Trekking day 8, 15th of October.
Started a bit earlier today because we had a long day trekking in front of us. Left Lobuche (4940m) around 7:30 with our next destination being Gorak Shep (5164m) for lunch. We unfortunately had to say goodbye to one of our travel mates who felt too sick and weak for the upcoming two days at higher altitude and long day treks. We also miss another mate who due to illness did not make it to Lobuche yesterday. One of the local guides is taking good care of him and is close to a high-altitude hospital and helicopter landing pad if the situation worsens. We are all insured in case of unexpected situations and illness so we quickly can come to a hospital in Kathmandu by helicopter.
The lodge in Gorak Shep is the most primitive we have been at throughout the track. No sinks or regular toilets, and the rooms are humid, and some do not even have a window. The ‘surprise’ and looking forward to lunch is also not present anymore, where we have tried almost all on the menu cards, which is almost identical for all lodges. Everything starts tasting the same, and we do not choose meat to reduce stomach risks.
After lunch, we start the last part of our trek to the Everest Base Camp! The path is with many rocks, where you several places need to keep balance. There are also many other trekkers on this path, so we line up in queue several places – reminded of the photos from this year’s summits of Everest, where people are also in line at the very peak.
We follow along the Khumbu glacier, where we walk on top of a rift. There are no risks and the soil is also not slippery from the underlaying glacier. We have spectacular sights to the mountains, and we also get good sights of Everest and the famous Khumbu icefall, which climbers have to pass for getting to Camp1. Below us, we start to see small people in the distance and the base camp – knowing that we soon also have reached our destination.
The base camp has only few tents, and some large boulders with “Everest Base Camp 5364m” written and praying flags flickering in the wind. A lot of people cheering and want to have photos taken with this unparallel background. Some of us go closer to the Khumbu glacier to touch the ice and see the clear water from the melting ice. It’s slippery below the soil, so care needs to be taken – and also to ensure not getting wet boots.
We all line up in front of the largest boulder and make sure we also get a memory of this spectacular place, and reminder of the many good trekking days which went in front. For my fortieth birthday, I asked for a drawing by Jens and Ellen (children dearest to me), which I could bring to this destination, and keep in my backpack throughout the journey – giving extra energy on the toughest ascents. Happy to be able to honor with a photo and thrilled to have reached my goal for this trek!
The trek back to the lodge in Gorak Shep is much easier on top of this achievement!