came across the many porters who were leading their livestock in an organizing way. They were carrying the supplies and logistics required for the travelers in the high Himalayas. It was very exciting to see the animals throughout our way; however, it was dangerous too as most of the time our trail was completely halted by them. Also, make sure to give a way to the group of yaks as I was nearly knocked off by them from the bridge.

First Glimpse of Mt. Everest

After climbing for 1.5 hours, guide Pemba showed us a spot from where we got the first view of Mt. Everest. It was my first time I had ever seen the world’s highest peak – Mt. Everest with my own eyes. We took a couple of photos and continued the trek. We passed through numerous bridges. After reaching Sagarmatha National Park, our permits for trek to Everest Base Camp were stamped.

Crossing the Forest: Challenging Trail

While trekking through the dense lush forests, Kaira seemed to be resting after taking every 5 steps. David and I were also tired enough, but were trying hard to cross the jungle. Since, it was our first time going through the trail in high elevation, it was very tough for us. The trail was filled with blooming Rhododendrons and because of this reason April is considered the best time to visit Everest Base Camp. We cleared the forest after 30 minutes of painful walking and finally, Namche village was in sight

We were planning to trek EBC without hiring a porter, but thank God we didn’t go for that option. I realized the importance of them while I was climbing up to reach Namche. Thanks to porter Nima for making our trip hassle-free by sharing the burden of ours.

We reached our lodge, had a quick wash, and changed the dress. After resting for a while, we headed towards the Namche Bakery Cafe where we had coke and apple pie. This bakery was a great spot as it has free Wi-Fi, and a charging spot. We spent our evening relaxing in the bakery and taking a short excursion to Namche village. Having a long tiring day, it was hard for all three of us to stay awake for long so we enjoyed the dinner early and headed towards the bed.

Day 4: Delights of Namche Bazaar

We woke up early in the morning and it was a clear sun. We thought that today was our complete rest day. However, later guide Pemba reminded us that acclimatization day is used to make our body adjustable with lower oxygen by climbing up to higher altitude, shortly. We were kind of sad because we were still having a slight effect of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and were feeling too tired to hike in higher altitudes even for a short duration.

Namche Bazaar

Culture of the Sherpa

Since we were not ready to hike to high altitude in the early morning, guide Pemba planned to start the trek a little late. So, we strolled around the Namche Bazaar and met the locals. Throughout the way, a lot of people greeted us ‘Namastey’ which was actually too respectful. We interacted with the Sherpa and through the help of guide Pemba, we asked a few questions about their culture and traditions. We listened to the live monks chanting in the monastery as part of their morning ceremony. We also saw monks playing Dunchen, long horns used in Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies.

We got back to the lodge and had our milk tea and ate honey porridge. Then, we headed towards the trek to Everest View Point by grabbing the camera. We passed through the numerous shops and pharmacies before reaching the viewpoint. Guide Pemba made sure to keep the pace slow without any rushing attitude.

Stunning Panorama from Everest View Point

After reaching the top of Everest View Point, we were presented with the mesmerizing views of the peaks such as Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, Tarboche, Lhotse etc. It was our first time seeing something so beautiful. All three of us were amazed and couldn’t stop ourselves from capturing the moments in the camera.

After spending 30 minutes on top, we made the quick descent to Namche. It was near to dark when we reached there. So, we rushed towards the ATM and money exchange shops to get money. In the evening, we spent some time chatting with fellow trekkers and enjoying the bakery items and drinks at Namche Bakery Cafe. Thanks to guide Pemba, because of him we didn’t have a difficult time trekking to high altitude as he maintained our pace properly. We grabbed our dinner and before heading towards the bed, all three of us played the cards with Pemba.

Breakfast at Namche
Rest Day enjoying with view

Tips: Namche village is the last spot where you will get a chance to withdraw and exchange money, charge the battery for free and buy the gear and equipment for Everest Base Camp. So, make sure to use all these facilities to enjoy the rest of the days more comfortably and wonderfully.

