As it is said, “You can’t call it an adventure unless it’s tinged with danger” and Everest (8848 m), the highest peak of the world, has it own adventurous stories popular all over the world. Thus, it is obvious that the trek to view such heavenly beauty is definitely going to be challenging.
For those who love adventures, you can’t let EBC Trek out of your list. Everest Base Camp Trek is a rightful way to boast and achieve the lifetime experience. Not as technical as one might think, determination and basic fitness level are the basic requirements for this journey. Further, if you get proper training, the trek would not be as difficult as you think.
But everything could not be guaranteed as it is the altitude that matters most. After all, the trek from the altitude of 3000m (Lukla) to 5364 m (Kala Patthar) is not a joke. So, to trek to the most difficult path in the world you better know about its challenges, take required precautions and have safe & enjoyable trek.
The major difficulties that you can face during the Everest base camp trek can be as follows:
1. Altitude of the Everest Base Camp
Among other difficulties, altitude is the most challenging. If you can handle the problem of altitude, others would not bother you at all. With 14-15km of walking on average at such altitude on such steep and snowy land, one needs to suffer.
Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a serious condition that cannot be ignored. It can affect the mental and physical functioning of everyone irrespective of age, gender and fitness. Altitude Sickness can be characterized by dizziness, frequent palpitations and severe headache.
If these symptoms are seen then you must immediately return to lower altitude. Consequences can be fatal if taken lightly. So, don’t give much pressure to your body, make yourself comfortable and relaxed.
Medical check-ups before going are advisable. In the case of emergency, helicopter rescue (on self-payment) is available.
Here, the density of air is very less. About 50% of oxygen is reduced when you reach the height of Kala Patthar. Due to this shortness of breath and high altitude cough are common.
Thus, acclimatization at the critical points like Namche, should be done as much as possible. Generally, 3 days is suggested for acclimatization.
So, the key to the high altitude trekking is to know your company’s itinerary well, maintain a slow pace and acclimate as much as you could.
2. The Length of Everest Base Camp Trek
Every paths and trail of EBC Trek are legendary as all the mountain legends including Tenzing and Hillary has followed them. After landing Lukla to reach EBC you will need to trek for about 65 km (130 km round-trip).
Though it doesn’t sound like a long distance but it is completely steep, rocky and snowy & icy terrain with paths unpaved.
Even if your heavy bags are carried by porters, the journey is slow-going. Out of 14 days package trek, you will be walking 15km a day for 9 days.
It is necessary to understand the complexity of this trek. So, be prepared mentally and physically. Make sure during the ups and downs at such altitude you have to walk slow and rest often to prevent from over tiredness and fatigue.
3. Weather and Temperature:
It is very well known fact that the weather at Everest region is unpredictable and the temperature is extreme. Temperature completely depends on the regular seasonal pattern.
The temperature majorly depends upon weather, altitude and season. Sometimes it can get more than -17 degrees C at night along with heavy snowfall and high chilling winds.
Chilling evenings with the temperature less than zero degree is common.
Even in a day, the sunlight can be scorching due to direct rays. Thus, a suntan is common here.
So, you have to be precautious to the temperature; pack technically, dress warmly and drink as much as water.
With an increase in altitude, the price of every goods increase. And as this point is at the highest altitude of the world, the prices are remarkably high. The cost of food and accommodation gets tripled or more.
Sometimes ATM at Lukla also might not work. So, it is always the idea to carry extra money in case if you want to buy other stuff.
5. Fitness and training:
At EBC you will be walking one the most tiring and strenuous trek ever. It becomes necessary to become mentally as well as physically fit.
But as the trails are not as technical as one might think, it is not the impossible one. Basic training before trekking, probably 4-5 weeks, can handle the condition well.
We recommend all the trekkers to have a training scheme ahead. It may include long walks (carrying heavy loads), strength training at the gym (focusing your legs) and aerobic exercises like jogging, swimming etc to build both physical and mental endurance.
Proper fitness is crucial so that you can handle every odds on your way.
Thus, these are the difficulties that you can find on the way to EBC Trek. It is definitely an exhausting journey to experience that you have never before.
Know the difficulties well, be prepared carefully for every worst that might happen.
Get ready to ride the new adventure of your life at EBC because it is worth facing these obstacles.