This is day 18 of my 24 day trek through the Khumbu region of Nepal -> View all posts for this trek
It had been a long, challenging but incredibly rewarding trek through the Khumbu region of Nepal over the past couple of weeks. It had its highs and lows but the scenery was simply spectacular, the people friendly and welcoming and the whole experience really magical. There were many moments when I couldn’t quite believe that I was actually here in this incredible place. I only had one more thing to do before I began making my way home. It was time to head to the end of the road; it was time to trek to Everest Base Camp.
I left Lobuche fairly early on another cold, crisp and clear morning. The soft light gave nice morning views of Nupste as I made my way up the valley wedged between the mountains and the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. It was nice easy flat trekking to start with, but I yearned for the warmth of the sun that I knew was there behind the mountains.
At the end of the valley the trail begins climbing up the moraine of another glacier which flows into the Khumbu. At 5000 metres in altitude, climbing is hard, even if it is a short climb. It was a lot of stop-start trekking all of the way up the rocky trail. At the top the trail meandered along the edge of the glacial moraine and the huge Khumbu Glacier stretched out before me, tumbling down off of Everest somewhere ahead. The ice capped peak of Pumori marked my path north as I trudged along the rocky, crumbly trail.
Eventually I climbed up to a point where I looked down upon the trekking village of Gorak Shep, where I would spend the night and use as a base to trek to Everest Base Camp and to climb Kala Pattar, which I could see sitting barren and brown above the village. I trekked down into the village at 5160 metres and checked into my teahouse in time for a mid morning cup of tea.
After a short rest I got ready to make the final trek to base camp. The trail follows along the crumbly moraine of the Khumbu Glacier for several kilometres. The creaking and cracking ice was ever present below me on my right, with the massive peaks of Everest and Nupste towering above. Everest stayed hidden most of the time but the surrounding mountains are all just as spectacular.
It was a long trek along the moraine for about an hour and a half before the trail eventually made its way down the unstable terrain and onto the glacier itself, a thin layer of gravel making it possible to trek on the ice without crampons. At places the glacier had cracked open to unveil the beautiful blue of the ancient ice within. A short trek brought me to the middle of the glacier where a series of cairns and prayer flags mark the base camp, empty of climbers at this time of year. The glacier surrounded me on all sides with giant mountains all around. The brilliant blue of the cracked ice coming down from the Khumbu Icefall added colour to the dark rock and the white of the snow and ice of the mountains. I stood at 5340 metres, at the foot of the highest mountain in the world. I had made it to Everest Base Camp.
I enjoyed just being there for some time, reflecting on what I had accomplished, before eventually making the long trek back to Gorak Shep to spend the night. In the morning I would climb Kala Pattar to reach my highest point on the trek and to view Mount Everest in all of its glory. Then, it’s time to head home.