Day 5: Visiting the Hometown of Tenzing Norgay: Tengboche

We started day 5 trek by enjoying the breakfast consisting of honey porridge and milky tea. We packed our bags and left the lodge at around 8:30 am. The surrounding was serene and it was totally opposite of what we were told as even being the peak season of trek to EBC, we didn’t meet any trekkers. Later, we came to know from villagers that since the pandemic started, there haven’t been many visits from tourists.

Encounter with Varied Flora and Fauna

We started the trek by taking a short steep climb of around 10 minutes and it was scary as well as exciting climb. Today’s trek allowed us to get the first glimpse of the Golden Eagle. Unfortunately, we didn’t succeed in taking a photo of it. Similarly, we also saw the Himalayan Tahr. We were surrounded by the view of Mt. Everest and other peaks; however, it disappeared after we started to descend through the forest to Phunke for lunch. We also crossed the Dhudh Koshi River via the suspension bridge.

First glimpse of Mount Everest
Beautiful view of Mount Amadablam

Today’s climb was as hard as the climb up to Namche but luckily, we coped with the trail very well by keeping our pace slow. Also, we were becoming used to walking and the previous day’s acclimatization made it easy for us to pass the route. So, remember no matter how energetic you are, always try to keep the pace slow and rest very often from the very first day as it is the key for dealing with the Everest Base Camp difficulties.

Visit to Tengboche Monastery

All three of us successfully made it to Tengboche after making a lot of stop offs on the way. Even though we were at high altitude, the lodge was genuinely nice with the facilities like flushing toilets etc. We rested for a while and guide Pemba took us to the Dawa Choling Gompa (Tengboche Monastery). With the assurance of Pemba, we made a visit and let me tell you, after relaxing for a while within the premises of this monastery, we all were so calm and all the stress from the long tiring days was washed away. The environment of the monastery was peaceful and uncrowded. There were Mani walls, flapping prayer flags, murals etc. Monks were chanting which provided extra relief to our soul and mind.

We weren’t allowed to take any pictures in the monastery, which was a little sad. But we were still grateful that we visited the monastery and felt refreshed. We spent our leisure time enjoying the view of sunset over Mt. Everest. We had Dal Bhat for dinner for the first time. I must say that the taste of Dal Bhat was quite different from that of a modern city.

Day 6 & 7: Moving Higher on the Trail: Dingboche

After having breakfast and packing our bags, we started our trek to Dingboche (4,410m). We began with the path going downhill and all three of us were so happy with the beginning of the trail as it was not hard. However, we got stuck in a yak train frequently on today’s trail. Today, I made sure to allow enough way for the Yak Train from my previous learning. We made the small climb to the suspension bridge over Imja Khola (River). After crossing Imja Khola, we made a steeper climb to Pangboche village (3,985m). From Pangboche, we trekked towards Somare (4,000m) and stopped there for lunch.

Hiking towads dingboche - Everest Trail
Taking Selfie

We had veg’d noodle soup and boiled egg for lunch. Also, let me tell you the reason behind the light and healthy lunch is because every time after lunch, you will be struggling to trek onwards because of hard climbing. I don’t know if it is true but at least this is what I found from our experience. After taking lunch, we started to make a gradual climb towards Dingboche which took around 2 hours. Though the climb was not too hard, the sun was very warm and made it a bit harder to complete the trail. We took around 50 breaks which is fine as we didn’t want to push ourselves too hard. Upon our arrival at Dingboche, we were served hot lemon tea to make us comfortable and relaxed.

View from the Top of Dingboche

Next morning, guide Guide Pemba took us to the nearer spot for a short trek. It was just a couple of hours round trip. After climbing up and up, we reached the highest point of Dingboche around 4,700m. Despite an hour of struggle, the view from the top was out of the world. We observed the bird-eye view of Island Peak which was standing alone with Mt. Everest. Mt. Lhotse was behind the Island peak. Ama Dablam peak was in the right direction and guide Pemba told us that this peak is technically harder to climb than Mt. Everest.

