Himalayan photo essay: My epic hike to Mt Everest Base Camp

Mt Everest pics
Mt Everest's summit stands out like a beacon in the sunset light in this shot taken from the climb to Kala Patthar, 5643m above sea level. Pictures: Justyna Delofski.

I have to admit, I didn’t know much about Nepal and the famous Mt Everest Base Camp when my two friends and I first hatched our plans to travel there more than 18 months ago.

But when we finally took off last November our research and preparation had emboldened us to experience it all; the hot and cold, the incredible Nepalese culture, the 130km trek, and to meet the most amazing people along the way.

Click on a picture below to start viewing Justyna’s Everest picture gallery

The trek starts with the white-knuckled flight to Lukla airport, which is named as the world’s most dangerous airport, and from there the walking begins.

It was humbling to follow in the footsteps of some brave men like the first pair to stand atop the pinnacle peak, Kiwi Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, plus the thousands of other intrepid trekkers they have inspired.

Over the 16-day trip, I had the privilege of photographing the most beautiful places in my life, possibly because I feel most alive and at my happiest in the mountains.

To see these commanding high peaks coming out from the clouds was breathtaking. But make no mistake, this was also surely the hardest experience in my life, physically and mentally.

Throughout the 130km trek we would never walk faster than 5km/h, due to the high elevation and lack of oxygen. There were moments when I thought that I will not be able to go up, due to physical exhaustion, but I keep telling myself that I can do this, slowly in my own time.

After few days of walking up and down through breathtaking scenery, we made it to the Everest Base Camp, 5364 metres above sea level.

It was the most incredible sense of achievement I have felt in my life. Simply awe-inspiring.

Of course, the most important thing, no matter what, is to enjoy the journey! You will not be the same once you are back. You will meet the most amazing people who will become your friends for life.

And despite all the hard moments and many challenges along the way, I would 100% do it all again.

Trip notes

    1. Do your research and go with a company who has great client reviews and you are able to have the best information given from them, to feel safe on the trip.
    2. Do your training! – this is necessary for your success and making to the Everest Base Camp, this should be done at least six months prior to the trip.
    3. Have proper clothing; weather in Nepal especially in the mountains is unpredictable.
    4. Don’t pack too much either. While you have your acclimatisation days in Namche Bazaar, which is the main bigger town for your break along the way up you can wash your clothes. To be honest you would be so exhausted that you won’t really care!
    5. One item you should not skip is a proper sleeping bag, this is so important while higher up to ensure you have good night sleep in freezing conditions.
    6. Take your medication, as many fall prey at the high altitude to upper chest infections and bad coughs.
    7. If you are taking photos like myself, I do not recommend taking too much gear, you will end up carrying up to 5-6kg daily in your backpack and with the higher elevation that feels much more like 10kg!
    8. Do not forget sunscreen.
    9. The cost for my trip, including three meals a day, 16 days accommodation, transfers to and from the airport in Kathmandu, plus the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airport where the trek begins and back was US$3150. We booked with Ian Taylor Trekking. Check the website for more details and year’s pricing.

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