Everest Base Camp September 3rd – 20th 2017
This trip report was written by one of our guides Rhys Llyweln of his adventures on our Everest Base Camp Trip in September 2017.
To Call it a trip of a lifetime is an under statement
The thoughts and images that come into my head when Everest is mentioned are endless. The explorers that risked everything, the numerous expeditions to try and conquer it for the first time. The push for new routes, and trying to do one of the “Firsts” on the mountain. And where is the start point for these adventures? Everest Base Camp.
This trek was a trip of a lifetime for everyone on the trip. The level of anticipation was evident from the moment we met at the training weekend initially, but amplified by the time we met in the airport ready to fly out.
And so, the journey began, with the first adventure of the trip – the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, an experience not to be missed (a nice cosy plane, landing on the interesting runway of the Lukla Tenzing Hillary Airport). Then the walking began. The scenery in the first half of the walk into Base Camp is spectacular – if you managed to lift your head in-between trying to catch your breath while getting used to the altitude.
After a few days, we got into the swing of life on the trail. And everything just got more spectacular the higher we got as the views of the “BIG” mountains started to give us sore necks as we were constantly looking up in awe at the snow-covered peaks that had inspired us to do this trip.
Finally, after 7 days of walking we got to Gorakshep, the last settlement before our goal. And after refuelling off we went, and couldn’t wait to finally get to Base Camp. And before we knew it we were there. Emotions were now overflowing, have all these famous names – Tenzing, Hillary, Messner, Habeler, Scott, Haston and Bonington to name just a few – started from here? We had all made it to the place where all the Everest adventures begin from. Is that the Ice fall? Is that where the tents are? Is that the summit up there? We could stay here for a long time just taking in the atmosphere and taking countless photos (unfortunately no one had thought to bring an Irish flag – but it’s ok, there was a Welsh one), but the time came and we had to leave. Back to Gorakshep we went.
The adventure was not over. 4.30 AM the following day we were walking again. This time up to the summit of Kala Pattar for the sunrise -the best viewpoint to see Everest. It started promising with a clear night sky, we were optimistic that this was going to be a good one, but before we knew it, the clouds rolled in. Some other groups gave up hope of a clear view at this stage and turned back. But not us, we had come this far, we were going to the top. And WOW, are we glad we did. As the day broke, the clouds cleared to give us the most memorable view any of us had ever seen. And just as we thought we had seen it all, the sun came up and made an appearance directly over the Summit of Everest. We had the widest smiles that anyone had ever seen.
Is this the end of our expectations? Surely we are only walking back? How wrong could we be. Now that our bodies had got used to the altitude, we could lift our heads as we walked and take in all the magnificent views and the unique culture that was around us all the time. Over and over I said to myself “did we pass this on the way up? I don’t remember seeing it”
So, was this a trip of a lifetime? That would be an understatement. It was so much more.