View from top of dingboche
Trying to capture beautiful pic 🙂

Tip: Remember to walk slowly. We always underestimate the Himalayas of Nepal and overestimate our power, but once you start the trail, you would realize how wrong you were. Also, trek with a guide and porter as far as possible. Thankfully, we didn’t go for a solo trek to Everest Base Camp. I don’t know what our situation would have been if we three were alone in the journey.

Day 8: Moving to Lobuche

We woke up around 6:30 am in the morning and had breakfast, packed the bags, and started our trek around 7:30 am which was a record for us. We tapped the shoulder of each other as it was our achievement. LOL!! Pemba made sure to trek slowly as we were only 1 day away from reaching Everest Base Camp and they didn’t want us to suffer anymore. Also, the altitude was getting higher so if any of us would have tried to disobey their guidance then, we would surely have face time with adverse consequences.

Porter carrhing loads at everest trail

The trail began with climbing shortly up to the Dingboche and ridge overlooking the village. Slowly, we noticed the change in landscape as there were only rocks of different shapes and sizes rather than vegetation. I felt like I was walking around the desert which was surrounded by the highest peaks of the world. We climbed the Chola Tsho Lake and reached Thukla. We made a small descent into Thukla (4,620m). We stopped at Thukla for lunch even though it was just 11am. Guide Pemba told us to have lunch as we need to have energy to climb up to Chukpa Lare. All three of us planned to have veg chow Mein. We moved very slowly upto Chukpa Lare because of the difficult trail.

Cemetery for Lost Climbers

Once we reach the top of Chukpa Lare, we relax there for 30 minutes. There were numerous memorial monuments which were built in the memory of those mountaineers who lost their lives while trying to climb Mt. Everest. We stroll around the monuments and pay respect for all of them.

From Chukpa Lare, we began our journey to Lobuche (4,910m) which was a couple of hours away. Guide Pemba told us that the trail is easy as compared to the climb you just succeed. As he said, the trail was a lot easier, surrounded by mesmerizing scenery. Upon our arrival at Lobuche, we started re-hydrating and preparing for tomorrow. All three of us were so happy to get this far. We didn’t think that we would really make it. However, guide Pemba, porter Nima, and support from Adventure Himalayan Travels and Treks worked hard to get us to our goal.

Day 9: Big Day: Everest Base Camp

Finally, we were extremely near to our dream and success. This was all we needed!!

We woke up early in the morning and had enough breakfast consisting of boiled eggs, bread, and porridge. We were so ready to overcome the difficulties that were ahead of us. I feel so proud of all three of us when I remember that day now as we were so determined, passionate and energetic. By crossing the highest glacier of the world – Khumbu Glacier, we reached Gorak Shep. We rested for a while in Gorak Shep and moved on to our ultimate destination – Everest Base Camp. The entire trail was amazing and it felt like we were the owner of the trail as there were no other trekking groups.

Everest Base Camp - Nepal
Everest Base Camp – Mission Complete 🙂

We went through a lot of ups and downs. There were also a few flat trails where we caught our breath. Guide Pemba also told us that the view of Mt. Everest will be blocked from base camp. As soon as we heard this, we took out our camera and started to capture the numerous photos from different angles. After a while, we took a steep decline.

Slowly, Everest Base camp was in our sights and to reach there all we had to do was climb up and pass a few boulders. We finally stepped in Everest Base Camp and cried out loud by saying we made it. There was ice on the surface so guide Pemba held three of us together and watched our footing every time we took the step. We stayed in base camp for about 25 minutes by strolling around and taking a lot of photos for memory. After, we trek back to Gorak Shep to spend our night in warm and cozy blankets.

Day 10: Kala Patthar: The Highest we had ever been

Everest Base Camp was done, but the hardest climb up to Kala Patthar was yet there to accomplish. Kala Patthar is a popular side trek to reach the highest elevation of 5,550m. We started our trek early in the morning after having an energetic breakfast. It was a harder climb for us as we were spending most of our nights in high altitude for a few days. We hiked, plateau after plateau, on the dusty trail and kept on wondering when the trail consisting of rocks and boulders would come to end. Finally, after a 3 hours of long walk, we reached the spectacular top of Kala Patthar.

