From 0 to 5300 in 60

…or should I say “40 to -8”?

Well, here I am with a mandate “under duress” by Nisha to give “lots and lots of stories” for Lemonicks.com 🙂 She opines that now that I am back from the enjoyable trip and rested enough (an understatement as it is more than 2 months since I returned ), I must start writing or else(!). The portentous “else” did the trick, although I have no clue as to what that “else” meant. I think if there ever was a veiled threat, this was it and I was not going to find out, what.

Pray Pray Pray and start walking! Whole of Nepal is scattered with prayer wheels of all sizes. This was one of the bigger ones.
Pray Pray Pray and start walking! Whole of Nepal is scattered with prayer wheels of all sizes. This was one of the bigger ones.

Last year the nature wreaked a havoc in the Himalayan country not seen in many decades. Last year, my own plans of trekking to Everest Base Camp had to be cancelled at the last minute because of this. As a consolation I did go for a small trek to Kuari Pass in our own Uttarakhand. Psssst….I have still not written about it yet!

The most famous suspension bridge before the gruelling hike to Namche Bazar
The most famous suspension bridge before the gruelling hike to Namche Bazar

A couple of questions needed answers quickly. First Question to answer was should I go in the 2015 autumn season, 2016 summer or just shelve it for future. 2015 autumn / winter was quite packed with personal and professional work. Shelving it did not seem a great idea. I was not growing any younger. So it had to be the summer of 2016.

Namche Bazar in the Background
Namche Bazar in the Background

Second Question- Was I fit enough? Well there is really nothing wrong with me except for a small niggle in my left knee, acting up once in a while. My stamina was, however, found to be wanting, even after the numerous hikes to the hills in our backyard or climbing stairs of our 17 floor building (up and down) 3 or 4 times day. Then I thought if I went on my own with my own porter-guide, I could set my own pace and stop or continue wherever I wanted and stay the night where I wanted. I had kept 3 days buffer for this. If need arose one could walk the whole day, of course.

Walking long hours was never a problem for either Nisha or Me. I decided it had to be mental thing. Not mental as in crazy but mind-set with just one goal. Maybe it is one and the same thing. After all, thousands of people of all ages go there and after all this was not the most difficult of the treks.

everest base camp trek
Acclimatization walk to Nangkart Tshang peak with Dingboche in the background

Was there 3rd Q?
Yes of course. There were many more questions but they were quite pale in comparison to the first two.

Now having returned I will also probably squeeze in what worked for me. There are stories and stories within stories, which I hope, I will remember well enough to capture truthfully in these pages. There are over 3500 photographs to sift through, select and present to you folks.

One of the decisions that worked like a charm was to carry a second camera which I gave to the porter so that he could take my photos (wink wink) including what he thought was important while I focused on other mundane things like trekking and trying to move from one place to another. Of course the primary reason was if my main camera malfunctioned I would not be found with my back to the wall or rather back to the mountains.

everest base camp trek
Walking on moraines on way to EBC at 5300M from Gorakshep

The title 0 to 5300 in 60, by now you may have guessed refers to the altitude from sea level in Mumbai to the Everest Base Camp or EBC, as it is fondly called, which is at an altitude of 5300 meters at a trek distance of about 60 Kilometres. Can you guess what the second title refers to? 😀

A view of Mt Everest from Kala Pathar
A view of Mt Everest from Kala Pathar

Wait for more stories. I have yet to decide on the structure. Should it be the classic day-wise experiences or something else? One thing you can be sure of is, this is about the last time you will see me in any pictures 🙂 . I hope that will be a good motivation for you to read the future stories on my EBC trek.

In the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the 1 minute time-lapse video of the Sun rising behind the big guy!

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36 thoughts on “From 0 to 5300 in 60

  1. Your porter has clicked good pictures. or the camera was good?

    Enjoyed reading it, please write more stories soon.

    I know what the other title is – change in temperature
    Right?

    1. Thanks Shreya. Yes it refers to the temperature of Mumbai at that time to the lowest temprature that I ventured out. Of course it might have been even colder sometimes but I was cozily esconced in my tea house 🙂 Camera was a Nikon Coolpix. I guess the porter intuitively knew how to click.

    1. Ha Ha Ha. These Ifs and Elses makes one decide quickly. Thanks for the motivation. 🙂 Yes I hope to do them in a reasonable time.:)

  2. Vasu, what a gateway and I am sure this has been, yet another much memorable one. Though, “else” was spiritually enlighten you to come up with the wonderful write that compliments the captured moments from your camera. Seems to be a great escape and you had a amazing time. Thanks for putting across your experience and tickles to join you folks for the next journey 🙂

  3. Hi Hussein, How are you doing? Thanks for your words.
    I truly had the time of my life!
    Stay tuned for more.
    We still need to meet sometime. 🙂

  4. Sirji
    Nice beautiful pics.
    Seems you are njoying the trekks and the journey to the different parts of country.

    It was a worth reading article as it reminded me of my youth days where we used to plan going for trekking but hardly were able to.

    Thanks for sharing this amazing xperience
    Wish u the best for ur future journeys as well.

  5. I N C R E D I B L E ! ! The views from up there must have been spine tingling jaw dropping right? We chose to trek the Annapurna Circuit instead of EBC mainly due to time constraints (that flight to Lukla? yikes!) Awwww – missing the dal bhats…

    1. Thanks Stefan! The view from Kala Pathar was definitely astounding.
      I am told Annapoorna Circuit is quite difficult. Must do someday.

      Wait for more stories.

    1. Thanks Claire. Well there were too many questions and many of them were left unanswered. I figured things will fall in place once I begin the journey and they did.

  6. Everest Base Camp is on my to-do list. Probably not next year since I’m planning to do Kilimanjaro first!

    Great read and photos! Must have been great 😉

  7. It might not be the most difficult trek but it does look like a tough climb you have plenty stamina to make that hike. What a good idea to give the camera to the porter, he did do well with the photos and you avoided what I so often do arriving home with 1000’s of photos and I’m not being in a single one

  8. Sounds like a fantastic adventure! Even though I have no desire to climb Everest, I’d love to make it to base camp sometime. Sad all the trouble that has happened in the region, but glad the area can still be enjoyed! Great photos and looking forward to reading more!

    1. It was Jenna! Neither do I :). I couldn’t even if I wanted to climb the Everest. I fully recommend the trek to EBC, at least for its sheer scenic journey.
      While there, I did notice tell-tale signs of the devastating earth quake. People have generally bounced back to normalcy. Thanks.

    1. Thanks LondonMum,
      I actually to the second camera as a backup, in case my DSLR were to stop working for some reason. However, once I met the guide-porter , I got the bulb flashing above my head! and gave him the camera.

    1. Thanks Carly,
      This camera was to be the backup camera. The sherpas are generally friendly and easy going. Once he liked the idea, he would always stop me at places and ask me to pose. At least the first few days. What happened afterwards, will be in of my later stories.

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