Everest Base Camp Trek Sept-Oct 2019


Happy being a nomad.
22nd Sept 19

Got up at 6, completed morning formalities, went down for a proper hot breakfast in the Hotel restaurant. The Breakfast buffet spread was good and could see so many guest We waited for Ram in the lobby by 8 AM as planned. We were praying for good weather at Lukla for flights to take off.

Ram came in just after 8 AM and gave us the bad news that today's flights to Lukla are very unlikely and maybe tomorrow too. :-o ](*,)](*,)

We had planned 21st Sept as the start date to avoid the monsoon which ends by 15th Sept, but now due to global climate changes monsoon were still active.
We now were in a fix as what to do next.
The options available were cancellation and return, take another trek elsewhere (Annapurna Base camp) or just wait till flights start and extend our program.

Then Ram suggested another option that we can reach Lukla by Road (10 hours drive) and then trek for another 3 days. This would involve additional 4 more days and we could remove the rest days for acclimatization and one day float we had in our initial program. He said If we start now we could still manage to return by earlier planned date. This would add another 60-70 Kms trek to 130 KMS (To and fro from Lukla to EBC). Our trek became 190 KMS to 200 KMS for 11 to 12 days without a break.

We told Ram to put the revised program on paper to see if it is possible with dates.

It looked like this when compared with our original plan.

Trek compare.JPG

We would reach Phadking on 25th Sept instead of 21st as planned ( 4 days delay). We would reach EBC just two day late (instead of 28th it would be 30th) and if we can squeeze our return journey within 2 days we could still manage to keep the departure date same.

Supriya and Kamal instantly said yes to the revised plan and I was thinking about the pro/cons and then agreed a while later as that was the best option. Kanak was busy taking photos and he was eager & also agreed. So we were on.


Revised plan in progress


Ram then made quick calls to arrange surface transport and asked our Sherpa guide and porters to reach Phaplu from Lukla by tomorrow morning. They had just 24 hours to cover 60 kms.

In front of Hotel


Loading the jeep for the 300 kms drive.


All Loaded and Ready to leave. Surpiya in front, we three men in the rear and Ram with backpacks in the last row.


The route from Kathmandu to Phaplu

KTM to Phaplu.jpg

We left Kathmandu around 9:30 AM.
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Happy being a nomad.
The drive from Kathmandu to Phaplu was simply beautiful. It is so green and you can see so many mountain ranges...one behind the other.

We took Dhulikhel Sindhuli Bhittamod Raj marg from Kathmandu via Bhaktpur. There was heavy traffic as most of the local folks were heading home for Dussera. After Bhaktpur the traffic eased a bit and we found more speed.

We stopped for lunch around 12:30 PM and a lovely Neapli Thali. We then turned on BP Highway, then to Sagar Matha Mard and Harkapur Okhaldhunga Road to Silleri/Phaplu.

We drove all along the River Sonkoshi. We climbed up and then down when ever there was river crossing. The highest point was Dhap at 3005 MSL enroute and the sunset views were worth doing it many times.

We reached Phaplu (2466 MSL) at 7:30 PM and checked into the hotel dead bang opposite the airport.

We had some river crossing which were scary and due to the skill of the driver we got through.

Road and views from Tata Sumo.





State of roads due to land slides


Sonkoshi River


Bridge on Sonkoshi River

Tea break after turning on to Harkapur Okhaldhunga Road.




Discussing river crossings.....


Police Check points enroute.

Views of sunset around Dhap @ 3005 MSL









Happy being a nomad.
23 Sept 2019
Day-1 of trek
Phaplu to Kharikhola

Last night we had a Nepali thali with ginger tea and normally we have to order dinner by 5:30 PM as they need time to prepare food. Every meal is prepared fresh. Kanak Rao's duffel bag had leaked as all the luggage was placed on top of jeep but due to continuous rain it had entered through the zip and all his clothes were wet. Had told him to put all items into plastic bags. He had forgotten to do that. We three men got a triple bed room and Supriya her single bed room.

I had shared a photo of the things that we will need for this trek and the best way to pack clothes are in zipper bags which become vacuum packed.

List of things that I carried for this trek including a Sawyer Water Filter and Solar charger.

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It was cold last night and we used our sleeping bags.

Ram had asked to be ready by 8 AM with luggage as he had hired a 4x4 jeep to drive us upto Ringmo Village about 4 KMS away. It was dirt track and beyond that it was not possible and we had to trek from there on. Ram told us we could save about 2 hours of tekking. Our night halt Kharikola was about 28-30 KMS. Out Sherpa Shreen and porters would reach Ringmo village by 9 AM or so. They would have trekked about 60 KMS from Lukla (they are unbelievable fit) in the last 30 hours.

We decided to take a hot shower (costing us NR 200) and it was gas heater and the max temp of water it discharged was 37 deg only. It was cold and we were not sure of our next shower so we took it.

We were right in front of the Phaplu airport but there are no commercial flights (even from Kathmandu). Some times chartered helicopter from Lukla land here when flights from Lukla are not operating.


Phaplu Airport

Jeep inside (see the decoration of jeep roof)

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Kanak and me

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Outside views. Stunning.

