July 18, 2019

Everest Base Camp : Day 8 - Lobuche to Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Today's the big day! We're starting the day early as we're hiking to Gorakshep, and from there to Everest Base Camp (EBC).

Had breakfast at 6.30am with my comrades and by 7.15am, we headed out to start our journey. Once again the skies are a bright blue without a single cloud in sight. That's why hiking in this season is the best! But don't be fooled by the glorious sun, it's extremely cold at this altitude.

The hike to Gorakshep was difficult. The climbing wasn't that steep, but the altitude was slowly taking a toll on me. I was doing good though, still climbing on my own two feet, albeit very slow and gasping for air every five minutes.


God please help me





Three hours later, we arrived in Gorakshep and checked in at Yeti Resort. There's no teahouses at EBC so everybody would come back and overnight here, before the optional hike to Kala Patthar at sunrise.

It's only 10.30am but we're having a long rest and lunch here to replenish our energy. Gotta get ready for the final push to EBC. It's gonna be another two hours before we reach it.


macaroni and vege for super early lunch

Just as we started trekking across the desert, I saw the famous signage pointing to EBC about 100 metres behind. We missed it cos it was behind the lodges. Without shame, I asked Dinesh to turn back just to take photos with it hahaha.


there's only one way

We then continued trekking through the gently sloping ridgeline trail. Soooo tired but knowing that we're nearing EBC boosted up my motivation.


EBC in the distance


An hour later, we came across this signage. But nope, false hope! We haven't reach EBC yet.


Everest Base Camp, Mount Everest and Khumbu Icefall as seen from the ridge


Everest peeking from behind Khumbutse and Nuptse

From the ridge, I had a glimpse of the famous Khumbu Icefall, as well as Everest! The black summit appeared small, peeking between Khumbutse and Nuptse. Mesmerized, I hiked slowly to enjoy the view. After all, you cannot see Mount Everest from Everest Base Camp, cos it's hidden behind those massive mountains surrounding it. Here, on the ridgeline, is actually the best view you get of Everest, or from the summit of Kala Patthar, which I'm climbing tomorrow.

We then hiked down to the rocky valley. Had to be really careful as the loose scree could be slippery. I was so excited. This has been the moment I've waited for.

Upon arriving, the mood was celebratory! High fived Dinesh, Debbie, Ken, Amin.. and everyone around us. We made it guysss!! After eight days of adventure on the trail, with AMS scares, sleepless nights, headaches and all, I made it to Everest Base Camp safe and sound. So so proud of myself. Alhamdulillah!

The base camp was empty though. No expedition tents as it wasn't the climbing season. There's only prayer flags, pictures and messages from everyone around the world, and a few 'Everest Base Camp' signs with dates and elevation. And then us, the excited hikers.

proud Malaysian


we made it



Khumbu Icefall




doge also made it to EBC

After about half an hour and numerous photos at the base camp, it's time to get back to Gorakshep.


the trail back to Gorakshep

mushroom cheese pizza and garlic soup for dinner

Climbing back to the ridgeline, the rest of the way back was rather easy cos it's mostly downhill.

Back at the lodge, we had a good rest and dinner. Going to bed early tonight. Tomorrow's Kala Patthar hike gonna start at 4.30am for the sunrise.

Lobuche to Gorakshep to EBC map

Elevation at Lobuche: 5,030 m
Elevation at Gorakshep: 5,165 m
Elevation at Everest Base Camp: 5,364 m
Day's elevation change: +334 m
Sleeping elevation change:  +135 m
Distance:  9 km
Duration:  8 hours

Amount spent:
Breakfast - Rs 880
Lunch - Rs 1000
Dinner - Rs 1650
1 litre of hot water - Rs 800
Night stay at Yeti Resort, double room - Rs 500
Total = Rs 4830

July 17, 2019

Everest Base Camp : Day 7 - Dingboche to Lobuche

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

After breakfast of toast and jam, we left the teahouse and were back on the main trail towards Lobuche.



We climbed up the same hill behind the village yesterday. But later, instead of climbing east to the peak of Nangkartshang, we continued north into a gently inclined plateau. I turned around, bidding goodbye to the majestic Ama Dablam and the surrounding peaks. It's another beautiful day on the mountain with magnificent blue sky. Ahhhhh... I can live here forever. Ok no, I love my city life. But I'd love to come again.




Near and far, I could see a number of groups on the plateau. All trekking in a relaxed pace. We leapfrogged each other as we all keep stopping; either to catch our breath, soak up the amazing view, take photos or the toilet breaks. No, there's no toilet along the plateau so I had to empty my always-full-bladder in the open behind boulders. No time to be ashamed cos we were all in the same shoes hahaha.




We crossed a metal bridge over a freezing river and arrived at Dughla (4,620 metres) just before 11am. There's no other village between here and Lobuche, so early lunch it is. Just beyond the small village, well it's hardly a village cos there's only a big teahouse and handful of restaurants and shops, the steep Dughla Pass awaited everyone.

freezing river


Dughla


fried potato vege and hot lemon for lunch

An hour later, we were ready for the big climb that lay ahead. This is the toughest part of the day's hike. Climbing up the 4,830 metres steep mountain pass, I went really slow with the pace, and found the hike much easier.

