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10 Things That Surprised Me in Everest Base Camp Trek

  • 24-Apr-2017
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Life is full of surprises. And Everest base camp trek with Icicles Adventure last month was the biggest surprise for me. Here are 10 things that surprised me during this once in a lifetime of adventure:

So busy Lukla airport

I had an idea that during main trekking season, travelers flush into Everest region, but was quite surprised to know that on our flight day, total of around 60 flights landed and took off at tiny Lukla airport. Actually weather had improved since couple of days and approximately 600 passengers entered into Everest region that day. It was amazing flight with great Himalayan views and I guess people saying most dangerous airport is just a myth.

Physical strength of porters

How is it even possible?! It was understandable that huge Sherpa looking muscular guy carrying weights but I was quite surprised to see that lean and thin porter guy also could carry luggage of nearly 20 kilograms on his back and walk faster than others. I got a chance to talk with one of those guys and he said that he has been working as a porter since couple of years, he said it was tough during his early days, but now its like walking up and downstairs of his home. He also added that he has future plan of being trekking guide and has been joining English language classes these days.

Hospitality of local Sherpa inhabitants

On the very first day of trek while trekking from Lukla to Phakding, on the middle of the way called ThadoKoshi we had our lunch. One Sherpa lady from that small restaurant offered us mango juice free of cost and had good conversation, got a chance to know about their living style, also learned how to pack the load into Yaks and she wished good luck for successful completion of our trek. It was so nice of her, really touched.

Super quick changing weather

It was first week of April. Days were warmer with cooler nights, perfect for trekking activity. However, I was quite surprised that clear sunny morning would change into moderate cloudy afternoon and chilly nights. Major concern for me at least was fast blowing wind in which I struggled to walk mainly after crossing Dingboche. Therefore, it is very necessary to prepare well for Everest adventure, pack cool shirts for walking at day, warm clothes for night, wind proof for walking at altitudes above 4000 meters and also carrying Poncho(rain gear) would be a smart choice.

Quality accommodations across the Everest trekking trails

At that remote area where everything needs to be carried up through hills, the lodge we stayed at during Everest base camp trek were quite good. Upto Namche it was excellent, as we get at higher elevation, the accommodation didn’t changed drastically. The stone at outer walls and wooden at inner walls home with galvanized steel sheet tops were the home we found everywhere. Warm from inside and strong from outside with coal oven at dining halls and quality extra blankets, mattress were provided at no extra cost. I used my sleeping bag only once at Gorakshep.

Helicopter and rescue operation

We can see choppers flying up and down the hills several times a day carrying sick patients, stuffs and other logistics. There was helipad at base camp, lobuche, dingboche. The bigger surprise was the guy who seemed quite strong was walking faster than me got sick and rescued by heli. He was from another company. I am very much thankful that our trekking guide and brother Shiva had given clear instructions to ascend gradually and make the most of every moment rather than racing to altitudes.

Food specially Yak steak and masala tea at lodges

Food was not the main reason I trekked all the way to base camp, but I must say that I was very much surprised by excellent quality and variety of food offered at various lodges across trekking trails. I had never tasted the Yak meat so Yak steak and tasty masala tea was surprise package as a food at EBC for me.

Superfast 3g network connection at Syangboche

Fast 3g network coverage at Syangboche during acclimatization hike from Namche surprised me a lot. I had to struggle connected internet via data on my cell phone. But as we all hiked up to syangboche on the way to Hotel Everest View, I got chance to share my photos in social media at 3g speed. It was therefore a nice bit of surprise for me.

Icefall and crumbling glacier views from Kalapathher

As we were ascending towards kalapathher at 5pm from Gorakshep, there I heard crumbling sounds similar to that of lightning and quite surprised to see ice falling down from Nuptse. I had only seen such sceneries on TV and it was even more surprised while witnessing excellent sunset views of Everest.

Overall ice and stone covered Everest base camp natural settings

Stepping at Everest base camp was the highlight of the trip and I must say that it was completely new surroundings for me. Ice, ice and stone everywhere, camps setting up for expeditions, loudspeakers playing party songs at one camp, it was best surprising moment in my Everest base camp trek.

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