Himalayan trek to Everest Base Camp p10

Today, I will finally realise my boyhood dream of standing face to face with the world’s highest mountain: Everest (8,848m).

I awake excited and quickly rush my warm oats and wrap up ready for a severely cold trek, the current temperature is -11 degrees Celsius, however it dropped to a chilling -15 overnight.

The trek upto Gorak shep ascends only 200m, but I’m initially finding it very tough with the icy and thin air, at this altitude the density roughly 45% compared to sea level and it will only decrease as I ascend higher. Around an hour into the trek the sun is finally in view and brings some much needed warmth, everything is frozen, the river has narrowed to a stream as most of it is frozen solid. Up and down, up and down as I traverse the many glaciers and surrounding moraine. I think I’ve ascended around 400m just on these alone as I finally see Gorak Shep around the rockface.

I descend to the village, drop my rucksack and get some warm food down my neck ready for my final ascent: Kalar Patthar 5,645m. Gorak Shep lies at 5,100m and astonishingly they have internet cafés, you can order a beer or even a pizza if you so desire!

After an hour of rest the sun is high in the sky and the temperature, surprisingly feels quite pleasant, the village shielded from the wind thanks to the surrounding peaks. I descent into an ancient lake bed and begin the long 450m climb up the mountain. The air here is so thin I have to stop to enable me to catch my breath for every five steps I take.

Two laborious hours later I scramble over the final few boulders to reach the summit, marked by a heap of Buddhist prayer flags – and a gale force wind.

I stop to turn around, there it is.. Everest standing tall above all the surrounding mountains, well except for Lhotse but that is 3km closer. From here I can see for miles in every direction, mountains, snow and wilderness. The most beautiful scenery imaginable. But despite this I want to descend. The thin air is exhausting me, the fierce wind is nail bitingly cold. Part of me can’t wait to sit next to a steaming hot stove, yet the magnificent view holds my gaze and refuses to let me go.. Nothing quite beats looking directly at the top of the world – I guess only ascending to that very summit might, but after reading Into Thin Air which details the tragedy that occurred on the mountain in 1996 I think I’ll pass..

I would like to add that I completed my trek solo, well apart from Doug who I met en route. I decided against going with a tour group mainly for financial reasons and I wanted the ultimate freedom that comes with a solo climb. If you are thinking of doing the same you really DO NOT need to pay for a tour group or a guide. if you want any more information either contact me or comment below.

Thanks for reading about my journey.

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