Normally, with the holidays behind me and with my college schedule still ingrained in my body’s clockwork (despite graduating 3 years ago) I would be thinking ahead to my late winter “Spring Break.” This would entail someplace warm, with a beach, and preferably the magical ALL-INCLUSIVE. In school we went to Jamaica one year and the Dominican Republic another. Since I graduated, I went to Thailand and Malaysia. This year, I’m not sure where I will be off to, but with all the holiday treats in my belly, I am not thinking about strutting my stuff on any beaches. However, with the new year and resolutions and all, Ryan and I have been thinking about big trips we want to do and one that always makes our “to-go” list is hiking to the base camp of Everest.
How badass would that be?! Going all the way to the top would be sweet, but that also costs way more money than I will have in the forseeable future and requires some pretty legit mountaineering skills – of which, I do not posses. So, base camp seems like a fantastic choice! Plus, no real risk of losing any extremeties. This is not to say that base camp is an easy walk in the park. Far from it! You still need to be fit and ready for a challenge. Each day is usually 4-6 hours of hiking and is over some rocky and rough terrain, not to mention the altitutde changes.
There are tons of outfitters that you can arrange a trip through. With the help of the amazing sherpas (they generally carry most of your stuff for you: food, shelter, bedding, etc. leaving you with just a day pack) you can make the journey “easily.” You can also go it alone and haul your own crap up with you. Not sure which we would do, but either way the end result would be a fantastic view of Everest and an incredible sense of accomplishment. Not to mention, the Nepalese people seem pretty awesome.
When you finally make it to base camp after about a week of trekking, you camp there along with those who are just starting their adventure to conquer Everest. People that have done it say that the atmosphere at camp is anxious and excited, or if you are there as peeople come down, completely estatic! Apparently, there are some pretty ridiculous parties at base camp as well. Not only are you tired, but you are at 18, 192 feet! Probably doesn’t take much to get people loose and rowdy.
So, if you can imagine yourself stirring the morning after a base camp throwdown and then popping out of your tent to be confronted by the beauty of Everest staring you in the face, perfectly framed by prayer flags, then you should look into this as well! Let’s all go!