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Our High Altitude Trek to Mt Everest Base Camp Journal/Guide

By Stacey Pettman

Ever wanted to stand in the presence of the tallest mountains in the world?
The Nepal Himalayas is home to 8 of the world's 14 highest mountains. The most famous of all being Everest standing at 8,848m. With hundreds of treks to choose from the Himalayas are easily accessible to everyone wanting to catch a glimpse of this beautiful landscape.

14 Day Route to Everest Base Camp
There are many ways to do the bucket list ticking walk to Everest base camp and often the route you plan ends up changing. Our original plan was to start the trek from Lukla however this definitely did not happen!

Day One - Kathmandu to Ringmo (2,720m)
25-minute plane -> 45-minute jeep -> 20-minute walk
With the infamous Lukla weather its not always as easy as just flying to the start of your trek. After 8 hours of delays and the weather not looking to improve for days we negotiated a flight to Phaplu airport, adding an extra 3 days of walking. The flight takes around 25 minutes depending on the cloud cover, but you often won't arrive here until 4 pm as your airline will not make a definite decision to cancel flights to Lukla until 2 pm.

From Phaplu we managed to get a 45 minute Jeep to the end of what I wouldn't call a road! for 700 rupees each. We then continued to walk for 20 minutes to reach the town of Ringmo.

Day Two - Ringmo to Khari Khola (2010m)
8-hour walk - 25, 856 steps
From Ringmo its a steep climb to the first high point on the trek Trakshindu La. (3070m). As you walk through the prayer wheel gate you will be happy to see the path starts to go downhill and continues like this all the way to the 109m bridge crossing the Dudh Kosi river. After the Bridge, the path starts to climb again to the village of Jubing which was one of our favourite little villages along the way(perfect for lunch). The final push for the day is another steep climb to Khari Khola.

Day Three - Khari Khola to Surkhe (2290m)
9 hours walk - 27, 144 steps
Up early and ready for another big day of walking we set off to the first town of Bupsa. This was by far the hardest part of the whole trek! It took us nearly 2 hours to climb the steep steps leading to the village. The constant flow of mules carrying all kinds of goods from village to village makes covering ground slow work. From Buspa the path continues to climb up to the high point of Khari La (2840m) where from here its time to lose all the elevation you gained for the day and destroy your knees as you climb down the steep rocky route to Surkhe a little village next to the river.

Day Four - Surkhe to Monjo (2840m)
7 hours walk - 19,950 steps
Today's the day we finally got back onto the main Everest base camp route! From Surkhe we headed up out of town where we came to a signpost, following the route for Namche Bazaar instead of Lukla saves a lot of time (as long as you have everything for your trek). The walk from here to Cheplung (where you get back onto the main trail) is beautiful. Full of prayer flags, painted rocks, pretty villages and pray wheels after pray wheels it was a highlight of our trek. From Cheplung its an easy walk to Phakding which is usually the first overnight stop on the trek from Lukla. As we had already been walking a few days and had acclimatised to higher elevations than Phakding we continued for another 3 hours to Monjo.

Day Five - Monjo to Namche Bazaar (3440m)
3-hour walk
From Monjo its a short but steep day to Namche Bazaar it took us around 3 hours to walk including the time it took to pluck up the courage to cross the highest bridge ever! Today you also can get your first glimpse of Everest if the weathers clear from a viewpoint along the way.



Day Six - Rest day in Namche Bazaar (3440m)
The first much-needed rest day! But you still need to do some walking to help with acclimatisation. Most people head up to the Everest first view hotel (for views of Everest) but we were feeling super lazy so instead, we took the short 20-minute walk up to the Sagarmatha National Park Visitor Centre where you can find out all about the mountains and wildlife in the park. From here you can also see Everest as well as gaining just over 100m for acclimatisation.

After a stroll around the town, we finally found the post office to send home our highest postcard in the world. Once we had ticked that off our list we headed to the warmth of Cafe de 8848 where at 3 pm they show, free of charge, a documentary film showcasing the incredible life of the Sherpa's that work on Everest. We strongly recommend the brownies and coffee!

