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13 December, 2014

EBC Trek Day 10: Lobuche to Gorakshep via Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp Nepal
The 10th day of our Mount Everest Base Camp Trek brought us from Lobuche to Gorakshep via Everest Base Camp. This day had a long and tiring hike for us in store but would also turn out to be a very rewarding day, a day full of achievement ... the day we would finally reach Everest Base Camp ...



MOUNT EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK


24th of April 2014 - Day 10


Lobuche 4928m (16200ft) to Gorakshep 5160m (16942ft)

about 2 to 3 hours hike

+

in the afternoon to Everest Base Camp 5360m (17590ft)

about 3 to 5 hours hike




View on Lobuche EBC Trek
Lobuche
I slept quite well and woke up full of anticipation. Today is the day we will finally reach Everest Base Camp, yeah ! After a quick wash with baby wipes and a nice breakfast, we were ready to go. 

We have been really lucky with the weather so far ... a bright blue sky and lots of sun every day, nevertheless it gets really cold at this altitude. I heard many people complain that they could not sleep because of the cold. I was really happy that I bought that special sleeping bag from the North Face cause so far I've never been cold at night except when I had to leave my warm sleeping bag to go to the toilet; which is at this altitude quite an adventure. 


The hiking path to Gorakshep EBC Trek
on the way to Gorakshep
The trail to Gorakshep is a windy and rocky path following the Gorakshep Valley. The first part of the trail was relatively easy followed by a steep climb, after that it just went up and down a bit. As usual the views were absolutely stunning ... being surrounded by the world's highest peaks for sure gives you an amazing feeling. 


Gorakshep EBC Trek
Gorakshep
Due to the altitude, I had again a really slow pace so it took us about 3 hours to reach - after a last short descent - Gorak Shep. Gorak Shep is a small settlement, it actually consists of just a few lodges for trekkers and climbers, but nevertheless it is the highest settlement in the world. We went to the Himalayan Lodge - where we would also stay for the night - and had lunch. 

During lunch Janzing (our guide) tried to convince me that it would be better to rest now and go to Everest Base Camp the next day. That was really a "No Go" for me. Tomorrow I want to climb Kallapathar before descending again and as both Everest Base Camp and Kallapathar were my goals for this trip, there was no way I was giving up on one of these now I was so close. Also staying another night in Gorak Shep was not an option for me; I was pretty sure I would survive one night up here, not sure about two nights however ... So we decided to stick to the plan and go to Everest Base Camp after lunch even when that meant we might have to return in the dark. 


On our way to Everest Base Camp
On our way to Everest Base Camp
After lunch, we started our trek to Everest Base Camp. The rocky path - that changes every year due to the movements of the glacier - followed a sort of ridge along the Khumbu Glacier and eventually on the glacier itself. There wasn't much up and down this time, nevertheless it was really hard.

Each step at this altitude takes so much effort. In addition it was getting really cold, I had to pull my buff up over my chin to keep my face from freezing. There was a little voice in my head that kept saying why don't you just turn back ... but no matter how exhausted I was, I really wanted to reach Base Camp so I kept scrambling across the Khumbu Glacier. 


Khumbu Glacier and Everest Base Camp
Khumbu Glacier with Everest Base Camp in the distance
To my utmost relief, we finally made it - together with another group of trekkers - to Everest Base Camp. There were lots of high fives and cheers when we finally reached the famous rock marking Base Camp. There were also lots of tears, tears from happiness and emotion ... I saw tough guys crying like little children while telling their mother or family on the mobile that they made it. It was for everybody a very emotional, yet awarding moment.


Holiday Nomad at Everest Base Camp
Holiday Nomad at Everest Base Camp
It was an amazing and definitely mesmerizing feeling ... standing on the place where all the Everest summit expeditions start. I was standing on the same place where once Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay started their summit expedition, just incredible. There are no adequate words, to describe this feeling.    


Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp
Although we were there in the middle of the climbing season, they were already packing up Base Camp. This due to the deathly avalanche just above Base Camp a few days ago, after which it was decided that there would be no further summit expeditions this season. 

After a while we decided to return to Gorakshep. The way back went a bit easier but then again ... I was so exhausted that I was just walking on autopilot. Halfway back we were nearly hit by a rock avalanche. Our guide and the guide from the other group were very nervous, rock avalanches usually only happen in monsoon season when there are neither trekkers nor climbers. The guides, hubby and the other group of trekkers were standing still on the ridge anxiously looking up. I just continued walking on autopilot ... in the end we all made it safely back to the lodge before dark, had dinner and crashed into our sleeping bag. 

Tomorrow will be another big day ... climbing Kallapathar ...



  <= Read EBC Day 9                                                 Read EBC Day 11 =>



Freya - Holiday Nomad, a Travel and Photo Blog




43 comments:

  1. What an amazing adventure you are on. I really believe I am there with you all. The imagery is quite breathtaking and so I am sure in real life, even more so. I think it's great to listen to your guide when he advises resting is better at certain time. Great to also have a group to do this with, everyone stays accountable to each other and has necessary support! Keep inspiring Freya.

