We visit the Sagarmatha National Park Museum in Namche Baazar and the Edmund Hillary School in Khumjung, walk next to donkey and yak caravans on tight hiking trails, attend a Buddhist ceremony in Tengboche and even eat delicious cake in several locations above 4000m. The higher we reach, the more wonders we see, the more peaks unfold in front of our eyes… and the thinner the air gets. We start feeling the lack of oxygen as we approach 4500m. This usually manifests itself as headaches and shortage of breath, sometimes even nausea. Though, the impressive views of the tall inaccessible peaks motivate us to keep going. The peaks Ama Dablam (6812m), Nuptse (7861m), Lhotse (8516m), Mount Everest (8848m), Makalu (8485m) and uncountable others extend before us one after another as we get higher.
On the 8th day of our trek, we reach Everest Base Camp (5364m), the starting point for all expeditions on the Southern Face of Mt. Everest since its first ascent in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary. We spend this night at the highest accommodation point in the region, Gorak Shep (5165m). The next morning we wake up at 3:30 am and ascend the 400m between Gorak Shep and the peak Kala Patthar (5643m). The sun rises from behind Mt. Everest just as we reach the top and we admire this miracle of nature from the highest altitude of our expedition.
On the following days we cross the Cho La Pass – which is the most technically demanding part of the expedition, as we use crampons in order to cross a glacier and a pass at over 5400 meters – and we climb on Goyko Ri (5357m) to catch another sunrise. After a couple of days spent above 4000 meters we already feel more acclimatized at these altitudes and cease to get headaches or feel out of breath anymore. Now it’s time to start our descent, another four days-worth of hiking.