When it comes to high altitude treks, the hike up to Everest Base Camp is amongst the most popular, and for good reason. It combines fantastic views of the Himalaya with cultural immersion in Nepal’s remote Khumbu Valley, along with a healthy dose of physical challenges.
If you’ve ever wondered what such a trek would be like, than look no further than this story from the Australian newspaper The Age. In the article, travel writer Carol Nader makes the journey and returns to tell the tale of long days hiking Himalayan trails and nights in Nepali villages and sleeping in tea houses.
All told, the trek takes eight days up to base camp, which sits at 17,585 feet, and another four back down. Arrival at BC was a bit anti-climactic in Carol’s case however, as the rocky and nondescript campsite offered little in the way of fanfare. On top of that, heavy snow clouds hung low over the mountains, blocking the the summit of Everest, and the surrounding peaks, from sight. But the clouds parted, the sun shone, and the snow capped mountains came into view at last, and the entire journey all seemed worthwhile.
Clearly, the trek isn’t for everyone. It is challenging and difficult and the altitude can humble even the most fit. On top of that, there are no showers in sight, and the overnight accommodations are far from luxurious. But there is a strong sense of accomplishment upon reaching your destination and, as the author discovered, a serene sense of peace at escaping the hectic pace of modern life. How far would you walk to achieve that?