I thought I knew what to expect from the Everest Base Camp Trek when I started it back in December 2010. I had read about it and seen pictures, so I knew what to expect from the scenery, how challenging it would be, and how amazing the final destination would be. But there are always surprises along the way in life, even if you’re walking on an obvious trail like this one that takes you right to the end of the world itself! Here’s a list of some of the unexpected things that happened during my Everest Base Camp trek in December 2010 that made this trip stand out as truly memorable.
Why I decided to trek to Everest Base Camp
I had a group from Ukraine with them I was hiking many other hiking trails in Nepal and Tibet. But I had never been to Everest Base Camp. So I was more excited than the group actually. The trekking trail has been voted as one of the world’s best hiking trails and it is hard to disagree. It begins with the flight to Lukla, one of the most dangerous airports in the world, and then crossing over the Dudhkoshi river multiple times until we got to Namche bazaar. High-altitude glaciers and huge snow-covered mountains look like they were just waiting for us. We have seen huge peaks including Mount Makalu, Mount Nuptse, Mount Lhotse, Mt Everest (the highest peak), Mount Pumori, etc. We definitely shouldn’t forget the name of Mount Amadablam. This 11 days long hike is not for people who are scared of heights or get sick on steep ascents. It starts off pretty low at 2800 meters but each day climbs higher until you reach your destination – the Everest base camp which sits at an altitude of 5364 meters.
What I packed for the trek
When you start one of the most popular high-altitude hiking trails, and in December, definitely packing matters. Because in peak season, you have all tea houses open to welcome you up, but in December, you will find only one tea house opened in many of the places. I had a normal set of hiking gear with me, just that I packed some extra things like a down jacket and gloves to be prepared for the extreme weather conditions. And yes, extra pair of hiking boots. The good thing about this is that you don’t need any special climbing gear or food because the entire trek has at least one rest place open and they offer some food and shelter even in the off-season. There are multiple paths that lead up to Mt. Everest Base Camp but we have chosen the shortest one with two acclimatization days in between.
The people I met along the way
As it was in December, We didn’t meet that many people along the trail but those we did meet were very friendly and eager to chat about their experiences. One young man who we met on the way up had been trekking for a long time but was the first time in Nepal and had never seen the high mountains before so this was a new experience for him. On our way back down from base camp, there were some domestic hikers coming up to make their ascent to base camp.
The scenery and landscapes
The mountains were amazingly clear and we didn’t see any single piece of cloud till the day we got back to Pheriche from Gorakshep. ”The best trekking trail in the world has been always my favorite.” Everest Base Camp is one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. It’s difficult to find words that will do it justice, but I will try anyway. The first thing that you notice is the magnitude of the mountains – they seem so much bigger than anything else you’ve ever seen. You know they’re high, but their size just can’t be comprehended when you are standing there looking at them. They are immense and powerful, towering over everything around them. The terrain gets very steep as you approach base camp and when you look up all that stands between your eyes and the summit is a sheer wall of rock face looming thousands of feet above your head, like an impenetrable barrier.
Arriving at Everest Base Camp
I was tired a bit because we hiked from Labuche to Gorakshep the day before and after lunch, we decided to climb Kalapatthar on the same day. In the morning, only one lady and one gentleman were ready to go to Everest Base Camp, rest of the group was tired and wanted to take a rest little longer. As it was my first trip, I take one guy with me for the company and a thermos of hot black tea then start our hike to the main destination of the trip. The trail was a little zigzag and Stoney so we had to take care of every step before moving. Finally, after hiking for about 2 hours, we reached Everest Base Camp. I offer hot tea to my clients. I tried to open the thermos, but It was frozen. I shook the bottle, but nothing is moving inside. I didn’t have a thermometer, I asked one of the clients, and the lady showed it on her watch, F**k, It’s -35 degrees C. After taking some photos there, we left the base camp walked back to Gorakshep, then headed down to Pheriche which is like 5-6 hours journey on foot.
What I learned from the experience
Actually, I learned many things from this trip. When you are trekking at Everest Base Camp, you need to take care of yourself as well as your fellow hikers. The best way to do this is by eating a good breakfast and keeping up with water intake. Weather can be much better in December but temperature can simply go below -10 till -35.
To say my first trip to Everest Base Camp was incredible would be an understatement. It was the most amazing adventure of my life to Everest Base Camp even though I was Hiking many other hiking trails in Nepal, and I knew that it wouldn’t be my last time there. If you’re planning a trip to Everest Base Camp in December, Just feel free to contact me at HikePackers or on my company email of Adventure Team.
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2 thoughts on “Everest Base Camp Trek in December: My First Time at the World’s Highest Base Camp”
Thanks for featured, really appreciated to be shared my story on your website.
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