Super Trekkers - EBC Group May 2024

Everest Base Camp Trekking: My Inspiring Journey to the Roof of the World

By Hemant Dnyaneshwar Bandawane | Date: 30 May 2024

When Yogesh asked me to write out my personal experience trekking to Everest Base Camp I was delighted, and only too happy to endorse his services, which were fantastic. I am now in my early 40’s. I used to do a lot of running and marathons in Pune and around, however, I didn’t lose my love of the mountains, but I was too busy with work.

Deciding to Join Super Trekkers

Last year, I was talking to a friend (Arvind) about hiking and big mountains. He recommended that I speak to Yogesh. I called Yogesh and Yogesh spent 45 minutes on the phone with me and explained the process to preparing to trek to see Mt. Everest.

Arrival in Nepal

Eight months later, I felt fully prepared to take on the world. Yogesh’s help was instrumental in my preparation. He helped me so much in getting to this stage. 3 of us left Pune for Kathmandu. When we arrived, I was struck by how crazy the streets were. The local people in Thamel, which is the main tourist center, trying to sell us anything and everything. The night life was great and picked up some quality Stuff which was left for the trip. We visited the monkey temple on the outskirts of Kathmandu and Durbar square where Bob Marley hung out many years ago. Kathmandu is now in my top 5 world cities to visit.

Heading into Lukla

We headed out the following day from Kathmandu to Lukla and almost forgot that we were now 100 miles away from a road, only walking trails and trekking through the Khumbu Valley towards Phakding and onto Namche.

I heard so much about these places from all, but now to be standing here and having this experience was truly remarkable. I really didn’t believe I could physically get myself ready to take on this journey, Again I couldn’t believe I was here standing among giants. These mountains truly are massive. I remember tilting my head back so much my neck started to hurt. In a good way!!

Everest Base Camp Luklla Airport

The Delights of Namche

As we moved through Namche we passed through the Namche Bakeries, Cafe 1464, the coolest bar on the planet and one of the world’s highest bars. I could notice the air becoming thinner. I was glad to have an extra day here. Some of the groups do not take rest and moved continuous.

Moving Higher on the Trail

I was coping well and our pace was so slow which was the key for the whole process. As we turned a corner on route to the Monastery town of Tengbouche we were continually facing Everest. I was wondering how climbers can reach the summit, when we are walking like snails down here. It was time to stay positive, I will never forget the long stretch of hill up to Tengbouche. It seemed to go on forever but so important to pace yourself and take lot of breaks. I must have taken 10 breaks which is fine. I didn’t want to push it too hard. We got there a few hours later and found myself in another bakery. What a place!!
We had plenty of time to rest and recover and our guides bringing us hot lemon tea, making sure we were comfortable and servicing us continually which made our day, everyday. From here we moved to Dingbouche for two days. I really enjoyed this part of the trek. I was becoming used the walking, enjoying the awesome mountains and settling into life on the trail. The altitude was getting tougher, however, we had the whole afternoon to read, relax, enjoy the Sherpa’s, unwind and acclimatize.
And Higher…
The next day and each day brought new challenges, and scenery. We had now reached 16,000ft a new height record for everyone and higher than any mountain.I felt more comfortable after my second night here in Dingbouche. We could see Island Peak, Lhotse, Ama Dablam from a new angle. It couldn’t get any better. Each day brought me new joys and understanding of how people live in these environments.

Moving to Lobuche

We moved out of Dingbouche on Day 7 and headed for Lobuche on the final stretch to Everest Base Camp, this would take us up the famous Dugla hill and at the top the cemetery for lost climbers. No bodies are here just some plaques, prayer flags and names carved into the rocks. A somber place, with stunning scenery back across the valley and jagged peaks jutting out across the skyline. A moment was taken, and we focused on our journey and moved forward towards Lobuche.
We had to move slowly up the Dugla Hill. However, once we reached the top of that, the walk became a lot easier as we walking and talked and enjoyed the mind blowing scenery all around us. We arrive two hours later and got changed and started re-hydrating and kept on acclimatizing. Everyone is doing good and we talk about training and people seemed to put in a lot of preparation for the trip and we all felt this preparation was paying off as everyone patted each other on the back as to how great we are. For me is was a big achievement, to get this far.The mountain, the team, the support, the guides, the training all working to get us to our goal and I was having the time of my life.

The Big Day

Motivated to move on, we moved to Everest Base Camp. We started early at 8am and moved alongside the Khumbu glacier which we mirrored all the way to Base Camp. After a few hours, we stopped for a break in Gorak Shep, where we would sleep that night. We moved on to Base Camp where we met teams of climbers and people preparing to summit Mount Everest. This was amazing. We even got to walk on the ice at the bottom of the Ice Fall. This was a dream come true. What a moment and one I will never forget. We spent an hour walking and talking and headed back to Gorak Shep for the night.
It was going to be an early rise for our Kala Phattar summit in the morning. We sat around that night talking about the journey and base camp and what a privilege to have been there. Everyone was feeling good and looking forward to the 4am start up Kala Phattar for that classic view of Everest.

Kala Patthar Submit

It was truly spectacular. It took us 3 hours to make the hike up to 18,500ft. The trek was hard work and I needed to stop quite a bit toward the top. But what a view once we made it. Immense energy return and so excited to be here and experience this wonderful view. It was cold but we sat down and enjoyed the moment. We spent about 30 minutes taking it all in. I had a release of emotion and felt happy and encouraged to keep this up and get healthier and strong. I left Everest with a sense of determination. As I walked back down the valley over the coming three days I felt great, ready to take on my next challenge.

Trip of a Lifetime!

I had an amazing experience in the Himalayas, and will return. I was remembering the phone call with Yogesh and he believed in me, encouraged me and helped me achieve my goal. The set up was amazing, great support before and during the trip and couldn’t have done it without you all. I enjoyed heading back to Namche Bazaar and enjoyed, I think the longest day was the trek back to Lukla and took 7 hours. It was glad to have finished that day and looking forward to enjoying Kathmandu and a nice hot shower.

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