26th Nov, 2019
For every reward, there is a challenge. The Everest Base Camp is no less a challenge but the reward(s) it has in store surpasses every pain you go through. Hereunder, we have described the kind of difficulties you face during your trek to Everest Base Camp.
The Everest Base Camp trekking, in general, starts after a short spanned but thriller flight to Lukla (One of the most dangerous airports in the world). If the roller-coaster ride to the airport doesn’t excite you, you can always choose to trek to Lukla from Jiri. However, you must understand that this trek is not generally for the people who tour because the trek to Everest Base Camp requires you to be prepared and trained for.
At the height of 2800 meters, Lukla is relatively a high altitude for the start of your trek. From there, you will start to ascend to villages located at different but increasing heights like Namche Bazaar (3400 meters), Tengboche (3800 meters), Dingboche (4410 meters), Lobuche (4940 meters) after which the Everest Base Camp at 5380 meters finally welcomes you giving you access to Kala Patthar at 5545 meters. The Everest Base Camp is the highest base camp in the world. Yes, even the foot of the Mt. Everest is tallest in the world. These treks are not always gradual climbs. At times, you are forever descending down into valleys to cross rivers before tackling the next peak. You should also keep in mind that the higher altitude means the lower supply of oxygen.
The high altitude, in addition to keeping you closer to the sky, yields some wondrous views of rocky terrains, alpine forests and beautiful valleys in the mountainous region of Everest.
The high altitude means that it snows during the winter. Sometimes they are predictable and sometimes they can surprise you especially during the end of the autumn season or during the start of the spring.
Sagarmatha National Park is one of the major highlights of the trek. The park is adorned with diverse flora and faunas which will mesmerize you with its beauty. From Eagles, Yaks, Sheep to Snow Leopards, you will see various species of animals living in harmony with varied species of vegetation giving them shelter.
The total distance (round trip) during the famous Everest Base Camp trek is 130 kilometers approximately meaning that you will roughly cover 65 kilometers ascending and 65 kilometers descending. However, trekking the outward 65 km to Everest Base Camp comparatively takes longer as you need to allocate time for adequate acclimatization. A continuous trek is near to impossible during the Everest Base Camp trekking. If you even attempt to do so, you will be at a higher risk of catching altitude sickness. The Everest Base Camp trek generally takes 14-15 days for semi-professional trekkers and 12 days for professionals who are trained and have prior experiences.
The distance might sum up to be longer as the trekkers are often allured by the perspective of the detour to visit beautiful lakes lie Gokyo Lakes and Cho La pass. Thus, the distance that you will cover during the trek will be longer than the projected distance. Considering that you often have to walk uphill, the distance 65 km will seem like a thousand miles as it is more taxing than walking in plain tracks.
The high-altitude zones come with the complementary risk of altitude-related sicknesses which are scarily named, Acute Mountain Sickness, High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE) and High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE). Everybody experiences some form of altitude sickness. The ones who didn’t suffer are also were found to have difficulties breathing during the span of the trek.
To begin with, you start from Lukla at 2800m which is “High Altitude” in the language of the professionals and ascend to Kala Patthar as your final destination at the height of 5545m which is aptly called “Very High Altitude”. You must prepare your body for the impending altitude sickness by studying the symptoms which range from throbbing headaches, nausea to mild difficulty in respiration. If the symptoms turn chronic, you also tend to suffer from hallucinations, major respiratory problems even when you walk a short distance and you tend to lose your equilibrium as you forego the ability to walk in a straight line.
We suggest you pay attention to such symptoms while trekking to Everest Base Camp. Consult your trekking guide and seek help if necessary. If you happen to trek alone and you begin to notice these symptoms, immediately begin to descend to a lower altitude.
There are primarily four seasons in the Everest region, namely, summer, winter, autumn, and spring. The autumn or post-monsoon, which starts from September spans up to November, and the spring or pre-monsoon that starts from March spans up to May are the most popular seasons for trekking to Everest Base Camp. Clear and least cumbersome trails and crystal clear sky make these seasons the most favored time for trekking to EBC.
If you choose to trek in the summer season that begins from June and span up to August season, you will have to have a room for consideration for the possibilities of rain that will turn trail slippery and make trekking difficult and risky. It is highly suggested for trekkers to avoid winters as the trails are covered with snow and you will have to trek with compromised visibility and higher risk. If you are not an experienced trekker, we suggest you make time for the pre or post-monsoon season and not in between.
If you are not a professional trekker or a mountaineer, the Everest Base Camp trek is a humongous challenge irrespective of who you are. We guarantee you that even Hercules will fail the expedition without the basic training. You, at least, have to have moderate fitness training if you hope to triumph the Everest Base Camp Trek.
To strengthen your physical and mental well-being during the span of your trek, many professionals suggest the trekkers to, at least, go to routine short hiking to prepare your mind and body for what is to come. Hitting the gym in order to train complemented by walking/hiking habits will hugely benefit you at the time of the trekking. In addition, swimming, running, jogging and cycling will strengthen your muscles. These basic training should be done at least a couple of months before commencing on the trek to Everest Base Camp.
Guides often are sought out keys to safe and informed trekking. If you are not a professional, or even if you are professional, you must remember that Sir Edmund Hillary also needed a guide to triumph the Everest. Guides are your way to connect with the history and the culture of the place. Trekking shall not merely be a physical experience as you will benefit more if you connect to the new world you are walking in. In addition, you might lose your track and face difficulties in trekking trials if you do not have a professional guide with you. Guides will also present you with excellent ideas about making the trek less cumbersome and will also provide you necessary tips and tricks to complete the trek conveniently.
A guide can easily hail rescuers in times of emergencies. And at times when you find it difficult to find accommodation for you, the knowledge of the guides might come handy.
Porters also are lifesavers during the time of trekking because they save you from the exhaustion of carrying your baggage with you to the highest altitude. The exhaustion leads to chronic fatigue and might trigger altitude sickness as the fatigue and the dehydration trouble you. Thus, the Guides and the porters make your trekking experience blissful and safe with their assistance. In return, you get to contribute to the economy of a remote place by acquiring their services.
If you adhere to the tips provided in the article, you will easily triumph this challenging but beautiful trekking experience. Everest Base Camp Trekking is for the ones who love preparation and planning. We hope that you find the article helpful and we wish you a great journey ahead. AND ALSO DRINK WATER!