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The Big E

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    • My sister has done some amazing trips around the globe. Here is a picture she took out the window of a plane as she departed Nepal. Everest in all its glory.


      One of my bucket list hikes is the trek to Base Camp so I can see this sight with my own eyes. Risking death to climb it? Not so much.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Pinkham Notch NH.
    • Great Picture. I have been following the Nepal Travel Forum on Trip Advisor to plan a trek to the Everest area. Also waiting on a guidebook I bought on-line. However, I have a habit of planning trips years before I take them, if I ever do, so who knows when I might do it.

      It can be surprisingly affordable. Flights to KTM from my medium-sized hometown airport are cheaper than to Europe (~$800 last check). If you trek independently (no porter, no guide), your costs should only be about $30/day for food and lodging while on the trail. In the Everest area, you stay and eat at tea houses so there is no need to carry a tent, stove, or food. Thus your pack should be pretty light, except you will need a 4 season bag and clothes.

      If I were to do this, I would leave extra time for side trips in the area, in addition to EBC, which I gather is a bit of a super-highway of trekkers in the on-season. If you get of the main EBC trek route, I understand it is much more pleasant, and even more scenic. I would also want to do some trekking below the airport at Lukla. You can hike to Jiri where you can take a bus to KTM or to Phaplu (a bit closer) where you can get to KTM by bus or plane. I'm not even sure I would even bother with going to Base Camp as you can't really see Everest from there. Independent trekkers can go their own way without being tied to a group. This is definitely the way to go. You can still hire a guide and/or porter. Just do it on a per day basis. It will be cheaper and you can do what you want.

      The group treks are even dangerous as they often don't allow adequate time of altitude acclimation. There is even a scandal now about a scam being run by many guide companies that operate EBC group treks. They intentionally plan overly ambitious itineraries so that most if not all of their clients will get altitude sickness. Then they call in for emergency helicopter evacuations to hospitals in KTM (almost always unnecessary). The hospitals and helicopter companies overcharge the insurance companies and kickback a cut of the profits to the tour operators for generating their "business", which sadly was to put their clients' lives in danger for profit. Then there are unethical wealthy trekkers who hike of to EBC, then tell their guide they are sick and need to be evacuated, just because they don't want to bother with the trek back to Lukla.