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October 23, 2019

Less expensive trip to Everest base camp in off season

  • Dipak Thapa
Dipak thapa with tourist met on the way
Dipak thapa with tourist met on the way

To reach the Everest Base Camp was my childhood wish. Due to living outside the country for a long time, I could not fulfill my wish. Finally, on December 24, 2018, I got a chance to visit the Everest Base Camp and I left Kathmandu for the journey.

I had to be more cautious as I had planned to go to the Everest base camp during the off-season. I carried all the required materials and even the first aid kit to tackle the problems that may arise during the journey.

I planned the destinations and the accommodations for a particular days. I like the hulk trip, but even after carrying only the necessary materials, my two bags weighed 21 kg.

I took a jeep ride up to Phaplu although I had decided to walk from Kathmandu. After seven days of adventurous walk from Phaplu through Ringmo, Taksingdu, Nunthala, Kharikhola, Paiya, Chaurikharke, Fangding, and Monju, I reached Namche Bazaar.

I stayed in Namche for two nights and three days. While staying in Namche, I hiked up to Syangboche for sightseeing. After staying in Namche for three days, I resumed my journey to the Base Camp after acclimatization.  From Namche, I reached the Everest Base Camp after two days of journey via Tangboche, Dingboche, Labuche, and Gorakshep.

I trekked up to the Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar from Gorakshep. After enjoying the stunning views of mountains and snow from Kala Patthar, I returned to Gorakshep. Then after staying in Gorakshep for one day, I headed towards Chola pass according to the plan. When I reached Jongla after walking for seven hours, it was snowing heavily.

Dipak thapa with tourist met on the way
Dipak thapa with tourist met on the way

Due to the heavy snowing, I had to stay in Jongla for three days. There I met tourists and guides who were there to visit Gokyo Lake. Though it was snowing, we all headed towards Gokyo. The route to Gokyo Lake was a little bit difficult.

I had to walk on the ice on the way to Gokyo. Luckily I had carried Crampon (shoe spikes to walk on the ice) which made it easier. We headed towards Gokyo talking with each other.

Guides said that four mountains over 8000 meters can be seen from Gokyo. What they said was true. World’s tallest mountain Mt. Everest (8,848 m), fourth-highest Lhotse (8,516 m), fifth highest Makalu (8,485 m), and sixth-highest Cho Oyu (8,201 m) were easily seen from Gokyo. Similarly, mountains under 8,000 meters like Nupche, Pumori, Amadablam, Lobuche peak, Lingten, Chyangde, Khumbutse, Chola peak, Chola pass, Renjo pass, Thamserku, Khangtenga, Khangtari, Aamalapcha, Kisumangaru, and other mountains were also observed.

After watching all the beautiful sceneries, I returned to Gorakshep after 5 days trip. My desire of reaching the Everest Base Camp by walking was fulfilled. I returned from Gorakshep to Kathmandu via the same route.

Dipak Thapa
Dipak Thapa

I prepared to return to Kathmandu by carrying one bag which I had left on the way from Namche to the base camp. I again met those tourists and guides from the Gokyo trip to Namche. They too were returning to Kathmandu after completing their journey. I boarded on a helicopter with them up to Phaplu from Namche.

We arrived at Phaplu airport in 15 minutes. I found a jeep ready to go to Kathmandu. Then I returned home after completing my journey to the Everest base camp.

My childhood dream of going to the Everest base camp was fulfilled but the dream to climb the Mt. Everest is still left. I have planned to join the mountain climbing training soon when I get time. I have another wish to trek alone in the Annapurna circuit.

On the way to Namche from Phaplu, the locals who met on the way helped me a lot. Some even offered dinner and help in carrying bags. Their good hospitality made the journey even more exciting.

While traveling to the Everest base camp alone, I encountered some problems. The main problem was the weather.  It is important to carry the essential equipment because no one can predict the problems that may be encountered along the route.

Traveling in the off-season didn’t cost as much as I expected. I got discounts in different places and the hospitality was also good.

– Thapa, who lived abroad for 22 years, now has been doing business in Nepal for some years.

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