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5 Myths of the Everest Base Camp Trek

KE's Digital Marketing Specialist, Alasdair has recently returned from taking on the classic Everest Base Camp Trek and we asked him if there were any... Read more
5 Myths of the Everest Base Camp Trek
KE's Digital Marketing Specialist, Alasdair has recently returned from taking on the classic Everest Base Camp Trek and we asked him if there were any misconceptions that didn't quite ring true:


Before I left for Everest there were so many misconceptions and rumours spread about the Base Camp trek. However, none of them are true and I'm going to burst the rumour mill now.


1. It’s busy

“You’ll be queuing all the way to Base Camp”, is one of the biggest misconceptions. When we made it to the famous entrance to Everest Base Camp we had the whole place to ourselves, later on 12 others joined us but after a photo they dispersed and we rarely saw anybody at the top. Along the trail there were others but we passed more porters carrying provisions than we did other trekkers. When we did meet other trekkers it was great to swap stories and find out why they’re doing it and share their stories, it added to the experience.

One of the reasons for this is to do with the flights. There are only a couple of dozen flights a day to Lukla carrying 10-20 people a time and not all these people will be doing the Everest Base Camp trek, some might be off to other valley’s. The caveat to all this is during the expedition season (April to June) when 6,000 climbers and support team members descend on the area. 


2. It’s full of litter

I was so amazed at how clean and tidy the trail was. Over recent years there has been a push to pick up litter and recycle it. We even met a guy we called “Doug the Hug” (he gave very nice hugs), who was on a mission to tidy the place up and organised litter picks. However, we must have always been behind him as the trail was spotless. So good work Doug or maybe your jobs done and there's just no litter left to pick up!


3. The food and accommodation will be basic and awful

I can’t begin to tell you how much I ate on this trek. It’s recommended to predominantly eat vegetarian meals but this was in no way a hindrance. I was eating copious amounts of vegetable fried rice or noodles, dhal bhat, momos (both steamed and fried), eggs on chips, hash browns, omelettes, porridge, the list goes on. They grow nearly all the veg right there on the mountain so it’s incredibly fresh and local.

Beyond the meals, the accommodation was really one of my greatest fears but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Each room was spacious, clean and comfortable. While I snuggled into my 4 season sleeping bag (which KE provide free to borrow), I occasionally threw on the complimentary duvet each lodge offered. It was cold but you are 5,000m up in the Himalayas and everything has to be carried up. There’s no heating apart from the fire fuelled by dried yak dung above Namche, in the central communal space.

One of the greatest surprises was the level of connectivity. I was asked to record a daily video of the trek for work and was surprised to find WiFi everywhere I went. You have to pay for it, between £1 and £6 a day, but it’s worth it to share the adventure. There are also plenty of plugs to charge your phones. Lower down the mountain this may even be free and in your room but higher up, where solar power is the only form of electricity, charging is still available but charged to make sure it’s not overused.


4. It's only for the fittest

Despite all my training I was concerned about my fitness but it was easier than I had expected. It is still a really tough trek and you need to be comfortable at trekking in all kind of terrains and weathers and up steep zig zagging paths but with a good amount of training I feel nearly anybody can make it. So make sure you grab your boots and crack on up Skiddaw a couple of times beforehand.


5. You’ll get crippled by altitude sickness

The greatest unknown, altitude. It does affect 40-50% of trekkers but it doesn’t necessarily stop you if it’s managed and prepared for in the right way. Our trek is a day longer than nearly every other operators and that’s simply because we include an extra day of acclimatisation. When we saw others struggling we were incredibly happy for that extra day! The guides are exceptionally experienced in altitude sickness, they can spot the signs of it before you can and will do everything they can to help you. So listen to the guide!


So whatever the naysayers have to throw at you, ignore everyone and listen to those that have actually been there. The Everest Base Camp trek is one of the greatest long distance trails in the world for a reason. So what's the excuse now?


 If you would you like to know more about this holiday or any of our other adventures, then give us a call on +44 (0) 17687 73966 or USA/Canada toll-free 1888 630 4415. We offer trusted holidays with financial protection and flexible booking conditions. 

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