CAREFULLY read your insurance policy fine print, take the first flight to Lukla (weather), go really slow for the first 3 days (avoid AMS) UNDERSTAND the rule: trek high - sleep low be vegetarian, eat garlic soup + dal-bhat daily, hydrate often -enjoy
Throughout September 2014 the monsoon lingered, resulting in very limited visibility.
We took the FIRST morning flight into Lukla which turned out to be the ONLY flight that day.
Constantly trekking through low cloud, fog and rain were offset by the occasional mountain GLIMPSES.
At Gorak Shep we met people trecking back to KTM, having waited 6 days for the cloud to clear. The following day there was about 86% clear skies with the most amazing vista.
Sunrise at Kala Patthar was simply ( literally) breathtaking but about 16 minutes later high winds, snow flurries with threatening black storm clouds had us scurring down the infamous ‘Black Rock’ to safety.
Combining sunrise @ Kala Patthar with the sameday trek to Dujhla (Dzongla) was exceptionally demanding.
Trekking solo I was fortunate to hook up with a tour for the indestinct section over the lateral moraine towards the Pass. Even the experienced guide had some difficulty ( due to landslides) determining the best entry point onto the glacier to reach the Chola Pass.
The tour initially consisted of 20+ people who were National representatives in netball, soccer and rugby. Due to a delayed flight and a missed acclimitization day ( due to a fixed itiniary and pre booked accommodation ) some people needed to backtrack lower and of those who pushed on several people constantly felt unwell and lathargic. It was not uncommon for the group to be several hundreds of meters apart.
In March 2016 the weather, views and trekking was totally awsome. I’d recommend March as there is little traffic, tea houses always have room and daytime we mostly trekked in wonderful sunshine in a long sleve shirt. At times we also wore 4+ layers and needed out -20oC sleeping bags and 2 blankets some nights.
I’m back on March 1st 2017 for EBC and hopefully to complete all 3 passes – if weather, health and time allow.
Happy to share my limited experiences and answer any questions you might have.
Prepare well, start slow (esp day 1-3) enjoy and trek safe.
- Backpack, Down Jacket, Headlamp, Hiking Boots, Hiking Poles, Sleeping Bag, Sunglasses
For me trekking poles are now a must have - great for balance and helps prevent leg fatigue and ankle sprains - also for yak protection lmao
For some gr8 ideas check out: The Ultimate Guide to Walking the Everest Base Camp Trek Independently
Rented sleeping bags can be heavy, bulky and even skanky- beware lol
Air fare app $300 -
During early March teahouses - except Lukla ($3) were free provided we ate dinner and breakfast at the tea house (approx each $10-$14/day)
( just ask them What's the deal is we eat our meals here? and look at the room / beds / blankets / common room fireplace )
Teahouse blankets are usually washed in summer - so especially in Spring, a sheet bag or better still your sleeping bag is advisable - also a t-shirt as a pillow case
Lunch $4 +$2 for a snickers bar.
You might be surprised how much food and water you need to stay fit and healthy at altitude - don't skimp on either
( use water tablets+ natural water - buying bottled water can be expensive and empty bottles pollute the trail )
Buy EVERYTHING you need in KTM as Namche by comparison can be very expensive.
Bring more cash than you think you need - don't count on the ATM in Namche working (cash exchange available $US, $AU, $NZ, Euro but rate is lower)