Our Everest-Base-Camp Trek Challenge
As we edged our way carefully along the narrow trail, glancing down at the huge and very scary drop into the abyss to our left, our minds wandered to the reasons we had decided to take on this huge family challenge of trekking to Everest-Base-Camp.
We’d been traveling for over a year on our big adventure mostly around South East Asia but it had been time to plan a new challenge and Nepal had been our obvious choice.
Sue and I had both been trekking in Nepal many years earlier but had never been to Everest-Base-Camp but we knew that Nepal and the Himalayas was somewhere we wanted Annabel to experience, but were we up to the challenge and would we be strong enough?
So in March 2017 we flew into Kathmandu, Nepal to start our challenge.
We planned on getting trekking by the third week in March so that gave us about 10 days to plan and acquire all the gear we would need to keep warm and safe in the mountains.
We’d booked into a hotel but soon realised we wanted to move as we were pretty sure the room had bedbugs present and Annabel was getting bitten so we found a rather fancy apartment that was giving a very generous discount for the period we wanted so we packed and moved to just outside of the old city.
The apartment was wonderful and just what we needed to get set for our trek.
If you’ve ever been to Kathmandu then you’ll know that the Thamel area of town is the old heart of the city and where most tourist will hang out and also where all the climbing gear stores are situated.
So we made a visit to Shona’s store where Andy the owner along with his Nepalese wife Shona give expert advice on all the gear you will need for a particular trip. Andy helped us immensely with choices to keep our budget intact but still keep safe.
We’d decided early on that we wouldn’t be hiring guides or porters for our trip so that it would be totally unsupported to be a real challenge and keep the cost down.
This isn’t for everyone and most often trekkers will have guides and porters to assist them but we had some experience of the mountains and the Everest region.
We also planned to walk in to the Everest region instead of flying in to the mountain airstrip of Lukla which is the normal route in for most people but we had time on our hands and it would help our acclimatisation more to walk in.
Heavy snow had been falling on the Everest trail with people stranded up high so we delayed our start to the end of March sometime which gave us time to get any last minute planning done along with getting our trekking permits in order.
After a few days conditions improved and the weather was set to improve further so we booked ourselves onto a jeep from Kathmandu to Salleri in the foothills of the Khumba region of Nepal.
11 hours in a landcruiser with 9 people crammed into the tiny confines is not the most comfortable ride there is and to make matters worse our driver seemed to have a death wish which made him speed along without hardly lifting off of the accelerator on the treacherous mountain roads, trying to pass other vehicles when there was clearly no space to do so and not even slowing when the clouds rolled in and there was practically zero visibility.
To say we were scared for our lives would be an understatement but in-spite of it all we made it to the end of one journey and the start of our next.