How difficult is Everest Base Camp?


As I gazed upon the imposing mass of Everest, standing tall and proud at a staggering 8,878m, I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe and wonder. This mountain has captured the imaginations of people all over the world, with tales of both tragedy and triumph making headlines in newspapers, books, and magazines alike. It's safe to say that Everest is the most famous and revered mountain on the planet.

But what about those who come to visit Everest at its base camp? Surely that can't be too difficult, right? I mean, it's just base camp, after all. Well, dear reader, let me tell you that the journey to Everest Base Camp is no walk in the park.

Hikers and mountaineers from around the globe face a multitude of challenges just to reach this iconic destination. The altitude alone can wreak havoc on the body, leaving even the most seasoned climbers gasping for air. And let's not forget about the rugged terrain, which can test even the most sure-footed adventurer.

But that's not all, folks! Mother Nature herself can throw a few curveballs into the mix, with unpredictable weather patterns and the occasional snowstorm making the journey all the more treacherous. And if you thought your morning commute was bad, just wait until you have to navigate the infamous Khumbu Icefall.

So, while Everest Base Camp may seem like a mere pit stop on the journey to the summit, let me assure you that it's anything but easy. But hey, if you're up for a challenge (and a little bit of suffering), then there's no better place to be. Just don't forget your sense of humour - it might come in handy when you're huffing and puffing your way up those steep inclines!

The Altitude

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Watch a plane depart from Lukla airport, after touching down ourselves

As the plane touched down at Lukla, I couldn't help but feel a slight twinge of apprehension. At an altitude of 2840m/9250ft, I knew that my body was already beginning to feel the effects of the thin air. And so begins the trek to Everest Base Camp - a journey that requires not only physical endurance, but also the ability to acclimate to the high altitude.

As we began our ascent, I couldn't help but marvel at the stunning scenery around us. But as we gained altitude, the air grew thinner and the oxygen levels decreased, making even the simplest tasks feel like a Herculean effort. It became clear that acclimatization was going to be key if we were going to make it to our destination.

Each day, we would climb between 500 – 750m, our bodies struggling to keep up with the changing environment. It was a grueling journey, but one that was necessary if we were going to reach our goal. And let me tell you, folks - altitude sickness is no joke. Regardless of age, gender, or fitness levels, it can strike anyone at any time.

But fear not, dear reader! There are ways to combat the effects of altitude sickness. Drinking plenty of water, keeping energy levels up with a steady supply of food, and getting enough sleep are all crucial. And let's not forget about those all-important acclimatization days. Taking a break from the climb and allowing your body to adjust can mean the difference between success and failure.

So, while the journey to Everest Base Camp is certainly a challenge, it's also an experience like no other. Just remember to take it slow, stay hydrated, and most importantly, don't forget to breathe!

Flight delays to and from Lukla

Ah, Lukla airport - the stuff of legends! Nestled on the side of a mountain, with a runway that's only 527m long, it's no wonder that taking off and landing can be a bit...challenging. But hey, what's an adventure without a little bit of excitement, right?

Of course, the weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, and that can mean flight cancellations or delays. And let's face it, folks - no one wants to be stuck in Lukla for days on end. But fear not! If you find yourself stranded, there's always the option to hop on a helicopter and get as close to Lukla as possible.

Now, I know what you're thinking - "But wait, I have a tight schedule! I can't afford any delays!" Well, my friends, that's where a little bit of planning comes in handy. It's always a good idea to give yourself some extra days at the end of your itinerary, just in case of any unexpected hiccups.

So, while flight delays to and from Lukla can be a bit of a headache, they're also part of the adventure. And who knows - you might just end up with a few extra days to explore the stunning scenery around you. Just remember to pack your patience and a good book!

Trekking distances

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An unusually snowy day on the trek to Everest Base Camp - still comfortable once the sun came out!

The only way to reach Everest Base Camp is by foot. That's right, folks - no taxis or buses here. It's just you, your trusty hiking boots, and the open trail.

Now, don't let the numbers scare you, but the distance from Lukla to Everest Base Camp and back is around 130km. And let's not forget about the altitude. With each step you take, the air gets thinner and your body has to work harder to keep going. It's like running a marathon, but with a backpack on and less cheering fans.

But fear not, intrepid trekkers! With a bit of preparation, you can conquer the Khumbu valley like a pro. Make sure you're in good physical shape, and don't forget to give yourself plenty of time to acclimate to the altitude. And when you're on the trail, take it slow and steady. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a successful trek to Everest Base Camp.

So get ready to put one foot in front of the other, and prepare to be amazed by the stunning scenery around you. And who knows, maybe you'll even find a newfound love for hiking. Or, at the very least, a newfound appreciation for a nice hot shower and a comfortable bed!

Diet and Food Poisoning

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At one tea house, the food was even well presented! Note the food is usually a lot more carb-heavy than this!

Amidst the picturesque beauty of the Everest Region lies a potential danger - food poisoning! The Buddhist region prohibits the killing of animals, so the meat that trekkers consume is flown to Lukla and carried up the trails for days. It's no surprise that meat carrying bacteria can cause some serious gastrointestinal issues! So, it's best to stick to local vegetarian cuisines such as Dal Bhat curries, which are both delicious and will provide your body with the energy it needs to trek. Don't forget to keep an eye out for water safety too! Drinking tap water may be tempting, but it's better to purify it or opt for sealed bottled water to avoid any unwanted tummy troubles.

Training or lack of….

Set yourself realistic goals and goals that stretch you but can be reached. Everest Base Camp is accessible for those who are physically fit. The fitter you are, the more enjoyable the trek will be. If you think you can just turn up with no training, then you may just be in for a shock. The best type of training is to go hiking in the mountains but we completely understand that mountains are not accessible for everyone. Therefore, aerobic exercises such as jogging, cycling, swimming and some light weight exercises can be really beneficial. Getting used to walking for long periods of time with a light rucksack on your back would also be a great way to prepare yourself.

Set a schedule on your phone or in a diary. Personally, I get a great sense of achievement by writing down my routines and results.