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Everest Base Camp

Jun 28 2017 Written by: Brad Horn & Guy Morgan Photography: Guy Morgan
During the recent climbing season in the Everest region of Nepal, we took an intrepid group of trekkers into Everest Base Camp (5364 metres). This trek was conducted over 9 nights using teahouses for accommodations en-route. The trek culminated with a one night stay in Base Camp. This is an unusual occurrence and a unique point of difference for Epic as ordinarily only climbing teams can stay at Base Camp.  We then helicoptered directly from Base Camp back to Kathmandu. It was a spectacular adventure and we were blessed with incredible weather.

April 7th

Sighted my first train of Yaks on the way to setting up Everest Base Camp.


Fabulous sight of three kids playing marbles, oblivious to us passing by.

A wall of prayer slates behind.

Mount Everest Hotel in the foreground framed by Everest and Lhotse. Both towering five vertical kilometres above us.

A morning jet stream of over 300 kph forming a cloud off the top of the world.

On the way to Namche.

So this was the viewpoint whilst trekking by the glacial river flow. Our guide told us the top bridge was the one we were crossing.

The depth of the cut through the rock was amazing.


So we get to the top and this is the view! I can see why they have an abundance of prayer flags fluttering from its length.

Waited for the last of the beasts to cross and off we went.

The view looking back.

Sixth safe crossing for the day.

Awesome sensory experience.

April 8th

Another day of perfect weather on the way to Everest Base Camp.

Everest on the left and Lhotse twin peak on the right. Both blowing off a jet stream.

Afternoon tea at Tengboche Monastery.

Hotel Himalaya in shot with snow-capped Thamserku dwarfing everything.

Afternoon tea of lemon meringue pie and an Illy latte at 4000 metres really can't be beat!
 

95 litre packs en-route to tonight's accommodation.

April 9th 

Now at Dingboche, 4410 metres above sea-level. We will spend two nights here acclimatising.

Another day of perfect weather, so lucky on that front. Everest Base Camp is now under a 1000 above us at 5380 metres. Spent the day climbing up through the valley.

Now well and truly above the tree-line and in amongst the mountains. The remnants of glaciers and rockslides are littered throughout the valley.

Dingboche in the valley with Lhotse's twin peaks in main frame and Everest obscured to the left with its jet stream showing over the back of the range.

So this must be the highest latte stop. A great array of treats and a full array of coffee.

An ingenious way to boil the water with solar dishes with water boilers as the focal point.
 

Had a great chat with this English soldier who is part of the G200 Everest Team, a team looking to summit Everest to commemorate 200 years of service performed by the Nepalese Royal Gurkha Regiment. He had come down to Dingboche as part of his overall acclimatisation plan. He had some amazing stories, including being at Everest Camp 1 when the tragic earthquake struck two years ago.


We stopped in Pangboche for a early-morning Tibetan blessing from Lama Geshe. He is the highest ranking Buddhist Lama in this region. Almost every climber to the Everest region visits him to receive a blessing before their climb.


When we'd finished the ceremony and came out of the dim light into the morning sunshine there would have been forty trekkers/climbers waiting for their opportunity. 

On the trail this morning. Perfect weather. Everest and Lohtse's twin peaks closer (both with jet streams) and Amadablam across the river, ahead and to the right. Amadablam towering over us at Dingboche.

April 10th

Morning climb at 7:30 at -5°. 720 metres straight up Nangkartshang Peak to take in the most spectacular views. Amazing to be moving at such a slow pace, with a relatively low pulse rate of 80-120 but totally taxed aerobically.

Acclimatising with a climb to 5116, just short of Everest Base Camp at 5364. Beautiful morning with clear skies, little wind.

April 11th

Left our hosts, Ram and Dadoma, at the Moonlight Lodge, Dingboche (4400 metres) and climbed towards Thukla at 4620 where we crossed the lower remnants of the Khumbu glacier, where another bakery awaited (thought we'd seen the highest). From there we continued climbing towards Labucha at 5000 metres.

Before reaching Labucha we passed through the Thukla Memorial and the mountaineers' graveyard.

 

The Thukla Memorial and the Mountaineers' Graveyard.
Many climbers are buried here, after not surviving ascending or descending Everest and the many other surrounding peaks.
It is a most spectacular location to be at rest.
 

On the last leg to Lobuche we saw our first Base Camp on Lobuche East. It's hard to see, high on the left slope, is the advance base camp and in the shot with the yak in front of shot there are eight tiny human dots on the uppermost snow cap, near to summiting.

Now at Lobuche, 5000 metre elevation. Wi-fi is fast and reliable. Now sighted, what must be, the final bakery.... the sign says so.

The Eco Lodge we are staying at tonight was destroyed during the 2015 earthquake and has been totally rebuilt. Impressive accomodation this far above the world.

April 12th 

Pushed on from Lobuche this morning heading alongside the Khumbu Glacier, towards Gorak Shep at 5,164 metres, our last stop before Everest Base Camp.

The 3 hour hike was scrambling over boulders and the scree remnants from intersecting glaciers. The view of the Khumbu Glacier valley as we departed Lobuche.

The first view of Everest Base Camp ( the tiny yellow tent domes) visible at the base of the Khumbu Icefall, the head of the Khumbu Glacier. 

April 13th

This morning we woke at 3:55am and left Gorak Shep at 4:40am to climb Kala Patthar, meaning 'black rock'. The 446 metre ascent in the dark at -20° was a new experience - some said it was the hardest thing they had every done. For all it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience on many fronts.

At 5,643 metres, 308 metres above Everest Base Camp and only 357 metres below Everest Camp 1, it is a special place. I'll never experience this again.

Lok Bahadur Magar (Lock), our Nepalese guide.

Lok is a mountain goat, who runs backwards down mountains, maintains a happy and calm disposition, always leading the way and setting the pace over the past eight days.

April 14th

Most amazing ride out of Everest Base Camp (5,364M) down through the Khumbu Glacier valley to Periche (4,240M), a vertical drop of 1,124 metres. This was the first of three heli trips back to Kathmandu. Sensational.

 

Watch the video of our Everest Base Camp journey here.