Everest Base Camp & Kalapatthar Expedition

Everybody has a dream, I also have one. I am a frequent trekker so I have a dream to view Mount Everest once in my life. I want to have a glimpse of Mt. Everest. As I was planning for this trek from last 2 years but now in year 2012, I finally successfully completed my Everest Base Camp (17598 ft.) & Kalapatthar (18400 ft.) Trek, sorry it’s not a trek it’s a expedition for me. The story starts with December 2011 when I received a mail, from my fellow trekker, that Jabalpur Mountaineering Association is organizing an expedition to Kumbhu valley (Everest region in Nepal is known as Kumbhu region). I forwarded this to one of my Goan friend who also wants to do the same and we have done many treks with each other so both of us have fine tuning. They are supposed to arrange expedition in the month of April (9th to 22nd April). Leaves were not a problem for me but there were some other issues which were denying me to participate for this trek. After discussing with my friend many times, we realized that only two seats were remaining in the month of Jan, 2012.  He immediately transferred funds, and we decided to make it happen. We booked our return flight tickets from Mum-Del-Ktm-Del-Ktm. As I have been to 14000 ft yet & this is 4000ft higher so I started the workout, abd started going to gym to tune my body. Preparation was going on. I purchased all small and big things. Finally I was set with my two backpacks, one is of 55Litres & another is of 25 litters.

Ready to Go


I was really excited for this trek. My life’s main motto is coming true in next few days. Start frm Mumbai on 8th April, reched Delhi, stay at YHAI hostel and start journey to T3 terminal (International Airport) at 3.30 am as our flight to Kathmandu was early in the morning.

All set. At T3 Airport.

This was my first visit to International airport, T3 terminal is very well constructed really good airport. First time in my life my passport got scanned at the time of immigration check. Feeling good. We passed quite some time on the airport and finally boarded our spicejet flight for KTM. Reached KTM as per our schedule, met with one of my other friends who was also coming with us for the same trek. As our hotels are already booked so we hired a cab and directly went there. Our hotel was in Thamel area. Today and tomorrow (means 9th & 10th) are free day to visit or roam here & there. In the evening time we all met with our other group members, surprised to see people of different ages in our group. The senior most uncle was of 69 years and one great uncle he was. 4 doctors (2 recently completed MBBS) good, 26(10 ladies & rest Gents) peoples we have in our group. Next day we went to roam in and around Kathmandu, some tourist places like Pashupatinath temple & etc… last time shopping ….

At Lukla

11th April (Kathmandu to Lukla)

As it was already decided that we have to start early for our Lukla flight so we all gatherd on time & started with bus to Kathamndu domestic airport. Telling you here that Kathmandu to Lukla is the world 2nd or 3rd scariest flight. You can google it also. We were on time & waited at the airport for our flight to Lukla, time passed on and on but no announcement of our flight as there were some weather problem in Lukla region. We waited there till 4.00 pm but there was no flight for that region. All of us returned back with sad faces & we had to now wait for the next day to fly. Again same instructions to get up early for boarding the early morning flight.

12th April (Kathmandu to Lukla to Phadking)

Again followed same schedule and reached airport, as soon as we reached we collected our boarding passes and rushed for security check. It was a small, chartered like flight, 16 setter. Journey was 35 minutes but really a scary one. We landed to Lukla safely and this is our starting point. Now we have to wait for others to come. Our porters were already there. We took our lunch there and started for next camp Phadking. It’s a nice walk till phadking some up and down. Beautiful, scenic, virgin mountains gr8 it was. We reached there and spent our night in tea house. I want to share you that this trek is like 5 star one where you will get proper bed to sleep, pizza, cheese, sizzler everything u will easily get here but food is too much costly. This is my first experience to stay in Tea houses. Sherpa peoples are very good people, always greet them with Namaste, they like it very much. Temperature is bearable here. We went for bed as we have to climb Namche Bazar tomorrow.

