There is no denying the fact that Mount Everest has captivated men and women since the 1920s. The legendary exploits of Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay and George Mallory have literally put this mighty mountain on the map. This has led to thousands following, making sacrifices –often with their lives to reach the summit.
But times have changed now. These days, an Everest base camp trek is much more of an achievable goal . People from all walks of life can now indulge in getting a glimpse of the world’s highest peak. Did you know that in 2012 alone, there were nearly 35000 people who trekked the Everest region?
What’s it like trekking to the base camp?
Aside from the stunning scenery, one can experience the unique Sherpa culture by visiting museums and monasteries along the way. There, the days are filled with walking just for pleasure, getting past colourful prayer wheels and coming across swing bridges. The evenings, on the other hand, comprises of hot food and conversation with like-minded people at the dining table.
By mixing fascinating culture, natural beauty and a personal sense of achievement along with warm Nepalese hospitality make trekking to the Everest base camp a truly unforgettable journey.
When should I go for the trek?
Probably the best time to visit will be either between March and May or from September to December. In May, it gets pretty hot just before monsoon which is why you should be prepared for possible rain. Though the days are still beautiful in December, it reaches below zero temperatures which is why there are fewer trekkers during this time.
Do I need to hire a guide?
After the death of a Belgian trekker in the Langtang region in June 2012 and the disappearances of several lone trekkers over the years, the Nepal government is seriously considering making it compulsory to hire a guide.
The best option would be to hire a trekking company. It will ensure that everything is arranged for you including accommodations, airport transfers, porters, guides and their insurance .
How do I get into shape?
Up there, at 5545m, there’s really nothing that can prepare you for that kind of condition and altitude. But you shouldn’t be put off by this idea because if you have an average fitness , you can do this trek. You need to remember that being slow and steady is key to enjoying this trek.
You need to start off with cardiovascular training several times a week which should include swimming, cycling, hill climbing and lots of walking . You should aim for walking at least for 5 hours once a week.
What should I take?
You should always pack lightly-preferably it should be between 10 to 15kg. Before you include that big bottle of hair oil or pair of cargos, you should also consider your porter’s load. A down jacket, a fleece jacket and thermal underwear are an absolute must as in the Himalayan region, it gets cold above 3000m be it any time of the year. Also, you should take two pairs of trousers, two or three synthetic t-shirts, trekking socks, sneakers, lightly broken-in boots, woollen hat, raincoats, polarised sunglasses, gloves and a thermal liner if you are going during the winter.
There’s no doubt that trekking in Nepal is a lifetime experience , but to enjoy it to the fullest, you need to consider all the aspects of the trip before going.
The author Ron Spencer is an avid traveller and often goes for trekking in Nepal . If you are interested in Everest base camp trek , contact him immediately.