One of my favourite quotes from a Sherpa was "the Himalayas were around long before North Face" 😬 My least favourite thing about trekking is the elitism or one up trend. For me trekking isn't a competition and I just wanted to say I owned not one piece of North Face equipment and still smashed the EBC trek, was told by Sherpas I was part Sherpa and loved every minute in the Himalayas. Don't be put off if you can't afford North Face etc just get the best gear you can and cover off a good checklist no ones ever not enjoyed the trek because they didn't have a fancy bag or the newest technology gadget! If your trek is like mine you'll be surprised how little gear you actually use!
I am super busy with moving house but looking to get the rest of my pics up asap! Also planning a trip to the South Americas for a belter of a trek - even if it might be more challenging I'm buzzing to explore another far away mountain range 😁😁😁
Trek Diay - Day 13: We were up early for breakfast, me and Tess shared a yummy big pancake. Then it was time to leave Namche and head down to our last stop, Lukla. As we were leaving Namche we were joined by around 8 dogs, just happily running alongside us. The beginning of the trek was actually all downhill for once but before long it was ups and downs again. We traced the footsteps we had taken on the way up and the memories felt like months ago not 10 days ago. The trail was empty compared to on the way up but that was because there had been no flights to Lukla fir two days which meant to trekkers could get in. It was great to have the trail to our own but also made you worry a bit for our flights leaving the next morning. We made progress pretty quickily and were leaving Sagamartha National Park by 8:30am. As we were leaving two Dutch tourists decided they didn't need to check out which Lakpa quickily corrected them on. They were mega rude to Lakpa and said they had been trekking in the Himalayas for 30 years so didn't need to, things got a little heated. I couldn't believe people who obviously loved this region could be so disrespectul to a local Sherpa! We trekked for a good five hours without eating so everyone started getting pretty hungry. We stopped at one of the places we had eaten on the way in. I got veggie Momos of course❤ We were about 2 and a half hours from Lukla by this point but we actually managed to get to Lukla in 1 hour 20 mins. It was mainly steep upper hill but I think being so close helped us just get through it as quick as possible. It was good to be back at Lukla but also sad because it marked the end of our trekking. We checked into the hotel and Me and Tess' room had an en suite for the time in the Himalayas. There was a meal to celebrate and allow us to tip our guides and porters. Honestly the porters are incredible they carry up to 45kg a day and always try to get to the next stop before you so you have your bag. The night was spent drinking JD in an awfully busy and fun Irish bar and getting locked out the hotel haha. 4am start tomorrow 😱
Trek Diary - Day 11: Breakfast was chapatti but it was so plain that most of covered it in honey for taste. We left Pheriche about 8:30ish and begun the "downwards" trek to Phorste. Just as we were leaving a helicopter flew down the valley and right over our heads, it was pretty cool. There was a steepish incline to start with which rewarded us with incredible views - as always. We then started the gradual trek to upper Pangboche. This part of the trek was quite easy. The only real challenge was the wild Yaks who were obstructing the path but me and Tess just waited for Omes to deal with them! We had lunch at a lovely tea house in Pangboche and sat out in the sun for a bit. We then continued our trek along to Phorste. This part of the trek was more challenging but still great fun. Everytime we lost some height we were faced with a set of steep stone stairs to gain it again. Easily 10-12 times up and down. It started getting a little tedious and then Phorste appeared as if from nowhere. We are staying at a Sherpas tea house who has summited Everest 22 times and was one of the hereo Sherpas from the movie Everest. The tea house is lovely and the food delcious. Also as a group we collectively rated the toilet a 5 and I got an amazing hot shower! This is such a nice relief after the conditions at higher altitude. Tomorrows trek starts step but then is pretty gradual - apparently. Atleast its only 5 hours 😊. Back to Namche for a bit of shopping and the first night of celebrations 💃 #himalayas#nepal#sagarmatha#sagarmathanationalpark#trekking#ebctrek#everestbasecamptrek#everestbasecamp#ebc#everest#mountains#namche#tengboche#dingboche#khumbavalley#amadablam#lhotse#experience#love#happy#inmyelement#happyplace#adventures#solucky#bucketlist#ellengoestoeverest
