As a software engineer in Silicon Valley, I spend most of my days in front of a computer screen. After spending many years in the fast-paced tech industry, I wanted a break from the busy city life. I was lucky enough that I made some amazing friends during my time there. As I have mentioned in my earlier blogs, we traveled together to many parts of the world and created unforgettable memories. In 2019, just a few months before I returned to Nepal, we sat together and planned the adventure trip of our lives.
We were determined to put our foot on the base of the top of the world, the Everest Base Camp. It was a dream shared by all of us, and we were excited to take on the challenge. I came to Nepal few month earlier to spend some time with my family and prepare for the trip. We researched extensively, gathered our equipment, and prepared ourselves for the trek. We were ready to face the breathtaking landscapes, the unpredictable weather, and the altitude sickness that came with the territory.
Everything was going according to plan, then the CORONA Virus shook the world, the plan got scattered. Government sealed the boarders, and closed the EBC route. Our dream trek got postponed indefinitely. I stayed in Nepal with my family. Among all my brothers from different mothers, Amit Dai (Dai – दाई in Nepali refers to Big Brother) was determined to continue with the plan. It was June of 2023, and the covid was normal, One day he called me, and said “Sagar, Let’s go to EBC”. I said, why not, and asked other friends who were in the plan earlier. None of them could make it this time, so it was just Amit Dai and me.
We were determined to put our foot on the base of the top of the world, the Everest Base Camp. It was a dream shared by all of us, and we were excited to take on the challenge. I can to Nepal few month earlier to spend some time with my family and prepare for the trip. We researched extensively, gathered our equipment, and prepared ourselves for the trek. We were ready to face the breathtaking landscapes, the unpredictable weather, and the altitude sickness that came with the territory.
Everything was going according to plan, then the CORONA Virus shook the world, the plan got scattered. Government sealed the boarders, and closed the EBC route. Our dream trek got postponed indefinitely. I stayed in Nepal with my family. Among all my brothers from different mothers, Amit Dai (Dai – दाई in Nepali refers to Big Brother) was determined to continue with the plan. It was June of 2023, and the covid was normal, One day he called me, and said “Sagar, Let’s go to EBC”. I said, why not, and asked other friends who were in the plan earlier. None of them could make it this time, so it was just Amit Dai and me. Since I was in Nepal, I was responsible for the arrangements of hotels, potters, permits, photography and videography to document the epic trip (at least for two of us). Amit dai brought all the necessary equipment including medical, energy bar, energy drinks, clothings, goggles and so many things. He was well-prepared for every scenario that could happen.
I flew from Pokhara, my home town and Amit dai Landed in Kathmandu with his wife, Pratima Bhauju. We did some leftover shoppings in Thamel. Amit dai bought an expensive KTM 0 degree Jacket at the cost of Nrs 28,000/ and I bought a Made in Nepal Jacket for Nrs 10,000.
With the Yeti Air Pilot before out Lukla flight
Our journey began in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, where Amit Dai and I met. We were lucky because Amit dai’s brother, Samarpan who is also a Pilot, arranged our direct flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, if not we had to drive all the way to Ramechap. We were flying to the most dangerous airpot in the world and that was on the base of the world highest mountain. The weather can be changing every minute. This time the weather was not in our favour, we stayed in Kathmandu for 3 days just waiting for the Lukla Airport to be re-opened.
Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla Our first day of the trip was filled with drama as we waited for our flight to Lukla. Finally, in the late afternoon, we got the call from our friend in the airport and he said “Come to the TIA airport in 45 Minutes“. As we were all prepared for sudden call from him. We rushed to the airport and boarded our plane and headed to Lukla. The flight was a bit bumpy, but we were thrilled to finally be on our way to Everest Base Camp. We had both eyes open as we were heading toward the worlds most dangerous Airport. I was pretty much excited to capture the thrilled ride, but i can see fear and anxiety in Amit Dai, as his trust level on the plane & weather was pretty low.
We safely landed at Tenjing Hilary Airport.
Upon arrival in Lukla, we met our guide and settled into our accommodations for the night. The small town was bustling with trekkers and locals, and we enjoyed the lively atmosphere. We spent the evening preparing for our trek and getting to know our fellow travelers.
Despite the delay and drama, we were excited to begin our trek the next day and explore the stunning Himalayan region.
Day 2: Lukla to Manjo – After landing in Lukla, we started our trek by walking to Phakding. The trail was well-maintained, and we got our first glimpse of the beautiful Himalayas. The first day was relatively easy, and we reached Phakding in just a few hours.
