Monday, October 6, 2014

EBC: Overview

I am not sure how and when I decided that I want to do this trek. But about a year back I started having conversations with a friend and then met owner of a trek organising company that another friend had used long back for her EBC trek. But the things precipitated only around Apr/May this year when I was going through a tough time in my personal life. And my friend and I fixed September for the trek.

By June, we had three additions to the group. Couple of us had close friends or colleagues who had been on this trek and so the research started pouring in - about gear, about altitude sickness, what to expect and overall how to prepare for the strenuous trek.  We started weekly Nandi hill treks as a preparation for EBC trek in addition to our regular fitness regimen. At that time some of us wondered how will climbing steps to the temple help us prepare but I was thankful to Nandi treks during EBC trek because there are hundreds of stone steps en-route with much steeper incline than Nandi Hills.

Our trek was overall 12 days, but we needed a buffer to account for altitude sickness, flight delays between Kathmandu and Lukla and any other unforeseen event. So we added 2 buffer days (and we consumed both of them). 2 days were spent travelling between Bangalore and Kathmandu and 1 day was sightseeing in Kathmandu - so overall it was a 17 day itinerary.

Here is our day by day itinerary as it finally panned out:

  1. Bangalore to Kathmandu by Spice Jet. We reached around 18:00
  2. Sightseeing in Kathmandu
  3. Two take offs and landings but we couldn't make it to Lukla. First time due to equipment failure and second time due to bad weather in Lukla. In fact, second flight turned back seconds before we were expected to land in Lukla. (One buffer day consumed)
  4. Finally landed at Tenzing-Hillary airport Lukla (9,383 ft) and trekked to Phakding (8,563 ft). Stayed overnight at Phakding at Beer Garden Inn
  5. Trekked from Phakding to Namche (11,286 ft), stayed at Camp de Base in Namche
  6. Acclimatisation day at Namche which included a trek to Everest View Hotel (12,729 ft)
  7. Trekked to Tengboche (12,687 ft), stayed at Rivendell Lodge in Deboche (12,532 ft)  - about 20 minutes from Tengboche
  8. Trekked to Dingboche (14,200 ft) , stayed at Moonlight Lodge
  9. Acclimatisation day at Dingboche which included a trek to Nagarjuna Peak nearby. We didn't reach the summit - turned back after reaching 15,500 ft.
  10. Trekked to Lobuche (16,174 ft), stayed at Peak XV
  11. Trekked to Gorakshep (original Hillary Base camp- 16942 ft). Plan was to go to EBC and come back to Gorakshep and stay the night there. But the 2 hour trek took us 5 hours and we decided to try EBC next day.  (Second buffer day consumed). We stayed the night at Snowland in Gorakshep.
  12. Gorakshep to EBC (17,598 ft) and back and then back to Lobuche (Peak XV) for the night
  13. Trekked to Deboche (through Periche instead of Dingboche). Stayed at Rivendell again
  14. Trekked to Namche, stayed at Camp de Base again
  15. Trekked to Lukla, stayed at Tara Lodge
  16. Flew back to Kathmandu
  17. Flew back to Bangalore
The itinerary changed as the trip progressed and as I cover each day in the future posts, you will understand how unpredictable things can be on such treks

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