Trek Diary - Day 10: We woke up at 4am ready to tackle Kala Patar but weather was not on our side. Dawa decided straight away it was a no go. The cloud was low and it soon began snowing, there would've been no views and it would've been dangerous. We were informed at breakfast that all who did try made it less than half way. So after breakfast we headed down towards Pheriche, which marked the beginning of our descent. The trek path was the same we had travelled before but felt a lot riskier due to the snow, fog and wet rocks. We managed to make it down to Thukla for about 11 where we had a little tea break. After a quick stop we continued down to Pheriche. Although I thought altitude never really affected me I really started to feel like I was flying down with the extra oxygen. Also my appetite was back. I couldn't eat the day before without feeling like I was force feeding myself but today food was actually enjoyable. We made it to our destination in great time. This meant a free afternoon and evening which we spent chatting, laughing and exploring Pheriche. We had dinner in the teahouse and got our briefing for the next day, a pretty easy 5 hour trek day. Dawa also told us we were the fastest group to and from Base Camp to Gorak Shep he had ever lead 🙆🏻 not that its a race 😋 What I love most about this group is a mix of ages, backgrounds and personalities. Also these guys are so intelligent and well travelled I'm learning loads! I highly recommend KE if you aren't looking fot a large group of people all aged the same. Anyway Phorste tomorrow 😊#himalayas#nepal#sagarmatha#sagarmathanationalpark#trekking#ebctrek#everestbasecamptrek#everestbasecamp#ebc#everest#mountains#namche#tengboche#dingboche#khumbavalley#amadablam#lhotse#experience#love#happy#inmyelement#happyplace#adventures#solucky#bucketlist#ellengoestoeverest
Trek Diary - Day 9: I was woken by the sound of a women being violently sick, followed by a man also throwing up. Last night 6 people from another group were sent back down with altitude sickness. It really hit home how dangerous it can be and made me count my blessing that thus far I had been fine! It was an early 6am breafast in prep for 6:30am trek start. The morning was cold until the sun came up and started to thaw us out a little. We trekked along a valley with amazings of Nuptse and some of the sacred mountains. Once again we were so lucky with the weather. The trail changed to pretty rocky but I didn't mind as I love a bit of rock climbing. Yaks were plenty today and as usual everyone moved swiftly out their way when they heard the bells. The paths became a little more dangerous and me and Tess got stuck at the top of a jam. Their was only enough room for single file but people were impatient and a rock fall almost caused some serious injury. We arrived at Gorak Shep (5140m) and had some lunch - at 10am as we had made such good time🤣 Base Camp was only 2-2 and a half hours away now! After lunch we headed off, anxious to get to the destination. The path to Base Camp walked alongside the Khumbu Glacier and you could see the Khumbu Ice Fall (first steps on the Everest summiting expedition and looks terrifying!) for a good part of the walk. It was a rocky ridge along to the descent down to BC and I was truly in my element with the big mountains surrounding me. We had to scrambled down (again so much fun) and then actually walk along the glacier to get to base camp. It is just a big desolite glacier with no expeditions because of the time of year but none the less beautuful and very inspirational. After all this training, hard work, saving and all the support I finally made it! A pretty emotional moment for me and all the group ❤ We spent an hour taking pictures, having tea, I made my own special monument and just reflecting on the journey. I am feeling so thankful as it has been more than I could've ever imagined and one that isn't over yet! Kala Patar for hopefully some more views of Everest tomorrow - even though we've already been spoiled 😝
Trek Diary - Day 8: Thukla teahouse was not my favourite. The toilets were unbearable and the lights didn't work - meaning I had to sprint to the toilet in the middle of the night. Not good at high altitude 😂 Despite that the people were friendly, beds comfy and food palletable. We took a leisurely hike for Thukla to Lebouche and walked down another incredable valley which opened up to views of massive mountains that took my breath away. We also got to see the memorial of those who have lost their lives on Everest. Sooo many cairns and stone momuments it was pretty sobering. We saw a lot of Sherpa peoples monuments and also the famous Rob Hall and Scott Fischer ones (From the 1996 Everest tradegy made in to the film Everest). It was a really emotional feeling place seeing all those monuments of people who had lost their lives following there dreams. We arrived in Lebouche (4910m) after a couple hours of trekking. After lunch we trekked up to a research centre which took us just over the 5000m mark - luckily I'm still feeling good. The altitude is definitely taking it toll on people but we are all soldiering on! We managed to find some real coffee and a Nepali version of carrot cake at the "worlds highest bakery" which was a nice treat. After Dinner we had our briefing for EBC Day, one of two 7-9 hour trekking days we are about to tackle. Its a super early start tomorrow to try get to Base Camp in good weather. So heres hoping I can finally do this! #himalayas#nepal#sagarmatha#sagarmathanationalpark#trekking#ebctrek#everestbasecamptrek#everestbasecamp#ebc#everest#mountains#namche#tengboche#dingboche#khumbavalley#amadablam#lhotse#experience#love#happy#inmyelement#happyplace#adventures#solucky#bucketlist#ellengoestoeverest
