Top 10 facts about Everest Base Camp Trek

Mount Everest Base Camp Trek– This is your chance to walk on the iconic Khumbu glacier to the foot of the icefall and reach the base-camp of the world’s highest mountain.
Looking beyond the brightly colored tents and fluttering prayer flags, this trek offers a perfect opportunity to chat with the sherpas who call the Himalayas their `home’. Feel the tranquility of the Buddhist monasteries and soak up unimaginable views of the Everest Panorama! Whether you have decided to go or still debating, you will enjoy reading some of these fun facts…

Fact 1: It’s not a climb– there is no rope, crampons or other technical equipment involved. Most of the walk is on a well-defined trail over gentle slopes. Yes, there are some steep sections, but you are in no rush, you will have plenty of time to stop, chat, take breaks and enjoy the scenery.

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Fact 2:  Teahouses– You are not tent camping. Your sleeping arrangement will be inside cozy teahouses (brick cabins), which are clean and comfortable!  Tea houses are family-run, cozy lodges made of a simple stone structure that provides home cooked meals, rooms with cots and mattresses to sleep on and of course the WiFi to stay connected- if you wish to. These are the places where we eat our dinners and share stories with fellow hikers from around the world while staying warm as we gather around a fireplace fueled with yak-dung. These are the places where if you step outside at night, you can see the brilliance of the Milky Way and hundreds of shooting stars.

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Fact 3: Acclimatization– The best way to acclimatize for high altitude is to ascend slowly. Our Everest Base Camp Itinerary offers plenty of chances to help your body to adjust to lower oxygen. Your sherpa guides will make you follow `climb high sleep low’ rule to increase your chances of success.

Fact 4: Prayer Flags– While trekking in the Himalayas, you will see numerous bright colored prayer flags strung to the high peaks, bridges and other sacred places.
Each of the five colors of these flags beautifully represents elements of the universe- blue for the sky, white for the wind, green for the water, yellow for the earth and red for fire. They have images and prayer texts printed on them. It is believed that when the wind blows the flags, it spreads the blessings from the prayers contained in the images and the texts across the land. Eventually, when the colors and texts fade, prayers become part of the universe.
Take time to stop and enjoy these stunning colorful flags contrasts with nature. Treat them with respect, serene memories of those flags will linger with you for life!

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Fact 5: Yak– Yak will remind you of American Bison. They, without a doubt, are most important animals in the Himalayas. They are comfortable to live above 14000 ft and are built to survive with very little oxygen.

They are steady-footed and can easily carry up to 150 pounds of load on rough and steep mountain trails. Their milk is used to make cheese and butter, meat is high in protein, leather is used to make shelters, fur can be woven to make fabric, and last but not least, their dung fuels the fire for cooking and keeping those tea-houses warm.

Be sure to move to the mountain-side when you see the yak train and give them a right of way!

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Fact 6: Mani Wheel or Prayer Wheel– It is impossible to miss Mani wheels on your trail to the Everest Base Camp. They are cylindrical wheels with mantra Om Mani Padme Hum written in Sanskrit on outside of the wheel. A ‘Life Tree’ made of metal or wood with mantras written and wrapped around it makes the core of each wheel.
When you turn the wheel in a clockwise direction, the same direction in which the mantras are written, which is also the direction of the sun across the sky, you accumulate good karma and purify the bad ones. Turning the wheel in a clockwise direction once is equivalent to reciting all of the mantra text that is written on the wheel and also wrapped inside the core of the wheel.
While hiking, make sure you gently turn these wheels in a clockwise direction and accumulate as much merit(Good Karma) as you can!

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Fact 7: a `reserve day’ in Kathmandu in your Everest Base Camp Itinerary
Your domestic flight to and from Lukla Airport is weather dependent. Reserve day adds a cushion at the tail-end of your hiking trip, just in case mother nature decides to keep you in Lukla for an extra day.
Keep this in mind while booking your international flights, avoid cutting your trip short.
If all goes well and as planned, you will get to spend your extra day to see Kathmandu, a city rich with it’s cultural and artistic heritage. There is also no better way to end your hiking trip than taking a stroll in the backpacker’s district of Thamel!

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Fact 8: Get to know your Sherpa Guide– While trekking in the Everest region, you will be guided by the Sherpas, the legends of the Himalayan mountains.

Here are a few interesting facts about Sherpas:
1. They are highly regarded as influential mountaineers and experts in their local area.
2. They are renowned for their hardiness, expertise, and experience at very high altitudes and are the backbone of any expedition.
3. They can enrich your travel and climbing experience in many ways and ensure your safety.
4. They can introduce you to the local culture, geography, flora, and fauna, and explain the meaning of customs and festivals.
5. They have excellent practical experience in climbing techniques, trekking, base camp and high camp logistics.
6. They have proven track record of honesty and personal integrity and are committed to climbing practices that do not cause an adverse environmental impact.
7. They have a phenomenal energy and power when it comes to climbing mountains.
8. They have thorough experience with fixed rope climbing, use of any type of mountaineering gear, use of oxygen, high altitude food, avalanche and high mountain rescue techniques.

Take your time to chat with them while walking and treat them with respect, they truly deserve it!

Want to know more? Read on:


Fact 9: Lukla– Thrill starts while landing at Lukla Tenzing Hillary Airport- With the 1729 ft short runway situated at 9300 ft cliff, planes arrive here like trains, unloading and re-loading trekkers and their luggage in less than 10 minutes and taking off and landing in less than 2 minutes. If you are an aviation nerd, you will not get bored watching this impressive well-oiled operation- yes, take your time, Everest can wait! Specially trained and qualified pilots who fly these tiny planes here, deserve applause at every landing and take-off!
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Fact 10: Training and FitnessThis trek isn’t for mountaineers – it’s for anyone with an average fitness level. We walk for about four to six hours, roughly 5-9 miles a day and apart from some altitude symptoms, it is relatively easy. 

Hiking up and down hills with a weighted backpack is key to success. If you walk in the hills and are avid hill walker/hiker on a weekly basis, you should have the conditioning needed for the Trek. If you are starting fresh, it is sensible to start training 3-4 months prior to your scheduled trek. Conventional exercise routines which build strength, fitness, and stamina, such as aerobics and light weight-training can be beneficial.

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