Trip Report - Ultimate Everest October 2016

By Adventure Peaks
November 21, 2016
Everest Base Camp

Further information on our Ultimate Everest Base Camp Trek

One dream, one chance, one…view?! Such was the motto coined by one hopeful Scouser in our group at the start of our trek to Everest Base Camp. The first few days were mostly spent in cloud but the higher we trekked, the less fitting the motto became. ‘Honestly’, I kept saying with fingers crossed, ‘there really are mountains up there somewhere’. It took me several days to persuade the group and thankfully on day 5 we were treated to glimpses of snowy and rocky peaks poking through the hazy clouds. As the days progressed our patience was rewarded in full and it almost made it all the more impressive when the skies cleared altogether for the rest of the trip.

From the start of our trek in Lukla, we learnt to appreciate the valleys and the flora and fauna at our level rather than the views ahead. The first day brought us as far as Phakding and an introduction to dal baht and chocolate pancakes that could’ve fed a small herd of yaks.  Despite the intermittent hot showers we were pleased to be on the trail and on our way up. The mountain metropolis of Namche Bazaar was our next stop where we made the most of bakeries, real coffee and wifi before continuing up the valley. This is where you feel you’re really part of the hustle and bustle of the Khumbu as it’s a chance to compare stories with other trekkers.  Rumour had it that the weather was clearer higher up…but we’ll come to that!

   After two nights in Namche to acclimatise, we turned off into the Gokyo valley which forks off the main Everest trail just above Khumjung, right in the shadow of Ama Dablam’s striking summit. The Gokyo valley is lush with rhododendrons lining the path up to Dole, and waterfalls running gracefully over rock faces and flowing into the valley below. A couple of days trekking and we were comfortably in the rhythm of life on the trail. At each tea house we were welcomed with warm Sherpani hospitality, a large pot of milk tea and a yak dung-fuelled fire. The team judged the tea houses mainly on the quality of their apple pies which became a fiercely contested title.

Our next rest day was spent in Machermo, where we visited the Rescue Post and Porter Shelter run by the British charity International Porter Protection Group. I had promised Machermo would deliver blue skies, having spent a season there running the post a couple of years ago, and thankfully it did – the ridge above the village offered spectacular panoramic vistas of Cho Oyu, Cho Latse and Kyajo Ri, before the afternoon cloud rolled its way up the valley. Relieved to have seen the mountains, we awoke the next morning to a spotless sky and meandered our way (bistari, bistari – slowly, slowly) onwards to Gokyo.

The sacred lakes of Gokyo were a much anticipated highlight for several of our party and the reality didn’t disappoint. Great white and rocky peaks reflected in turquoise pools made for an unbeatable view from our Gokyo lodge bedroom windows. Gokyo Ri gave us our first view of Everest, and quite some view it was – starting before sunrise, we beat the morning mist and watched the light work its way up the mountain sides and warm each in turn with an orange glow.

After crossing the mammoth groaning Nguzomba Glacier from Gokyo we arrived at the foot of the Cho La pass. Another pre-dawn start was rewarded with lunch of Tibetan bread atop the pass where we soaked up views of Cho Latse, Taboche and Lobuche East. As we continued the trek into the Khumbu it felt like the mountains were increasing in size as we gained views of the imposing Pumori, Lhotse and Nuptse.

After a night in Lobuche came the culmination of our trek as we pushed on to Everest Base Camp itself. The path weaved its way alongside the moraine before crossing the glacier to a cairn, marking our arrival at base camp. I was thrilled to make it there with the whole team and share in their celebrations.

That night brought another highlight of the trip for some, as we camped at 5200m just below Everest Base Camp. As the only group camped there, we had the place to ourselves which was something quite special. Watching the full moon rise over Nuptse was one of the best night skies I’ve ever seen. Dinner was a feast of dal baht followed by sponge cake – one of those camping meals you remember!

We rose early from our tents to catch the sunrise from the top of Kala Pattar, which offers the classic picture postcard views up the Khumbu icefall and up to Everest. It was the highest point of our trip and we breathed a sigh of relief that the rest of the trek was (mostly) downhill from here.


The Khumbu valley is rockier and steeper than the Gokyo side but no less impressive, with Ama Dablam making its way into every photo whichever way you look, and ridges lining the valley either side. Our descent took us through Tengboche where we visited the famed monastery, and downwards to Namche where we feasted on well-earned pizzas.

As we reached Lukla I was struck by a sense of achievement for the team and we celebrated with our porters and guides that evening, the dancing led by our gregarious guide, Nir.

I would like to thank my fantastic team for their great company and support, our excellent guide Nir and assistant guides Asmit, Purna and Nara, and our outstanding porters, without whom we wouldn’t have made it.


Dreaming of a trip to Everest Base Camp? Read more about our treks here

Watch Ultimate Everest Base Camp Trek video highlights here

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