Majka Serafini (pronounced "Maika") and Dharam Rai (pronounced "Da-Rum")
Trekking to the Base Camp of Mount Everest
The route to Mount Everest's Base Camp—a 14-day round-trip trek with a
10,000-foot altitude gain—delivers you to a physical and psychological
crossroads: Sure, we entered the realm of high-altitude climbing,
but we felt mighty small staring up at what remains of the
world's tallest mountain (29,035 feet). Standing among the discarded
supplies of those aiming for the summit, we didn't feel too lonely,
though. Not to mention the two crashed choppers at the base camp that
remind you of the harsh realities of the high altitude risk that people
take every single day. The route rewarded us
with unparalleled views and the chance to retrace, completely, the 1953
ascent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa
Tenzing Norgay. The journey begain by flying from Kathmandu in to the Lukla
airstrip. Then we hiked to Namche Bazar to get acclimated — a thriving,
trekker-friendly community and the biggest village in
Sagarmatha National Park. Then we headed to the Lobuche
Khola valleys, enjoying cheerful, red-roofed Nepali towns and Buddhist
temples along the way. After reaching the massive Khumbu Glacier and the
Base Camp shelters (17,192 feet), we made a final push up the steep trail
to the rocky summit of 18,192-foot Kala Pattar. An unobstructed,
360-degree vista of the surrounding area, including the
breathtaking trinity of Nuptse (25,790 feet), Lhotse (27,940 feet), and,
of course, Everest itself. Weather in the world's highest mountain range
is rather unpredictable. We had sunny days,
view-obscuring clouds at times, and we also did some 8 hrs of hiking in the rain.
But for the most part, we enjoyed better photo ops while braving chillier temperatures.
Amongst the exiting momemts were:
- Getting lost on the first day; had to hike an extra hour or so
- Saw the Yeti head in a monestry which has a legendary story
- Got seriously lost on day 5, when we had to cross the one and only
Kumbhu Glacier - dangerious and risky - We were running out of driniking
water and we didn't know how far the nearest Shirpa village was... as you
can see, we survived to tell this story
- Got stuck in Luckla on day 12 - the flights were canceled due to bad weather
- Hiked for a day and half in rain on the way back
- Stayed at Kumbhu Lodge in Namche Bazar where President Jimmy Carter once stayed
- Met the lady mentioned in the famous book - "Into Thin Air"
- Met with many Sherpas who had climbed mount Everest more than once.
Trekking Trip Details
*E v e r e s t K a l a p a t t h a r* - 13 Days Everest (Khumbu) Region
*Day 01* *Fly Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding (2652m)*
From Kathmandu we went to the domestic airport to board Lukla flight.
Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2800m) was about 25min. This flight
provides a magnificent entree to the trek. Upon arrival we started our
first day trek. It was an easy walk through several villages to
Phakding, and then to Manjo where we had our lunch/dinner and overnight
*Day 02* *Phakding – Namche Bazar (3440m)*
After breakfast we followed the Dudh Kosi for about 2 hour and then
climbed slowly up a steep trail to Namche. As we climbed, we enjoyed our
first views of Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7879m) and Lhotse (8383m) - the
big three. We stayed in the heart of the Namche Village in Kumbu Lodge
where once President Jimmy Carter stayed.
*Day 03* *At Namche for Acclimatization (3440)*
Acclimatization day at Namche Bazar. We enjoyed a rest day here to allow
for maximum acclimatization on our way to Everest Base Camp. A pleasant
day was spent exploring the village, talking to the Sherpas and simply
enjoying and marveling at the incredible scenery.
*Day 04* *Namche Bazar – Thyangboche (3867m)*
We walked along a very pleasant trail under the soaring peak to
Thamserku and steadily descending to the Imja river where there are a
series of water driven prayer wheels. We climbed steadily for about 2
hours to Thyangboche Monastery (3875m) and the views from here were
magnificent. The Monastery was literally surrounded by mountains. Yaks
graze on the small meadow and the monks drone through their prayers.
Surely, this is one of the most beautiful spots in the world.
*Day 05* *Thyangboche – Dingboche (4530m)*
We moveed up the Imja river valley to Pangboche (3900m). We stop here
for lunch and visit the Monastery and look at the 'Yeti Sculpt'. In the
afternoon we continued on to the summer village of Dingboiche (4360m).
The scenery all day was superb.
*Day 06* *Dingboche – Lobuche (4930m)*
We walked up a small ridge and then contour around the base of the
Khumbu Glacier and had a light lunch at Dhungla (4600m). From here we
had a short steep climb to the terminal moraine of the glacier from
where the views are stunning. Overnight stay at the foot of the Lobuje
Ice Fall (4930m).
*Day 07* *Lobuche – Everest Base Camp (4930m)*
From Lobuche we went to the Everest Base Camp. The actual distance is
not so far but we take it very slowly to compensate for the altitude
stopping at Gorekh Shep (5288m) for a light lunch. We returned to Gorekh
Shep for the overnight stay.
*Day 08* *Gorekh Shep – Kala Patthar (5545m)
The following moring we took the climb to Kala Pathar (5545m) from where
we could see the Everest Base Camp was just down. This was a hard pull
but the view from top surpassed anything we could imagine. All around us
was a huge glacier ice. The mountains of Pumori (7145m), Lingtren
(6697m) and Khumbutse (6623m) separated us from Tibet, and just over the
Lho La pass. We saw the huge rock of Changtse (7550m) in Tibet itself.
But the queen of them all - Sagarmatha (mt. Everest) towers over
everyone. This is the Roof of the World. We return and went all the way
*Day 09* *Dingboche – Khumjung (3790m)
We went on a side trip to Chung at 4:45am. We retrace our steps along
the glacier to Pheriche (4260m) and stop for lunch. In the afternoon, we
take the lower trail to Pangboche and Thyangboche and then all the way
*Day 10* *Khumjung – Namche Bazar (3440m)*
Descending to Imja river we came down from Khumjung to Khunde for lunch.
Excellent views all the day and overnight at Namche Bazar.
*Day 11* *Khumjung – Lukla (2800m)*
Descending from Namche Bazaar passing under the towering Kongde ridge
(6186m) and follow the Dudh Koshi to Phakding. We trekked all the way to
*Day 12* *Lukla - Rest day
We stayed an extra day in beautiful Lukla.
*Day 13* *Lukla – Kathmandu*
After an early breakfast at the lodge we took a flight back to Kathmandu
*Day 14* *Kathmandu - Seightseeing
Enjoyed a beautiful day in Kathmandu. Went to the temples, local