Akshay Trekked To The Everest Base Camp and Conquered His Fears
Do you remember the time when you were a kid and your parents took you to ‘learn how to swim’ classes during summer holidays? Can you recall your plight when you were unaware of how deep the swimming pool was and what if you drowned? That fear gripped you from within and you absolutely refused to take a dip inside the water but eventually, you rested your faith in the voice coming from behind saying, “it’s going to be okay” or “you are safe with me, just jump” and in that moment you took the plunge and swimming was another skill that you learnt.
Even now you’re surrounded by fears. You face all your fears with the voice inside telling you that it is going to be okay. You don’t live with fear anymore. Instead, you now see it as a challenge and face it. That voice is yours and come what may, you know that even if you were asked to scale the Mount Everest, you would do it, right?
Are You Ready?
Akshay wasn’t challenged by anyone but himself. Reading stories of valiant explorers who are diving deep into the Pacific Ocean, surfing the high tides and trailing the Amazon jungle, the travel enthusiast wanted to push himself and test the physical and mental limits of his body and so, one fine day, he contacted Thrillophilia and within a week, he was packing his bags for the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal that was about to change his perspective on life forever.
“I have had crazy adventures and if you sit with me, I will have pages of stories to share with you. But I guess, this time I took craziness to another level by booking the Everest Base Camp Trek. I had to assure myself mentally that this is something that I had wanted to do and I if not now, then when? I had my exercise routine on place, healthy food intake and affirmations everyday that I will do it,” says Akshay.
A starter guide for Everest Base Camp: http://www.thrillophilia.com/blog/everest-base-camp-trek-guide/
Are You Sure You Want To Do This?
“I had the boarding ticket in my hand at the Kathmandu Airport and I asked myself again if was sure about doing it. I immediately went online and saw the photographs again and imagined myself standing on the mountain, chilling with travelers from around the world and looking at the peak of Mt. Everest. I got up, went in, sat on my seat and experienced one of the most dangerous yet adventurous flights in the world. The airstrip was the size of a long driveway, and me and the fellow travelers landed safely to Lukla in just 35 minutes,” exclaims Akshay.
From Kathmandu to Lukla, the entire view was of valleys, breathtaking mountain ranges, hamlets and small Nepali villages that you could enjoy from the airplane. On landing, Akshay met Babu Bhaiya, his Sherpa who took him to start the trek towards Phakding, located at a height of 2,652 m which took them almost 3.5 hours to scale. Akshay stayed at the Tea House overnight for the ultimate journey the next day.
“Throughout our journey, we stayed at the tea houses overnight which were no lesser than 4-star hotels. The view, scenery and the landscape from the houses were unbelievably spectacular,” says Akshay.
And so it begins!
On the 3rd Day, he trekked towards Namche Bazaar, at a height of 3,440 m. The route was surrounded by huge green mountain ranges and the scintillating Dudh Koshi River flowed along the side till Namche, the nest destination. The travelers took around 5-6 hours with moderate difficulty amidst a thick green forest with slightly inclined trail from Phakding to Namche Bazaar and another 5 hours from the Bazaar to Tengboche.
“Just before Namche, we stopped at Monjo for lunch and rested at mountain lodge the first day. The next day started off with acclimatization at Namche with a short trek of say, 20 minutes from where we visited the Namche museum and got a clear view of Everest and Lhotse. You can do a quick visit to the Namche monastery in the evening and stroll in the market area as you will find plenty of coffee shops, bars, restaurants and things to do there,” explained Akshay.
He added, “With the first few days being warm, we moved towards Tengboche which was one of the most beautiful places in our entire trekking route. The famous monastery is worth visiting.”
On the following days, Akshay met a number of fellow travelers from across the globe who held previous experiences of scaling top mountains and novices who dared to embrace the challenge. From Tengboche, the troupe trekked towards Dingboche, passing through Lobuche River to see the view of the world’s three top mountain peaks: Mount Lhotse, Mount Makalu, and Mount Cho Yu. From Dingboche, Akshay trekked to Lobuche via Dughla/Thukla pass, crossing Dhudhkoshi River beside the Khumbu Glacier. This short and steep hike was full of memorials of the mountaineers who lost their lives in different expeditions. After the 9th day, the travelers were ready to pump up the game for the next route to Gorakhshep.
Ice Ice Baby!
“After a series of moderately difficult, steep, flat and tough hikes, this was the epic route where I walked on ice. The route from Lobuche to Gorakshep was a glacier route and I felt like I was in heaven with white glacier under my feet and gigantic mountains all around me. I could see the peak of Mt. Everest from there so clearly that my heart skipped a beat in that moment.”
“The next day trek was the most difficult trek of my entire life – the Kala Patthar trek. I woke up at 4 AM and with headlamps, I started to trek and reached the top at 5:30 AM and there it was – the world’s highest peak shining in all its glory, right in front of my eyes. I pinched myself a couple of times to believe that I was actually standing on the top of the Base Camp with Mt. Everest right in front of me. That feeling is indescribable. We all clicked lots of pictures; I had a couple of drinks and enjoyed my presence there in -25 degree Celsius temperature. Then we all headed back to Gorakhshep for an overnight stay.”
“After touching the Everest Base Camp, I descended down to Gorakhshep, crossed Lobuche and reached back to Namche Bazaar in the next days. The entire trek took us 12 days with 6 hours a day on an average to scale forth and back. While going up was difficult, coming down was easier. However, I had to be cautious about the descent. On the way back, I was replaying the day when I stood on the top and the witnessed the majestic Mt. Everest from a closer distance. And even now, each day without fail, I spend at least 10 minutes recalling the entire journey and I get goosebumps. If I get another opportunity, I would love to revisit the route.”
“To me, the best memories of the trip that I would cherish the most would be stargazing at night, looking at the clear, blue sky every morning, the humongous mountain range at Gorakhshep and the view of the Everest. Also, playing bluff with travel buddies was the funniest moment of the trip. But believe me, no matter what I say and how many pictures from the trip you come across, you need to see it with your own eyes to feel the wonder of the world,” ends Akshay.
What is that one thing that you have always wanted to do? Why wait? Check the most adventurous, crazy travel trips that Thrillophilia has curated for you and you will not regret taking the road less traveled because that will make all the difference.