7 Tips for Trekking to Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek is a timeless. Anyone who is fond of mountains, must have longed about reaching the base camp of the highest peak in the world, if not conquer the peak itself. Out of numerous trekking destinations and trekking routes Nepal offer, Everest Base Camp is undoubtedly the most popular one – and for a good reason. The landscape is spectacular, the wildlife is unlike what you will find elsewhere, the infrastructure is commendable, and the culture up along the way is rich and fascinating.
Now, even with all that, lack of forethought or preparation can spoil your trip. While the trek to the basecamp is popular and busy, it is still a major, major undertaking and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here are 7 tips to keep in mind while planning, and undertaking this once-in-a-lifetime trek.
Hire a guide
While it is a possible to complete Everest Base Camp trek sans a guide, it isn’t necessary advisable. If you have little to no trekking experience in Himalayans before, the importance of guide is even more augmented. Guides help you set the right pace; fill you in with stories of local customs that you would otherwise miss; and most importantly, keep you safe in case of an emergency. Moreover, since the accommodation centers are heavily packed during trekking season, a guide will arrange beforehand arrange for a hotel and logistics as well.
Although trekking is nowhere as difficult as climbing mountains, it still demands a good level of health. Don’t panic – everyone from elderly to the children to the disabled have successfully completed the EBC trek, so you don’t have to extraordinarily healthy or athletic to complete it. However, you do need to train by going on long walks every day. Maybe you can join gym to increase your stamina, and go to weekend hikes. A bonus: an important component of trekking is also to wear in your trekking boots in order to avoid blistered feet.
It isn’t exactly possible to fit EBC trek into a tight schedule. You won’t be only missing out on so many things, but also there will be several factors coming into play that might disrupt your plans. Firstly, flights to and from Lukla are often delayed and cancelled because of poor weather. Thus, it’s not safe to fly into or out in foggy, cloudy, or windy weather. Also, en route, you may have to slow down as you might get sick, or just need to spend an extra day or two somewhere for acclimatization purposes.
Appreciate the culture
While the main reasons people go to EBC are physical challenge and natural beauty, an unexpected specialty of the region is the rich culture found along the way. Primarily inhabited by the Sherpa people, the Solukhumbu region is the epitome of exemplary Buddhist culture and lifestyle found in Nepal. Throughout the trekking range, you will encounter stone prayer walls, enormous prayer wheels, fluttering prayer flags, and monasteries to drop in on. To add more mystical aura to the trek, there is even a “real” yeti skull in display in Khumjung Monastery!
Packing “wisely” doesn’t always translate to packing heavily, necessarily. If you have hired the services of a company, you will have a porter to carry your gear for you, but there is still a limit to the extent they can carry. You have to do your research into what you really need to take with you. Several of these amenities can be picked up affordably in Kathmandu before you leave for the trail. And in case you forget something last minute, Namche Bazaar offers you a wide range of trekking related paraphernalia.
Take your photos early
In the Himalayans, the clouds roll in super quickly and obscure the panoramas. Just like early bird catches the worm, those who wake up early will have super grand views of the mountains. So, automatically, you will be able to take more amazing photos at early hours. Everest is visible from a few points on the Everest Base Camp, notably Namche Bazaar and Tengboche. Take photos early for memories to last a lifetime.
Amidst being aware, strictly following, and considering so many things during the trek, don’t forget that after all, you are on a vacation. You have this chance of travelling through one of the most scenic trails of one of the prettiest countries in the world, make sure that you do not forget to fall under the spell of these majestic mountains and mystical landscapes. Try to have a good relation with your fellow trekkers and porters to build friendships for lifetime. Try to soak in the local culture as much as possible and keep an open mindset. Relax as often as you can and fully absorb the beautiful experience that Everest Base Camp really is.