Mt. Everest Base Camp 2017 – Thrillophilia Wanderer Aashish's Journey

Inception of the dream

On January 19th , movie Everest was streamed on HBO . After watching the movie  , I had a sudden curiosity to get to know about the trekkers who died and survived in 1996 Everest Storm Disaster . This lead me to buy the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer . I am a usual trekker in the western ghats . Karnataka and Kerala and one of most amazing trekking destinations in the south . Few of them are Kudremukh , kumar parvatha , munnar and more . I had never been on an high altitude expedition before .
Stories behind 1996 Disaster , survivors who shared their stories about the mountain sparked a new dream in me to watch Sagarmatha ( Everest ) from its footstep .
On January 28th , I booked my expedition through Thrillophilia . Nobody knew what i had done except me . This was my first time planning a adventurous travel solo . As the blood rushed through my veins with excitement , my body started to dance like a baby looking for a lollipop . In my case , it was a big one . The only thing in my mind was I am gonna walk the himalayas and touch the feet of Goddess of the world ( Everest ) .

Planning and Training for this enormous dream 

I had no experience at all before on things to take , training my body and mind to be prepared for the expedition . I was confused on what to do . On Feb 5th , I visited Decathlon Mysore Road to talk to folks from the Trekking club . There I met this person called Ayan Brahma Ji. Everyone told me to reach out to him for any concerns related to mountaineering . He seemed to me at first this guy who knew the mountains and the equipments needed to the best of needs . I thought he is a part of Decathlon . Later only i was stupid enough to know he is an affiliate member of Indian mountaineering society . People called him “Brahma” ( Lord of Creation ) in the Himalayas. Soon i was connected to him and he pointed to me best-in-class requirements necessary for Everest Base Camp expedition .

Physical Training 

Followed the below routine for two months during the weekdays.

  1. Morning 5K Run
  2. Evening 1 hour workout in the Gym.
  3. Half an hour swim .

Weekends – 15k Run , 2 KM Swim .
Few of the workouts in the gym included HIIT Workouts ranging from shoulders to the Leg ( fitness tips ).

Trek equipments needed

  1. Ruck sack ( 60 – 70 litres )  – I prefer Symbian Access 70 + 10 .
  2. Thermals  – 4 of them
  3. Round T shirts – 4 of them
  4. Water proof cum Wind Cheater Jacket .
  5. BalaClava – For covering the head and ears
  6. Long Woolen socks – 4 pairs
  7. Trekking pants – 4 pairs . I prefer Arpenaz 500 .
  8. Trekking Shoes –  Forclaz 500.
  9. Ponchos
  10. Water proof gloves – 2 pairs
  11. Trekking Poles – Anti shock.
  12. 10 pairs of swimming boxers – ( Prevents chaffing between the legs ) .
  13. Strong Will and Passion 🙂

Personal Medical Kit 

As a personal experience , i did not need any of the below . But this is recommended to be in your pocket if necessary .

  1. Dolo 650 – 10 Tablets
  2. Avomine – 1 Strip
  3. Avil 25 mg – 6 Tablets
  4. Diamox – 32 Tablets
  5. Combiflam – 5 Tablets
  6. Dispirin – 10 Tablets
  7. Norflox TZ – 10 Tablets
  8. Crepe Bandage – 3 to 5 metres ( Helps in knee support ) .
  9. Band Aid – 10 strips
  10. Zintac 300 – 10 Tablets
  11. Guaze cloth – 1 small roll
  12. Leukoplast – 1 small roll
  13. Cotton – 1 small roll
  14. ORS – 5 packets
  15. Betadine Cream
  16. Water purification tablets – 72 tablets . In the Himalayas , even though you get mineral water bottles , trekkers prefer to fill tap water in every place and purify the same . More you live like a local in the trek , the better mountain absorbs you.
  17. Moov  / Volini  – Needed after a long day of trek .
  18. Skin Chaffing prevention creams .

