I was watching an episode of Ben and Holly this morning, as you do as a mother of a toddler, when Ben, Holly, Nanny Plum, Mr. Elf and a few others got stuck at the top of a mountain. A few minutes later Mr. Elf proclaimed they were at the top of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. This made me a smile a little.
Since I was about 12 years old I’ve had an unexplainable obsession with Mt. Everest. I’ve read several books, done quite a bit of research and in 2007 my friend B and I went trekking to see her (Mt. Everest that is)!! I wish we’d done Base Camp but given that we were 2 girls on our own, we decided to go as far as Tengaboche (where you can find the world’s highest Monastery). To say it took my breath away is an understatement. The Himalayas have such a magnificent spiritual energy about them.
As we were both already in India, we flew to Kathmandu via Delhi. On the 25th of February 2007, we headed to the local airport to fly to Lukla where we’d begin our 6 day trek. We arrived at the airport just before 7am and this is an excerpt from my diary at 12:40pm.
“We’re still at Kathmandu airport, I’m cold and hungry – my butt is numb and cold – I’m hungry, frustrated and tired. We’ve been here for 6 hours now. All other flights to Lukla have been cancelled. Sita Airways hasn’t yet but I wish they’d tel us either way so we can do something with our day. They took us out to the aeroplane at 10:30 but brought us back to the terminal 20 minutes later. There are loud announcements every 5 minutes of delays and cancellations so we can’t even fall asleep. Sushil (our guide) recommends trekking in Pokhara if we can’t get to Lukla. I don’t want to go to f***ing Pokhara, I came here to see Everest!”
It’s quite common for flights to be cancelled or delayed due to the fog and I guess with Lukla being the world’s most dangerous airport (in terms of landing) and flying on such small aircrafts, they have to be cautious.
We finally left Kathmandu for the mountains on the 26th of February. We trekked from Lukla to Phakding along the Doodh Koshi (meaning milk river due to it’s white colour), up on to Namche Bazaar where we stayed to acclimatise for 2 nights.
“Coming here is like a dream come true, it’s not something I ever imagined I’d do – just one of those things I always thought I’d talk about. I feel great, I’m tired but I feel alive – like I’ve pushed myself further than I’ve been before and it feels surprisingly wonderful.”
On the 1st of March we ascended to Tengaboche which lies on a ridge, 3868 metres above sea level.
Day 1 – Lukla – Phakding 6km
Day 2 Phakding – Namche Bazaar 12km
Day 3 (Acclimatising) Namche Bazaar – Sangaboche – Khumjung – Namche Bazaar 7km
Day 4 Namche Bazaar – Tengaboche 11km
Day 5 Tengaboche – Namche Bazaar 11km
Day 6 Namche Bazaar – Lukla 18km
Highest Altitude – 3868 metres
Total Kilometres – approx. 65km.
We got back to Kathmandu on the 4th of March 2007. Do I regret not going to Base Camp? Yes! Will I attempt it again? I’d like to think so but with a 3 year old, it’s certainly not happening in the near future. So until then I’m living vicariously through Triphackr. I swear I’m not jealous at all!
If you fancy indulging in your wild side, trekking the Himalayas is definitely something I’d recommend. You won’t regret it!