[RD] The Everest Basecamp Trek

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by warpus, May 18, 2020.

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  1. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    Thanks for reposting that map.
     
  2. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    No problem! I actually edited it and added a red dot to mark the spot where the previous photo was taken from. It's also basically where Lobuche (the village) is, where we would be spending the night.
     
  3. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Views from the Lobuche Lookout Point



    This is a look in the opposite direction as the previous photo. I am looking south, in the direction we came from. On the left is the Khumbu Glacier
     
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  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    GoPro Footage from the Lookout Point Hike



    In this video you can see us climbing up to the lookout point. A couple times you will see me turning back, at which point you will see the village of Lobuche, where we would be spending the night.

    You can also hear us talking about the 3 alpine pass variant of this hike, which is the most difficult. Unfortunately the goPro does not pick up sound very well, so parts of the conversations we were having did just not get picked up.

    The occasional coughing you will hear is also a common high altitude side effect.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  5. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    How cold was it during the day? 30s? 40s? 20s?
     
  6. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It was a bit above freezing, maybe 2 C (35 F) or so. The maximum daytime temperature near Lobuche at this time of year is about 5 C, and at night it drops down to a minimum of about -13 C (8 F)

    Having said that, when you're at high altitudes near so many glaciers, the winds can feel quite cold.. so the temperature can sometimes change quickly. In this case we weren't even wearing our windbreakers overtop our down jackets, so it was cold, but not in any way extreme... but clouds were quickly moving in as you can see in some of the photos, and our guide was keeping an eye on those..

    I've read that at these altitudes ascending 100m drops the temperature by a full degree centigrade, for a bit more context. The temperatures at Basecamp are on average a couple degrees colder than where we were, even though it was about a 5-6 hour hike there... So it wasn't super close, but it wasn't really that far away either

    There is a bit of variance in temperature on the trail. Earlier on it was not uncommon for temperatures to hit 15 C (60 F) during the day, and with the sun shining down it at times felt like quite a bit warmer than that. Then the winds would pick up and you'd need to put on a midlayer or your down jacket or even all your layers. Every day after dinner we'd basically have a meeting with our guide to discuss the next day's hike, which always included a little speech about what sort of weather we can expect, and what to bring in our daypacks to best prepare for that. The conditions could change on a day by day basis
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
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  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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  8. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Last set of GoPro Footage from the Lobuche Lookout Point



    I don't remember this at all, but apparently I had a vivid dream about something related to the hike. You'll hear me talking about that in this video, although unfortunately the goPro does not pick up sound very well..

    You'll also get to see a bit more of the surroundings, including a look at Lobuche glacier and the nearby village that goes by the same name. Lobuche Glacier is the sort of overflowing looking glacier coming from the top of Lobuche mountain that you see at the very beginning of the video. Lobuche village is basically down and to the left of the glacier, almost at its base. This is where we would be spending the night. You can see us hiking back towards the village at the end of the video.

    edit: I guess the end of the video didn't get cut off like I wanted.. So you get to see more of the descent than I was planning on including.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
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  9. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Did you look at all at what looks like the soil between the rocks? Seems to high to really be soil, but doesn't look like just rock either.
     
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  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It looked to be a mix of soil and rocks of varying sizes. According to wikipedia glacier moraines are usually made up of soil and rock and basically whatever the glacier happened to have moved and deposited there over the centuries. In this case this was the Khumbu glacier, so some of these rocks we were hiking over might have at one point been a part of the Khumbu icefall, and might have been at one point sitting somewhere on Mt. Everest as well... or I suppose maybe under the Khumbu icefall, I am not quite sure how that works.

    I remember that at those altitudes a lot of the trail was annoying to hike on because it was so rocky and sandy.. Rocks of all sizes, going down to gravel size, then sand size, and then dirt.. Not a fun surface to walk on. Up there on the moraine it was a bit more solid (compact?) and easier to walk on
     
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  11. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Lobuche

    In this shot you can see the Lobuche glacier on the right and Lobuche village on the left. The picture is taken from the top of the Khumbu glacier moraine.



    Wikipedia calls the accommodations available here "notoriously primitive". We honestly did not really notice. At each village you stay at the teahouses sort of get more and more "primitive", but it's a gradual change so you don't really think about it.
     
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  12. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    Nice video. How long did it take you to climb up to the lookout versus going back down? And, How many pictures did you take on your hike to EBC and back? :D
     
  13. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    The World's Highest Bakery

    After returning from the lookout point we decided to head out to this bakery we passed by earlier. We noticed that it claimed to be the world's highest bakery, and my friend saw a girl there who he met earlier on the trail, so off we went!



    So yes, even though the accommodations in Lobuche are "notoriously primitive", they do have a bakery where you can get amazing tasting coffee and delicious baked goods!



