This time next year I hope to tackle my biggest and baddest adventure of my life!
Next year – 2023 – is a big year for me — BIG.
BIG. Like milestone big and I’ve got a milestone way to celebrate.
I’ll be turning 65 and I hope to mark it by visiting the Top of the World.
So….I’m planning a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp – I know, I know, it’s not officially the “top of the world,” but close enough – I’m more than happy to go to the bottom of the top of the world. I’ll be following in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, and countless others who dream of the adventure of a lifetime.
I’m in the early stages of planning this trip and I’m shaking… like uncontrollable shaking from fear and with utter excitement. I’m going with a local tour operator Sherpa Himalaya based in Kathmandu and I’m planning a 20-Day walk up/down and to/from Everest Base Camp – with a twist.
Their posted itineraries include a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, but I want to spend two days driving some 18-20 hours traveling just under 200 miles on back rough “roads” from Kathmandu to Lukla. And by roads I mean, there’s a wide path… sometimes.
Even though it’s a short distance, it’ll take about two days to cover the area, pending any rain delays or mudslides.
But, the ride is considered safer than flying into the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla which is considered “the most dangerous airport on the planet.” Don’t believe me – Google “most dangerous airport.”
Here’s my thinking, I’ll have more time to adjust to the time difference, more time to get acclimated to the altitude, and more time to put off the hard work – you know, that bit about walking up to the Everest Base Camp!
I’ll be honest with you, I never, ever, evahhhh even considered a trek to the Himalayas – I didn’t even know it was a thing for us mere mortals until Facebook.
During Covid, I was a virtual traveler. My wanderlust led me to a Facebook hiking group. I made “friends” with an Englishman and as the world started to open up, I followed his hike to EBC. His photographs and rave reviews of Sherpa Himalaya hooked me. So me being me, I wrote to his tour operators, and the next thing you know – I’ve submitted a deposit, and now – I have an itinerary for my May 2023 adventure!
- Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
- Day 02: Trek Preparation Day in Kathmandu
- Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Phaplu (7,918 ft / 2,413 m ) – 9-10 hours drive
- Day 04: Drive from Phaplu to Kharikhola (2360m /7742 ft) – 5 to 6 hours off-road
- Day 05: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazar (3440 m/11,280 ft), 5 – 6 hours
- Day 06: Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar, 3,440m/11,284 ft
- Day 07: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Debuche (3,820m/12533 ft), 6 – 7 hours walk
- Day 08: Trek from Debuche to Dingboche (4,410 m/ 14469 ft), 5 – 6 hours
- Day 09: An acclimatized day in Dingboche
- Day 10: Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche (4910m) 5– 6 hours
- Day 11: Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep [5170 m]-Everest Base Camp [5364 m]-Gorak Shep, 7 –8 hours
- Day 12: Trek from Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar – Pheriche [4280 m/14,070 feet], 8 – 9 hours
- Day 13: Trek from Pheriche-Pangboche-Tengboche-Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,280 feet), 6 – 7 hours
- Day 14: Trek from Namche Bazaar-Lukla (2,800m/9,186feet): 6 – 7 hours
- Day 15: Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
- Day 16: Free Day in Kathmandu
- Day 17: Final Departure
Below is a map of the itinerary…
What scares me besides – EVERYTHING:
Um, dying on Mount Everest… I’ve seen the movies and read “Into Thin Air” – it can/does happen.
After “fear of dying,” my other fears are:
1/ What am I going to eat? The area is not known for its food – I’ll be eating a “local diet” which is mostly lentils, soups, and teas. Training manuals suggest cutting out meat 30-days before my trip.
2/ What am I going to drink? I’ve also been told not to drink coffee or alcohol 30 days before the trip and all during the trip. (Coffee and alcohol are big no-nos at that altitude)
3/ Am I tough enough? I love to hike and do long-distance walking, but this is different. I need to really work on my strength training and cardio… so, I gotta hit the gym, hit the pool, and increase my bike riding times and speed.
4/ Where am I going to sleep? On the EBC you won’t find luxury lodgings. I’m not a “princess” (HA, who am I kidding, I’m a total princess!), but I’m not accustomed to “roughing it.” I’ve been told to bring my own sleeping bag, and personal body wipes because trekkers are advised not to take hot showers, so I think it’s safe to assume there won’t be any hair dryers or room service, fluffy robes, or cable.
You’re probably asking yourself “why can’t she shower?” – water is expensive there and more importantly, locals insist tourists are likely to catch colds if they shower on the mountain.
So why with all these fears am I going…. I guess I love a challenge.
Over the next year, I’ll be sharing my EBC prep with you including my training, my diets, my shopping sprees, my bookings, my new fears/my old fears, and my hopes and dreams.
What an adventure….. I’m so excited you’ll be joining me.