We started our drive and we reached Ringmo Village. En-route we saw many trekkers who were waiting for Lulka flights two days ago along with us. Most of them decided like us.

Our jeep (4x4) got stuck and that was the end of the ride. We all got down, there was slush, we tried pushing but it stuck good. Driver told us to alight with luggage and he would get help.

Ram told us carry our back packs and start trekking. The porters also reached the jeep site with Shreen. We were introduced to them. They were our life line till we returned to Lukla after the trek.

Porter was Punch and his son Shambu (studying in 7 th Std). They carried around 30 kgs of load each.




4x4 Jeep stuck


We trekked some time and then we started feeling breathlessness. We were very close to 2800 M. I think it was our first AMS effect.

Out next halt was Takasindu Monastery (2961 MSL). We reached the highest point about 3000 MSL and could see the stupa and the monastery. We took a breather here.


Put our towel on our shoulders to dry but of no use as it was raining the whole day.



more soon...........
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Happy being a nomad.
After Takasindu Monastery (2961 MSL) our lunch stop was Nunthala (2202 MSL) and it was complete downward climb. It started raining and we removed our rain wear and kept trekking. IT was very rocky terrain and with mules/donkeys it was pretty messy too. We could see many trekkers on return journey from Lukla (to Phaplu for surface transport to Kathmandu) due to cancellation of flights and very high cost of charter of helicopter from Lukla to Kathmandu. Ram told us we will keep climbing down to 1500 MSL till be cross river Dhudh Kosi river.

Our first day of trek was long and it was very difficult to climb downwards overs rocks and slush. But the views were so beautiful that we enjoyed the fresh air/rains and scenery.


Our trail



Clouds and views




First of the many many steel suspension bridges.



Water Falls



Mules and rocks......


At about 4:30 PM we reached Dhudh Kosi River (DKR) crossing. 1500MSL.

It was our first crossing with DKR and Ram told us we would be crossing this river at least 5 to 6 more times. Every time we climb up and this river will get you down.


The bridge over the river DK.




Then we started climbing upwards towards Kharikhola (2018MSL).

We all were tired and Kanak said he could not go any further we rest for today. Shreen n Ram decided to halt at Juving Village (1670 MSL) some distance away. We checked our apple phone pedometer and we had trekked 28 KMS today.

Kanak had a lot of pain around his knee which he injured today while climbing down hill. All were very tired and we has quick wash and change of dress had Nepali veg thali for dinner and retired early. It was very nice and clean tea house.


Some views from the hotel.


Lovely flowers




Happy being a nomad.
24th Sept 2019
Day-2 of trek.
Juving-2 to Paiya

Last evening I had to do "Vajrasana" for more than 10 mins to reduce the pain in the legs. I had expected cramps in the night but luckily my daily exercise and fitness helped.

Today's trek to Paiya was climbing back to 3000 MSL and Shreen was positive that we could do that. We were also ready for todays long haul.

We left the tea house by 7:30 AM after breakfast of Omelet/paratha and chai.

We started our climb to Pema Namding Monastery (2061 MSL) and it took us good two hours of climbing and we reached Kharikhola (Ram had planned for our last night halt here) by 10:30 AM and stopped for tea break. There was no way we could have made to Kharikhola last evening.

Views till Kharikhola from Juving-2.


Compelling background


Very Fit Kamal (he is as good a Sherpa).




Reached Pema Namding Monastery gate


Rest after a tough climb.....


Tea Break at Kharikhola
Kanak playing with cat



Tea House all with WIfi available but actually no power to run the modem.


We kept climbing. Due to rains there were land slide and we had to walk through slush. They are also building a road access to Lukla. We took Lunch around 12:30 noon at Jubing (2850MSL).

Some more photos ......Kanak and Supriya. She had the most horrid time as she did not get enough time to physically prepare for the trek and was jet lagged as she had just arrived from Vancouver. But a tough girl she kept going.


Some Porters taking rest. These guys can carry upto 90 kgs load, I was told.


We saw the first flight to Lukla around 11:00 AM on 24th Sept. We saw totally 3 flights land and take off from Lukla.


We kept climbing and can see the river Dhudh Kosi River below...




some fruits...


Pumpkin flower


Grandma........ so happy and content these people.....


Tea Houses on this route, this was the route taken by Hillary and Tensing and other before Lukla airport came......



Rest break with Ram..



Lunch break at Jubing and some kittens...


all cats we saw were of this colour.......


The highest point today Karila Pass at 2880 MSL.


In clouds....



winding paths.....


one of many breaks.....


Evening Tea break en route....Supriya and Kamal discussing.....


healthy Cock......


We reached Paiya (Phuiyan) 2761 MSL at 6:00 PM and had covered 20 KMS today. Kamal and me shared a double room. Kanak and Supriya took a single each.

paiya hotel room.JPG

We met one family (trekkers) from Europe and they had landed today (lucky ones to get a flight that day from Kathmandu to Lukla). They had chartered a helicopter from Lukla to Paiya and they were to trek to Mera Peak.

We had early dinner and retired by 8:30 PM. Did some Vajrasana again and the pain was less today.


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