Trek Diary - Day 6: Another aclimitisation day in Dingboche but instead of doing the shorter hike that was on the intinery Dawa decided we should hike higher. So it was a steep climb up to 4910m which is the same elevation as Lebouche where we will be staying in two nights. He decided this because he is happy with the teams progress and thought the extra elevation would help us. It was a fantastic walk up with some amazing views and still my legs seem to be holding out with no real pain! The higher we got you could feel the oxygen levels drop but I was still able to keep up my usual pace. It was super dusty today and you really start to feel covered in it. Me and Tess reached a big stone and waited for group - luckily because we had reached our desired altitude. The group spent 15 minutes drinking tea and biscuits while aclimitising before a little celebratory we can still breath dance. Honestly I was so worried about the altitude but so far I'm feeling great. We headed back down and I chose to scale the grassy side of the mountain as I hate sand paths which meant I was able to get down quite quick. I had to join the sand path for the last 30 minutes and it was sooo annoying! Anyway everyone made it off safely and apart from the odd thing everyone seemed okay. Back at the teahouse I discovered someone had stole my leggings 😐 So it was time for an old fashion basin wash of my other dirty ones and some underwear as times were getting desperate haha. The Sherpas seemed to get a good laugh at us trying to clean our clothes their way😂 Lunch was Dal Bhat but its hard to eat up here sometimes even though you are burning so many calories. Gordons smart watch said 5200 two days ago and 4000 yesterday😱 We headed down to the bakery for some real coffee. We were surrounded by a heard of angry sounding Yaks when we tried to leave and had to wait a while for the hearder to come to avoid getting trampled. Dinner was veggie lasanga with a massive plate of boiled carrots (much to Dawa, Lakpa and Omes's amusement) but for some reason I am still able to wolf down vegetables when most food seems unappealing due to the altitude. Off to Dugla tomorrow 😊
Trek Diary - Day 5: Last night was rough! No one warns your about the vivid dreams and last nights were so real it was scary. I sufficated almost to death in three dreams last night. So real I woke up and grasping my chest each time to make sure I was still breathing. Also we had a lovely big rat (decided by the group) running around the roof making a right racket. First thing we visit a monestray in Tengboche and watched the monks do their morning ceremony. It was fascinating to see. After breakfast we headed out on the days trek along amazing valleys. We walked under the giant which is Ama Dablam (6856m but not classed as a mountain here because everything is so bloody massive) and had amazing views all day again. Literally spoiled for views of Everest and the surrounding mountains. We stopped for Lunch at Shomore and we had officially reached the over 4000m mark. We then begun trekking again and headed off through the khumba valley. The landscape changed drastically from greens to an almost desolite planet-esque look. You really start to get the feel that you are miles away from normality. So secluded and isolated it is a strange feeling but a good one. I love being in the wild and I am truly in my element in these mountains. We've made it to Dingboche 4350m and still feeling pretty strong 💪 You can feel the thiness of the air creeping in now. Tonight we are going to explore Dingboche, have dinner with the group (who are amazing and so much fun) and then get some rest. Really hoping my body keeps adjusting to the challenges the way it has. Breathing is difficult at times but otherwise its okay. This trip is going too fast😫 Base Camp is almost real now! 😱
