"Trek Report – Everest Base Camp Trek, Spring 2012" Top 5 Page for this destination Nepal Travelogue by into-thin-air

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Trek Report – EBC
This is my trek report on my 2012 spring trek to Everest Base Camp; this was a Continuation of my Arun Valley Trek but should still be useful for people who trek EBC either from Jiri or from Lukla.
Please Click Here if you want to read about our walk in through The Arun Valley.

From Lukla the route merges with my own on day one and you can easily pick the path up if you fly into Lukla, here is a downloadable Trekking Map of the entire route, just click your cursor over the area that you want to view and the map enlarges

Day 11 Paiya (270m) to Ghat (2500m)
Trekking Time – 5 ½ hours
The first thing we noticed after joining the main Jiri – EBC path was the amount of trekkers – On the Arun Valley section we didn’t meet another trekker for the first 5 days (Two Americans heading the other way) – Definitely not the case now !!
The trail is wide and plenty of villages, all with lodges and teahouses, so lots of choices for both food and accommodation – The route is on the east side of the Dhud Kosi but high above the river, undulating up and down as it crosses the many tributaries.
Here one of our trek-mates left us as she was running out of time, so she trekked up to Lukla with Tej (Our Cook / Guide) and the rest of us continued on the lower path which skirts under Lukla.
We split the distance between Paiya and Namche Bazaar more or less in half by opting to stay at Ghat, a great days trekking on good paths which at first undulate high above the Dhud Kosi as you pass beneath Lukla then drop down after the path comes in from Lukla.
In Ghat we chose the Chomulonmu Lodge which is one of the older lodges in the village run by a nice family – Good twin bedded rooms and an inside toilet making life a lot more comfortable than we had been accustomed to on the Arun Valley Section.
Please Click Here to see the days Video Diary
Please Click Here to see the accommodation that we chose

Day 12 – Ghat to Namche Bazaar (3445m)
Trekking Time – 6 hours
Another wonderful days trekking, soon after Ghat I stopped off at Benkar and visited The Waterfall Lodge I had stayed here in 1998 and had been well looked after by the lodge Owner, Pasang Sherpa and wanted to pop in to say “Hi” (It had been my intention to stay at this lodge but because of my trek-mates this option didn’t materialise). I was saddened to learn that Pasang had passed away in 2001, but the lodge was still being run by his widow and son, they were both pleased to see me and to know that I still remembered Pasang after all these years, so I said I would stay with them on my way back “down”
From Benkar it is only a short walk to Monjo where you enter Sagarmatha National Park, you have to show your TIMS permit and either show or buy your National Park entrance ticket (Prices went up from 1.000 NPR to 3,000 NPR in July 2012) at the Park Gate, after entering the park you drop right down to the banks of the Dhud Kosi then criss-cross it several times passing through several small villages before reaching Jorsale the last village before the steep pull up to Namche Bazaar where there is another TIMS / National Park Permit Checkpoint.
After leaving Jorsale you cross the Dhud Kosi a further two times, the last time being on a long high suspension bridge and then it is steeply up through forest to Namche Bazaar. There is a Porters Resting place with a spring (Do not drink this water unless you treat it) and the foundations of an old teahouse, from here you get your first glimpse of Everest. On entering lower Namche Bazaar there is yet another TIMS / National Park Permit Checkpoint, soon after this the path splits and you go right up the steps and are soon on the main street of Namche Bazaar. Lots of lodges of all categories to choose from, we opted for a simple old style lodge in the upper part of the town
Please Click Here to see the days Video Diary
Please Click Here to see the accommodation that we chose

Day 13 –Acclimatisation and Rest day at Namche Bazaar (3445m)
I can’t over-emphasise the importance of taking an Acclimatisation and Rest day in Namche Bazaar, nor can I over-emphasise the importance that from Namche Bazaar onwards that you restrict the length of your trekking days so that you only gain between 300m and 500m per day – This is to try to reduce your chances of being adversely effected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Acute Mountain Sickness should be taken Very Seriously, On my first trek to EBC I walked past the body of a 31 year old trekker that had thought that the AMS guidelines didn’t apply to him and he ended up paying the ultimate price – Please Don’t follow his example.
The "Acclimatisation” part of my Acclimatisation and Rest day in Namche Bazaar was an early morning hike to “The Panorama Hotel” which afforded us with our first really good view of Everest, but this little walk also helps aid the acclimatisation process as The Panorama Hotel is higher than Debouche which we were planning to trek to the following day.
The Rest part of the day was spent in the bakeries eating all sorts of delicacies that we had missed during the early part of the trek, Chocolate Cake and Good Fresh Coffee being the more memorable items.
Please Click Here to see the days Video Diary

