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Everest Base Camp From Ireland

This trip report was written by Orla Bowers, who has been on two Earth’s Edge Expeditions. Her first trek was to the roof of Africa, and her second was to Everest Base Camp. Here she talks about her experience from the food, the games, and the journey to Everest Base Camp from Ireland.

 Everest Base Camp from Ireland

Getting to Everest Base Camp from Ireland

To get to Basecamp we first had to get to Kathmandu right in the heart of Nepal.  Kathmandu airport demonstrates an impressive calibre of organised chaos and thankfully we had no delays in setting off on the infamous flight to Lukla. Despite fearmongering from friends and colleagues regarding it being “one of the worlds most dangerous landing strips”, it was by far the most spectacular flight I will probably ever take; ascending from Kathmandu we passed endless rice terraces, lush mountains with waterfalls cascading at all angles, and in the distance the snow-capped peaks of the Khumbu region reared their heads before we started the descent towards the matchbox-sized landing strip perched against a cliff some 2860m up in the Himalayas.

 Everest Base Camp from Ireland

The first few days saw us meandering through beautiful forests of Rhododendron and Juniper, over amazing suspension bridges spanning the Dudh Kosi river and through friendly and quaint Sherpa villages. We spent 2 days in the buzzing town of Namche Bazaar, including one not-very-restful “rest day” where we climbed around 400 metres up to the Everest View Hotel which aided our acclimatisation efforts along with providing spectacular views of Thamserku and the horseshoe village beneath us.

Our expedition leader, Ann, suggested a slight deviation from the traditional route to allow us to see more of the region and so from Namche Bazaar we moved above the tree line and went slightly off-piste on a quiet trail to the beautiful agricultural village of Phortse and from there onto Dingboche, where we spent a further two nights acclimatising and staring in wonderment at the incredible views of Ama Dablam (..which we all agreed was one of the most outrageously beautiful mountains we’ve ever seen). Our accommodation was basic but very welcoming and our Sherpa team – Dawa, Pemba, Chhowang, Mingma and Pasang – ensured that our every need was looked after, including a constant supply of lemon and ginger tea!

Everest Base Camp From Ireland

The primary focus of our evenings was layering up, fuelling up and settling in for some highly competitive games of Bananagrams and 25’s. On one particularly wild night up high in the Himalayas, the entire gang (including the Sherpa team) played the Cereal Box game, which was absolutely hilarious and set a few people apart in the flexibility stakes!

After acclimatising at Dingboche we moved up higher and following a steep climb from Dughla we passed a very moving memorial to climbers who had lost their lives on Everest. From there we moved to the Pyramid Research Centre at 5040m and were treated to hot showers, a tour of the research facility and the warmest night on trail. 

Everest Base Camp From Ireland

Reaching Everest Base Camp

The next day we rose extra early to get moving at sunrise. After a few hours of jaw-dropping trekking along the Khumbu Glacier surrounded by some of the worlds’ highest peaks, we made it to Gorak Shep where we dropped any un-necessary gear, grabbed some food and started the final walk into Base Camp. It took around 2 hours for us to reach our goal of standing at the foot Mt Everest at 5,364m, and the sense of collective achievement was palpable as we enjoyed some hot tea, took lots of photo’s and marvelled at the soaring peaks around us (..and observed a few avalanches in the distance!)

Everest Base Camp from Ireland

After a challenging night at Gorak Shep (sleep doesn’t come easy above 5000m!), we began to make our way back down the Khumbu Glacier. The descent was undulating but stunning as we moved down towards the tree line and into the realms of richer oxygen. It took us 5 days to descend down to Lukla. There, we celebrated our success with the Sherpa team, consisting of lots of dancing and a very memorable sing-song where we observed the amazing musical talents of Claire, Maire and Michael! I went to bed that night with actual pains in my stomach from laughing.

Base Camp Sherpa

The next morning, with a sore head, we set off to Lukla Airport (20 steps from our tea house!) for the short flight back to Kathmandu where we sauntered around the local shops, enjoyed another celebratory dinner and even sampled a local nightclub. A few of us agreed that the last two nights celebrating exhausted us more than the 13 days on trail! We also all recognised how incredibly lucky we were to have had amazing weather throughout the trip, particularly on the day we made it to Base Camp where there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Along with the sense of achievement you get from reaching your goal, the real and lasting highlight of any Earths Edge trip is the people that you meet and the craic that you have. For all the laughs, stories and continuous encouragement, my thanks to Ann the Fibber, Dr. Perfect, The Shirley Shuffle, three-pants-Niamh and Niamh Eile, Baby John, Long John, Techie John, Billy, Rory and Claire, Maire, Eimear and Jim, Uncle Brian, and last but not least Paul who did an inspiring job at “just trying to stay alive” 

If you’re interested in making your own journey to Everest Base Camp from Ireland, drop us a message in the contact us page, or on the right-hand side of this page! If you want to go ahead and book your Everest Base Camp adventure with us on the Everest Base Camp Trek page.

Everest Base Camp from Ireland

Have you ever thought about the pollution in Nepal, and especially the impact of litter on the Everest Base Camp trail? You can read about it here .

 

 

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