There are so many exciting changes happening in 2017, which I will cover in a different post. This one, though not a change per se, is an exciting journey I plan to embark on next week. I will be heading to Kathmandu to start an exciting journey to Mount Everest Basecamp. It is an eye-opening trek that goes through one of the world’s most scenic places, the Himalayas. It is a bucket list item I have been wanting to pursue in the past year, and I am very happy I finally made it happen.
My journey will begin in Kathmandu, where I will arrive on Sunday afternoon (March 19, 2017). Kathmandu is located 1,300 meters above sea level. I will have a driver waiting for me at the airport to pick me up. I will use the next two days to prepare for my trek, and also enjoy Kathmandu a bit before my journey begins. There are many things to do in this beautiful city, a city of monuments, temples, and monasteries such as Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Swoyambhunath, Changu Narayan, Budhhanilkantha and many others.
On the third day, I will be heading to Lukla Airport, which is known as the world’s extreme and most dangerous airport (I attached a video to show you what I mean). It is dangerous because it located on a mountain, and you get only one chance to land (or crash). I trust we are going to be ok, because these pilots are doing these flights hundreds of times during the year (??). Lukla is located at 2,652 meters above sea-level, and it is the point where I start my trek to Mount Everest Basecamp. My first part of the trek will take about 3-4 hours walk toward Phakding. Phakding is the first view point of Kongde Ri mountain range, plus a 500-year-old Pemacholing Monastery. On my way to Phakding, I will walk by beautiful stone walls, painted and non-painted mani stones, get a view of Kusum Khangkaru mountain, and finally reach Phakding.
After a day of rest, I will be climbing up to the famous Namche Bazar, which is located at an altitude of 3,440 meters. I will be passing by Rimshung Monastery and Uchhecholing Monastery and will climb up along the trail and visit Sagarmatha National Park. Moving forward, I will cross Larbha Dobhan and will witness the first view of Mount Everest (in the far distance).
Continue climbing up the path, I will finally reach Namche Bazar–Namche Bazar is the main gateway to Everest. It will take me about 5-6 hours to climb to this location. I will use this location as my day-off-point as I need enough time for acclimatization. Depending on how I feel, I might take a hike to the famous Everest View Hotel– around 3 hours– to catch glimpses of Mt. Everest.
After one acclimatization day, it is time to hit the road again. On this day I will be leaving Namche Bazar and head toward Tengboche, which is located at 3,870 meters above sea-level. It should take me around 5-6- hours to walk there. Heading towards Tengboche from Namche, the first view of Ama Dablam, Lhotse Shar, Taboche, Kangtega, and Thamserku is revealed. Tengboche is famous for the Buddhist Monastery, so I will make sure to visit and explore the monastery.
After a night rest, I will be heading toward Dingboche, which is located at 4,360 meters above sea-level. It should take me about 5-6 hour of climb to get to Dingboche, and I plan to take it as easy as possible because of the altitude. Ascending along the stone steps, I expect to see the National Park Head Office as we pass by Deboche. Following up the path, I will reach Pangboche where a religious place called Pangboche Gompa exists. Walking over some flat trails, surpassing tea shops, I will arrive at Dingboche. Yay!
Dingboche will also be my second acclimatization point, plus the last leg of the journey. I might decide to use this day to explore the areas around. A trek to Chhukung that takes around 3 to 4 hours can be taken (hmm ?). Walking towards the east, within Imja Tsha valley, the path leads to Chukkung. I might experience thin air here as the altitude increaes, so I should be careful. At Chhukung, there are few teahouses where I can have a superb view of the snow-capped peaks and glaciers.
At this time I should be at day 9 of my trek, and it is time to take my journey toward Lobuche, which is located at 4,940 meters above sea-level. It should take about 5-6 hours to climb. Beginning from Dingboche, I will head towards Lobuche walking over the mani stones. Taking gradual steps, I will follow the trail of Three High Passes Trek. The trek is quite strenuous as we need to cross Kongma La Pass that resides at an altitude of 5535 meters above sea-level. Moving forward, passing by the High camp, I reach Lobuche where I will stay overnight.
If all goes well, today should be an exciting day. We will be heading from Lobuche to Gorakshep to Everest Basecamp, and back to Gorakshep. We will be climbing to 5,364 meters above sea-level, and expect to walk up the hill for 8-9 hours. Phew! Climbing high, I follow Everest Base Camp Trek trail, and come across Pyramid, Lobuche pass at 5110m, and Gorakshep Tsho Lake at Gorakshep. I will have lunch at Gorakshep and step up, passing by Camp and Pumori B.C., I reach Everest Base Camp (5364 meters above sea-level). From here I come back to Gorakshep for an overnight stay.
After a good night sleep (I should be exhausted), I will use this day to explore Kala Patter. In order to snap in the breathtaking morning view, the sun rays over the snow capped Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and others, I will walk towards Kala Patthar at an altitude of 5550 meteres above sea-level. From Kala Patthar, I descend towards Dingboche via Lobuche and finally stay at Pheriche. This should take around 8-9 hours walk, so I better have a good night sleep and some calories in me :).
My Trek should becoming to an end at this point. I will be heading from Pheriche back to Namche Bazar. As I make my way down to Namche Bazaar, the trail drops downhill to Pangboche village which further drops to the riverside where I will be crossing the bridge over Imja Khola the trail hikes up to Tengboche. From Tengboche, a steep descent takes me to the Dudh Koshi River, where I cross the first bridge over the Dudh Koshi River in Phunki Tenga. I then pass the village of Tashinga, Sanasa and finally reach Kyangjuma and from here to Namche Bazaar. I will spend the night in Namche Bazaar, where I will (finally) enjoy a hot shower and loosen up my muscles (there is no way I am doing Crossfit during these two weeks ?). This part of the trek should take me around 8-9 hours to complete.
It is early in the morning, and I am about to embark on the last stretch of the trek, trekking back to Lukla—about 6-7 hours trek. I continue downhill from Namche toward again the second bridge across the Dudh Koshi River near the meeting point of Bhote Koshi and Dudh Koshi rivers. Then I walk towards Monjo, Phakding. I will stop at Phakding for lunch and soon after continue the trail that leads me to Lukla. This is the last day of the trek. The night will be spent at a lodge in Lukla before flying back to Kathmandu.
I look forward to sharing my memories with you when I get back from Nepal.