Leaving the beautiful Gokyo Lakes was hard, but exciting, as it meant we were on our way to Everest Base Camp. We continued on and most days we walked around 15km on average, but due to the altitude making it difficult, it took nearly the whole day.
We trekked for three days before being reunited with Ash in a village called Dingboche. It’s situated at 4,410m above sea level and had beautiful views of a mountain called Ama Dablam, with a peak of 6,812m. Ash’s ankle had improved significantly although was still quite bruised. She used her trekking poles to take some pressure off her ankle and improve stability. Considering she had two torn ligaments she was doing very well!
The next day we continued on for a tough day, gaining 600m in elevation. The whole trek we kept seeing lots of helicopters flying past every day. Some were sight-seeing and some were rescue helicopters. It was quite concerning knowing a lot of them would be rescuing those who had severe altitude sickness, and that it could happen to us at any moment.
We finally reached Lobuche where we spent the night at 5,030m. It was one of the busiest teahouses that we stayed at. Majority of the teahouses run on solar power and are dependant on weather. If it had been a cloudy day then most places wouldn’t let you charge camera batteries or power banks as it’ll drain all their power. We also had to pay for charging, either per hour or per device, depending on the location.
The next morning was the day we would attempt to reach Everest Base Camp. We had a big day ahead of us, so we started our trek early. We walked outside to see that fresh snow had fallen overnight. The first section of the trek for the day was a 3 hour walk to a village called Gorak Shep. This is where you spend the night after you return from Everest Base Camp. The terrain was extremely rocky, and we walked right next to the Khumbu Glacier. The views were absolutely insane, with huge peaks towering over us everywhere.
We reached Gorak Shep, had a very quick snack break and had left again by 10am. Although we only gained 200m in altitude from Gorak Shep (5,164m) to Everest Base Camp (5,364m), the return trip took over 5 hours. The air was so thin, we struggled to catch our breath and keep our heart rate down. We continued walking beside the Khumbu Glacier until the last little stretch where we had to actually walk across it. We took our time walking on the glacier as it was very icy and slippery, although most of it was covered in rock and dirt.
Then the moment we had all been waiting for! We finally made it to Everest Base Camp. It was such a surreal feeling to actually be standing there. Our whole group had made it too, all 10 of us. We took photos and spent time just sitting, taking in all the incredible peaks around us. It was also really cool to explore the glacier as well and see the interesting ice formations. We only spent about half an hour there before we had to leave. Everyone was so exhausted once we arrived back at Gorak Shep, after hiking over 8 hours above 5,000m.
There was a gorgeous sunset that night which created a golden glow over the nearby peaks, including Mount Everest. I braved the cold for about 5 minutes to get a few quick photos before rushing back inside. Overnight it got down to -15 degrees Celsius which was the coldest it had been the whole trek. We slept in just about every piece of clothing we had with us, in a sleeping bag, with a blanket on top. Going to the toilet in the middle of the night wasn’t much fun.
The trek back down was much quicker as the more we descended, the easier it became to breathe. Heading back down did put a lot more pressure on our knees but we found using our trekking poles helped a lot. We descended 1,724m in two days back down to Namche Bazaar. We rewarded ourselves with a visit to the bakery, which was a rare luxury on the trek.
After two more days we arrived back in Lukla, ready to catch our flight back to Ramechhap the next morning. It was sad to be leaving but we were so excited to get back to civilisation in Kathmandu and have real food and hot showers after 17 days. We got up early to leave for the airport at 5:30am, but we could hear it raining. We crossed our fingers that the weather would clear so we could fly out that day as Tenzing-Hillary Airport is notorious for having long delays due to bad weather. After waiting at the airport for over 8 hours they cancelled all flights for the day. We were disappointed but luckily the next morning we were on the first flight out at 7am!
It was such an incredible experience and it was so rewarding to complete the whole trek. It’s by far the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, and I will definitely return one day.
You can see more from my trip by searching ‘Adventures of Katelyn’ on YouTube.