In April 2011, two lucky guys from our office Samir & Prachanda ( from Sales department) trekked to Everest Base Camp. Here we have Prachanda’s account of his trek to EBC:
“We (samir & I) were thrilled when the Management told us that we could spend a week or two trekking in the Everest Region. We were more than happy to comply!
Friday (22-April): We took our first flight to Lukla where we got to see the beautiful mountains and the thought of seeing Mt. Everest upclose made my heart beat faster with excitement. After about 30 minutes we landed at Lukla airport.
At Lukla we were greeted by our Lukla office staff and after a quick chit chat and light breakfast in our office cum hotel we headed off for our adventure. The journey began by walking downhill from Lukla on stony pavements and alongside Dudh koshi river passing tea shops, suspension bridges, chortens, prayer mantras carved on a big stone rock, apple farms, porters and yaks with their loads on their back and trekkers with usual greetings of “Namaste” & “Hello”. We stopped briefly for lunch at Phadking and later continued uphill towards Namche. By the time we reached Namche it was pitch dark.It was our first stop for our first day’s trek.
Saturday (23-April): We went for an excursion, an hour hike to Shyangboche airport (a gravel airstrip nowadays operated mainly for Pilatus porter aircraft and some other major projects such as skydiving – ww.everest-skydive.com) and further uphill to a beautiful village of Khunde.
The village of Khunde was quiet and peaceful. There were green painted roofs on all the houses and the small road pavements that led to village were barricade by stone walls on both the sides. We visited Khunde Hospital and than we moved downhill towards neighboring village Khumjung. While returning back to Namche we stopped for a short tea break at Hotel Everest View. From here we enjoyed fantastic views of and surrounding mountains; there was Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kwongde.
Sunday (24 – April): Today we headed towards Thyangboche village. The village is famous for Thyangboche Monastery, a UNSECO world heritage site. We continued with our journey downhill and reached Phunki Thanga – a lunch stop with couple of teashops on both sides of the suspension bridge. After a hefty meal we continued uphill through rhododendron forests towards Thyangboche. The sight of the Thyangboche Monastery was massive but since we had lot of time to spare we decided to continue with our trek by walking another 3 hours to a small village called Pangboche. Just as we were nearing Pangboche we mountain goats grazing on rocky grassland.
Monday (25-April): Pangboche is the nearest village for people climbing Mt. Ama Dablam and we decided to hike up to its base camp. After about 15 minutes away from upper Pangboche we headed right downhill towards a small bridge and after crossing it we had to hike uphill. The walk was definitely strenuous, but the landscape was amazing. It took us around 4 hours to reach base camp of Ama Dablam and we also got to meet some of the sherpas who were attempting to scale Mt Ama Dablam. Unfortunately the weather worsened rapidly and we had to quickly descend down to Pangboche. After lunch at Pangboche we continued our walk to beautiful clustered houses of Pheriche. At Pheriche, it was worth visiting Himalayan Rescue Association where classes on AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness) are conducted every afternoon for visitors.
Tuesday (26-April): Today we faced a big dilemma of whether to continue towards Lobuche or to call it off in Thukla. The problem was we were worried about our big gain in the altitude if we were to take a risk in reaching Lobuche but another factor we also had to take into account was that there was only one lodge in Thukla (Yak Lodge). We had to take our chances and fortunate enough when we reached Thukla we not only got a room but were also saved from snow going from bad to worse.
Wednesday (27-April): It was a warm day, and the snow from last night made the mountains even more beautiful. Today we had to cross Thukla Pass. Here we were told people normally suffers from AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness). We had to take it slow on the slippery melting ice. When we reached the top of the pass there were prayers fags fluttering in the wind and we could see lots of chortens or memorials for deceased mountaineers. We could also see couple of tents in the base camp of Lobuche Peak from the trail. Today was a short hike and rest of the afternoon was spent sipping apple tea and chatting with other travelers.
Thursday (28-April): This was a big day for us as we were about to reach our destination. We soon reached Gorak Shep, the last village before Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar. After a brief stopover, we decided to continue towards Kala Pathar (5545meters) which proved to be wrong decision for me because half way through, I was hit by AMS. I could feel my nerves in my head bulging from both the sides. I eventually made it to Kala Patthar. We camped overnight at Gorakshep.
Friday (29-April): I had to make a crucial decision as whether to got to Everest Base Camp and meet with our expedition members or head back down to lower altitude. I was still not feeling well, so I decided to head down to Thukla and wait for Samir. I was reluctant to leave, but soon I began to feel much better after I descended. I met up with Samir later in Thukla Lodge.
Saturday (30-April – 02 May): Is descending easy and fun? Well no, not till you get hit by snow, wind and rain, which is exactly what happened on our way back. We took a detour to Dingboche village after Thukla and halted at Tyangboche for our night. The next day we managed to reach Namche and from there to Lukla. From Lukla we finally flew back home.
This trip was definitely an amazing and moving experience as I got this opportunity to stand close to major mountains in Khumbu. The hospitality , culture, the warm and innocent smiles of people in Khumbu was worth many visits. My due Thanks to Suman Sir, Navin Sir and well wisher of Team Explore Himalaya.”
The trek guide was very experienced and knowledgeable. The hotels we stayed in were strategically located. The hotel’s staff were all friendly and helpful. Generally we are satisfied. Explore Himalaya’s staff were all responsible and friendly. Good!