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10 AMAZING PICS: Trekking up to the Everest Base Camp!

Last updated on: August 10, 2012 18:11 IST

10 AMAZING PICS: Trekking up to the Everest Base Camp!

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Mridula Dwivedi

Rediff reader Mridula Dwivedi is an academician from Gurgaon who blogs at Travel Tales from India. She trekked up to Everest Base Camp in May 2012 and sent us these amazing pictures.

If anyone asks me what is my favorite type of holiday I would say trekking every time. Given this orientation Everest Base Camp was on my radar for long. But I always thought that the season was April which clashed with my teaching semester and I never pursued it.

Then I chanced to listen to a talk by the legendary climber Sir Chris Bonington. While talking with him afterwards I asked if May was a good time to trek and he said it was. So May and Everest Base Camp it was!

Lukla to Phakding Walk

As Lukla has an airport it is a logical starting point for the Everest Base Camp trek on the Nepal side. Otherwise the road head is 7-8 days away at Jiri. The Lukla (2860 meters, 9383 feet) to Phakding (2652 meters, 8700 feet) walk is supposed to be easy but as it starts at 9000 feet I found the going tough.


Image: Lukla to Phakding Walk
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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Namche Bazaar

After Phakding the next stop was Namche Bazaar (3440 meters, 11286 feet) and it is a beautiful place. But what a task it is to reach there! After walking for a few hours I, with my guide Deepak, crossed the last suspension bridge on the route and then I had it. The climb to Namche had started. It was all uphill for 3-4 hours! Thankfully I had a rest-and-acclimatisation day at Namche after arriving and I was able to recover from the climb!


Image: Namche Bazaar
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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10 AMAZING PICS: Trekking up to the Everest Base Camp!

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Tengboche

After a day's rest at Namche I was quite willing to walk up to Tengboche (3870 meters, 12696 feet). And up to the lunch point, the going was good. But there was a surprise in store for me. For Namche I at least knew it was a steep climb. I was caught unaware for Tengboche. I reached there in the end, but was thoroughly tired. I thought if I had internet access I would tweet, "Beat me with a stick if I talk about trekking ever again." And I was very doubtful about my capabilities to complete this trek.


Image: Tengboche
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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10 AMAZING PICS: Trekking up to the Everest Base Camp!

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The next day dawned fair and I walked again. Dingboche (4360 meters, 14304 feet) was relatively easier with only an hour of stiff climb. I also had a rest day here so my spirits were better. The next stop on this trek was Lobuje and for the first time I started thinking that if I had come this far it would be a pity if I didn't complete the trek.

Image: Dingboche
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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10 AMAZING PICS: Trekking up to the Everest Base Camp!

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Walk from Dingboche to Lobuje

Dingboche to Lobuje Trek is starkly beautiful and once again apart from an hour or so of stiff walking it is a reasonable walk, as reasonable it can be at more than 14,000 feet. We crossed the monuments to the departed, who came to the Himalayas, never to return back.


Image: Walk from Dingboche to Lobuje
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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Lobuje

At Lobuje (4930 meters, 16174 feet) I still had some appetite and only a bit of a headache. After coming this far, I didn't wish to get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Thankfully nothing happened to me and I woke up all eager next day to walk to Gorek Shep and then to Everest Base Camp!


Image: Lobuje
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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Lobuje to Gorek Shep

Lobuje to Gorek Shep (5164 meters, 16942 feet) is a relatively short walk but after an early lunch we were headed to the Everest Base Camp (5364 meters, 17598 feet) the same day. I still remember how excited I was that finally I was close to reaching the base camp!


Image: Lobuje to Gorek Shep
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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On the way to the base camp even if I was fatigued, I was quite excited. And my excitement made the walk bearable. We had clear view of Nuptse (a mountain in the Khumbu region in the Nepalese Himalayas) through out.

Image: Nuptse
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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10 AMAZING PICS: Trekking up to the Everest Base Camp!

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Everest Base Camp

I just took one step after another and stumbled across the base camp. There were many trekkers around and shouts of joy were going up in the sky. We spent about an hour at the base camp and then it dawned upon me that I still had to walk all the way back! Everest is not visible from the base camp as it is too close to the place. The next day we were getting up at 3am to catch the sunrise from Kala Patthar over Everest.


Image: Everest Base Camp
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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Everest as seen from Kala Patthar

The way to Kala Patthar (5545 meters, 18,192 feet) goes only one way -- up. I had a horrible night at Gorek Shep as I would wake up every 15 minutes quite breathless.

So I was happy to get out at 3am and start the trek. I am glad we started in the dark. If I would have seen the way I would have surely refused to walk! I reached somehow to the top before dawn and did get to see the sunrise over Mount Everest. And I was so happy that after this day I would be getting to lower altitudes steadily! 

Mridula Dwivedi is an academic from India who is passionate about trekking and travelling, and these days dreaming about going to Antarctica. She blogs at Travel tales from India.


Image: Everest as seen from Kala Patthar
Photographs: Mridula Dwivedi

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