Day 14 –Namche Bazaar to Debouche (3700m)
Trekking Time – 6 hours
Most trekkers head for Tengboche after Namche Bazaar but to me Debouche offers a better alternative as it is slightly lower and isn’t plagued with the same amount of large groups that usually opt to stay in Tengboche. It is about a20 minutes downhill trek from Tengboche and has a couple of nice lodges.
The path from Namche Bazaar is excellent; first you contour around a shoulder, which affords you excellent views of Ama Dablam and the Upper Khumbu with occasional glimpses of Everest poking its head above the lesser peeks. Then you drop down to cross the Dhud Kosi before the steep pull up through forest to Tengboche and then down, again through forest to Debouche.
Several teahouses and lodges in small villages en-route so no problems with tea, lunch and snack breaks.
On the path leaving Namche Bazaar you will be asked to make a donation for the upkeep of the path – I sidestepped this request believing that I was already paying enough for the use of the path, both with my National Park Entrance Fee, TIMS permit and Visa as well as the higher than average prices demanded by the lodge owners and restaurants in Namche Bazaar – Whether you decide to contribute or not is entirely your own decision
Please Click Here to see the days Video Diary
Please Click Here to see the accommodation that we chose

Day 15 – Debouche to Pheriche (4280m)
Trekking Time – 6 hours
Normally I would suggest that trekkers split this day into two shorter ones because of the height gain, but as we were already reasonably pre-acclimatised and trek fit from The Arun Valley we decided to trek to Pheriche.
I was up early as when we passed through Tengboche the clouds were already low and the usually awesome views were obscured, so I had decided to trek back up there to take some photos – I wasn’t disappointed as the weather was clear with blue skies so just too good an opportunity to miss.
The path from Debouche first contours around through more forest before you again cross the Dhud Kosi, this used to be on a very famous little suspension bridge which is the subject of many paintings (I am sure you will have seen these fir sale in Thamel) Although the old bridge is still there, there is now a new metal box bridge above it, more practical if now quite as photogenic.
After crossing the bridge you slowly climb up and through Pangboche (If you aren’t pre-acclimatised this is a good place to split the day), then through Shomme where there are more lodges and restaurants, soon after here the trail splits and we took the left-hand fork, up and over a small shoulder and into Pheriche.
Pheriche has a good selection of lodges as well as a small hospital where there are daily lectures about trekking at altitude and the associated risks – Worth attending, especially if you aren’t accustomed to trekking at altitude.
Please Click Here to see the days Video Diary
Please Click Here to see the accommodation that we chose

Day 16 –Pheriche to Dhugla (4600m)
Trekking Time – 2 ½ hours

A Very short days trekking, but as we had pushed on a bit the day before we thought it made good sense just to trek a short day to stay well within the AMS height gain guidelines.
The path is again a good one, at first you trek up through the valley with some awesome mountains towering above you, then at a small summer yak headers settlement the path swings 90 degrees right and you start to climb towards the Khumbu Glacier, just before reaching the terminal moraine you swing left and cross a small stream and enter Dhugla which is just a small cluster of lodges.
We arrived at midday so just spent the afternoon relaxing, eating and drinking tea and coffee, sitting outside taking in the views.
Please Click Here to see the days Video Diary
Please Click Here to see the accommodation that we chose

Day 17 –Dhugla to Lobuje (4940m)
Trekking Time – 2 ½ hours
Another Very short days trekking but with no alternatives, Very Steeply up at first onto the edge of the Khumbu Glacier – Here you come across scores of memorial cairns commemorating climbers and Sherpa’s that have died on the mountains.
The path then slowly climbs along the left hand side of the glacier to Lobuje, a large cluster of teahouses with several options for accommodation.
I had decided to stay two nights here and trek to EBC in the day between (On my previous visit I had been up Kala Patter, so didn’t feel the urge to go up again, but instead trek to EBC which was something I hadn’t done) - this was mainly to save sleeping at Gorak Shep which is around 5200m and therefore now conducive with a good night’s sleep, this also saved me packing my rucksack including the now dreaded job of battling my down sleeping bag into its compression bag ;-)
Please Click Here to see the days Video Diary
Please Click Here to see the accommodation that we chose

Day 18 –Lobuje to Everest base camp and return to Lobuje (4940m)
Trekking Time – 7 hours
As this is quite a long days trekking I was up before 6am, cup of black coffee and Tej (Cook/Guide) were trekking by 06.30. The trail undulates steadily up, mainly on top of the Khumbu Glacier, often with excellent views ahead of the Upper Khumba valley. After about 2 hours we arrived at Gorak Shep and took breakfast before continuing on to EBC. The trail is quite good, undulating on and off the glacier and eventually along a sharp ridge to the left of the glacier before it drops steeply down into Base camp.
One myth that can be dispelled is that when you trek to EBC that you don’t see Everest, well you get a good view of Everest poking its head over Lhotse and Nuptse from the sharp ridge before dropping off as you approach EBC.
Base Camp its self was very quiet and I only saw a few Nepali’s getting things ready for the coming season, we had a good wander around and took lots of photos of The Khumba icefall before returning the same way as we came, stopping at Gorak Shep for a late lunch and getting back to Lobuje around 4pm
Please Click Here to see the days Video Diary

