-Huber, Everest Base Camp Trek Story
My Everest Base Camp Trek story might not end up at Nobel Prize. However, I am certain that it would be my most cherished travel tale ever recorded. Sitting at my house in Grindelwald, Switzerland overlooking Mt. Eiger (3967 m) I am recalling all the events which happened a week ago. I had momentous walking holiday of Nepal where I was at Everest region. Mountains, lakes and alluring nature are not new things for me. Plethora of mountains, grassy meadows and alpine forests are present in Switzerland as well. However, journey to Nepal was completely magnificent.
It was month of July and normally off season for Nepal Trekking. I chose this month for trekking because I love the nature’s stunning activities during monsoon. After showering rainfall the entire landscape looks green lush and offer spectacular canvas where you can paint as your mood swings. I chose this month so that I can drift around on my own with the support of one guide in the tranquil trekking route. During peak season the route is full trekkers and overcrowded teahouses/lodges are not my cup of tea. I am already 55 years old and spent whole life around Eiger Mountain. I always imagined what life would be beyond these mountains. I had heard great tales of intrepidity on mountaineering. Most of the times I used to hear about Sherpa people and Nepalese Mountains like Mt. Everest, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Lhotse, Makalu, Choyou and many others. Later I found that Nepal is home of more than 19000 snowcapped mountains. Out of 14 mountains which are above eight thousands meter height eight mountains are present in Nepal. I was so curious about daily lives of Sherpa people. I wanted complete wilderness and traditional understanding of new people than my usual surrounding.
In order to get repose from mental drabness and monotonous activities that I do back home; I set out for a trip to Nepal. After weeks of planning and searching in internet I got in contact with Nepal Hiking Himalaya. I told them my requirements of one trekking guide having great patience because I am more than 50 years old. My other requirement was that guide should provide authentic and updated information about culture, traditions, mountains and natural resources available in the route. It wouldn’t have been vivacious journey had it not for Nepal Hiking Himalaya. My story would have ended in conundrum. Mr. Ram really motivated me to do trekking to foothill of world’s tallest mountain Mt. Everest (8848 m).
On 25th July, 2017: I landed at Kathmandu Airport. Rain had stopped and the weather was cool as mountain breeze. I was astounded by the scenery of green lush forested hills surrounding this capital city. I was taken to hotel in Thamel. At first I was so shocked to see the muddy roads at Thamel. However, passionate people and various eateries definitely lifted my mood.
On 26th July, 2017: My trekking agency Nepal Hiking Himalaya’ tour guide came to my hotel. I went for sightseeing of 3 UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES. I went to Pashupatinath Temple. For me the unique cremation ritual of Hindu religious followers was so new. Dead bodies were worshiped and burn in the fire pyre unlike many religions which bury the dead bodies. Next visit was of Bouddhanath. My guide told me that the place was badly destroyed by 2015 earthquake. It was recently placed and renovated in its original form. From this place I went to Monkey Temple the Swyambhunath. I was astounded because this place is equally sacred for Buddhists and Hindus. This type of religious harmony is really very rare to find in contemporary world.
On 27th July, 2017: I was so excited yesterday. I had all my things packed in duffle bag provided by Nepal Hiking Himalaya. Early in the morning around 5 o’ clock my guide came and we went to airport. I heard before that Lukla Airport is the world’s most extreme airport. I was anxious, excited and nervous at the same time. Plane took off and I was so busy to observe the alluring view of hills, villages and mountains. Weather was about to get bad but luckily we arrived at Lukla on time safely. During flight I saw high hills and steep terrain. I was wondering where we will be landing. To my surprise the flight to Lukla was the most thrilling flight that I have ever took. I met my porter there. Mr. Dorje from village of lower Khumbu accompanied us to Phakding.
On 28th July 2017: Early morning I had my breakfast and then started trekking to Namche Bazaar. My guide told me that the trail consists of five suspension bridges and every time I arrive at one I count it down. Sagarmatha National Park entrance is really amazing as I was greeted by gigantic waterfall coming from hills next to entrance gate. Definitely the last bridge which is called as Larpchen Bridge was so familiar to me. It was featured in blockbuster movie Everest as well. I was so lucky because the weather was so great. Before reaching Namche Bazaar I got first glimpse of Mt. Everest. On this day I was blessed by sight of Kusum Kangaroo, Thamserku and Mt. Everest. Namche Bazaar really imparted great memories in my soul. I felt at home.
On 29th July 2017: I couldn’t walk further towards higher destination. I decided to take helicopter to Everest Base Camp and Kalapathar. Therefore, I booked Helicopter to take me from Everest View Hotel to Base Camp and back to Kathmandu. I woke up to the most thrilling excitement. I hiked to the Everest View Hotel. As I was walking uphill the sight of Namche Bazaar really felt like I am at Switzerland back home. Such a delightful place and also considered as heartland of Sherpa community of Khumbu region. The panoramic view of Amadablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, Everest, Tabuche and many others really dazzled me. I had a cup of coffee on the balcony of this beautiful hotel before took off on helicopter. The scenery was spectacular. Such gigantic mountains looked dwarf. Dingboche Valley, Lobuche and Gorakshep looked so marvelous. I landed at Everest Base Camp and walked few steps took photos. That was probably the most adventurous day of my life. My guide didn’t allow me to stay more on it because I ascended on helicopter and altitude difference could lead to altitude sickness. We hover over the Kalapathar and headed to Gokyo Valley Section flying past Pumori and near Choyou. After such elaborated trekking and helicopter tour in Everest I returned back to Kathmandu.
My Everest Base Camp Trek Story is really an awesome thing to do and share for generations to come. I wanted to walk all the way to Everest Base Camp but my age really didn’t assist me. Most of all I fulfilled my age old dream of reaching Everest Base Camp. Nepal truly is an outstanding place to visit. I would recommend my children and all too at least visit Nepal once.
Nepal Journey taught me that Life is really wonderful and serene in the Himalayan valley and green lush forests hills protecting multi ethnic people. From heritage to nature Nepal holiday has been the most cherished event of my life. I would love to visit Nepal again.