Trekking to Everest Base Camp

It was over dinner at Wave Project staff training in November 2018 that I first learnt of the intentions to do a fundraising trek to Everest Base Camp, Nepal and shouted at Beth, our lovely Northern Ireland based organiser, telling her I was suuuper keen to be involved. Although my role as the coordinator at Wave Project Cymru allows me to spend lots of time in or near the sea, at home in Wales I am lucky to also have mountainous landscape within easy reach to trudge through trying to keep up with my spaniel. That being said, with the biggest mountain in Wales standing at just 1085m, the 5380m height of Base Camp made me consider how far up the trail my sheer excitement would realistically carry me.

We met for the first time as a group in Kathmandu, meeting only as circular Whats App photo heads during the trek build up with Beth brilliantly handling every little query and question we had. Lots of us experienced flight delays & cancellations; I was told I’d have to stay in Delhi for 5 days upon arriving there for a change of plane. Despite the frustration of last minute changes, this was all part of the adventure, and the whole team made it – we may not have without the amazing Beth on hand to help calm us and assist with solutions despite not being able to join the trek herself. Friendship was formed amongst the group within hours of meeting, for me I feel the extremely positive and happy experience I had attributed hugely to the group I shared it with. I laughed A LOT every day (not unusual for me but given the altitude and physical activity I hadn’t really expected the giggles).

We flew to Lukla, a tiny airport with a reputation, to begin our trek. The paths were well defined with ups and downs and big bridges. You share the trail with trekkers and long lines of horses, donkeys, dzo, cows and yaks (the porters who carry bags and supplies up the mountain are there but are super quick and are barely around long enough to contribute to a queue). Over the days we passed through different terrain, at lower levels greener with plenty of trees reminding us of home (different parts of the UK & Ireland for most of the group). We stopped for lunch at teahouses along the way each day, finishing by late afternoon at the teahouse we were to stay and eating dinner between 6 and 7 pm. We ate breakfast between 6-7.30am, with one or two early mornings on longer days.

The guides and porters took care of everything; we literally only had to decide what we wanted to eat prior to mealtimes, get dressed and put one foot in front of the other. Our porters would carry our bags to the teahouses ahead of us and our bag would be in our room waiting for our arrival. Our guides would serve us dinner and hot drinks at each mealtime and take care of requests and payments for WIFI, showers and additional snacks and drinks. We’d shower upon arriving at our evening teahouse (proper showering did stop for 6 days for me personally as the evenings got colder and the water wasn’t always hot) and we’d read or play cards in the communal room (Jono taught the game American 8 and it will forever remind me of the Himalayas, a number of times we all got a bit too excited and were asked not to shout). The walls of the rooms are like paper, you can hear every snore, breath and whisper and because there are two people per room it makes it feel like a sleepover.