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Mt Everest, Nepal
Is your idea of a dream trip a bucket list destination, a sense of the unknown or an obsessive passion about a place? Mine was Mt Everest and in 2014 I took my ultimate all encompassing challenge- a 17 day trek to Everest Base Camp.
I flew from JFK via Dubai to Kathmandu, where the sounds and sensations of a city so alive was an incredible start to my adventure. I met my guide and fellow travelers- yes I went on my own- and the next morning we flew to Lukla, named the most dangerous airport in the world at 9,383.00 feet. Six of us all began our trek, backpacks loaded, accompanied by Sherpa porters who carried our additional gear, and we headed into the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen in my life. Each day we climbed slowly higher, surrounded by peaks rising majestically into crystal blue sky. Every vista was more breathtaking than the one before.
Overnights were in mountain tea houses with simple but nourishing meals, and each day we acclimatized a bit more adjusting to the altitude. The days were bright and sunny getting to below freezing at night and the higher we climbed the colder it got.
In high altitude climbing, the slower you go the more your body acclimatizes, and it is important to take any medications with you. The only way to get medical help is to trek back down into a valley or get airlifted out. The guides carry a limited supply with them.
We met people from all over the world, all with the same objective- to reach Everest Base Camp, which meant staying healthy along the trail. Any medications had to be carried with you, along with vast quantities of boiled water, which the villagers heated up in large kettles, powered by solar.
The scenery changed from lush valleys to aqua blue glaciers and then we were at Gorak Shep- the last lodge before Everest. The next morning we headed for two hours along the Khumbu Glacier, in biting wind and deep snow, and there it was ,a perfect mound of stones with prayer flags fluttering and the sign- Everest Base Camp 17,600 feet. A thrilling moment and a dream come true. The icing on the cake was the climb at 4.00am the following day to Kala Pattar at 18,514 feet,to see the sunrise over Everest.
A life changing experience and I loved every minute of it.