13th April (Phadking to Namche Bazaar)

We wake up 5.30 in d morning, got refreshed and had breakfast or only Black tea. We started early in the morning near about 7.00 or maximum 7.30 am. Kindly note that this is very long & tiring trek so better to start early. We crossed Sagarmantha national park, Monjo Jorsale village and many others. In Nepal, Everest is known as Sagarmantha. We took our lunch before Namche climb. Kindly note that you must take your luch and fill atleast 2 litre of water before Namche climb as you will not get any thing for next 2 or 2.5 hrs. Namche is a steep climb till Namche bazaar.

Preparation Treks

Reached Namche Bazar

Entire trek is like highways here local villagers, porters, Yak, Mule coming up & down to collect or carry all the stuff useful for human beings. It’s very busy trail. Suspension bridges are part of our life now. It’s really a tough, steep climb for next 2.5 hrs for me. I usually or forcefully drink a minimum of 4 liters liquid for entire trek to reduce the chances of Altitude sickness. All of us successfully reached Namche Bazar & stayed in Hotel Kamal. Namche bazaar is a place where you will get all luxuries like casino, hot shower bath, pool table, disco, dance etc… Namche Bakery is very famous here. Please try Tibetan bread yummy….  If you are short of trekking gear you can buy it from here, remember this is the last place from where you will find all this stuff. Next day is acclimatization day for us. Its not a rest day but ….

14th April (Aclimatization Day)

Again follow same schedule, start for acclimatization, plan was to go for Everest View hotel, the highest hotel in the world operated by Japanees. From here you will get view of Mt. Everest if weather permits. We went to one national park then Everest view hotel & then Khumjung village. This village is developed by Sir Edmand Hillary, one hillary school was also there, then climb to Namche top & get down to Namche bazaar. Starts at 7.30 in the morning & returned back at 4.00pm. so it’s not like a rest day. Now next higher camp is Tengobche.

15th April (Namche Bazar to Tengobche)

Start, climb & climb beautiful mountains, Mother Nature, monks, Stups, chanting monks everywhere is a perfect mood of climbing. We take our breakfast in one middle village. After walking of 3 hrs we got our first glimpse of Mt. Everest from here wow have tears of joy in eyes I stood calmly there and watch it for next 5 – 7 mins. Clicked some photos here & go ahead.

Many mountains like Thamsekru, Ama Dablam now accompanying is for next 4 -5 days. After lunch again it’s a tough climb till Tengobche. Huffing and puffing are part of life but have only one aim to reach EBC. As we reach Tengobche snowfall starts, kindly note at this height there would always be snowfall no rainfall. Tengboche have a world highest Buddhism monastery in the world. Good palce it was. Now feel some mild headache means altitude plays there game from here.

First view of Everest on top

16th April (Tengobche to Dengobche)

We wake up in d morning found clear sky. Bad news was that 4 trekkers are returning back becoz of d altitude problem. Doctor couple & two from Bangalore are returning back. Sad moment for entire group. Rest all we started fro higher camp Dengobche. Same walk climb get down again climb again it was tough day as oxygen level goes down create a lot of problem for us. All we reach Dengobche on time but get news that one of the lady trekker faced some problem to climb somehow she would manage to come our teahouse at Dengobche.

Tengobche Buddhism Monastery(World highest Monastery)

Her condition was really bad she was getting problem to breathe smoothly. Guide arranged a ponny to get down her to Pheriche immediately as there is some O2 & medication available there. In the night we have transported her to Pheriche. Take our food and go to sleep.

17th April (Dengobche to Lobuche)

Got news that a very fit trekker of our group feeling headache and planning to return back. Altitude plays very important role here. People are taking Diamox to avoid but some time it will not help u out. I only take minimum of 4 -5litres of water & maintained my slow and steady pace. All we start for Lobuche . We took one shortcut & it suffers us very much it’s a steep climb but all of was in very bad condition there. I am telling u peoples was fighting each other at some point, it’s again a symptom of altitude sickness. We start to lobuche. After walking to 2 hrs we reach our lunch point. Beautiful site it was. I feel some mental tiredness & block there & I decided to return back to Pheriche, I was not in a mood to continue further.

