As you plan to set your foot in the land where the mighty Everest stands all chilled as it has since forever, there are certain things we want you to know. Well, that counts just in case you want a better trekking experience.
You might have a whole bunch of trending to do list prepared and an imagination of a savvy picture that you want to capture with Everest smiling back on your frame from Everest Base Camp. But wait! That is exactly where you might go wrong. So this blog is compiled with experience to aware you about the possible SPOILERS while trekking to Everest Base Camp.
1. Flight Cancellation:
One thing that you should know before going to Everest is that there are very limited flights to Lukla. There is a high possibility for the flights to get canceled due to the bad weather condition. In this case, a lot of the stranded passengers panic and offer to pay more to get back home. Those tourists who promise to pay more are seen to be given priority as because of the limited flights. This culture has helped fill pockets of the people involved in the airlines. Besides, you can take an alternative route to Lukla too. From Kathmandu, one can also fly or drive for a day to Phaplu and then Lukla is a three days trek from Phaplu. Helicopters are another option for a higher cost, of course!
2. Altitude Sickness:
Let’s face it, altitude sickness is a very common problem for those trekking to Everest Base Camp. You are in the highlands of the Himalayas that accommodates the World’s Highest mountains, sure the pressure of oxygen gets low resulting several hazards on human health. Hence, Namche Bazaar is a very good destination to stop by and hang around for a couple of days in order to acclimatize properly. Else, it can further lead to greater hazards. The best solution is to go slow and avoid things like sleeping pills and alcohol.
3. Khumbu Cough:
As you go higher, you will cough that much more and at times the coughing can get so violent that it hurts like hell. Surprising as it might sound, there is no consensus on the cause on treatment of the problem. Bronchial irritation due to cold dry air perhaps has something to do with it. Breathing through the mouth is also thought to exacerbate the situation. The best way to avoid Khumbu cough is to breathe the humidified air by using a mask of some sort. A buff is great for this purpose and a handkerchief will do just fine. Just make sure it isn’t too tight. Also, make sure to dress warmly and remember to protect your neck and head from the cold. Candies or cough drop will help.
4. Meatless weeks:
[Bad news for the meat lovers] It is most likely that your days during the Everest Base Camp trek (And most of the high altitude treks in Nepal) will be vegetarian for numerous reasons. First, the practice of slaughtering is completely forbidden in the Khumbu area due to the religious beliefs of Buddhism. Do not ask a local to do that for you. It will be a matter of disrespect to them. Second, the unrefrigerated chicken and eggs are brought all the way from Kathmandu through a flight. Third, if not from the capital, the potters carry meat (non-chicken) on their back from the village below Lukla called Kharikhola, by walking for several days. As a result, the meat is very unhygienic and we don't suggest to eat meat on the trail.
5. Wifi, ATM, and Hot showers come with extremely Hot prices:
It is pretty obvious that the prices will be higher as one elevates to the higher altitude. The geography compels to bring the goods either through airplanes to Lukla or through animals and porters on their back. Consequently, the prices are very high. In fact, Namche Bazaar is thrice as expensive as Kathmandu. Besides that, there are also facilities of Wifi available for which you have to pay around Rs. 100-500 per hour. The ATM facilities and Hot Showers also tail along with a high price. So, it is advisable to carry all the required goods with you from Kathmandu, including money.
6. Learn to Squat:
In most parts of Nepal, most people don’t have the standard toilets with a comfortable seats and hence, one has to be friends with squats. It might be a little problematic at first, but don’t worry it gets easy with practice. Just look at the picture, 'that' minus the hands is what you have to do. But not all the lodges have such problem, several tea houses also offer standard toilets. If you want to know the lodge conditions, the facilities that the lodges offer and the prices they charge you, you can get the detailed information in our ‘Everest Base Camp’ App under ‘Trekking In Nepal’.
7. A picture with Everest, Yes! But from Everest Base camp, No!:
Of course, it is a sweet little imagination to take a picture with Everest behind you from the Everest Base Camp but the thing is, you cannot get a proper view of Everest from there. Instead, you can go to Kala Patthar for fulfilling the purpose. Or, if you are trekking through the Three High Passes trek, Gokyo Ri is another convenient option.
By now, you might have had more than enough spoilers about Everest Base Camp trek but don’t just be sad yet! Here are some happy info treats:
1. There are several Luxury lodges on the trail. You can enjoy in well-facilitated rooms, proper washrooms, delicious food, hot showers, Wifi and more.
2. The hospitability, culture, and festivals of the Sherpa people is heart warming.
3. The beautiful trail that takes you through snow-capped mountains, lush rhododendron forests, highland monasteries, etc in itself is the best treat to eyes and soul.
4. You can book the flight tickets via Internet. (Like Tara Air)
5. You can take a side trip to witness the turquoise lakes of Gokyo, explicit view of the mountains from the vantage point of Gokyo Ri, Thame monastery, etc.
To know all about Everest Base Camp trek, you can download our ‘Trekking In Nepal’ App.