Tomorrow I will be heading to Everest Base Camp (EBC), and I can start feeling the adrenalin taking over me, and with it the doubts, and fears (read the first blog post here). I find the most challenging part of trekking to EBC is the mental part. On the one hand it is an exciting journey that passes through scenic valleys, rivers, and breathtaking mountains, and on the other hand, it is–physiologically speaking– the most challenging journey I have ever taken (operating your body at 4,500-5,800 meters above sea-level is not an easy task). As I write this blog post, doubts are coming to my mind to ask the obvious question: “why go on this journey?” The answer to this question is so simple that it makes me sit back and smile: because I need it. Because I look at it as a detox to the negativity that surrounds us. Because I look at it as a way to look deep into myself to ask the toughest questions. Because I look at it as a way to reconnect with my mind, my soul, my own self.
In the past year, I have watched dozens of YouTube videos of people who recorded their journey to EBC. I have watched these videos so many times that I feel I know the people who work at the Teahouse, lodges, restaurants, etc. I know it sounds funny, but I did watch it over and over again not just on YouTube, but also in my head. I envisioned myself walking these trails and bridges over and over again in my head. It was my way to prepare myself mentally for the unknown. I want to say I succeeded, but I won’t know until I come back.
In terms of packing, I tried to keep my bags to a minimum. I spent a lot of money on special clothes and other equipment, but from the extensive readings I have done on the topic of packing, one theme stood up: keep it light, which I did. I have two Osprey bags with me; an 85L (not fully packed)) and a 46L. Oddly enough, I will be using the 85L to carry with me and give the 46L to the porter. Why? I like the challenge :). Seriously, though, I like the 85L because it feels more comfortable to carry on large distances, and strenuous climbs.
The one thing that keeps my weight a bit heavy, however, are the 36 Clif-Bars I am carrying with me. Some of the restaurants (especially closer to EBC) serve junk food like fries, which I am not sure my body will agree with (fuel wise). I prefer the “healthier” version of food for this climb. Plus, I don’t normally eat Clif-Bars, so this is an excuse for me to do so. :).
I am also carrying some photography equipment that adds to the total weight: a tripod, a DSLR, a Heavy lens, GoPro, batteries, cards, cables, etc. All this equipment adds weight, but it is not something you can leave behind. I actually look forward to taking photos at nights (hence the tripod), as nights in the Himalayas are mesmerising (see below)
Overall I am super excited and very much look forward to getting there. I think all the fears and doubts will fade once I am there, but hopefully not completely as fear is also a good thing because it keeps you alert, something that you want to have in an unforgiven environment.