Climb towards Lobuche

I told that things to my frn & gr8 uncle they told me that ur breathing was ok then why r u taking such decision. U r only two camps away frm ur dream destination, u can do it do it Sankalp u can. I suddenly getup  pack my backpack hold it & start a very steep climb telling u I climbed that steep climb in 50-55 mins which usually take 1.15 to 1.30hrs. I reached on the top of the heal where memorial of Scott fischer, babu chiri Sherpa was mounted and many others who lost there life in the mountain or in this region. Sit there no body of group was there wid me. Some are ahead & some are behind. I sitted there hold my head in my lap and was really weeping. I am at that place which I had read only in books or on the net. From d bottom of my heart I thanks to those three peoples (my both frns & uncle) who inspires me for not to move. After that it’s a good walk of 1. 1.30 hrs to reach the camp site. After reaching their feel very good and feel of relief was there that I am now only one camp behind for my dream runs. We got shocking news that one more lady has some problem for breathing so she stays back accompanying one more lady at d lunch point where I was also plan to stop. But I am the lucky one.  Next day is Gorakshep last higher camp site for EBC expedition.

18th April (Lobuche to Gorakshep)

The same routine. We started early. Now it’s very difficult to walk becoz of the oxygen level. It’s very low. For every 10 – 15 steps I have to stop and take a long breathe recollect my energy and move forward. Its climb up & up as we knows this is the last camp site so I am not in hurry and going slowly and steady maintained my pace. Telling u at the time of walking there was 4 – 5 layers of clothes we have to wear and in the night it was 7 – 8 layers with sleeping bag extra. I throw my 1 litre of water bottle also becoz not able to carry weight. Every 100gms looks like kg on higher altitudes. Entire trek was full of Glaciers. There was snow at the bottom and rocks and sand was on the top. Really feeling very good, the photos which I saw only on net I am that place now. Clicked a lot of photos. It was too much windy and child cold that to click photo I have to remove my gloves and again I have to wear it. Tough task for me.. U believes or not if I have to search anything in my back pack breathing goes on higher side becoz of oxygen. I was in seventh heaven.

Glaciers on the way to Gorakshep

Snow Peaks

Everywhere snow clad mountains, virgin mountains & some well known mountains was there. From here able to glimpse of Kalapatthar also. I reached Gorakshep at 12.30 pm. From here I rang to my parents, wife & some of d office frns. I was not able to speak also a lot of huffing and puffing was there. As per todays plan we have to climb Kalapatthar but becoz of climate we went for EBC. We start to EBC at 2.00 pm. Earlier it was flat walk after that it was up & down. Reached to Base camp after do trek of 2.5 hrs. For a particular point we will able to go after that they will not allow us . Many tents are mounted ther for summiters who are going to attempt summit this year. We met some Indian summiters also who are planning to conquer Mt. Everest this spring. We returned back to our tea house for rest. As I earlier mentioned this is the last night of ours to spent on this higher altitude.

Cloud formation on the top of the peak

From last 2 night I am unable to sleep. Hardly I take a nap of 2 hrs. only. Running nose with little blood. Dry Cough with blood are there from last two days. But I fell a sigh of relief that I had achieved what I want in my life. I thanks to my god to give me such power to achieve what I want a as a trekker.

19th – 20th – 21st  April (Gorakshep – Kalapatthar-Pheriche- Namche-Lukla)

As everyone was very tired so only few was willing to attempt Kalapatthar climb. Have to wake up 4 in d morning and start to climb. Temperature was in negative. Water bottles are freezed. Everywhere ice and ice. From Kalapatthar you will get perfect view of Mt. Everest. From now we have to get down and down. That km we have climb in 6 days roughly 60-65 km we have to get down in 3 days.

