Excellent write up. That's a daring trek with no time for acclimatization. Looks easy yet complicated.
First how this posting is in North India section it should be in international where I too posted my Nepal trip travelogue?Hi,
Thanks for your response for my previous post Winter Cycling - Leh Pangong Khardungla Leh -Dec 2018 . This encouraged me to share another travelogue of my Everest Base camp & Kalla Pathar Trek which I did in Dec-2017/Jan 2018.
Around Nov-Dec 2017, I started my EBC trek plan and the first step was to consult the most experienced, free of cost consultant, google off course, and as you can imagine there are tons of blogs and youtube videos on EBC. Browsing through few, I got the required information. Trust me, after reading and watching, it was transported there alreadyJ. Thanks to all the bloggers and you-tubers for providing this information and efforts they put in to help people like me.
As per me, this is all that one needs for the trek
- Typical Trek Duration is 2-weeks which includes 8 days Lukla to EBC and 3 days EBC to Lukla , 1-2 days to fly in/out from Lukla to Kathmandu assuming that weather and health are on your side.
- Guide and potter are recommended
- Trail is well marked, but as you go closer to EBC, quality of the path deteriorates
- Best Season to travel March- May and Sept – mid-Nov. Very few trekkers during Dec - Feb. Although trail is open year round.
- Difficult to find accommodation during peak season if you are going solo, unless you are trekking with a group/guide/potter.
- Kathmandu-Lukla flight has 10kg check-in weight allowance. It’s a small plane so no scope of extra payment.
- No conclusive answer on fitness level required for this trek. Basic good fitness would be okay, you do not need to be a marathon runner. Acclimatization is important.
And with the above information I planned my trip
- Trek date 27th Dec. 2017 (open return) to avoid traffic on the trail.
- To enhance the adventure of this trek, I decided to go solo, without potter or guide.
Let’s see how it goes ….
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EBC : Planned TREK MAP
Day 0 (27th Dec): I boarded a morning flight, from Delhi to Kathmandu which landed in Kathmandu at 1pm.
I booked a hotel in Thamel area via Airbnb. The hotel was reasonable for NRs1000 /night. Thamel is a good place for food, trekking stuff and last minute purchases.
I bought some missing stuff from there.
In the evening, I walked around the street of Thamel to get the feel of the place. It was not very different from the Indian cities.
- a SIM card for INR 320 for 30days validity,1GB data, INR3/min India calls.
- Water purifying tablets, 50 tablets for 50 liters of water . INR350.
My flight to Lukla was at 7am so I retired a little early.
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Day 1 : (28th Dec’17): Kathmandu- Lukla – ??: The flight to Lukla is an adventure in itself. Depending on the weather conditions in Lukla, flight could be delayed or cancelled any time, so was keeping my fingers crossed
To my good luck, it was a sunny morning in Kathmandu, so I was hopeful to reach Lukla the same day.
I chose Yeti Airlines. Each plane carries ~10 persons and each person is allowed 10kg.
It is a unique experience to fly on these planes. The very skilled pilot (as you would hope ) is flying literarily sitting next to you, as the landing at Lukla Airport (2800mt) is one of the most dangerous landings in the world. In other words, EBC adventure starts as soon as you board the flight to lukla.
My Flight was on time and after 35 minutes, landed at Lukla around 9:30 am. It was a beautiful sunny day and I Collected my luggage.
At Lukla, I got my permit and I immediately started my trek after a cup of tea.
I were carrying a backpack ~10kg + ~1kg Camera + ~ 1kg water bottle, total 12-13kg.
Today’s trekking plan was to go as far as possible and stay before it gets dark (~5PM).
Trek was easy at the beginning … Lukla to Phakding , which was 6-7km downhill from 2850mt to 2550 (cumulative ascent 250mt , decent 400mt). And I need not mention……It was beautiful trek with numerous carved scripts, beautiful small villages, teahouses, river and mountains.