Day Seven - Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3870m)
6 hours walk - 11,061 steps
As you head out of Namche Bazaar the trail leads you into a high altitude paradise, bringing those long-awaited snow top giants into sight. This is where the real trek begins! The path stays gradual for a while before dropping down towards a bridge over a river at the village of Phunki Thenga where we stopped for lunch. Just after the bridge theirs an army checkpoint to register at before starting the longest, steepest uphill climb to Tengboche (Take it slow! your be on this section for a while). Once arriving we went to explore the Tengboche Gompa which is the largest monastery in the Khumbu region.

Day Eight - Tengboche to Pheriche (4240m)
4 1/2 hours - 12,496 steps
This part of the trek was one of our favourite days with Ama Dablam in view for most of it. She is certainly beautiful! Just before you reach Pangboche you have two choices, either carry on straight or hike up the hill to the Pangboche Gompa. Here you can view the replicas of a supposed Yeti skill and hand (the originals where stolen) if you choose this option it will add a few more hours on to your day. On the way to Periche the trail splits in two, most of the tour groups head to Dingboche so we decided to go to Periche as it was so much quieter and 130m lower which helps with acclimatising.

Day Nine - Rest day in Pheriche (4240m)
Yayy another rest day! We were so tired we decided to not do any big walks and just rest. We took a stroll over the hill to Dingboche to have a look around and then headed back to the Himalayan mountain rescue association in Periche at 3 pm for free altitude sickness talk which was amazing! Altitude Sickness can be completely avoided by taking it slow, keeping hydrated and listen to your body. But sadly a lot of people don't and it can cause so many unnecessary situations you don't want to be in. Sadly while we were trekking one person passed away to altitude sickness and another one went fell into a coma. We can not stress enough how important it is to educate yourself about altitude sickness before you set off!

Day Ten - Pheriche to Dughla (4620m)
2 hours walk
Due to the altitude gain, we decided to keep it short and only walk 2 hours to Dughla, gaining 400m. Most people continue on to Lobuche as it's only another 2 hours further and are absolutely fine and experience very little to no altitude sickness. However, we did meet a handful of people who were not very well in Lobuche because they had ascended too quickly. So if you have the time we highly recommend saying in Dughla and chilling. Besides relaxing has never harmed anyone!

Day Eleven - Dughla to Lobuche (4930m)
2 hours walk
From Dughla the path leads uphill steep for around an hour before reaching the top which is covered in memorials to lost climbers and Sherpa's. From here it's around another hour to Lobuche but with Mt Pumori standing out in the distance you remember what you've come to see! Once you arrive in Lobuche, you pay for your room at a small kiosk at the start of the village. Once we had chosen our room for the night we decided to treat ourselves to a shower, not the best idea unless you want hypothermia or carbon dioxide poisoning (be careful). But hey its the highest shower we will ever have!

Day Twelve - Lobuche - Gorak Shep - Kala Pattar - Everest Base Camp - Lobuche
11 hours walk - 20,524 steps
Today's the day we finally get to see what we have walked 12 days for, The view of Everest from Kala Pattar and to stand at Everest Base Camp! Up early at 6 am we were ready to go. We ended up waiting around an hour for a whiteout to clear before we finally set off for Gorak Shep taking around 2.5 hours. Once we arrived we headed straight up Kala Pattar as the sky was still crystal clear. It took around 1.5 hours to reach the top, it's very steep! but the views are well worth it. As we weren't there at the usual sunrise time we had it all to ourselves! Satisfied with the view we ran down and grabbed a quick lunch in Gorak Shep. Refuelled we set off for Base Camp, it took us around 2 hours to get there and surprisingly we found it the easiest part of the whole trek so don't give up when you're nearly there!

We couldn't believe we had actually made it! Hundreds of photos later we put up our pray flags and just sat taking it all in. We were at the highest point we will properly ever stand in our lives and it was certainly a special moment!
And there you have it 14 days were over just like that and boy was it a journey of a lifetime!

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About The Writer

"Hi I'm Stacey, I've been travelling the world for the past 4 years with my boyfriend Craig. Together we have worked and travelled in over 25 countries and hope that by sharing our journey we can inspire you to get out and explore this beautiful world too."

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