The Journey 

Bangalore to Kathmandu 

Its a 5 hour flight to Kathmandu from Bangalore . I was very excited with a small Indian flag on top of my shirt . 17807387_1459092187468258_337828643138538601_o (1)

Kathmandu stay

On 5th April , I reached Kathmandu . As soon we reached, people rushed into this shop at the airport to buy an NCELL SIM card . I bought an NCELL Sim Card and called my driver who was arranged by SNOWYODA . SNOWYODA EXPEDITIONS was the company who was responsible for our accommodations throughout the expedition . They took care of our rooms , trek guides , sherpas . I would definitely recommend them to anyone who wants to trek in the Nepal Region .
Our ten member expedition team were accommodated in the streets of Thamel , main town of Kathmandu in a hotel called lemon tree.  Its an amazing hotel with good WiFi and free breakfast as a part of stay . Thamel is a busy shopping street with many shops for second hand trekking . Thamel Marg is the main place to visit . You will find exquisite restaurants and bars . The place is very economical for everyone . But do not forget to bargain .
Few of places to visit in Kathmandu are Durbar square , Pashupatinath temple and Thamel Marg. Make sure to have masks in Kathmandu as dust pollution is one of its specialities .
Journey to Mt . Everest Base Camp 2017

Kathmandu to Lukla

On 6th April , we set out our journey to explore Himalayas . We went to Lukla by Tara Air . There are many airlines which take you to Lukla which is the starting point of the expedition . Few of them are Goma Air , Tara Air . This flight journey of around 40 minutes will be the best in your life as it takes you away from buildings to mountain ranges of the himalayas . This flight will show you how high are these mountain ranges compared to anything in the world . Its a beautiful journey passing through clouds , waterfalls.
Here is a small video showing  you the journey – lukla journey
Pilot lands you to what is called as runway but that may be the only road in the Everest region .

Lukla to Phakding 

After landing to Lukla , we met our guide, sherpas and our porters . After lunch , we had a short trek around 2-3 hours to a place called as Phakding . Through this short trek , you will find lots of villages where you can fill water , buy some snacks if needed . As you walk to Phakding , you will realize how these mountains grow higher and they are almost unreachable by any means.

Phakding ( 2,610 m ) to Namche Bazaar ( 3440 m ) 

On 7th April , we set out to one of the longest days of trekking in our expedition . Phakding to Namche Bazaar is around 10 hours of trekking . Along the way  , you will find a river stream flowing between huge mountains , villages providing you with amazing food , bridges lined across at least 800 m distance between mountains , small holy tombs depicting the warmth , calm and purity of the mountains .
At one point just before Namche Bazaar , you will find the first glimpses of Everest .

Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar

We reached Namche Bazaar finally . It was a huge town in the mountains . All that you would like to buy . This is the last place you will find any good number of shops . I would recommend anyone to buy their winter equipments in Namche as they are off good quality .
After resting one night in Namche which is at a height of 3440 m ( 11286 ft ) we set out for a short acclimatization exercise to Everest View point hotel . Along the journey , we visited Tenzing-Hillary memorial getting the blessings of the greats .

Before Leaving Namche , do make a visit to Cafe Danphe . Its a place which every trekker visits and imprints his name on forever in the Everest Region.

Namche Bazaar ( 3440 m ) to Pangboche ( 3,985 m ) 

This day is one of the most difficult , enjoying , beautiful part of the expedition . As we started from Namche , you find these short stops where you find holy tombs . You get a sensation that the mountain is talking to you into holiness . I met a guy who has climbed Everest 14 Times , Ama Dablam 4 times and what not . He is the King . It was such an honour.

After lunch , you reach Tengboche . Here there is a monastery which you can visit to seak blessing of Buddha for your expedition . View from this place is beyond any words.

Pangboche ( 3985 m ) to Dingboche ( 4,410 m )

As we trek higher up , i could feel the low oxygen as we moved along . Need of water and food became utmost important . This is a five hour trek but you will go through lands with literally no sign of any winds to lands with heavy winds . As you go higher , mountain really tries to connect with you in different ways . You have got to find those signs .

Acclimization Day at Dingboche

There is a short acclimatization climb in Dingboche which will take you around 2 to 3 hours .

Dingboche ( 4410 m ) to Lobuche  ( 4940 m )

This day will test your mind a lot . It takes you through long barren lands , falls into deep rivers underneath  . Get ready for cold winds and drinking more water . Make sure to carry few chocolates and protein bars for this day .
Along the way , you can view the high rise Annapurna region after Tukla where you will be having your lunch .

