Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hiking through the giants.

As my plans to work in India for a extended period materialized, I started planning for outdoor activities in India, making best of the place. What better than a visit to a himalayan kingdom. To start with I had set my eyes on Everest base camp a hike from Lukla at 9500ft to Kala Pattar at 17500 ft.

Everest base camp Trek map

Initially I had thought of attempting a single day hike from Lukla to Kala Pattar, which required mainly a day pack weighing less than 15lbs, but decided againts it keeping mainly AMS in mind as I wont be able to acclimatize even at Lukla. I was lucky to find a great checklist at Gautam Patil's website.

The trip details was elaborately shared by my friend Abhijeet Karmarkar, with detailed tips for my stay in kathmandu and in Khumbu region. Earlier I was tempted to combine my trip with a 6000mtr peak climb (Island peak or Lobuche east) as well, which would add upto 2 additional weeks,
but did'nt materialize. Peak trip is on my todo down the line.

Elevation chart of some keys villages on the way.

Destination Elevation Comments
Lukla 2840 mtr (Starting point)
Phakding 2610 mtr
Namche Bazar 3440 mtr Prominent village with internet, currency exchange and phone facility.
Tengboche 3860 mtr
Pheriche 4240 mtr (13992 ft)
Gorak Shep 5140 mtr Last village before base camp
Everest base camp 5364 mtr (17701 ft) Destination
Kala Pattar 5550 mtr

Past week I finally booked my trip dates and my trek itenary is as follows:

March 21st : Pune to Delhi

March 22nd: Delhi to Kathmandu (early morning flight)
Explore kathmandu, mainly thamel region and book my trip to lukla and back.

March 23rd: Take a early morning flight to lukla.
Start a 6-8 hrs hike to Namche Bazaar.
Distance about 14-16km
Elevation gain 600 mtr

March 24th: Start early (5am) , hike from Namche to Pheriche.
Distance about 14km-15km
Elevation gain 800 mtr

March 25th: Start early , hike from Pheriche to Gorak Shep
Distance about 11km
Elevation gain 900 mtr

March 26th: Gorak Shep to Base camp and Kala Pattar day hike
Elevation gain 500 mtr

March 27th and 28th: Hike back to Lukla

Mar 29th: Fly from lukla to kathmandu
sight-seeing at kathmandu

March 30th: Flight back to Delhi/Pune

My main training for the trip is going to be some long distance runs and couple of backpacking in Pune, I am hoping my pack to be around 22 lbs. As food and shelter will be taken care on the way in the villages, main weight is some extra layers of clothing, water and some gels. Looking forward to this trip .. waiting to see sun rise over Everest and Lhotse, and hopefully I get to climb some of those giant deities once in my life.