At the top of Dughla Pass, there was a memorial park for those climbers and sherpas who lost their lives on Everest. Prayer flags adorned the stone memorials, some with plaques detailing their accomplishments, and others no more than a simple stack of rocks.

don't look up

memorial for the people who had died while trekking to or from Everest

After almost 6 hours of trekking; including lunch break, and the frequent stops, and me going at a snail's pace, we finally arrived in the tiny settlement of Lobuche just before 2pm.


hello yaks


you need to pay Rs 700 accommodation fee in advance here

Checking in at New EBC Guesthouse, we all sat in the dining hall, resting while having our afternoon tea.

Debbie, Ken and I then went out to explore the little village. Also cos both of them wanted to find network signal after I told them I managed to get connected on top of Nangkartshang. Although it felt good to disconnect once in a while, there's a need to update our loved ones that we are safe and still doing good on the remote mountain. We went to an open area, walking around trying to find that one spot where the single bar would miraculously appear. But nope, no network signal detected in Dingboche, at least for NCell. Ken were so desperate he bought the Everest Link later.


no network signal up here


snow-covered peak everywhere


Lobuche


world's highest bakery

fried spaghetti and egg for dinner


garlic soup to cure the headache

Laying on my bed in the dark that night, I was anxious. One sleep away from Everest Base Camp!

Dingboche to Lobuche map

Elevation at Dingboche: 4,410 m
Elevation at Lobuche:  5,030 m
Elevation change: +620 m
Distance:  7 km
Duration:  6 hours

Amount spent:
Breakfast - Rs 530
Lunch - Rs 600
Tea break - Rs 180
Dinner - Rs 1420
Night stay at New EBC Guesthouse, single room - Rs 700
Total = Rs 3430

July 16, 2019

Everest Base Camp : Day 6 - Acclimatization Day in Dingboche

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Debbie told me a useful tips. Although it's damn cold -10 degrees outside, open the window a little to let air into the room. This makes you sleep better. And I did.

Today is another rest day aka acclimatization day. Most people just hiked Nangkartshang or Nagarjun Hill or whatever its name (cos they have many forms of the same word). Some go to Chukhung village or even further up to Chukhung Ri.

Dinesh asked my preference but I let him decide what's best. He chose Nangkartshang. Perhaps because it's nearer so that we could have more rest time afterwards. The hill is just north, behind the village.


good morning!


toast with egg and hot chocolate for breakfast

Mountain Paradise Lodge & Restaurant

Done with breakfast, Dinesh and I were ready to start the climb. Debbie, Ken and Amin were still enjoying theirs so we made our move first. See ya at the top!

Climbing Nangkartshang, you have options. You can go up as much as you can, reaching the vertical prayer flags or all the way to the top of the ridge. The hike was rather difficult due to the thinning air. I was very slow and struggling to move one step forward. Even contemplated to hike only halfway till the vertical prayer flags but Dinesh kept on pushing me to continue.

if you look closely, you'll see hikers heading to Lobuche

Dingboche valley


i'm tireddddddd

Looking up at the hilltop, I could already see a lot of hikers up there. They must started the hike really early to catch the sunrise. The weather was spectacular today. Even from the halfway point, the view was incredible. So yeah.. why do I need to go all the way to the top again?

Dinesh never stopped, he kept going up, so I had no choice but to follow him. Well of course I had a choice cos I hired him so I can decide what I wanna do righttttt?! But I knew this is for my own good. Gonna make the best out of my trip. Gasping for air, I summoned all my strength and climbed on, while chanting 'bistari.. bistari'. Slowly but surely, I would reach the top.

Three hours and a half later, we reached the top of the ridge at 5,060 metres. Woahh.. my first time being over 5,000 metres. Everest Base Camp is at 5,364 metres so it felt good to be reaching this altitude today. I can do this!




Dinesh, my porter


everyone's favorite mountain on the trek, beautiful Ama Dablam







The excitement of making it to the top replenished my energy. Suddenly, I was alive again hahaha. The 360 degree view, Subhanallah! Thanks Dinesh for not agreeing to stop halfway. Enjoying our snacks and a gazillion photos later, I noticed a single bar (and sometimes double) on the top right of my phone. Heyyy!! There's network coverage! It was weak, but good enough to whatsapp my family, updating my whereabouts and condition. Even managed to do IG story of the amazing view around me. #sempat


Going down was very fast. I was back at the teahouse by 2pm. Found Debbie and Ken lazing around in the common area, both with their kindles. They only went up halfway so they have more time to enjoy the rest day.


macaroni and egg, hot lemon for lunch

I wanted to take a nap after lunch but my eyes were wide open. Why?!? Bored, I went outside for a walk. Gotta enjoy my time here and take nice photos around the village.


sherpas bringing up the construction material


everyday view in Dingboche


creative way to boil water


dried yaks' dung used to fuel the fireplace


badass kitty.. how can you live up here in the cold?


yaks going home cos it's getting dark

garbage problem on the mountain

sunset

dhal bhat and garlic soup again for dinner

Dingboche and surrounding area map

Elevation at Dingboche: 4,410 m
Elevation at Nangkartshang:  5,060 m
Day's elevation change: +650 m
Sleeping elevation change: 0 m
Distance:  4 km
Duration:  6 hours

Amount spent:
Breakfast - Rs 730
Lunch - Rs 730
Dinner - Rs 1000
Night stay at Mountain Paradise Lodge, double room - Rs 500
Total = Rs 2960