Admit it – you’ve always dreamt of climbing Mount Everest. Who wouldn’t want to brag about having been at the top of the highest mountain on Earth?
Mount Everest has captivated brave guys and gals since the 1920s. The ventures of legends such as George Mallory, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay put the mighty mountain on the map; thousands have followed, making huge sacrifices – lots with their lives – in their own attempts to the summit.
But today, the Everest Base Camp Trek has actually become a possible goal for people from all walks of life. In 2012, between 35,000 and 37,000 people trekked in the Everest area. And trust me, I dream of climbing it too.
Aside from the awesome scenery, travellers to the region experience special Sherpa culture by seeing abbeys and museums along the way. Days are filled with walking for the pure pleasure of it, past vibrant prayer wheels and across swing bridges, while nights are rewarded with hot food and discussion with like-minded people around the dining-room fire.
Here are some tips to help you have the most unforgettable experience with your Everest Base Camp Trek.
1. Go during a friendly season
The best times are from March to May and from September to December. It gets hot between May and August, and December reaches below-zero temperatures.
2. Get in shape before the trek
Absolutely nothing can really prepare you for the trek's extreme hillsides and altitude of approximately 5 545m. But, do not be put off -- individuals with average physical fitness levels can do this expedition. Slow and steady is what ensures a successful and enjoyable trek.
Prepare with cardiovascular training many times a week: biking, swimming, hillside climbing and strolling. Go for a five-hour walk at least once a week. Find hillsides or tall stairs and repeatedly walk up and down on them.
3. Get a competent guide
During the trek, people sometimes die or disappear due to inexperience and not having a guide. In June 2012, some lone travelers disappeared and a Belgian trekker died in the Langtang area.
So while it’s possible to solo trek, it’s not recommended. It’s best to hire a trustworthy and competent guide like the Nepal Hiking Team. They will arrange everything for you, help you stay safe, enjoy your trek, and learn much about the local culture and natural environment.
4. Get the proper kits
Everest base camp trek is a trip of a lifetime. You need to prepare well for it. But don’t go overboard. Aim for loads of between for 10kg and 15kg. Get a fleece coat, down jacket and thermal underwear, as the Himalaya gets cold above 3000m at any time of the year.
Also, take 2 pairs of long trousers, and two or three synthetic fabrics T-shirts. Also, get boots, trekking socks, and sneakers or shoes for nights. A good sleeping bag (rated to -20 ° C/0 ° F) is necessary; if it's winter season, a thermal liner makes it extra warm. You will also need a raincoat, gloves, woollen hat, sunhat and polarized sunglasses. Also go with travel-size toiletries, including a good sunscreen, lip balm, travel towel and tissues.
5. Prepare for first aid
Altitude sickness can affect any person -- even the very healthy. Look for indicators of altitude sickness: signs include headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and loss of hunger and shortness of breath.