Day 19 –Lobuje to Lausassa (Aprox 3300m)
Trekking Time – 7 hours
As my “Trek-Mates” were following a different route and there was now only myself and one of the porter/guides (Shambhu) I was no longer constrained so we arose early, a cup of black coffee and were trekking before 7, first stop was back at Dhugla for breakfast, then Pheriche for tea, Pangboche for lunch, Debouche for more tea and finally Lausassa for our overnight stay. Another great days trekking, mainly downhill (Apart from the small pull back up to Tengboche) and again with wonderful weather.
Please Click Here to see the Video Diary
Please Click Here to see the accommodation that we chose

Day 20 – Lausassa to Benkar
Trekking Time – 5 ½ hours
Again we were up early and after coffee trekked back down to Namche Bazaar for our breakfast, and then continued back down, again having permits checked at both Lower Namche Bazaar and Jorsale then finally leaving Sagarmatha National Park, stopping for lunch at Monjo and then back down to Benkar and The Waterfall Lodge. Again “Young “Pasang (Former lodge owner’s son) and his mother we pleased to see us and looked after both Shambhu and myself exceptionally well. I had an omelette for my dinner and it was one of the nicest things I had tasted since leaving Kathmandu !!
Please Click Here to see the accommodation that we chose

Day 21 –Benkar to Lukla
Trekking Time – 4 hours
After a leisurely breakfast we continued on down towards Lukla. It is only a ½ days trekking from Benkar to Lukla but we still wanted to get there at a reasonable time to try and ensure that we both had a seat on the following days flight to Kathmandu, and preferably the earliest flight possible so as to improve our chances of flying.
The path undulates but is mainly downhill apart from the final little pull up into Lukla, we stopped off at Ghat for a tea and another where the route splits and arrived in Lukla just after midday.
We opted to stay at The Sunrise Lodge as Tej had told me that the lodge owner there had “Power” with the airlines. It is a nice lodges in any case so no hardship staying there. After lunch I saw the lodge owner and he said that he would happily go with me to the airline office to help ensure I was flying the next day – He also said that he was suffering with tooth-ache so I gave him some high strength pain killers and he seemed really pleased. Both Shambhu and myself were confirmed on the 0800 Agni Air flight with a reporting time of 0700, so with nothing more to do I had a wander around Lukla, then had an early dinner and told Shambhu I was heading to my bed and to make sure I was up around for about 6 so as to have time for a bite of breakfast before heading to the airport. I had been in my room for about ½ an hour when there was a knock at the door, Shambhu telling me that we had to report at the airport at 06.00 – so I said OK – Give me a knock about 05.30 and I will see you then.
Please Click Here to see details of the above mentioned The Sunrise Lodge

Day 22- Lukla to Kathmandu by flight.
I was awake before Shambhu knocked so got up and had a coffee before we walked down to the airport. When we arrive the lodge owner was at the Agni Air Check-In and after paying the 200NPR airport tax we checked in without problem. The Lodge owner informing us that we were now on the 07.00 Agni Flight to Kathmandu (The first flight of the day)
At 06.45 the first plane to land was Agni Air and we had to run to get on board – A Very quick turnaround and with a loud roar our old 14 seater Dornier (Still with www.airtasmania.com painted on the engine cowling) was in the air – I had survived the take off from one of the most dangerous airports in the world for a second time J
½ an hour later we were once more back in Kathmandu – 23 days including the 2 days overland transportation to Tumlingtar – A Wonderful Trek and one I can happily recommend to anyone of average fitness with a little determination
Please Click Here to see my Packing Tips
Please Click Here to see my transpotation tips including landing at Kathmandu and how to get to the trail-heads
Please Click Here to see tips on when and how to trek
Please Click Here to for my own personal recommendation of a trekking agent to organise your trek

I Hope you enjoyed reading my trek report, If you have any questions about the trek please feel free to email me and I will do my best to answer

Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking to One and All

Rob

  • Page Updated Aug 9, 2013
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Comments (4)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    how amazing! I have a good friend who I spent a weekend with before I flew here who is flying to Kathmandu in a couple of hours time to start a trek to Everest base camp for charity. how exciting for her but a lot of hard work! praying she succeeds with the challenge and manages the physical endurance!

    • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
      Oct 31, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      I also wish her Luck Angela – There has been a Lot of unseasonal snow in the EBC area lately, so I hope she is able to achieve her goal !!!!

  • NilaElect's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Thanks a million!
    This is a very good report .

  • jayjayc's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Beautiful main photo! Cheers!

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    A most awesome page....Karl

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