To Everest Base Camp and Back – we made it!

The early morning air was frigid and so thin I struggled to catch my breath. My legs felt coated in molten lead as I hauled them in slow motion up the boulder-strewn incline. Sobs caught in my throat and my head throbbed in time to my heartbeat. I knew that the only way to cure my altitude sickness was to descend, yet I was mesmerised by the view. Above me, sculpted snow-topped mountains stood against a crisp blue sky, among them, the tallest peak in the world: Everest.

Us at Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Already, that Himalayan wilderness feels like a dream. Was it just last week that we were there, surrounded by the world’s most awesome mountains, trekking our way into the clouds? Did we really make it all the way to Everest Base Camp and back? Somehow, one painful, uphill, blistered step at a time, we did. The last two weeks have been filled with exhaustion, sickness, frustration and tears, but despite that, the trek to Base Camp was one of the most memorable experiences of my life in the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.

The Himalayas, with Everest in the centre

Our Everest Base Camp Trek in a nutshell

I have so much to write about our Everest Base Camp trek including the logistics, costs, route and challenges, but here’s what we went through in a nutshell. From Lukla, it took us nine days to ascend to Everest Base Camp at 5,365 metres and five days to descend. During that time, we experienced sun so hot it turned our skin purple, blizzards and thick snow, hail and long hours of rain. Along the 62 kilometre trail we trekked by topaz rivers, through pine forests and tiny villages, up never-ending zig-zag paths and steep rocky mountainside to the moon-like landscape of Base Camp.

Trekking through the snow to Gorak Shep, Nepal

Every day, fuelled by mounds of potatoes, eggs and bowls of hot soup, we’d lace our weary feet into our boots and strap on our backpacks to face the road ahead, our sole purpose to reach the next dot on the map. In the evenings we’d collapse into our tea house and warm ourselves next to a stove fired by yak crap, drink litres of tea, chat with other trekkers and play cards until it was time to climb into our freezing sleeping bags. Exhausted from long days of walking, we were usually asleep by 8pm and up by 7am, woken by the snores, coughs and elephantish stomping of other trekkers.

Fried potato, veg and cheese on the Everest Base Camp Trek

During the trek we took just two hot showers and wore the same clothes every day. There were outdoor squat toilets, stomach bugs, colds, chapped skin and blisters to contend with, as well as altitude sickness. Some nights, the temperature slid to below minus five. On the snowiest day, we heard the thunderous rumbling of distant avalanches. We crossed dizzyingly high suspension bridges and passed caravans of yaks and porters carrying impossibly huge loads. Throughout it all, we were surrounded by a backdrop of the earth’s most epic mountains, a continuous stream of beauty unrivalled by anywhere else I’ve been in the world.

Mani stone overlooking Namche Bazaar, on the Everest Base Camp Trek

Recovering and our final week in Nepal

We returned to Kathmandu mentally and physically exhausted, sick and in desperate need of a shower and a clean set of clothes. It was the most amazing feeling to step under a scolding hot shower and slip between clean, white sheets again. Unfortunately, because of the delay at the start of our trek (our flight was cancelled on the way out), elections in Nepal and our poor health, we’ve had to cancel the volunteering we had planned for our last week in the country. We definitely over estimated how much we’d be able to achieve in Nepal and were naïve about how difficult travelling and trekking here would be.

Us geared up for snow on the Everest Base Camp Trek

Instead, yesterday we made what was supposed to be a seven hour bus trip, but actually turned out to be almost 12, to Pokhara. After struggling to get to grips with Kathmandu, this place feels like paradise. The streets are clean and dust free and there’s a lake surrounded by green hills and the jagged tops of the Annapurna mountain range. There are lovely cafes to relax and catch up with work in and we hope to finally recover from our illnesses here. Pokhara is the perfect slice of peace we need to get back on our feet and digest the fact that we made it all the way to Everest Base Camp and back – I still can’t believe we did it!

To Everest Base Camp and Back Pinterest Pin

Pin Me For Later!

You may also like...

25 thoughts on “To Everest Base Camp and Back – we made it!

    • Thanks Gilda, I’m still having trouble believing that I made it! It was so tough but one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

  1. WOW!! Sounds so intense and so hard! You have put yourselves through a lot in such a short amount of time. You should be very proud of completing it. Did anyone you know give up and head back down?

    Sounds like the weather did not help your epic climb either.

    I bet that shower was just amazing. ?

    Enjoy your recovery time in Pokhara, it’s sounds like it’s just what you need. Xxxxx
    Finding Beyond recently posted..Mount Bromo Hike & Bromo Sunrise: Our DIY GuideMy Profile

    • Thanks guys 🙂 A lot happened in those two weeks! We saw people getting helicoptered down every day because they were sick, mainly from the altitude, it was pretty scary at times! We are loving Pokhara at the moment, hope you’re well over in Bali x

      • That sounds really scary. Something you can never predict. No matter how fit you are altitude sickness can ruin you. Glad you made it safe and sound. Xx

        • Thanks guys, we definitely learnt a lot about the dangers of altitude sickness, you have to be really careful. It can be managed easily though as long as you’re sensible x

    • Thanks Rhonda 🙂 Base Camp was really tough; we heard the Annapurna was slightly easier because you acclimatize at a slower pace. We also stayed in Pokhara, the start/end of the Annapurna circuit and it was beautiful.

    • It sounds like a cliche, but it was literally a once in a lifetime experience. The Himalayas have to be the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.

  2. Pingback: At the Mercy of the Mountains, Challenges of Hiking to Everest Base Camp - Our Big Fat Travel Adventure

    • Thanks Victoria! Getting to Everest Base Camp is something we’ll always look back on with amazement and wonder 🙂

  3. What perseverance! I can’t believe you managed it while battling sickness. Good for you both.

  4. Oh my goodness! This trip sounds both harrowing and incredible at the same time! I’m sure you went in with all the fire and fury at the beginning, but it must have been incredibly difficult in the middle (if it wasn’t, everyone would do it!), but what an experience to be able to tell everyone you had! You’ve seen things that most of the world hasn’t, isn’t that such an amazing thought? If I ever have the physical stamina for something like this, I absolutely plan on making a trip to Nepal!

    • Hi Charlie, it is an amazing thought! I would definitely recommend Nepal for trekking, it was so tough but totally worth it 🙂

  5. Pingback: Preparing for your Next Adventure - Our Big Fat Travel Adventure

  6. Pingback: Ear plugs, emergency tissues and yoga, our top travel health tips - Our Big Fat Travel Adventure

  7. Pingback: Everest Base Camp Packing List - Our Big Fat Travel Adventure

  8. I am so proud of you Amy and Andrew .I know the trek was tiring and the altitudes made you feel sick,but you did it You have experienced the most breath taking mountain scenery in the world and you couldn’t get any closer to heaven.I hoe you are feeling better,lots of love Louisa

    • Thanks so much Louisa! We are all recovered now and are still carrying the sense of achievement and incredible memories.

  9. Pingback: Diyabubula, Our Sri Lankan Jungle Hideaway - Our Big Fat Travel Adventure

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge