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Mt Everest Base Camp Solo Trek

Mt Everest Base Camp Solo Trek


At Kala Pathar : Everest in left side black canopy


I did the solo trek to Mt Everest base camp (EBC) and Kala Pathar in Solukhumbu region of Nepal from 24 April to 10 Th May. Lukla-EBC-Kala Pathar-Phaphlu trek is part of Great Himalaya Trail and it's about 200 KM. I started by doing a warm-up trek of 11 km with my 5 yr old daughter at Indradaha in outskirts of Kathmandu situated at 2000 mtrs. After collecting my TIMS card and permit for Trek I took a thrilling  ride on a turboprop plane from Kathmandu to Lukla airport having just 500 mtrs of airstrip for landing on mountain-side. Started the trek of 6km to Phakding on the same day. On day two, i had to make my way to the well-known Namche Bazaar, one of the biggest rest areas and full of markets, restaurants, and cafes – but reaching this haven at 3,440 metres requires extreme effort. It involved 13 km and six hours of high climbing and steep steps through rhododendron forest, elegant waterfalls, crossing rivers via long, swaying suspension bridges. Here I had to take one full day rest for getting acclimatize. Basically, rest days are not rest days but you have to hike high, sleep low, which means you hike to a higher elevation, then return to sleep at a lower one to make you body used to for next altitude.  On rest day visited the Sagarmatha National Park Museum and got the first glimpse of Mt Everest with nearby Mt.Kusum Khagaru (6367m), Mt.Kongde (6011m)



In the morning started the trek to reach Tengboche(3860m) for next night halt. It was 18 Km and by the time I reached there it started to snow. Only 2-3 Tea houses were there and all occupied. I was doing it solo so I could not make any prior booking. I had no option but to walk further 4-5 km in snowfall to search for any lodge. Luckily by 6 in the evening, I got already full tea house and they allowed me to sleep in the kitchen cum dining hall at Debuche. I had with me minus 20C sleeping bag which came very useful throughout the trip. Next day started very early before other trekkers to reach my next destination Dingboche (4410m)  for getting easy accommodation because I had to spend another rest day for acclimatization. 15km of this trek was very beautiful with the backdrop of Ama Dablam peak means necklace of mother nature, but due to the gradual rise of elevation the Trek started to become difficult. Slow and steady is the key to preventing altitude sickness. Though you can walk fast but avoid it and walk as slowly as possible. So I opted for one step a breath even on easy paths. Took 8 hr to reach Dingboche and again it was snowing. Rest day was sunny so climbon to nearby Nagarjuna Peak (5100 Mtrs) to have a view of nearby Mt Lhotse (8516m), Island peak(6179m) and Mt. Amadablam (6856m) peak.


Next day trek was also difficult in snow fall for 3rd time to reach Lobuche(4910m). Climbing over boulders and crossing glacial streams. At the top of the hill, there are numerous mani wheels and memorials for climbers who’ve lost their lives on Everest. Now started to feel low oxygen and low atmospheric pressure in the body. the fact that I knew next day finally going to Everest Base Camp was excellent motivation! and on that moment did not want to get high altitude sickness like fellow trekkers. Every 10 minute a chopper was hovering to lift them back for medical aid. It was very disheartening for them as their attempt was aborted after reaching so close. Now started to realize that there will be low visibility also at EBC when I will reach there.  Luckily next morning was sunny and reached Gorakshep by 9AM after 3 hr of trek. I skipped the lunch here and headed directly to EBC 5 km (3 hr) ahead to avoid any weather uncertainty. Reached the EBC milestone (5360 m) covered with prayer flags and met the Everest summiteers staying in nearby camps atop the glacier. Also saw the majestic view of Kumbhu Icefalls with a route to Mt Everest summit. Returned to Gorakshep for night halt. 

Next morning 4 am I had to start for Kala Pathar (5625m) but was not having courage to go up in minus 20C temperature. So waited outside and saw clear view of the Milky Way and passing meteors in the night sky and delayed the trek till 5:30AM.  I managed the cold with the art of layering with only having windcheater and no heavy jacket to carry. You can add one layer of cloth for each 1000 meter so Above 5000 meter you must be in 5 layers. In hurry or lack of oxygen in my brain, I forgot to take energy bars. The water bottle was already frozen. I thought 2-3 times to give up that vertical climb with pace of 3 breaths a step without food and already skipped dinner last day as altitude was messing with my taste buds too. I was even ready to beg for food from fellow trekkers if someone had crossed me. But looking at my condition one Brazilian trekker who already gave up the climb offered me his chocolate bar. I am grateful to him for the gesture. I was constantly monitoring my pulse which sometimes shoots to 110 and then I had to stop and focus on breathing. The anticipation grew as with each step, I got closer and closer to peak, and by the time it was sunny which helped me completing that 1.5 km climb and reached the Kala Pathar Peak in 3 Hrs. You’ll be rewarded with an excellent view from where Majestic 360 degree view of Mt Everest range can be seen. Climbing and standing at an altitude of 5,625 meters is amazing, even with lower energy levels with all the pain disappearing. Kala Pathar peak has huge, prayer flag covered rock where I tied drawing of my daughter. It’s something You will never forget. It’s like standing and surrounded by wall of snow, where the magnificent snow-peaked mountains, the Khumbu icefall and the majestic presence of Everest with sun beaming on top comes before you.


Kala-Pathar was the point from where I had to start my descent. I walked down for 25 km and reached Periche (4400m) for Night Halt. Next day another 25 km walk to reach Namche Bazar. I was ahead of my schedule due to rapid descent and had surplus days so decided to skip my Kathmandu Flight from Lukla and planned for trekking further towards Kathmandu through Tarai of Nepal. From Namche to Surke again took 25 km. Next 2 days were so tough walking alone 25+ km in dense forest with a Swiss knife in one hand for any surprise of wild animals. With last halt at Nunthala, i reached my final stop Phaplu to get Taxi for Kathmandu. Crossed 6-7 mountains and covered +125km in last 5 days and I was not feeling my legs.Then I realized why trekkers starting from Phaplu instead of Lukla are getting sick before EBC.



I am lucky to have Kailash and EBC trek done back to back in just 8 months of gap. EBC is less challenging then Kailash but having breathtaking views, and fast changing landscape. Learning from so many mistakes done at Kailash helped in this trek and it was flawless. Without any medicines. With moderate level of strength and endurance training anyone can do this trek, again mental strength matters most then body. Weather was all time good.  It didn’t rain.  I have been rewarded by nature with the best spectacular scenery of world and a huge sense of personal achievement. Map coordinates, 360 degree pics and other information are available here:

At Everest Base Camp


This is  how it looks from standing at Kala Pathar (5625 Mtrs)

View From EBC


View From EBC




Enroute EBC


View from Nagarjuna peak


 View from Sagarmatha National Park: Namche Bajar




I am also thankful to www.TransHimalaya.in and IMF for making this trip successful.


Written By:
Vinod Kotiya

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