Mount Everest in the Middle

Schedule was very tight. We have to get down & down. But some climbs are also there in that as we getting down we feel ok becoz oxygen level increases. But it was very tiring next 3 days. We usually start 7.00 am in the morning and reached next camp at 5 or 6 and some other will reach till 8 also.

Bliss

All tired

It was really a tough and tiring trek. But all of us we was happy. I am really excited and happy that I have conquered what I want. Go to bed late in the night last day. Everybody was sharing their experiences. Exchanges of addresses and contact number.. group photo packed final bags too flew for civilization.

22nd April (Lukla-KTM-NewDelhi-Mumbai)

Todays day is full of hectic tavelling. First fly to KTM then Dehi & then Mumbai. After reaching to delhi airport I have checked that I loose 8 kg of mine hahahahahahahahaha . I have not taken shower from last 15 days, stinking like a hell. Purchased one telcom powder & bath it with. As we find one veg restaurant at T3 airport rushed towards it & take full meal.

A hearty meal at the end

After 15 days I ate very much. What things I will get eat it . board the flight to Mumbai & land it. Again journey of Mumbai local starts. It took 7 days for me to recover from body ache and being adjust to such humid environment. My knees are still paining but all of this pain goes away when I would be in d memory of Kumbhu Region.

Bye for now and meet you all again. Am planning for Stok Kangri in Leh next year a highest summit able trek in INDIA..

17 Comments

  • Biswajit Ganguly says:

    Dear Sankalp,
    Kudos for such heroics, your entire journey depicts the human endurance and the glory of ultimate achievement. Your entire narration is perhaps very simple like your own character, you r actually a very down to earth man therefore it makes even more admirable and appreciable what you have actually achieved. Proud of you dear…..

  • lakshay says:

    sankalp, this story is going to be story of the month. great photos with great narration. but how about some information on stay facilities, food, expenses.

  • Neeraj Jat says:

    ??????, ??? ?? ?? ?? ?????? ?? ?????
    ???? ?? ????? ghumakkar.com ???? ?? ???? EBC ????? ???? ?? ???? ???? ???? ??? ?? ????? ghumakkar ?? ???? ??? ????? ??? ????? ????? ???? ??? ??????? ?? ?? ?? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ???? ????? ????? ?? ??? ???? ???
    ??? ????? ???, ?? ??? ????? ????? ????
    1. ???? ????? ?? ???, ????? ??? ????? ??? ????? ????????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ??????, ????? ??? ???? ?? ?????, EBC ?? ????? ?? ?????, ?????? ?? ?????? ???? ?? ?? ?? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ???? ??
    2. ?????? ???? ?? ???? ????? ?? ????????? ?? ?? ????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??, ????? ????? ??? ??, ????? ??? ???? ???
    ?? ??????? ???? ?? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ????? EBC ?? ???? ?? ???? ??, ?? ABC ?? ??????

    • Mayank Khanduri says:

      Hi Sankalp
      Thanks for such a great travelogue. You have opened a new frontier in Ghumaakar. There are very few travelogue of Everest and its base camp. You have provided a details for one more trekking oppertunity, though it is tough but well in worth to achieve. This is first time , i heard of such trekking till the base of everest. It would be great help, if you provide more such details as hotel costs, trekiing gear required, do and donts, etc.

    • JATDEVTA says:

      ???? ??? ??????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ????? ?? ?? ??????? ?? ?????, ?? ?? ???? ???? ?? ??? ?? ??????, ??? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???,

      • Neeraj Jat says:

        ?????? ???, ????? ?? ????? 5000 ???? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ??? ?? ?? ????? ???????? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ??????? EBC (Everest Base Camp) ?? ?? ???? ????? ??, ???????? ?? ????? ??? ?? ???? ????? ??? ?? ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?????? ???? ???? ?? ???? ????
        ?? ??????? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ??? ???? ?? ????? ???? ???? ??? ????? ????? ?? ?? ????? ?? ?? ??? ?? ???? ???? ?? ??, ???? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ?? ???????? ?? ??????? ????? ?? ???? ???

