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- The Challenges of the Everest Base Camp Treks
- Preparing for the trek
If you are looking for the most dramatic trek in the Himalayas with spectacular scenery, then plan the Everest Base Camp trek. The trek offers you a unique and truly memorable experience of your life as a tracker. Enjoy the clear skies and pristine views of the Himalayas, interact with the local Sherpa people and spend some valuable moments when trekking alongside other Everest climbing expedition members.
The Everest Base Camp
There are two base camps on Mount Everest, on opposite sides and at different altitudes. The North Base Camp, which lies in Tibet, is located at a height of 16,900 ft, while the South Base Camp in Nepal is located at an altitude of 17,598 ft. Hikers and climbers use these two base camps during their climb up and down, and other hikers plan a trek to the Everest base camps.
The South Base Camp trek is the most popular, and trekkers fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and alter trek to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar. As the Khumbu glacier on which the campsite is located is rapidly thinning out, the camp will be shifted to a lower location. Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism issues the climbing permits for the base camp.
The North Base Camp trek requires a permit from the Chinese government, which was arranged via travel companies. The North Base Camp is reached by vehicle and located at the Rongbuk glacier’s base.
It is illegal to take those treks without climbing permits, and one should get those permits through a licensed logistics company to pitch a tent or climb the mountain. These companies take care of accommodations, meals, and basic bathroom facilities for the trekkers.
The Need for The Everest Base Camps
Both camps are pitched at about17,000 feet, and sustaining life above 18,000—19,000 feet is difficult. Scientifically, the human body is disintegrated if living at those extreme heights.
Trekkers on their journey to Mount Everest need to spend some time acclimatizing and preparing for the step and impossible climb to Everest peak. Thus, they spend some time at these base camps and prepare themselves before they can make a successful climb of the world’s highest peak. Life at base camps can be challenging, with occasional moments of life-or-death play.
These well-provisioned base camps provide the mountaineers and trekkers with some time to rest before starting their arduous journey up the mountain. They spend about three to five days here within the comfort of thicker air for acclimatization and to lower the risk of altitude sickness.
These camps are taken care of and supplied with the help of animals and porters. The base camp staff is comprised of team managers, cooks, dishwashers, and servers, who work at these camps. Most of them are ethnic Nepali Sherpas who do their best to serve the trekkers and provide them with healthy meals. Regular shipments deliver fresh local produce by helicopter, yaks, or jeeps.
The Challenges of the Everest Base Camp Treks
Every enthusiastic trekker dreams of climbing Mount Everest, and if they cannot reach the highest peak in the world, they should at least do the Everest base camp treks. Trekkers from all around the world dream of making it to the base camps and enjoying the glorious view of the marvelous Mt. Everest in front of them.
The Everest Base Camp trek is like a feather in its cap for the trekkers and the most prominent one. This is one trek that everyone has on their list and would like to see checked off. But the truth is that while many dream, it is only a few are able to fulfill their dreams and climb up to witness the magic. The trek is a difficult one, and one must not embark on the journey without the proper preparation and experience.
Strong body with a strong mind
It is essential to have a strong body with a strong mind to deal with the high altitudes and difficult terrains, plus the harsh weather conditions of the Himalayas. The legendary Everest Base Camp in the Nepal side is what is the most talked about, and it is located are the end of a long valley carving through the Himalayas and at the Sherpa village of Dingboche. The first formidable obstacle for those attempting a summit is the Khumbu Icefall, which lies right at the camp’s doorstep.
The high elevation
The high-altitude trek, which starts from Lukla, requires considerable acclimatization to complete the 80-mile distance. The trekking distance is divided into individual sections completed daily and as per the acclimatization and the altitude. At an average trekking pace, one will be trekking about 8 hours each day, and that is quite a physical challenge for many.
The rough terrain
The terrain is difficult as it is constantly steep right from Lukla and when you reach the Namche Bazaar and alter to Tengboche. The trekking paths are largely muddy and shaded by pine and ironwood forests, as well as interspersed with rocks. On the way, you will be crossing rivers and going over shaky suspension bridges.
Elevation and terrain are the biggest challenges on the Everest Base Camp trek, as you will be climbing more than 17,000 feet. How your body adjusts and acclimatizes through the elevation gain will make the trek difficult or easy. Almost everyone gets affected by Acute Mountain Sickness at higher levels. The terrain and the heights of the Everest Base Camp make the trek difficult and changing. However, a lot relies on your physical and mental strength to perceive the difficulty of this adventure. Eventless, the trek is physically demanding and will need the recommended training before you take any decision
Drink plenty of water and follow your guide for meals and a supply of oxygen, in case you need it. Even seasoned trekkers find the trek to Everest Base Camp a very difficult one, but it is hard to resist the sheer majesty of the Himalayas and the experience of getting a close-up view of Everest.
Preparing for the trek
Needless to say, your medical conditions and fitness are important benchmarks, along with your zeal to reach those camps. When it comes to trekking to the Everest Base Camp,
one needs lots of preparation, both physically and mentally, before one hits the trail. The trail to the Everest base camp is only meant for those who understand the challenge and are ready to take it on.
Preparing mentally for the trek
It is true that most of us, as trekkers, may carry the physical strength and expertise of doing challenging treks but may not be mentally strong. There are likely to be several moments and possibilities during the trek when you will be flooded with fears. During those moments, you need to control your emotions and push your limits to overcome those impossible situations to get to the final point. Without mental will and determination, completing the treks with your physical skills and strength would be challenging.
Preparing physically for the trek
Physical preparation is a must for the Everest Base Camp trek, which is seen as the most difficult one, even by expert and seasoned climbers. Without the required physical strength, taking on the massive challenge would be futile. What you need to do is go for regular training that involves cardiovascular, trekking, strength, and altitude training.
Cardiovascular training will improve the performance of the lungs and the heart and build muscle endurance. You could do biking or swimming on a regular basis to improve your cardiovascular health. Running, walking, trail running, and walking up and down hills are some other ways of cardiovascular training.
Strength training can help build the upper body and lower body strength and improve physical and mental stamina. Other basic exercises include squats, push-ups, dips, bench presses, and more, and you can start using free weights to gain strength.
You will need special trekking training to ascend and descend as some sections of the treks are very steep. You need to have confidence if you can hike on those difficult trails with weight on the back. Thus, go for regular trekking to improve your efficiency and build your confidence.
Before you even think of doing those treks, you should have at least two weeks of trekking experience in the Himalayas and should have done a difficult trek at altitudes higher than 4700 m to 5000. You need to be sure you have the right skills and knowledge before you decide to do the Everest Base Camp Trek. You should certainly know the basics of what to do in case of an emergency, how to use the mountain trekking gear and equipment, and how to cope with other trekkers as you climb up or descend. You need good leadership and team-building skills along with mental and physical fitness.
The whole experience of the Everest Base Camp trek and looking at the soaring mountain Everest right in front of you is sure to leave you completely awestruck. Travelers and trekkers of all stripes, backgrounds, and nationalities arrive here to join the Himalayan adventure. As you trek higher up and get closer to Everest, you are rewarded with some of the most beautiful sights and experiences like never before. Those magnificent views, combined with the hospitality of the local people and Sherpa villages, make the whole trip intriguing and inviting!