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  2. OMG this is so incredible, Freya!! I have the biggest smile on my face having just read this and I'm glad you pushed through onto Base Camp! Wow, to have followed this since the summer and to see this now gives me goosebumps and is a very emotional post with happiness to read! Soooo proud of you, my friend!! :)

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  3. I can't believe you actually did this - how amazing, well done! I always wondered what it looked like there and now I know. Loved reading this - congratulations!!!

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  4. You have got to be one of the most fit ladies I know. I have said that I would like to do something like this... but I was only kidding. I would never make it the first day and I would be on the ground crying like a baby. KUDOS to you!!!
    By the way. I have a Granddaughter named Freya!

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  5. I would love to go on an adventure like this. Thanks so much for sharing and especially for the photos. They are truly stunning.

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  6. Wow how incredible and inspiring. Looks amazing and like a trip to get so much out of!

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  7. What an amazing adventure! Stunning pictures - so wonderful that you are doing this. Go you!

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  8. Oh my God, what an absolutely amazing everyone you've been on! I can't even imagine climbing Everest so well done you on doing this in your life! I think those flags they make in Nepal are so lovely, makes the celebrating of climbing the mountain even more special I think :)

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  9. I always attend the Banff Mountain Film Festival each winter - I don't think I've missed a year since the late 90's. During one of the two nights (where there's tons of individual films being showed) there is bound to be an Everest film happening. I cannot even fathom being there, let alone the feeling of accomplishment even at the base!

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  10. Your pictures are simply breathtaking! I love seeing them! What an amazing excursion!

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  11. Look at those views -they are stunning! Sounds like a wonderful travel!

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  12. How completely exhilarating! I didn't realize there had been a massive avalanche recently. I'm glad you guys didn't get hit by the rocks either!

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  13. You guys are so outgoing and adventuring, I wish I could have the time to do this and have this kind of experience too!

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  14. Oh wow. I love your travels, and this looks like such a beautiful place. Lucky you. Have a lovely Sunday.

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  15. Sounds like such an adventure and such an achievement. I have never been one to hike but i do enjoy reading other people's adventures and kind of live through them. I can only imagine how cold it was at that altitude and must definitely been adventure leaving the warm sleeping back to go to the loo lol

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  16. This is so awesome and breathtakingly beautiful! I am so happy for you for achieving such an amazing adventure and goal and being able to blog about it! It's so cool to be able to see up close what goes on up in Everest!!!!

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  17. Amazing adventure you have!!!! I am not sure i will be ever brave enough to experience it, but i kind of did while reading your post!
    Olga
    http://feelthetraveling.blogspot.com

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  18. This looks like an amazing advantage indeed. I love your pictures which are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing,

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  19. What an amazing experience I know there is a lot of training that goes into this type of adventure. What a great thing to share with others and capture these great photos.

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  20. Looks like you are in Eddie Bauer catalog shoot. Looks like you are having a good time and enjoying yourself during your trek and climbing adventure. Be safe and thank you for sharing your adventures.

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  21. Wow, that is so impressive! I've never climbed mountains before, and always admired people who do. The closest I got to extreme outdoors experience is a guided speleology cave tour.

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  22. I've really enjoyed following your journey's diary. I am sitting here imaging what kind of people would live at Gorak Shep. I mean, someone lives there to take care of it? It probably beautiful but so isolated. Hum... Lovely pictures once again.

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  23. Look at that, those are amazing photos!

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  24. That would be scary about the rock avalanche. And congrats on making it to basecamp. that's pretty amazing.

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  25. The pictures that you've posted of the mountains are simply gorgeous, and almost look unreal. What a spectacular accomplishment to climb Everest. It's something you hear people speak of with great pride. I would have been so nervous knowing that deadly avalanches are possible.

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  26. It sounds like an amazing adventure. I'm happy everyone stayed safe on the climb. As above, I also want to offer congrats.

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  27. Omg how amazing is this!!!! Congrats on the climb!!!!!

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  28. Well done to you. I seriously don't think I would be physically or mentally fit to accomplish it

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  29. Hi Freya, congratulations on reaching the base camp. I can just imagine the elation you felt after all the hard effort you had done to get there. Well done!

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    1. Thanks Marisol, it was an amazing experience.

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  30. I loved following your EBC series, Freya. You were very lucky you missed the huge avalanche that killed a lot of people!

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    1. Yes we were in Namche when it happened, really sad.

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  31. You actually climbed up there?
    I admire your strength and ambition!

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  32. Great article and the pics are just breath taking.
    Such an inspiration you are. Thanx for sharing your experience.

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  33. Wow! That's an incredible trek. Congrats on conquering the Everest Base Camp climb!

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  34. What an achievement. I'm not sure I'd have to gusto to accomplish such a feat.

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  35. Amazing and very inspiring! Beautiful pictures and great courage and skills.
    Well done indeed!

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  36. This is a great trek isn't it? We did EBC in 2010 and loved it. We on the other hand arrived before the climbing season so we didn't see one expedition at base camp. On the way down though, everyone was starting to come up. It was really cool to see the contrast. Great photos and glad you made it!

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  37. Great!!! Can't wait to hear more.

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    Replies
    1. Next installment will be there in a few weeks time :)

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Freya - Holiday Nomad