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THE ADVENTURE ADRENALINE EBC

A Perfect Blend of devine natural beauty, fascinating culture and a personal sense of achievement,
as well as experiencing the warm Nepalese hospitality of the people in the Solukhumbu region,
makes the Everest Base Camp trek one of the worlds most unforgettable.

The Everest view from Tengbuche Monastery!

The decision to take this trip was not only one of the best adventures of my life but made me feel
content as the proceeds of the entire trip went to the Nepal Earthquake Foundation which was my
smallest contribution to help Nepal get back on its feet after the devastating earthquake last April.
Far from conventional, on the contrary one of the most physically and mentally challenging trips
due to a number of factors including strenuous trekking, the location, terrain through which we
essayed our journey and the local factors including altitude, remoteness and temperature.
But inspite of all the challenges, its a different world out there, words dont do justice to describe it,
one has to experience it to really know what I am talking about.
Sitting at 8848m Mt. Everest is every mountaineers ultimate dream and this trek helped me reach
the mountaineers Base Camp at 5364m.
Kathmandu is where is all began. We were a group of 10 accompanied by 3 guides. The group
comprised of people from 7 different countries, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Mexico, Nepal
and me representing India.

We embarked on our adventure after boarding a crazy 15 seater plane to Lukla and a one of its kind
Airstrip due to the elevation of the runaway and at such elevation (See pic attached), this is where
our real journey began.

Tara Air @ Lukla Airport (almost 2840m above sea level)

Next 12 days we covered approximately 125 Kms including the ascent and descent, starting from
2840m and going upto 5364m and back crossing broad plains, dense forests, waterfalls, suspended
bridges straight out of an Indiana Jones movie, small villages, glaciers, snow mountains, passed
colourful prayer wheels and what not. To give us company other than our group, we had the yaks,
the mountain goats and how can I forget yak poo ;)

Suspension Bridges!

The terrain kept changing almost everyday from absolutely lush green hills, to slopes with variety of
flowers, to rocky mountains, to barren lands, to glaciers, and finally the famous Himalayan snow
clad mountains.
The accommodation comprised of small, very basic TeaHouses operated by Mountain Nepalese
specially for trekkers like us and in the evenings we were rewarded with hot food and conversation
with like-minded people around the dining-room fire. (Yes the fire used was from yak poo as fuel)

The trek was strenuous daily, with almost 7-8 hours of trekking most of the days, with plenty of
ascents and descents and honestly requiring excellent level of fitness. Although I am a marathoner
and did my first Triathlon earlier in the year, I would still say, it was physically very challenging and
felt we were running a marathon everyday.
We carried our day packs of about 8-10 kgs including about 3-4 Litres of water itself in our
Nalgene & Camelback Water Bottles.
By the end of every day, we were so fatigued that we would just curl up and sleep in our cosy
sleeping bag and just crash the hell out, wasnt that difficult to sleep, trust me.

The Daypack and Trekking Stick!

The trip included lot of overnight stays at very high altitudes where there is genuine risk of being
affected by AMS Acute Motion Sickness, which is very common at such high altitudes, which if left
untreated, can be life-threatening. AMS is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused
by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above
2,400 metres (8,000 feet) and our ascent only started at 2840m.
Also the guides informed us that a number of medical conditions or medications can also reduce our
body's ability to acclimatise, and thus will affect our performance at altitude and make us more
susceptible to AMS. Hence to try and avoid this AMS, we started taking medication, mainly Diamox
Tabs, that tremendously helped us acclimatise. I would recommend reading all about this before
embarking on any such trip in the future. (Peeing several times in the day was the only side effect of
this, which was also a result of the intake of 3-4 Litres of water everyday)
Coming back to the trek, we started our ascent from Lukla, and overnight at Teahouses at Phakdung,
Namche Bazaar, Phortse Gaon, Dengbuche, Lobuche, Gorakshep, Tengbuche. Most of these Tea
Houses were owned by Sherpas and they shared some amazing experiences of their summit stories
of Everest and other peaks, which was just soo motivating. Infact one of the Sherpas was the winner

of the Everest Marathon, which starts from the Base Camp and ends at Namche Bazaar (Can you
imagine a Marathon at an altitude and terrain like that, simply mind blowing!! )
Gorakshep was our last stop before the ascent to our final destination EBC (Everest Base Camp), and
we had some astonishing views over the Himalayas and that moment we reached EBC amidst heavy
winds and snowfall, that moment is registered in my heart and soul forever.
That moment when you see your ultimate destination after days of hardwork, priceless!!

The moment of Glory @ Everest Base Camp!

To add further to the experience, we climbed to the top of Kalapathar, sitting at 5545m for some
breathtaking views of some of the worlds highest peaks, The Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and other
surrounding peaks. To be completely honest, the climb up to Kalapathar, was probably one of the
most challenging few hours of my entire life where I almost gave up a few times and only managed
to reach the top because of the motivation of my amazing group who just didnt let me give up, talk
about team spirit, this was my best ever experience of that.

@ Kalapathar

After that was the descent, the easy part, infact easier than I thought, and we zipped by and the
descent barely took us just about 2 days from the top all the way down to Lukla.
On our way down, we also stayed a night at the Tengbuche Monastery, and even played a game of
football and volleyball with the Monks, and at that altitude, something which was out of the
ordinary.
Also, since just penning down my thoughts about this magnificent journey, how can I not mention
the interaction and gaining insight about the Sherpa culture. The Sherpa people were absolutely
hospitable, generous and ever smiling, which just made our journey all the more pleasurable.
And if you think the adventure bit was done here, well we had one more adventurous thing left to
do after reaching Lukla.
Once we got there, we had our flight back to Kathmandu, but due to atrocious weather conditions,
no fights had been operating in that region for over 4 days and chances of us getting back looked
slim. But thanks to our travel company Intrepid, they helped arrange a rescue Helicopter and
although we paid additionally for that bit, but the chopper picking us up from the top of a mountain
in rainy weather, and back to Kathmandu was a ride which I can never forget. (Chopper pic
attached)

So back to Kathmandu, we enjoyed our final night together, drinking and dining all night,
celebrating, reliving our achievement before bidding farewell, and saying namaste for memories
that will surely last a lifetime!!
Signing off,
Raghav Agarwalla
Email- raghav11@gmail.com,
Insta- raghav.11

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