Even though the trek was quite hard and we had to make frequent stops, once we reached the top, the view was worth struggling. The sun rise illuminating the dazzling Mt. Everest in front of me made me forget all the tiredness of the entire trip. Besides Everest, the bird-eye views of other Himalayas such as Nuptse, Changtse, Lhotse etc. made our visit to Kala Patthar exciting and thrilling. The view of Khumbu IceFall made it even more desirable. We were having feelings of great accomplishment and were so proud of each other. Even though we wanted to cherish the moment for a little longer, we returned back to Gorak Shep after spending a memorable 30 minutes of our life there.

We packed our bag and departed from Gorak Shep towards Pheriche. We were already so proud of completing the journey, but we forgot that getting back all the way to Lukla shouldn’t be underestimated. However, Pemba told us that you will not suffer as hard as before. We were so happy to have porter Nima as we didn’t have to carry the bag while descending as well. After passing through a few flat trials and making descent, we arrived at Pheriche where we stopped for a night.

Day 11:  Celebration Day at Namche Bazaar

Today we returned from Pheriche to Namche. I always had thought that ascent is difficult and descent is easy. But, after embarking this journey, I realized that going down was also not so easy. However, the views on the way encouraged us to keep going and gave us immense energy. When we reached Pangboche, there were other high ascents to pass to reach Tengboche. We slowly pass through all the difficulties and reach Namche Bazaar.

In the evening, we strolled around Namche Bazaar for the last time. We celebrated our victory with Pemba and Nima as it was our great success which we never imagined of getting through with less suffering. We danced in Nepali folk songs with locals. We were allowed to get a little drunk so we didn’t miss this opportunity and enjoyed a few Everest Beers. I clearly remembered that it was such a joyful environment with everyone around us smiling and tapping back of ours for achieving the Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar.

Day 12: Back to Lukla

This would be the last day of our trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal. We have to pass through Phakding to reach Lukla. We started our journey a little late, at around 9am as we were not in mood to leave the beautiful and relaxing Namche Bazaar. Kaira, David and I tried our best to capture the photos of Sherpa clad in their traditional attire and every corner of this village as we were not sure if we would even visit this village or not.

We easily got to Phakding from Namche as the trail was easier. Throughout the way, I kept reminiscing about the hardship that we all had to go through while we climbed the same trail to reach Everest Base Camp. We arrived at Lukla late in the afternoon and got a warm sleep in our cozy room.

Day 13: Flying to Kathmandu

We woke up early in the morning and had a fresh hot breakfast while enjoying the Himalayas for one last time. I was praying for the completion of the trek as soon as possible but when the day finally came, I was taking heavy sighs. We departed from Lukla at around 9am. I was thrilled to observe the view of peaks, sky, clouds etc. from the window of the plane.

Finally we landed at the airport of Kathmandu, wore a mask and drove to the hotel. We took shower, rested for a while, and visited Thamel and Ason Bazaar where we bought souvenirs for our closed ones.

Day 14: Final Day in Nepal

Trip of a lifetime

It was the last day in our Himalayan country, Nepal. I had a thrilling experience in the Himalayas and was sad to bid goodbye to Kathmandu. Not only me, but the faces of David and Kaira were also highly in a low mood. That day I realized the value of the Himalayas. No matter how struggling the journey is, good memories of it will haunt us every day. It was the same in my case. I was already starting to miss peaks, glaciers, trails, locals, villages, yaks etc. Guide Pemba escorted us to the airport and wished us a happy journey.

Finally, we would like to thank guide Pemba Sherpa, porter Nima Sherpa and Adventure Himalayan Travels and Treks for looking after us from the day 1 to day 14 of our trip and providing high-class services. We would surely visit you again in upcoming days. Thank You!!

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