At Phakding, after ~2hours of trekking, I refilled my water bottles. It was around 12 pm and I was excited to go ahead. I planned to stop at the next available tea-house for a break. Now onwards it was all uphill and though I was tired, the beautiful views of villages, peaks and prayer carving on stones along river made me forget all about my fatigue and kept me charged.
Around 2pm , I reached Monjo (2850mt) and got my ticket for Sagarmatha National park. Till this point, I was in reasonably good shape and targeted to reach Namche Bazar (~3500mt) which was a 6km and 4hour long trek.
After trekking for about an hour I had first glimpse of mount EVEREST and that was, simply beautiful. As I was getting Closer to Namche the climb kept getting steep ~10+% and 15% at few places. This climb is called Namache steps. It was difficult with a 12kg bagpack, felt like 20+ Kg by that time with the reduced oxygen level at that height and cold.
Around 4:45pm I reached Namche Bazar. Only few places were open. I stayed at Kamal hotel , I was one of the two guests staying there that night.
Bukhari (non-electric, wood/dung fueled heater) in the hotel’s restaurant was keeping that place warm and cozy. I went to bed around 9pm after dinner which was Rice-Dal-vegetables.
I had a wonderful day with beautiful views, a glimpse of Mt. Everest & rarely seen Himalayan deer, steep climb to Namche, 18KM trek ,2850 mt to 3450mt (cumulative ascent 1400mt , decent 807mt)
Plan for the next day ?
Stay in Namche for acclimatization or move forward??
I would decide in the morning …
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Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla . It was an experience of it's own, exciting and a bit scary . Sitting next to two pilots .
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Baggage collection at Lukla
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Lukla Bazzar ...
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Entry to Sagarmatha National Park
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First View of Mt Everest before Namche Bazzar.
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Steep climb to Namche Bazar
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Himalayan Deer ,
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Reached Namche Bazzar.... Almost empty ,,,
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Kamal Hotel , Resturant ...
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DAY1 : MAP
DAY2 (29th Dec’17): From Namche Bazzar to ??:
I slept well and woke up around 6:30 am. I was feeling good, no sign of AMS ( Acute Mountain Sickness). Around 7:30, it was blue skies with bright sun and I was feeling fresh. Within a few seconds, I decided to continue my trek to my next destination.
I had Tibetan bread with Jam, butter and tea for breakfast. It was cold outside ~ -4C but sun was giving enough warmth.
Started trek around 9 am.
I was waiting for another glimpse of Everest and there it was after 30-45 min of trekking. It was a wonderful view of the EVEREST and Tengboche Monastery.
Visually , you can make out that Tengboche Monastery is at a similar height from where I was standing , then I realized that the trail is going down (400 mt ) to a river crossing and then up (~600mt) to the Monastery and that looked tough .
On my way, there were nice cafés (Tea-Houses) with nice coffee and Italian food. It was steep going down hill towards river ( Dudh Koshi) crossing and then all the way up. The trek condition was not good. It had deep steps, bad stoned patches and loose dust. I could imagine the problem in rain/ heat and crossing yak/horse during season.
Around Mid day, I reached Tongboche . It is a scenic place with view of Everest, Nupste , Ama Dablam. After resting &lunch , back on trail. It was beautiful amidst trees and alongside river ( Imja Khola). I planned to stay at any available tea house after 4pm before it was dark.
At was 4pm at Shomare and started to look for place to stay. Nearly all teahouses were closed. I noticed an activity at a tea house but they had packed all stuff to close for winter. It was not a good situation, it was getting dark and cold and I was not sure if I will be able to find anything beyond Shomare before it got dark.
Finally I got a bed and food at Tashi LodgeI and had a cup of tea in front of Bukhari before it was dark.
Enjoyed my dinner and went to bed around 8pm. Another good day ended at Shomare (4100mt), it was 16KM trek today with (1300mt ascent and 830mt decent) .
Next destination to be decided in the morning …
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Namche Bazzar... Bright & wonderful day
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Beautiful Teahouses on the way...
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Hardworking Locals .... Life is tough there...
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Crossing River towards Tengboche climb
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Views from Tengboche
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