This spring ,Explore Himalaya organized Everest Base Camp Trek for,” All Hands Volunteers”, world’s leading disaster relief organization powered by volunteers with headquarters based in the US. The trek named as All Hands on Everest Challenge included a total of 21 members from various walks of life but with a common goal of rebuilding schools in the Nuwakot district. The group collectively raised more than 60,000 USD for the rebuilding works in Nuwakot.
The team started their trip flying to Lukla on the 23rd of June. Making an altitude shift from 1400m to straight 2850m, the members hiked up for 3 hours to a small village Phakding.
The next day, they walked up to Namche Bazaar (3330m), the Sherpa Capital; where they also rested a day for acclimatization. With a short hike up to Syangboche Airstrip – the drop zone for Everest Skydive, they spent the day drinking coffee, eating pies and doing some last minute shopping.
The following day, the group hiked up to the Buddhist lighthouse of the region- Tengboche, where they visited the famous Tengboche Monastery and witnessed a group of Lamas chanting prayers. With the clouds clearing up the next day, the group saw the magnificent views of Himalayan giants like Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Amadablam, and headed up to Dingboche.
With just a few days remaining for the main goal of reaching Everest Base Camp, the team members further prepared themselves by making an acclimatization hike up to 4600m. The next day, the group started early and walked up to Lobuche, a small settlement below Lobuche peak (6119m). The place mainly caters the needs of tourists moving to Base Camp. As the place offers spectacular views of mountains, the members spent their afternoon climbing up the moraines and taking photographs. It was an early night for the members as the next day was long towards the Base Camp and back to Gorakshep (5180m).
All the members made it successfully up to the base camp on a very special date of 29th May. The Mighty Everest was conquered by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on the same day. The team also got a chance to witness the 11th edition of the world’s highest marathon- Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon held annually on the same day. The group then stayed overnight at Gorakshep as there are no lodges further to this point.
The next major goal for the team was to climb up to Kalapatthar at (5550m) which is the vantage point for Everest. The group got ready next day before the sunrise and trek further. “Harder the Climb Better the View”, the climb was strenuous one but the members were rewarded with breathtaking views of spectacular mountains like Pumori, Linftrend, Changtse, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Amadablam, and Thamserku. Spending some time on the top, the group descended down to Pheriche, making lunch stop at Thugla, where there are memorials of the great climbers who lost their lives during the attempt to the summit.
After completing the most challenging days of the trek, the group descended pretty easily making night stops in KyangJuma, Monjo, and Lukla. On the 3rd June, all the members boarded the plane of Goma Air to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, the group had some free time for their own. Later, they had dinner watching the Nepalese Cultural Dance. It was a great night as they all shared their memories, experiences about the treks. They sang and danced all night long.
Overall, the trip was a real success as all the members of the group reached the Base Camp and achieved the main goal of the trek. We, Explore Himalaya consider ourselves honored to be a part of this great cause and would like to thank All Hands Volunteers and the amazing team who have been doing so much for our country and countrymen.
Photographs Courtesy:Tom Vickers