Even great plans must change…sometimes
If you’re thinking of heading to the Everest region, I trust this section will give you some ideas on what to expect (and what not to expect!) and will help you with your own planning.
3 kiwis, 2 porters, 1 guide
8 hours delayed at airports (we were lucky!)
2 changes of clothes
6 hot showers and 2 cold sponge baths
5000 photos taken (approximately)
1 x 5535m mountain summited
2 pieces of chocolate cake consumed
3 nights stuck in a snowstorm
2 bouts of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)
1 x 5090m mountain summited
62 aquatabs drunk
When I made the decision to do the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek, I blindly assumed it would be a slightly challenging but relatively straight-forward walk up a hill.
I spoke to friends who had done it and they assured me I’d be fine. I was fit and healthy. I’d done lots of trekking. I was going in peak season so there would be plenty of other people around.
I had wonderful plans of a perfectly organised trek. Flying into and out of Lukla on time. Viewing Mt Everest from the top of Kala Pattar, reaching EBC, crossing two 5500m mountain passes, dipping my toes in some of the highest lakes in the world, writing one or two posts afterwards and having a cruisy and relaxing 23 day holiday.
Such a naive and simple set of assumptions! What actually happened was almost a world away from this!
What follows are 10 posts following my journey around the Sagarmatha/ Everest region in October 2013.
There are massive highs – like standing on top of a 5535m peak. There are my lowest points – wanting to sit down, cry and go home. There are the wonderful, intelligent, humble, witty, relaxing and hospitable people I met along the way.
And there is a storm. A storm so intense and severe, the last time a similar one hit the region was May 1996.
I invite you to grab a tea or coffee, to sit back and enjoy my Stories from Sagarmatha.
1. The gear I took – you can’t look and smell good all the time…
2. Landing at the world’s most dangerous airport – trust the pilots, they’ve done it before.
3. Namche Bazaar, Khumjung and Khunde – you can buy almost anything you would ever need or want in Namche
4. First views of Mt Everest – only if you get up early!
5. Chukkung! – my favourite place in the region
6. The last day that went to plan – with stunning blue skies and amazing scenery
7. Stuck in a snowstorm! – dealing with cabin fever and playing in the snow
8. The mental and physical challenges of EBC – how to deal with yourself when it gets really tough up there
9. Machhermo and the Gokyo Valley – a chance to relax in the mountains
10. EBC: Final Days – and how it feels to return to ‘normality’ after 20+ days in the mountains