Day 3: Manjo to Namche Bazaar – The second day was much more challenging, as we had to climb steep inclines and cross suspension bridges. We were rewarded with stunning views of the Himalayas, and we finally reached Namche Bazaar, a bustling town known as the gateway to Everest.
Day 4: Rest Day in Namche Bazaar – We spent a day in Namche Bazaar to acclimatize to the high altitude. We explored the town and visited the local market, where we bought souvenirs and interacted with the friendly locals. Despite the stunning views and enjoyable activities in Namche Bazaar, I found it hard to sleep on the night of day 4. I was having an extreme headache. Amit dai was have more difficulties adjusting to the height. The air was much thinner and he could feel the altitude affecting his breathing. We woke up several times during the night and checked our oxygen level.
The next morning, we woke up feeling a bit tired and groggy from the lack of sleep. However, I was determined to continue on the trek and push through the discomfort. We had a hearty breakfast at our teahouse and then set off for Tengboche. Despite the difficult breathing, I was excited to continue on the adventure and see what lay ahead on the trail.
Day 5: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche -We woke up early in the morning at Namche Bazaar, feeling excited for the day ahead. As we started walking towards Tengboche, I couldn’t help but admire the stunning views of the Himalayan mountains around us. The trail was relatively easy, with a few uphill and downhill sections, but nothing too challenging.
As we arrived at Tengboche, I was struck by the beauty of the Tengboche Monastery, a serene and peaceful place. We spent some time exploring the monastery, observing the daily rituals and admiring the intricate artwork.
Afterwards, we checked into our tea house and had a delicious lunch. I couldn’t believe how tasty the food was, considering the remote location of Tengboche. In the evening, we sat by the fire, enjoying the warmth and sharing stories about our experiences so far on the trek. Overall, it was a wonderful day filled with adventure and discovery..
Day 6: Tengboche to Dingboche – The fifth day was challenging, as we had to climb steep slopes and cross high passes. We finally reached Dingboche, a small village surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Here probably it was our wrong decision not to taka a rest day to acclimatize to the high altitude. However in we went for short hikes and enjoyed the stunning views of the Himalayas.
Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche – The seventh day was a tough one, as we had to climb steep slopes and cross the Khumbu Glacier. We started our trek early in the morning from Dingboche, and it was one of the most beautiful days so far. We were surrounded by stunning mountain ranges, and the views were breathtaking. We had to cross a broken bridge on the way and eventually reached Dughla, where we rested at a tea shop and had our lunch. During the lunch break, I realized that I had left Amit Dai’s power bank and charging wire at the hotel in Dingboche. Amit Dai was disappointed with me, and he didn’t talk to me for a couple of hours. We laughed about it later on. After lunch, we had to climb a tough uphill, and we could see hundreds of fellow trekkers walking along the trail. We finally reached Lobuche, a small village nestled among the mountains around 2 PM and rested at a local hotel. It was freezing cold, but I took my camera and walked around the village. I was able to capture some beautiful pictures of the stunning landscapes.
Overall, it was a challenging day, but the beautiful scenery and the sense of accomplishment made it all worthwhile.
Day 8 : Gorak Shep to Lukla – : Our journey had been incredible so far, but on day 9, we faced a major setback. Amit dai started experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness, including vomiting and difficulty breathing. We were at Gorak Shep, just a short distance from Everest Base Camp, but it was clear that Amit dai was in no condition to continue.
He suggested that I continue to Base Camp alone while he made his way back to Lukla. But I couldn’t bring myself to leave him behind. For me, Amit dai’s health was more important than reaching the base camp. So we made the tough decision to turn back.
It was a difficult and emotional descent. We were disappointed that we couldn’t reach our goal, but we knew it was the right decision for Amit dai’s health. We were lucky to have the support of the locals in Gorak Shep, who helped us to get the chopper while there was huge line of trekkers waiting for the chopper.
At Gorak Shep, we arranged for a helicopter to take us back to Lukla. Me, Amit dai, and our porter all came in the rescue helicopter. We had to make a pit stop in Lobuche to pick up our bags before continuing on to Lukla.
Once we arrived in Lukla, Amit dai was taken to a medical facility to receive treatment for his altitude sickness. But he was back to his normal within half an hour and we were drinking local Tongba to celebrate our trip within the next hour.
I knew that I could come back to Everest Base Camp in the future, but the most important thing was that Amit dai made a full recovery. Our journey may not have gone as planned, but it was still an unforgettable experience that taught us the importance of taking care of ourselves and each other in the mountains.
Day 9: Lukla to Kathmandu. We were exhausted but exhilarated by the incredible experience we had on our trek to Everest Base Camp.
Overall, our trek to Everest Base Camp was an incredible journey that we will never forget.