Trekking Everest Basecamp:
Trekking in the Himalayas is truly an amazing experience, rich with Buddhist culture, traditional Sherpa villages and of course, incredible views.
The Mount Everest in the Khumbu region of the Nepalese Himalayas is understandably one of the world’s most popular and spectacular hiking destinations in the Himalayas. The trek begins with a short flight from Kathmandu to the Lukla at 9,100 feet – known as the most dangerous airport in the world. From there, everyone follows the traditional expedition route to the Everest Valley with many trekkers, guides and porters. You pass through villages like Namche Bazaar where you can purchase gear that you may have forgotten or, next to porters carrying essential supplies to surrounding villages, back-and-forth over suspension bridges hovering over the raging turquoise Imja Khola River to Nepal’s most famous monastery in Tengboche with a backdrop of Everest and Ama Dablam. Gradually ascending in elevation you pass climber and Sherpa memorials, the fourth highest mountain Lhotse at 27,940 feet, the exquisite Khumbu Icefall, and staying in guest houses hand-built with stone and heated with yak dung (yeah, that’s right, yak dung!).
The Basecamp trek is possible in November (typhoon season lasts until late October), but expeditions to the summit – and when Basecamp is littered with people and tents – are in April and May. At 17,500 feet – Basecamp – you are surrounded by the Khumbu Icefall and a towering view of Nuptse, which peaks at 25,791 (Everest is 29,029 feet). You must hiking to the top of Kala Patthar (18,200 feet), which you will have the extraordinary views of of Everest Nuptse, Everest and Lhotse.
The Essentials: Everest Basecamp Packing List
- La Sportiva Nepal EVO TTX
La Sportiva Nepal EVO TTX known as the best leather mountaineering boot on the market – and most mountaineers would agree. It’s one super-sexy-beast of a boot! Aesthetically speaking you can pick the women’s lime green and men’s bright yellow out of a lineup. On a comfort level – it is an excellent fit for most feet with an adjustable/removable tongue – this is very important for fitting your foot with the right sock for warmer or bitter cold days on the mountain. The Nepal EVO is stiff and sturdy so you won’t wreck your pedicure with stubbed toes when jabbing your crampons into an ice wall. The boot is also make with Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry when trekking through deep pow. This great fitting boot is an essential to mountaineering, ice climbing and mixed climbing. ***Not necessary in the Fall, but may be great depending on snow conditions in the Spring with micro-spikes.
- Rab Exodus Pant
When you’re trekking for 12 days with minimal modern amenities, you want to be the most comfortable you can be. The Exodus Pant is just that. It is a mid-weight stretch fit, soft shell pant that moves when you move, soft water resistant fabric and a waist synch system built in for superior fitting – you won’t need to bring a belt and every ounce counts on the mountain. he pants are meant to wick sweat while keeping you warm. The outer shell fabric is not waterproof per se, but highly water resistant and dries pretty darn fast. The Exodus Pant is breathable with easy access zip side vents and is designed to fit ski and mountaineering boots. This is a hard wearing soft-shell with crampon patches to make sure there will be no holes torn in your pants from crampons.
- Rab Latok Alpine Jacket
Being in the Himalayas you know the importance of staying dry. Weather conditions can change at any moment and the Latok Alpine is a women’s specific waterproof jacket designed specifically for Alpine conditions. It features an adjustable-helmet compatible hood (perfect to spend a day ice climbing too), water resistant front zip (to keep you dry in the rain or snow), 2 large accessible pockets that are great for keeping your day pack on and have easy access to your iPhone to snap pictures of Mount Everest. The Latok is female specific, which will allowed any female to wear a down jacket like the GoLite Bitterroot DownTek under – without being ‘baggy’ – you still want to look good on the mountain!
- GoLite Bitterroot DownTek
The Bitterroot DownTek is the best insulating layer available on the market. The Bitterroot provides the insulation and warmth you need for the cold, blustery winter days on the mountain – or trekking at 18,200 feet to see amazing views of Mount Everest. When you’re trekking for 2 weeks every – ounce counts; not only it is the Bitterroot super light (12 ounces) and thanks to DownTek technology it packs down to almost nothing when rolled into its hood. Its 850 fill power DownTek is water repellent and ridiculously, ridiculously warm Not only is it efficient in keeping out the cold, you’ll have many compliments wearing it on and off the mountain.