  • Dear Mr. Sankalp parlia,

    Wonderful, marvellous description . pictures are awesome. Thanks a lot
    Best Regards,

    Surinder

  • Nandan Jha says:

    So happy to see this story published. :-)

    Sankalp – Take a bow man. Brilliant. No words.

    Thank you for persisting with me all through over email. You are yet to register for a gravatar, though . he he. lol. Wishing you tons of health and miles of breath. Good Luck and God Bless.

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Wonderful post, Sankalp. The meaning of Sankalp is resolution and you have lived up to your name in achieving your aim of completing the trek to the EBC. Great pictures too.

    I don’t know much about high altitude treks but I am not sure that one day is enough for acclimatisation, especially since you live in Mumbai, which is at sea level. I am sure that had you spent more time acclimatising, you would have found it much easier, since you seem to be physically very fit and have plenty of determination, too.

    A suggestion. You could have made it it a 3 part serial, the first for Khatmandu, the second for Namche Bazaar and the third for the rest of the trip.

    @ The Editorial team: The height of the Everest Base camp is in 6 digits; it should be in 5 (first paragraph, line 3). Kindly correct the typographical error. Thanks.

  • Hi Sankalp,

    Welcome to ghumakkar.com with a wonderful and beautiful story .
    Superb journey . This is a dream come true for a trekker sitting on Mount Everest camp. You are very fortunate.
    Wonderful photographs with equally good description. I enjoyed every bit of it.
    But what I found was you wrote entire 15 day amazing journey in a single post.
    It would have been very nice if this story would have been broken into parts in series each having 2 or 3 day with detailed description sharing everything from food , hotels ,adventure, trekking time , distances etc.
    Thanks for sharing this story in ghumakkar. Do keep writing in ghumakkar and request you reply via comments.
    Keep travelling and Keep posting.

  • Nisha says:

    Sankalp,
    What a wonderful post it is. I fully agree with Neeraj here…. this one comes as a refreshing one.

    Lots of people have gone to EBC in last 2 years and someone said jokingly that EBC has become a tourist spot now. :-)

    But it’s a great achievement, not everybody’s cup of tea. Your post will definitely inspire others to go for it.
    My questions are same as Neeraj’s. Kindly share some expense details such as accommodation, food, porter etc.
    Also, how much fitness does it require? What kind of fitness regime you went thru?

  • Navin Gupta says:

    This is good post please do not be disheratened by some vested interested people here

  • SilentSoul says:

    WOW Sankalp !!! This is truly a Ghumakkari, different from tourism. I had read your earlier post on Sar Pass too, but this one is ultimate example of extreme ghumakkari.

    The subject is all new unique and full of anxiety for readers. You have so minutely described all the problems faced by a trekker on this dangerous and exciting trek, that any one going there would be highly benefitted.

    Dont worry for the language part, because you have succeeded in transmitting the zeal, the excitement, emotions and facts about this wonderful journey.

    Please do share when you go on such trek again.

  • Thanks Sankalp for taking us so near to Mt. Everest. This is first time I have read a travelogue of a trek towards Everest. Breathtaking photographs. Hats off to your courage and commitment.

  • Ac Sherpa says:

    Hi Sankalp,

    This is a great piece of writing detailing all little stuffs. Being a reader it makes me more anxious and enthusiastic to know more. And i am sure that from your experience readers will definitely think once to be on the place where u have been.

    Nice writing indeed… Inspirational

    Regards
    Ac

  • amit goda says:

    Hi, I recently read your article, it was very very interesting and helpful too. Day by day information is very much helpful. Is it right that in Namche Bazzar food is very expensive.

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