Everest Base Camp Trek: April 23rd
After a 4:30 a.m. wakeup call we all met in the lobby of our superior hotel, the Yak and Yeti. They packed up a boxed breakfast for us and had gourmet coffee waiting for us to shake off the sleep dust. We quickly organized our gear into bags going to the mountain and bags staying in the secure room of the hotel that we don’t need for the trek. We then jumped into 2 vans and headed for the airport.
Because our group numbers 21 we couldn’t fit in one twin otter plane so flew out on the first 2 flights a short time later for 40 minutes to the town of Lukla. Everything went smoothly with no turbulence and we were afforded some spectacular views of the rising mountains, which are merely bumps compared to what we hope to see as we trek up high in the coming days.
Upon landing we drank tea, water, and organized our daypacks for the trek. We also had a chance to meet our awesome local trekking staff, porters, cook, mealtime servers, and sirdar. With our total number now over 40 we are our own mobile village.
Our entourage complete, we began our trek to our destination of the day-Phakding. The pace was moderate, as the group wound its way through verdant forests and across suspension bridges. The bridges are a bit bouncy and crisscross over the Dudh Khosi (“Milk River)”, which flows directly off the glaciers of Everest.
2 hours after leaving Lukla we stopped for lunch where our head cook Dunbar prepared us a delicious meal of grilled cheese sandwiches, fries, salad, and fruit. Many members thought we were going to be eating dal bhat the whole trip and were pleasantly surprised that Mountain Madness is in fact staffed by foodies.
Another hour of trekking and we reached our destination to the beautiful village of Phakding, overlooking the river. Expecting more of a hostel like teahouse, the group was surprised we were staying in rooms with beds that had clean sheets, pillows, showers, and flush toilets.
After resting in the afternoon, we had tea at 4:00 p.m. with our trekking staff and played games, joked, laughed and got to know each other more without the effects of jetlag.
At 6:00 p.m. Deana went over how we will be conducting the medical checks for the group each night during the trip, talked about AMS, and how to stay healthy each day. Then we took each members O2 levels as a baseline for the coming weeks and got ready for another delicious meal prepared by our cook consisting of a delicious brothy soup, fresh vegetables and potatoes, lentils, a fabulous fresh salad, roasted chicken, and peaches and cream for dessert.
By then, we were all knackered and headed to bed. Everyone is healthy, happy, and excited for the next leg of our adventure. Tomorrow we ascend 2700 feet to the village of Namche Bazaar. Thanks for following along.