    The coffee was a mistake, but I did not realize this at the time. In our minds we were just a day away from Bascamp, so why not celebrate a bit! Plus how many times do you get to visit the world's highest bakery?
     
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  14. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It was about a 15-20 minute climb up to the top from what I remember, and maybe 10 minutes or so to get back to Lobuche. I think the whole walk from Lobuche and back took about 45 minutes total, including all the time we spent checking out the view. It wasn't that bad really, which is why it's a viable excursion after a full day's hike. Don't get me wrong, hiking uphill at those altitudes always feels like a lot of work (unless you're a Sherpa!), but the views definitely made it worth our time.

    As for number of pictures.. I took 2,704 pictures on the whole trip, but that includes other parts of Nepal, as well as our layover in Hong Kong. From what I can see about 1,700 of those photographs were taken on the trail. These numbers do not include any photos I would have taken with my phone, but that number is rather small in comparison.

    My whole Nepal photo folder takes up 73.4GB. Each photo is stored in RAW format, as well as the JPG version as well. The RAW version is usually about 4 times as large in size as the compressed JPG.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
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  15. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    So where is the a picture of that girl? ;)
     
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  16. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Let's be honest, even if it existed I wouldn't post it for privacy or whatever reasons, unless it was a photo of us all posing together in front of some beautiful scenery :) It was a woman from Montreal IIRC, I think they ran into each other a couple times on the trail, over 3-4 days maybe. We tried to be good wingmen by staying out of it. But of course it's impossible to have a full blown or really any sort of romance on the trail, they just ran into each other a couple times, it was nothing. She was really nice though, it was good to run into somebody from the same country as you when you're so far away from home. I ran into her at one point during the 2nd rest day I think and we chatted for a bit.. about... who knows.. It's not really that fun talking during walking hours.. you want to conserve your oxygen! But yes, exceptions can be made in some situations..

    She ended up not being at the bakery at all, and we did not see her after that. But such is life
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
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  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 8 - Lobuche to Gorak Shep

    Everest Base Camp Day

    Our 8th day on the trail was split into 2 distinct parts. First we had to hike to Gorak Shep, which is the closest settlement to Everest Base Camp. There we would get settled in our rooms, eat lunch, rest a bit, and about 2 hours after arriving depart north for Everest Base Camp.

    This was an exciting day for us! I was so excited that I did not get any sleep at all... I lied in bed, tossed and turned and could just not fall asleep at all. To blame are probably not really my levels of excitement, but mainly the coffee I drank at the world's highest bakery in Lobuche.. I figured a small treat the day before Base Camp was warranted, but apparently that was a mistake.

    The articles I am finding about the effects of caffeine on high altitudes mainly dispel the myth that caffeine should be avoided because it dehydrates you. Apparently that effect is minimal and doesn't really make a difference at high altitudes. I can't find anything about caffeine having a stronger effect, but that's what our guide told us at the beginning of the hike. I brought instant coffee packets with me because I'm not a morning person at all... but I threw them all out on day 2 or 3 in order to save space and cut down on weight (and I didn't need them anymore).. I eventually gave in to my caffeine temptations in Lobuche.. and it looks like I paid for it by not getting any sleep.

    Fortunately I was pretty pumped up for Base Camp Day and my lack of sleep did not have a huge impact on my enjoyment or ability to complete that day's hike. It was not an especially difficult day, and you do not gain much in altitude, but the whole hike is above 5,000m, so you move slowly. That is sort of a bit of a benchmark beyond which hikers experience more and more of the high altitude sickness symptoms. To remedy that you move slower. The terrain is also not very cooperative, being full of dirt, sand, and rocks of all sizes.



    We would be hiking right beside and at times on the Khumbu moraine, which is adjacent to the Khumbu glacier (on the right in the above photo)

    For a cool 3D map view of the route to Gorak Shep click here
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
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  18. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Between Two Glaciers

    For the first half hour or so you hike with the Lobuche glacier on the left and the Khumbu glacier on the right. The trail winds up, down, and around the various lumps sticking out from the glacial moraine.

     
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  19. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Views from the Trail

    Looking south with the Khumbu glacier on the left

     
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  20. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    First Look at Kala Patthar

    Kala Patthar would be the highest point on the whole trail for us, clocking in at 5,643m above sea level. This was the first time you could see it from the trail; it's the pointy black hill basically right above my silly friend's head.

    We would be climbing Kala Patthar in the very early hours of the next morning. The summit would give us the best views of Mt. Everest on the trail, made even more magnificent by the fact that the sun would be rising right behind it.

    You can also get a slightly better look at the Khumbu icefall here. If you follow the Khumbu glacier on the right, eventually it turns white. That is where the glacier ends and the icefall begins. Base Camp is near that boundary, although it is out of view here.



    And yes, my friend is sort of exaggerating, but we were quite tired. Hiking through terrain like this is not fun at all, it makes it hard to get into any sort of rhythm.
     
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