Lobuche ( 4940 m ) to Gorakshep ( 5,164 m ) 

This is the D-Day . Morning you wake up different , brush different , eat different , everything around you feels different because at the end of this day you are gonna be on Everest Base Camp .
Heart starts to beat hard but take it like any other day . Walk like you did always , breathe normally , be calm but do not stop to live the dream this day .
As you reach Gorakshep , on the right hand side you would see Nuptse just staring beside you . You can literally feel you are in the clouds here .
After you reach Gorakshep , have an heavy lunch .
Locals recommend you to eat Dal Bhaat which is an official energy provider in the Himalayas . It really posses a power which keeps you energized the whole day .

Gorakshep ( 5164 m ) to Everest Base Camp ( 5368 m) 

Finally , as you walk towards Everest Base Camp . Emotions start to flow down your blood stream along with oxygen . Tears start bursting out from your eyes , the happiness in you grows to the extent of Mount Everest . All that you have dreamed about till now is about to be reality and you are gonna be very few in the world who would dare to attempt this expedition .
Finally its just your palm and Everest Base Camp . How slow do you want this both to meet ?
For me it took atleast 10 minutes . It was a moment which was blissful and never ending happiness . I was in tears .

Gorakshep ( 5164 m ) to Kalapathar ( 5,643 m )

Next day early morning  , wake up at 5 . Get some layers on . Pair of woolean socks in the feet and you start to Kalapathar . Trek to Kalapathar is difficult as the cold is around -20 to -30 degree Celsius . Strong winds . Your devices start to freeze. Your water starts to turn into ice but you gaze through to watch sunrise over Everest and all its other sisters lit up .

Gorakshep ( 5164 m ) to Pheriche ( 4,371 m )

We had planned to three day descent back to Lukla from Gorakshep .
It was a good challenge to take up as this would require every day 10-12 hours of trekking below .
As we were coming down , snow fall hit us out of nowehere . It was a mild snow fall but weather start to get cloudy and visibility was taking a hit .
Just before half an hour before reaching Pheriche , i was lost . I did not where i was . As i shouted past the clouds , i heard mild voices and i followed the same as i could not see any houses or any presence of a human being .
As i followed the voice , i met Erika Hesselroth ( bio ) . She was an mountaineer from Norway . Lives in Oslo . A climbing instructor herself . She was on her expedition to Climb Island Peak for Charity (A4D – Fight towards diabetes ,please donate ) . As she and me were the only person and my next dream was to visit Norway , it was a blessing in disguise that as i was living my current dream , it brought me closer to another dream . Finally , we reached Pheriche and i could not thank Erika more for saving my life and completing my day with a hug.

Pheriche ( 4371 m ) to Namche Bazaar ( 3440 m )

10-12 hours of decline .
Along the way to Namche , i met Indian Navy Team at Tengboche . There were on their second expedition to Summit of Everest . 18 brave persona’s climbing Everest to represent our country . It such such an honor . I met Vinit Doshi , the Lt. Commander and the leader of this expedition . He welcomed our team with a cup of coffee. Introduced me to all the officers . I really felt lucky to have lunch around Indian Navy Officers . We talked for about an hour and i promised Vinit to greet him in Bangalore after the summit expedition .
In the night around 7 , you will see moon gazing over the mountains into Namche Bazaar . Spectacular View.

Namche Bazaar ( 3440 m ) to Lukla ( 2,860 m ) 

After 10 hours of decline to Lukla , our team was very happy all of us made it back in great shape and finally the trek ended on an amazing note .
I could not thank more to our Guide Nima Sherpa , our sherpas Sonam Salaka and Pasang Sherpa for their love and support all through out the journey . I hope to keep in contact with them and meet them again in upcoming expeditions in Nepal .
Thanks a lot .
Nima is coming to Bangalore some time and i have promised to greet them in my house and show Bangalore . I really am short of any more gratitude towards this people .
Nepal Rocks , Himalayas Salute , Cya again next year 🙂

Experience with Thrillophilia

Everest base camp package from Thrillophilia is the most economical trip you can find anywhere. The team made sure all the details of the trek ranging from the expense of the food to the quality of rooms at each destination in the itinerary was mentioned clearly. They made sure to help me in finding the right gear for the trek.
The team was supportive to answer my queries immediately at any point of time. Thrillophilia also made sure to provide the necessary essentials  for  the trek along  with a one month physical regime plan.I hope they organize many such treks in Nepal and other countries in the coming years.

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