- Outdoor Research Backstop Gloves
On cold winter days in the Himalayas glove liners are just about as important as a down jacket. The Outdoor Research Backstop Gloves are designed to be breathable and provide wind protection lined with fleece. Use them under mittens and you’ll have finger dexterity without exposing your hands to the elements when snapping pictures of Everest on top of Kala Pathar at 18,200 feet, gripping ski poles or ice climbing exes. Made with highly breathable Radiant Fleece, heat and moisture will quickly escape, leaving your hands protected, dry and comfortable. They’ve really help up to the test!
- Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodiles
These gaiters are not even called gaiters, they’re crocodiles! The biggest and burliest gaiters you can get – perfect for extended mountaineering trips, extreme conditions like ice climbing and cold weather. With a larger circumference, they’re sure to fit any mountaineering boot and heavy insulated pants. The inside is made of Cordura fabric to prevent snags – crampons are not ripping holes in these babies! ***Not necessary to bring in the Fall, but Spring trips may have more snow.
- Lifeproof Nüüd
Pictures, pictures, pictures. Yeah, when trekking Everest what better, more accessible way to do it than with your iPhone. The Lifeproof Nüüd case is exactly what you’ll need. The Lifeproof Nüüd will protect your iPhone 5 from plunges and fumbles, and drops in the snow and dirt while still letting you snap pics with direct touch – no plastic film covering the screen. The Nüüd is made with a robust plastic frame that fully encapsulates the volume, charge and earpiece holes for a completely waterproof case.
Others – and just as important!
- Smartwool NTS Micro 150 Bottom
Perfect for warmer fall or spring days when it’s just a little chilly. The extra wide waste band its a perfect fit for no muffin-tops (no matter how fit you are, you know what I mean!) and doesn’t slip far below the waste.
- Smartwool NTS Micro 150 V-Neck
If I would have been smart I would have packed a few of these. They’re lightweight, flattering and very comfortable. Pack 2-3, you can do laundry, but it’s difficult and not alway available and hang-dry takes a while in colder temperatures.
- Smartwool PHD Mountaineering socks
Strong, durable, warm. Just the perfect fit for long treks. Bring 2-3 pairs, you can do laundry, but it’s difficult and not alway available and hang-dry takes a while in colder temperatures..
- Smartwood Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew socks
Super cushioned, super warm. Perfect fit for mountaineering, ice climbing and multi-day trekking. ***Not necessary in the Fall for trekking, but really great to wear in the guest houses.
- Melanzana Micro Grid Hoodie
The most amazing Micro Grid fleece – I take this everywhere! The hood tightens up close around the face and over the chin for awesome protection. It also opens up wide enough when worn down to provide good ventilation without any bulk to get in the way. This versatile top can be used as a light-but-warm mid layer under a shell, or as highly breathable outer layer.
- Melanzana Vapor Grid Tights
These tights are a great high-performance base layer for highly active use in cool and cold weather. Close fitting and very stretchy, they make a great base layer for cool and very cold conditions or a high performance single/outer layer for highly active use in cool weather. They’re an amazing fit and are really great above 17,000 feet!
- Melanzana Vapor Grid Top
The Vapor Grid Top is a great high-performance base-layer. It is close fitting and very stretchy, making it great against the skin for cold weather layering, or as a high performance single/outer layer for highly active use in cool weather. The material provides excellent moisture wicking and high breathability, which is very important if you do not have a shower for 10 days!
- Mittens – keep those hands warm!
- Slippers – or a comfy shoe for the evenings
- Warm hat
- Headbands (inexpensive in villages)
- Buff – (inexpensive in villages) there’s an abundance of yak poop and dirt on the trails you’ll be so grateful to have a buff!
- Toilet paper and baby wipes (you can buy those in villages along the way)
- Clothing wash (available at REI)
- No rinse body wash (REI) – trust me, you’ll love it
- Homemade deodorant (Here’s my hippy – I mixed rubbing alcohol and lavender essential oil also gets smell out of clothing)
- Dry shampoo (Lush)
- Clean clothes for after your trek
I also brought two beers to share with people at Basecamp and Kala Pathar! Renegade Hammer & Sickle and San Tan Brewing Rail Slide – because why not have a beer with amazing views!