himalayas 2

Climbing the Himalayas II: All the way till the top

by • 3 July, 2014 • Blog-en @enComments (1)735

Part 1 – How did I get there?

Once surviving the scariest (and probably most dangerous) flight of my life, from Kathmandu to Lukla I was ready to get all the way till the top. But for that there was still a long way, to get to the EBC (Everest Base camp), it takes 8 days hiking! But the distance and the lack of oxygen are not a problem; the great and peaceful scenery makes the wait completely worth it! ebc y gokyo 360 I decided to go straight to the top, but on the way back I went through Cho-la pass and the Gokyo lakes. It really was the right choice. Being at the EBC is just pure ego, just to be proud to say I was there, but Gokyo might be one of the most beautiful places in the world! ebc y gokyo 444 As my flight was delayed, I started from the airport at Lukla (2860m) passed noon. On that first day I only hiked 3 hours. And actually down! So I slept a couple hundred meters below where I started. This was a good strategy to get acclimatized with the continuously decreasing amount of oxygen. ebc y gokyo 616 During the eight days it took me to go up till the 5300 m high base camp, two of them I slept in the same place. The mountain sickness is something serious that it’s easily avoidable by taking it easy. If you hurry too much you might not only not reach the EBC, but also have a really bad time (sometimes even death!). Specially at the top I could really feel that sometimes I was lacking oxygen, and I had to relax and breath carefully, but once you get used to it and you come down you feel full of energy! ebc y gokyo 271 I crossed Namche Bazaar, a lovely town, where every Saturday everybody around these mountains meets at the market. Such a nice place, everybody smiling at everybody, including me, and exchanging greetings; sometimes they made me forget I was even a foreigner! ebc y gokyo 189 Slowly slowly, as the guides recommend going, I made it through, not climbing more than 500 meters per day. The views from here are simply amazing! Walking through Rhododendron forests, next rivers, crossing suspension bridges and close to the snowy peaks, might have been the most peaceful days of my life. ebc y gokyo 030 The lodges were I slept were really simple. I didn’t need more than a bed and a blanket, just a place to get my energies back and to protect me from the -15ºC that it made at night. But my guide always tried to get me a room with nice views, not that it really mattered, but to see the mountains in the early morning made me eager to start hiking! ebc y gokyo 440 The EBC is a fun place to be, but the main thing is to do there is to get a picture to be able to show it when you get down, just to say: I was there! And I was! But the fun part is actually the last few meters. The camp is on glacier, and it’s summer, so… it’s melting! I’ve been in glaciers before, but none that you could feel moving under your feet! If I stepped hard enough I could hear the ice cracking and falling into underground lakes. It was so exciting! ebc y gokyo 349 After the Everest Base Camp I crossed Chola pass (5550 m). This was real fun! A real glacier (that doesn’t move), but slipery ice, that I had to climb. And from the top of the pass … The first time I saw the highest mountain on Earth: the Chomolungma (the Everest)! ebc y gokyo 471 From there to Gokyo. This town and lake that might be the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life (sorry that the pictures don’t make it any justice). ebc y gokyo 465 It’s true that the whole trip in general is quite expensive with the flights, lodges, guide … but it was completely worth it! Even if it was Monsoon time and half of the time it was cloudy, I got to see some of the highest mountains on the Planet, and some of the most beautiful ones as well. And being summer… the flowers were in bloom so it was really colorful. One of the things I was not sure it was about having a guide, because it was quite a lot of money, but I don’t regret getting one at all! I could just enjoy the path and don’t worry about the way. And it turns out around 17 people a year get lost never too be seen again! ebc y gokyo 559 I would recommend this trip to anyone coming here. You don’t have to be that fit, just taking it easy and enjoying, it’s accessible to anyone!