Who would not like to be at the top of the world? However, summiting the highest peak in the world at 8,848 meters is not an easy piece of cake. Not everyone has the skill and will to reach the peak. So, what might be the closest experience to that?
Trekking to the Everest Base Camp!
Taking about ten days to complete, the base camp trek is moderately difficult. However, with periodic stops for acclimatization, trekkers can easily reach the camp. The journey to the base camp starts by flying over the Himalayas to Lukla. On the same day, one can trek up to Phakding. For the next day, the stop will be Namche Bazar, an intriguing Sherpa village, where people usually spend a day for acclimatization.
On the acclimatization day, one can hike up early morning to Everest View Hotel, which provides the best view of Mt. Everest. Moving ahead to Tengboche, the journey continues further towards Dingboche, which is the final acclimatization point before reaching the base camp. The trail finds its way to Lobuche, Gorakshep and finally, the Everest Base Camp. Trekkers hike up to a hill called Kalapatthar, which holds a jaw-dropping view of the base camp, Mount Everest, and the neighboring peaks.
From Kalapatthar, the descend starts, trekking down to Namche via Pheriche, before reaching Lukla. The trip finally ends on flying to Kathmandu from Lukla.
Key Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek
Every part of the Everest Base Camp Trek is extraordinary, but some of the features that seem to be more appealing are:
- People and their culture: The Everest region is majorly inhabited by Sherpas of the Tibetan descend. Although constituting only 1% of the total population, Sherpas are well-known for their unique way of life, and endurance at high altitudes. They are friendly, generous, and very welcoming.
- Beautiful monasteries, gompas, and shrines: One will come across beautifully decorated Mani stones, vibrant prayer flags very frequently.
- Spectacular view of the mountain ranges: Throughout the trek, people get chances to gaze at the Everest and nearby peaks such as Amadablam, Cho Oyu, Thamserku, Pikey Peak, Kongde Ri, Lhotse closely.
- Sagarmatha National Park: Trekkers get to enjoy the exotic flora and fauna of the alpine forests throughout the way. The rugged terrain and deep gorges compose the magnificent landscape providing a unique experience to trekkers.
10 Things to Do in Everest Base Camp Trek
Since trekking up to Everest Base Camp is a special experience, here is a list of things one should make to try during the trek:
Trying Sherpa Cuisine.
Just as intriguing as their culture, their food is even tastier. Prepared with freshly grown organic items, it has magic. Their food refreshes all the fatigue accumulated from all the walking throughout the day. The taste of the dumplings (called Momo) is unbeatable. Local wine, Tibetan tea, including all their authentic dishes, are mouth-watering and everyone should give it a try.
hiking up to Everest View Hotel.
The view of the Everest peak is stunning from the hotel and having breakfast with the Everest in front is a heavenly experience.
Getting in touch with the “spiritual” side.
Even for the ones who are really into spirituality, the trek to Everest Base Camp will be awakening. The serenity of the atmosphere and the surrounding will help one to acknowledge their spiritual side. The trail is full of monasteries and trekkers should visit one of them, like the Tengboche Monastery to observe their morning and evening prayer. It brings peace to both the soul and the mind. Visitors offer prayer paper in the trail filled with prayer craved Mani stones and shrines. Furthermore, visitors tie blessing scarves as they pass suspension bridges as it is supposed to bring luck, as per myths. Also, rotating all the prayer wheels passing by brings positivity in the mind.
Building stone houses.
While walking through the paths, one will come across many areas, where stones are piled up. There are different beliefs as to why this is done. The most famous one is that it symbolizes paying homage to the gods. Another belief is that the piling up stones are equal to building a house for reincarnation. Building them is a fun experience, just like building a sandcastle on the beaches whatever the reason might be.
Explore Namche Bazar and nearby villages.
Namche Bazar, despite being located in a remote area has lots of things to offer. The place is full of good bars and cafes. On the acclimatization day, one will find plenty of activities to engage themselves. However, having a quiet afternoon, interacting with the Sherpas, learning about their culture and lifestyle might prove to be the best one.
Visit the Sherpa Culture Museum
located inside the Sherwi Khangba Center to observe ancient Sherpa artifacts. One can visit the Sherpa culture photo gallery which is also located inside the Sherwi Khnagba Center to study the Sherpa lifestyle through photographs.
Visit Edmund Hillary School
located in Khumjung village. It was built by one of the first Mt. Everest climbers, Sir Edmund Hillary, in 1961. The Edmund Hilary School is the first of many schools established in the Everest region. Following its establishment, many more schools were established, including hospitals, health posts, and bridges.
Visit Sagarmatha National Park
in Monjo and do not forget to see the 3-D model of the Everest region present in the park office. Apart from that, there are several photographs on a wall presenting the culture and lifestyle of the Sherpa people.
Visit the old airport in Syangboche
located near Namche Bazar and explore Lukla airport as well. Exploring the airport will make you understand why the airport is one of the world’s most dangerous airports.
Donate a book/magazine/comic at Khumbu International Library.
The library holds a huge collection of books, audios, and videos on mountaineering and trekking.
Being in this Everest region itself is an unforgettable experience. The thrill and satisfaction one experiences here is unimaginable. The Everest Base Camp Trek will be a vacation worth remembering for every individual. While visiting Everest, no one can fall short on ideas of things they could do; after all, the place has so much to offer. Mount Everest is calling out all of its admirers to come and explore its beauty!