Everest Conservation Area
In the Everest, the mountains are young yet amongst the highest, the call of the wild is cold yet tempting and the landscape harsh yet seducing. The trekking route is all about massive, rugged terrains, unbelievably beautiful sights and good-natured people. One of the wonders that Nepal offers is that it boasts of great diversity within the small area it occupies. The landscape in the Everest Base Camp Trek varies from deep, dark gorges, high-altitude lakes to gigantic mountains. The trek includes views and experiences of major peaks of the world including Mount Everest, Lhotse, Pumori, AmaDablam and Cho Oyu. Besides the mountains, the trek snakes through major tourist destinations like Namche Bazaar, Tengboche Monastery. One of the most popular treks in the everest region is “Base Camp Trek”.
Standing 8848m tall as the highest in the world, the peak is in no need of introduction. The trek’s namesake and its absolute destination, Mt. Everest lies in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. Its fame continues to allure people from all over the world despite its difficulty and danger. The mountain was first ascended by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary in 1953. Since then or before, Mt. Everest has been attracting climbers and trekkers alike. There are two climbing routes to the Mt. Everest- via Nepal and via Tibet. The southeast ridge or the Nepal route is mostly used because it is easier. This majestic structure is breathtakingly beautiful to look at and risky to pursue, hence, is an irresistible combination.
Mount Everest has been there for many decades but out of curiosity, you may ask yourself about who was the first person to climb Mount Everest?
Ama Dablam or “Mother’s Necklace” has its name from the long ridges that resemble the hands of a mother protecting a child and the hanging glacier that resembles the traditional necklace of Sherpa women. It is a popular expedition site and was first conquered in 1961 by Mike Gill, Barry Bishop, Mike Ward and Wally Romanes. It is 6812m high and is referred to as Matterhorn of the Himalayas.
Pumori or “Unmarried daughter” is often referred fondly as Everest’s daughter. Popular with climbers and trekkers alike, this mountain stands 7161m tall.
At 8201m height, this peak is the sixth highest peak in the world. It stands 20km away from the Everest and is the border between Nepal and China. Cho Oyu means “Turquoise Goddess” in Tibetan. It was first climbed by Herbert Tichy, Joseph Jöchler and Pasang Dawa Lama in 1954. Certain distance away is the Nangpa La pass which serves as the trade route between Tibetans and Khumbu Sherpas.
Places of interest
In Solukhumbu district lies this little village is the gateway to the Himalayas. It is the trade and tourism center of the region and has adequate facilities including food, lodging and internet facilities. It is also used by trekkers and climbers as acclimatization location.The village also offers great views of the Himalayas and is a good place to experience the local culture. The village gets its name ‘bazaar’ from the fact that it holds a market every week.
The alternate route to regular trekking, Gokyo Valley is 6 days from Namche Bazaar. The tour offers glacier and lake viewings, which makes it more attractive than the regular route. However, it is considered a more difficult trek. People going to the Everest Base Camp can join the route at Khumjung or Pangboche. It is also possible to combine the Gokyo trek and EBC trek via Cho La, which among many things, depends upon one’s fitness.
A few hours from GorakShep, Kala Patthar (: Black Stone) offers a spectacular view of the Everest and Khumbu Ice Fall and is usually the last destination for trekkers before the trip back to Lukla.
With AmaDablam and Everest as its backdrop, TengbocheGumba celebrates Mani Rimdu on the full moon of winter in Nepal.
Food & Accommodation
The Everest region is mostly occupied by the famed Sherpa folks whose economy in the area depends on trekking and mountaineering. Their language, food and culture reflect Tibetan influences. The people here are mostly Buddhists and very religious. Though the weather, as you climb higher up, could be bone chilling, the people’s attitude is mostly heart warming.
With growing commercialization, it is possible to find various kinds of western food and drinks. However, if you choose to retain the essence of the Himalayas in every part of you, especially the taste buds, you may go for the local diet.
The Everest Base Camp Trek route falls under the Sagarmatha National Park, also noted for exquisite plants and animals besides the world’s highest peaks. It is the home to, though one cannot promise the sight of, the snow leopard, red panda, musk deer, blood pheasant etc.
The best weather is found during October to May- the dry season. The first few months are the best because the weather is clear and warm. The next few months, as winter approaches, it gets bitter cold. Another few months with the onset of spring, the weather improves but due to the dryness, the views are somewhat compromised. The final month, it is hot and humid with monsoon around the corner but the advantage is that the trek routes are less crowded.
On the Everest Base Camp trek, one can expect great altitude gain or loss. The maximum elevation in the trek is 5545m. Acclimatization is important to not succumb to altitude sickness.
Airports / Helicopters (Rescue Service):
Ensure that your insurance covers rescue service which is usually a chartered flight or helicopter service. Remember that this too is only available until around 4000m height.
Porters / Guides:
It is possible to hire porters and guides and especially recommended if you have elderly people or children in your group. While guides know the trails in and out, it may be expected of the porter too, who is hired to carry the luggage. The guide should speak English and perhaps an additional language to your benefit, whereas the porter can normally manage some English. One should verify the authenticity of the guide or the porter and should be on the safer side by doing it through liable agencies.
Food and Lodges:
An organized trek will stop at different restaurants and lodges and it is not difficult for independent trekkers to find places to eat or lodge. However, one should be wary of the crowd during the peak season which may restrict the choices. On the Everest Base Camp Trek, one can find a place to eat or rest every two hours. While western food is mostly available, the local dal-bhat is not only delicious but also very fulfilling.