Sam: This is it.
Frodo: This is what?
Sam: If take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been.
Frodo: Come on Sam. Remember what Bilbo used to say, "It's a dangerous business Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day 11 Everest Base Camp Day

Lobuche- Gorak Shep - Everest Base Camp - Gorak Shep
Elevation max: 5300s meter 

I am very happy because I saw exactly what I came for: I saw the expedition tents at the edge of the Khumbu ice fall and the cluster of prayer flags at the entrance of base camp. 

The three hour walk from Gorak Shep toward EBC was the happiest three hours of my trek even though I was walking so slowly because of the thin air because I saw EBC getting closer and closer. I was excited in the morning even before we approached Gorak Shep and I could already see the Tent City.  The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky. The sun was shining on our faces even while the air was still cold but it made it a little better. It was the best feeling and I think it even made my headache go away. 

I wasn't at all disappointed that there was no sign that read "Everest Base Camp" like I had seen when I googled photos. Trekmate and others who arrived at EBC clearly were. After all, what is more a sign of base camp than the yellow tents? Later someone told us that the glacier had moved and that sign was destroyed. 

But it was a long and hard day. We walked from Lobuche to Gorak Shep in the morning (2 hours 45 minutes) and then from Gorak Shep to EBC, stopped for photos and back (4 hours). It sounds easy walking for a few hours but it is very very hard work at altitude. EBC is a 200+ Meter ascend from Gorak Shep and Gorak Shep another 200+ Meter from Lobuche. I was taking very slow and small steps.

Gorak Shep at 5170m is the highest village we are sleeping in on this trek and the closest village to EBC. For the EBC itinerary including our trip this is the destination before going back down. I was nervous about staying the night at Gorak Shep because it was the first and only time we would sleep at above 5000m. But everyone who wants to go to Kala Pattar and EBC has to do it. I hadn't slept well the night before so I didn't think I would sleep well here. 

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