Ramesh Pokhrel | The TrickyScribe: The hard work put in by Sherpa line-fixing teams on both sides of Everest has paid off. On the southern side, a group of climbing Sherpas from Himalayan Guides and Madison Mountaineering fixed the route above 6,400m on April 24. By May 1, they progressed to just below the rock buttress of the Geneva Spur at 7,600m. The next day, they pushed on to South Col and Camp IV. At 8,000m, Camp 4 is a significant milestone: From here, teams mount their final push for the summit.
On the mountain’s northern side, heavy snow pushed back those setting fixed lines on the North Col temporarily. Since then they have made markable progress, reaching as high as 8,300m before descending to Base Camp on May 3 in their bid to avoiding the winds moving in from Bay of Bengal.
An early traffic jam in the Icefall quickly resolved and since then, climbers have been moving freely through Camps I to III on the southern side. On the northern side, teams have slept as high as the North Col. When Cyclone Fani finally struck Everest on May 3, climbers on both sides retreated to lower camps waiting eagerly for gentler winds; monitoring the snowfall.
Know Everest Before You Try Climbing It
For anyone who finds difficult to hold their adrenaline and craves thrill, fun and adventure in their life must have the thought of climbing Everest at least once in their lifetime. In case one is determined, one can scale any height; precautionary measures are important.
Documents & Permits Required
For Everest Base Camp Trek, two types of permits are required: TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) Card and Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit. One can obtain them on their own from Nepal Tourism Board or the Sagarmatha National Park entrance after paying a certain fee. Guides can help in fetching the same, in case hired. Passport-size photographs and copies of passport are to be kept handy.
Best Season for Trek
Spring and autumn are preferred seasons for climbing Mount Everest. Spring stretches from mid-February to May; this remains the hottest time of the year when the mercury can soar as high as 30 degrees Celsius, whereas mid-September to November is autumn. The season is marked by dryness in the atmosphere, alluring clear blue sky and a gentle breeze that sets the perfect ground for mountaineering.
Trekking Route & Guide
For any trip or trek, one needs to know the route that is to be followed. The trek is of eight days following the traditional route of Kathmandu- Lukla – Phakding – Namche –Tengboche –Dingboche – Lobuche –Gorakshep – Everest Base Camp (though there are some trekking companies that may suggest a different route altogether).
Hiring a trekking guide has been legalized by Nepal government for expatriates in the Himalayas. Well-equipped and knowledgeable guides can help a lot besides being the best possible support system in the inhospitable terrains. Firstly, the guide takes care of all the preparations for the trek. The guides keep ticking you with information about the places and people you come across on way.
Basic trek gear includes trek boots & socks, sandals/slippers/flip-flops, windproof jackets, shades, gloves, dry pack, trek poles, quick-dry lingerie and sources of entertainment besides whatever you feel necessary.
High Altitude Sickness
Anyone can suffer from high altitude sickness. The symptoms include headache, vomit, fatigue, an increase in pulse rate, loss of appetite, insomnia or any other related discomfort in the body. It can be taken care by proper acclimatization. First aid kit is a must! Don’t forget to bring a first aid kit along but consulting a doctor is always preferred before initiating any sort of medication.
Nepali Currency is Must
Availability of Nepalese can make life easier on the trek. One can exchange their currency notes at various points in Nepal, including the airport. The higher you go, the more expensive utilities get. Spend keeping in mind that!
Conquering Everest Requires Fitness, Mental & Physical
Life in the mountains is not easy. One has to come out of inertia meeting people with different culture altogether. Climbing Everest is no rocket science. One shall be mentally and physically fit to climb; in terms of strength and stamina. Proper training is advised.
Walk At a Leisurely Pace
Health comes first! Reaching your destination before time won’t fetch any medallion; it makes one endure exertion for sure. Climbing Everest is a feat in itself.
Being physically fit and healthy notwithstanding, it is suggested to have proper insurance while coming to Nepal for trekking to the Himalayas.
Poaching in Sagarmatha National Park is strictly prohibited. Violators are prosecuted. Tourists are closely monitored throughout their stay in Nepal through community police. Poaching attracts long-term imprisonment.