Here it is, 10 things nobody told me about trekking to Everest Base Camp. You can read all you want online, you can stare at Instagram feeds and research images all you like, for hours in fact like I did, however, nothing will quite prepare you for The Himalayas like actually being there. So, without further ado, numero uno awaits.
Maybe I kind of already knew this one BUT I didn’t know how actually mind-blowingly, breathtakingly beautiful the whole experience would be. I found myself in moments of awe at the mountains, the insane views around every corner, the people, the food and most importantly at how amazing the whole experience was. I am still struggling to put it into words how awesome it really was, one day I will return and pick up the pieces of my heart that I left there.
It is uphill both ways. Can you believe it? I was fully under the impression that we would be steadily climbing for seven days, but no. Some days you can walk up, down and all around. One particular day we walked down into the valley for a good few hours before ascending at the end of the day, pair that with a bit of Nepali flat and your body will be on the workout of its life.
You will eat more than normal. Especially near the top where food is so important to fuel your body. Some days I was ordering two full meals to myself and not having an issue polishing it off – carb heavy at that. This is not a holiday to be body conscious, in fact, screw being body conscious at all, you need the carbs/fuel for your body. Our guide would advise if we weren’t eating enough food and to order some extra potatoes if needed. Top tip for you, eat all the Garlic Soup you can and drink Lemon, Ginger honey drinks, they both help with the altitude and don’t taste all too bad. You will stop for snacks along the way at various tea houses or just at water breaks. If you have your own snacks, great but if not don’t be a tight ass, buy stuff from the tea houses and the locals. You will stop worrying about the cost when you see how it is carried up there.
You will be totally at one with nature. Of course, being surrounded by Mother Nature and her greatest creation will do wonders for your soul, however, what I mean by this is that when nature calls… make sure you are prepared, carry loo roll in your bag. You may not pass a town for hours and when you do that rock in the field may be more appealing. There are bins everywhere so be sure to dispose of your waste and if there’s not a bin, be prepare to carry it in your pocket until you find one, remember to leave no trace. By the end of the trek, you will be a master in locating great toilet spots for you and your fellow gal pals, it becomes an excellent bonding activity.
You will make friends for life. We were lucky enough to be surrounded by 12 epic humans. Our group dynamic was awesome, banded together when the going got tough and made sure we completed that hike as a team. So many laughs, stories, card games, and friendships were made in such a short amount of time.
Altitude may or may not affect your body. This is the one thing you can’t really train for, that is unless you live at altitude and can hike high in the mountains. Altitude sickness can sneak up on you at any time. For some unbeknown reason, I didn’t get as much as a headache however members of our group got sick, we even had a heli evac. Drink plenty of water, eat garlic soup & other carb-loaded food and walk slow. Don’t fight it, if you feel sick, tell someone.
Everest won’t be the biggest mountain you see. Well technically it is, of course, she’s the mother of all mountains but due to her positioning and the route, you won’t be stood face to face with her. However, every fleeting glimpse of her incredible peak is enough to get your heart racing. To say I got a little emotional at every sighting is an understatement.
P.S I also fell in love with Ama Dablam – can you see why?
You will not shower for the entirety of the trek. In the hotel before we let I was throwing my shampoo and conditioner in my bag and running around Thamel to buy a microfiber towel. Did I use it? No! The thought of getting out of a shower, wet and instantly cold into an icy room to change was the first big no-no. Don’t worry though, you get used to it and baby wipes become your best friend, as will talcum powder and a beanie hat.
You will spend most of your time & use up a considerable amount of camera roll on Yak trains. Part of me was excited at the prospect of seeing the Yaks on the mountain as much as I was to see base camp itself. I had to refrain from patting them individually, but I have millions of photos to keep them close to my heart. I have so much respect for the people and the animals on the mountain, they carry tremendous weight and sometimes I wished not for them. Maybe one day Robbie will let me open a Yak Sanctuary or just have one to call my own.
This trek will change your life.
There it is, I said it and I God damn mean it. This was honestly the best trip and experience of my whole life. I am in constant amazement of what my body can do, how I pushed it to the physical limit and reached a goal. I followed in the footsteps of one of my idols, Sir Edmund Hillary and stood at the base of Mother Natures greatest creation. It was such an incredibly humbling moment, one I will cherish forever.
Here is the exact trip we booked with G Adventures.