Day 13: Finally, the Everest Base Camp !
The sky was amazing this morning! The clouds that had covered the village the day before had completely lifted and we could see snow-capped mountains all around us. We had no idea we were surrounded by such beauty. First up was a gentle walk up to Gorak Shep. On the way we passed glaciers and amazing blue-coloured lakes. We could hear the sound of the water running under the ice the whole day as we walked upwards past the glacier.
Originally we had planned to use the afternoon to rest (because breathing was getting hard) but the group voted to push on to base camp that afternoon.
Everest Base Camp Trek: The Climax! The journey up to base camp was by far the most difficult part of the trek for me. I had a splitting headache and I had to stop every three steps to catch my breath. Even taking gulps of water left me breathless and exhausted. The guide kept asking if I wanted turn back but I just couldn’t - I was determined to get to base camp. I trudged on, desperate to reach our destination. At times the walk was scary and dangerous with steep cliff edges, loose wet rocks, very narrow paths and ice everywhere! But, slowly and surely, I continued.
Along the way you could hear the eerie noises of the glacier and thunderous rock falls (that were quite common). The noise was loud and disconcerting but at the same time incredible! I caught up with Zoe (who for the record is an amazing photographer and a great addition to the group) and Pardeep. Zoe was so tired and had such an awful headache that she was completely disorientated. Pardeep had to hold her upright!
Eventually reaching Everest Base Camp was amazing but to be honest, at first a little anti-climatic because there was no visible summit. However, when the weather cleared the views were jaw-dropping. The glacier was amazing and most of the group went down to the floor to play around on the ice.
We couldn’t stay long, partly because it was freezing but also as it was so late; we had only an hour before sun-down. So we scrambled back.
It was much easier going back but still scary. The altitude had started to get to a number of the group and Hannah (our Irish leprechaun who studies Chemistry in Edinburgh) collapsed about two hundred metres from the tea-house, unable to go on. One of the porters instantly picked her up and carried her all the way back to the tea-house where she was greeted with chocolate and hot tea. I stayed with her by the fire, feeding and talking to her until she saw only one of me and not four.