Going on an Everest expedition entails more than purely climbing the mountain. When I pictured the journey to base camp, I merely imagined a helicopter ride from Kathmandu to base camp. Just getting to base camp is a nine day trek in itself. The trail to Everest has become more popular as the years have gone by and it is has become a commonly traveled route. Along the way, you will enjoy your surroundings and take in some of the most spectacular views.
This trip starts from the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. The thirty minute flight arrives in Lukla. From Lukla we proceed onto Phakding and spend the night. Throughout the next week, the group will experience the culture through visiting local Sherpa villages and monasteries. Once morning comes, we are off to Namche Bazaar and reach an altitude of 3535 meters. In order to cope with the thin air, the group must spend another day there to properly acclimatize. This location gives the climber their first legitimate view of Everest. Day four marks the arrival at Tengboche which is at an altitude of 3850 meters.
The second day of acclimatization occurs once Dingboche has been reached. The guides are careful to make sure that the climbers are acclimatizing on the trek to base camp because as we know, the trek to base camp cannot even compare to the trek to the summit of Everest. The next step is to make it to Lobuje and then to Gorak Shep. Day nine marks the end of the beginning. The trek to Everest base camp may be completed, but the real challenge lies right before your eyes: Mount Everest. As Ed Viesturs puts it in No Shortcuts to the Top, "Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory."