Base Camp Everest is becoming a very popular hike and the trail is busy and full, in the high season! I remember being on a windy hot long hill going up to Namche and it was so busy with people and Yaks that you had to be aware of your own space and the amount of dust was horrid.
But the moment you get to Namche its 100% worth it. This is the up and downs of hiking everywhere is the world. There are moments that are crap and moments where you are completely in awe of where you are and what you have done!
Often when you are doing a hike like Base Camp Everest your biggest goal is making it to Base Camp. We forget there is an epic journey and work that needs to be done to get there.
The challenges in hiking to Everest Base Camp are staying healthy, coping with increasing altitude, pushing past the mental limits and backing up day after day!
I heard a great description of what it physically feels like to hike in increasing altitude. Imagine adding 5k extra to your backpack everyday!!
The effects of altitude can be different for everyone but there are good measures you can follow to lessen the chances. SEE BLOG 3
Remember you are in a very poor country so they don’t have flushing toilets or constant power. All the food is organic and probably picked that morning from their garden. It’s the way they have to live to survive. Everyone has a garden out of Katmandu. Eat vegetarian if you want to lessen the chances of a stomach or bowel disruption. Wash your hands a lot. And have a bloody good first aid kit. Antibiotics for different ailments! Different levels of bowel blockers. Headache tabs and sinus / cold medication are essential.
Interacting and connecting with your crew will really help you enjoy your trip. You don’t have to be best friends but you need to get along for the period you are travelling. Make an effort! You spend everyday together and eat most meals together and see amazing places together. You struggle together and you encourage each other on hard days. Everyone will have them.
Now i am a Strength and a Conditioning Coach so i am going t tell you to be fit for a adventure will make your experience better in ways you should think about. There is a lot of constant up and down hills. You need to do some training. If you do this without training you will be exhausted most evenings and not get to hang with the locals and meet and know the real Nepal. You will feel tired a lot and increase your chance of getting sick. If you have a base of fitness 3 months is a good timeframe to train. If a complete newbie to fitness 6 months to a year..
There are a lot of talk about the mindfulness you feel in the mountains. This is something i definitely believe adds to the experience of hiking and mountaineering in Nepal. You are in the present moment on a constant basis and its brings the reality of what is important to life to the forefront! It’s like a constant meditation for me. Mental strength to me is the ability to be able to keep going under whatever stress you are under. This we train for in the gym and hikes but it’s more pure and organic when you are surrounded by mountains and nothing can interfere with anything you are experiencing. It is Surrendering to the what you are doing. Letting the journey take you through the ups and downs. Happys and sads!!
Why hike to Base Camp Everest? Because you can stand at the bottom of the biggest mountain in the world. Because you will learn a lot about yourself and others and because the Nepalese people are the most beautiful humans i have met and the help me to have faith in kindness and happiness that can come from pure and real connections to many experiences!
Take your family, take anyone that will go with you. Just go to Nepal.