Trek Diary - Day 4: Today we left Namche and I was a little sad to wave goodbye to the cool village but we'll be back on the way down. We visited the Sherpa Musuem. We were able to get a real insight in to Sherpa life. There was also a section dedicated to all the Serpas who have summited Everest - these incredibly fit, strong and patient guys really do not get enough recognition for all of the international expeditions they've lead. I am loving getting to learn from Dawa, Lakpa (who has summited) and Osmes about their fasciniting culture. We then trekked along a path with beautiful views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam the whole way. You seriously need to pinch yourself to believe you are actually here. We stopped at Dawas parents house for lunch and it was the tasiest pasta. We also got to experience a pretty intense squat toilet - enough said 🤣 We spoke a little with Dawa's father who was gentle, kind and extremely interesting. He worked for 30 years as a guide in the Himalayas. We then begun the ascent back up and for 2+ hours and it was pretty steep. My hill training has helped massively and I've yet to find the inclines difficult - I know it will come so for know I am just enjoying it. We made it to Tengboche with a steep last climb which me, Tess and Osmes raced - he cheated🙄. We are at around 3800+m now and apart from the odd need to catch my breath and still bunged up nose I feel pretty good. Me, Tess, Gordon, Elfred and Mark explored Tengboche after tea and biscuits. There isn't much here but the clouds cleared for a quick for Everests peak again - still just as cool!! Tomorrow we have an amazing day ahead of and are heading up to over the 4000m mark 😬 We can do this 💪
*Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam from our window. #himalayas#nepal#sagarmatha#sagarmathanationalpark#trekking#ebctrek#everestbasecamptrek#everestbasecamp#ebc#everest#mountains#namche#tengboche#experience#love#happy#inmyelement#happyplace#adventures#solucky#bucketlist#ellengoestoeverest
Trek Diary - Day 3: There it is, the highest point of planet Earth. Today was unbelievable like literally so surreal that even as I lived it felt fake. I could've easily convinced myself the scenery was green screened! Just wait for my camera puctures 😍 We trekked up to 3880m to get an amazing view of Everests summit. The group were all fantastic and we soldiered on taking breaks to allow our bodies to adjust to the altitude. Dawa and Lakpa told us stories aboyt the mountains and history. We then trekked down to Khumjung which is their home town. I had a delicious Dal Bhat for lunch 🍽 Dal Bhat is a nepalese special and the Sherpas eat it everyday! We then walked back over to the landing strip and down to Namche. Around 6 hours trekking in total - on our "rest" day as well 😋 We finally got to meet the last two of our group who turned out to be a lovely Scottish Sister and Brother 😊 The rest of the afternoon was spending chilling with Tess, finding coke Zero and snacking 🤗 Dinner was all together and as usual a good chance to have a good laugh. Tomorrow we leave Namche and Lakpa has forbeyed us from pubs until we have our big party in Lukla at the end as its just going to get harder now!
Trek Diary - Day 2: It poured through the night and I had vivid dreams (something that the altitude brings on) but waking up to the view down the valley was pretty special. We were up and packed by 6:45 for breakfast and out by 8ish. Todays trek took us up and down stairs, over bridges and through little villages. I've fallen in love with the dogs of the himalayas - so fluffy and timid. Also the children, they are sturdy and have the biggest cheesy smiles. We finally entered Sagarmatha national park and from the first view I was blown away! Undoubtedly the most beautiful place I've ever been. We stopped for lunch next to the river and I ordered pasta, it was an absolutely disgusting big bowl of tasteless stodge but the people were lovely and there was plenty of tea to keep me going. We kept walking, saw the famous two suspension bridges, talked to people from all over the world and enjoyed the experience. Dawa took me and Tess up a short cut, a very steep one and my hike mode kicked in which saw we marching up at a fast pace. It wasn't long until my body told me no and as soon I slowed back down I felt good again. We arrived at Namche. Some people say this is a tough day, I think because of the views and group it felt absolutely fine. Namche is around 3200m and again apart from the bunged up nose I seem to be suffering for no altitude sickness symptoms so touch wood! Also my body doesn't feel tired or worn down yet. Momos and boiled veg (Dawa knows how much I love my veg and has managed to get me fresh veg everywhere😍) for dinner followed by another briefing. Tomorrow is an aclimisation day which includes a trip to Everest view point, a monestray visit, visiting Dawas home town and meeting his daughter and then a walk through a forrest - so around 4 hours hiking. After briefing me, Tess and Mark went to the "worlds highest irish bar" for one beer and Dawa and Oi turned up, who then persaued us to go to another bar haha. It wasn't a late night as we were a little tired but still a great laugh and something I wasn't expecting! *The picture is the first view you see as you walk in to Sagarmatha National Park. I'll post a small album from each day once I am back.