Yes, I am originally from Nepal and no, I have not climbed Everest. Are you kidding? That mountain is HUGEEEE. And, I do not have that much money to climb it. Even if I have money, I will not do it. Hats off to everyone who ascends to the top of the world. It is definitely not for a faint heart like me :).
I know I will be closer to Everest one day by getting to Everest Base Camp (EBC). That counts, right? I made it to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) a year ago. My plan was to get to EBC but my mind was not ready to fly to Lukla airport, considered one of the scariest airport of the world. That does not mean ABC was not fun. I loved every moment that I was out there. It taught me so many things.
Here are few things I learned from that memorable trek:
- Yes, you can trek ABC alone but I would definitely recommend you to get a guide/porter if you are a solo female or two female travellers. This is not a time to show your bravery by trekking alone. Quite frankly, Nepal is safe, but I am mostly talking about other things such as weather conditions or getting lost. Guides/porters know about changes in weather conditions, safe time to cross certain avalanche prone area, and also places to rest.
- If you do decide to get one, do get someone who is a guide+porter, a hybrid. These are the people who are in the process of moving from their porter role to becoming a guide. A good thing about them is that they will carry some of your luggage as well. A guide will just say “Nope, no” to carrying your luggage. It is kind of a disgrace to their position. And, a porter might not know the terrain that well yet or be able to speak in English properly.
- Make sure your travel buddy, your partner in crime, is the person you can handle 24/7. You are with that person almost all the time while trekking, and it is not really fun if you are not able to handle that person for a long time.
- Don’t take too much stuff. Seriously. I changed my shirt only once during my 5 nights 6 days hike. My trousers remain the same for all 6 days and I wore the thermal at night. It was simply too cold to change anything.
- A walking stick. Very important. Even a wooden would do. Get one from the beginning of your trek instead of trying to find one when you need it. If you tell your guide/porter in advance, they will get one for you from the villagers for free.
- Water purifier tabs are a must.
- Granola bars, snicker bars, and trail mixes are life saviours.
- Raincoats. Yes. Never know when it will rain.
- A good hiking shoes that does not slip while walking on a packed snow is a must too, unless you want to slid down the hill—not ideal when there is a high cliff right next to the trail.
- Make friends with other travellers. Enjoy the nature. And Listen. It is beautiful out there.