A trip report written by highly experienced Earth’s Edge Guide, Louise Lawrence who led the expedition team to Everest Base Camp in May 2017.
Nepal – what an amazing place. It has always been one of my top favourite countries to visit and I was really looking forward to getting back to Kathmandu and into the Himalayas towards Everest Base Camp.
A long but easy journey brought us into the bustling city where we were greeted by a fantastic electrical storm and our wonderful welcoming team of Sherpa’s. Once we were settled into our hotel in Thamel we got stuck into our three main jobs for the evening. A good hearty dinner, the expedition brief and the important gear check. It was then to bed for as much sleep as we could get before the alarms went off at 4.00am. We were on the first flight to Lukla so that we could get the best of the weather, an important factor when you are on a 12 seater Twin Otter plane heading for a 500 m runway at 2,800m!
We were on the trail for 13 days. Some long, some short, some high, some flat. Paths that varied from wide and well kept to single mountain tracks. Our journey to get “up close” to Everest brought us over one pass, to base camp and up Kala Patthar. Each night we stayed in tea houses with welcoming hosts, good hot food and a well earned bed. We travelled over hanging bridges, through villages, passed temples and met lots of people and animals working on the trail.
Our first glimpse of Everest, Ama Dablin and Lhotse was on day two in Namche Bazaar. What a treat and everything we had imagined. Every day they got that little bit closer until we were standing at base camp on the Khumbu Glacier and almost touching Everest. The mood in the group was euphoric and there were smiles all round. We even got to meet some of the climbers who had been living at base camp for 7 weeks and were waiting for their window of opportunity to head for the summit.
It takes 5 days to get back to Kathmandu and they are great days. Due to the fact that we had gone to Base Camp via the Choyo pass most of the route home was new ground. We were moving slightly down hill and the mood of the group was certainly fizzy. We said goodbye to most of our local team in Lukla and headed back to Kathmandu. A very early flight means that we get to spend nearly a full day in the city. It’s a great place to hang out. Kathmandu has a wonderful atmosphere with plenty to see and do.
Our trip finished with the usual celebratory dinner. Speeches, great food, stories and a birthday cake! The night however finished in, yes, the Irish bar !
Looking back on the trip there were high points and challenges; laughter, tears, card games, tummy bugs, chatter, early mornings, cinnamon porridge. But the overwhelming memory for me is of just big mountains. Waking up in the morning to beautiful big white mountains!!
We are holding a FREE information talk on this trip of a lifetime where we will be covering everything from gear to training to safaris and will have a Q&A session at the end. The talk takes places @ 7pm on Tuesday the 25th of September in the Great Outdoors on Chatham St, Dublin 2. To register click here.