Doing the Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal - Trekking in Nepal

Why can't we climb Everest? I had been in Nepal for 3 months and met so many
people passing through Kathmandu either nervously beginning their chosen trek or
returning weather beaten and victorious from a climb, that my friend and I felt surely
it wouldn't be so hard to attempt one for ourselves.

Grand delusion is a phrase that springs to mind. We’d spent 3 months periodically expelling things from both ends, had smoked like troopers and with the availability of rickshaws, done virtually no

In fact prior to Nepal the largest climb I had done was the stairs! We had
enthusiastically planned to run up and down the 365 steps to the Monkey temple each
day in Olympic style preparation for our trek to Everest Base Camp. Needless to say
this didn’t even occur once. We even contemplated giving up drinking for the week
before we left – your guess on that outcome is pretty accurate…

The only organisation target we achieved was buying and packing our kit. We knew it
would be a feat against the laws of physics to pack both of our kit into one small
rucksack. My small pharmacy would need at least half the space. My friend noticed I
tried to sneak my foot towel (I have been told I have some Princess tendencies) in to
the bag and went ballistic. We could have made a tidy profit in toilet roll shares as we
packed enough for us and twenty imaginary friends. But as the rucksack groaned
under the pressure and the stretched material showed perfect outlines of anything
solid we managed to beat the clasps together and feel satisfied we had got the

Unfortunately two days before the trek was due to start, I contracted dysentery and
thought I was dying, so we postponed. Still feeling weak but determined to set off on
the trek before winter set in I pulled myself together to join the others for our farewell
drinks. “I’ll have only one or two as I want an early night” – I believe that was what I
was reported to have said. As the sun rose and I stumbled out of a casino I rushed
back to the hotel to collect my friend. She had managed an hour’s sleep and grabbing
our ridiculously overstuffed backpack, we scooted off to meet our guide.

Our transport to the starting point of the trek at Lhukla was a small propeller plane run
by Yeti Airlines. Not the best at flying anyway, my tiredness quickly evaporated as I
realised that I could potentially die in the next 2hours. We loaded ourselves on to the
plane and chose our seats around the sacks of rice and crates of beer that had priority
boarding and I gripped my friends hand ready for take off. The noise of the plane was
horrendous and after we were airborne our two pilots decided that reading a magazine
was far more rewarding than steering the plane. Colour drained out of me every
second we were in the air and I have never felt such immense relief as when the plane
touched down on the hideously steep run way of Lhukla airport.

This is not the best way to begin an 11 day trek, which involves high altitude climbing
and walks of 7 or so hours a day. Nonetheless we gave it our all, even stopped
drinking and virtually gave up smoking (we still managed the odd cheeky fag despite
it causing emphysema type breathing difficulties with each drag). In fact we had the
time of our lives, met some amazing people, ate far too many eggs, went to bed
ridiculously early but the end result might surprise you! WE MADE IT!

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