The Expedition – Day 0
City – Kathmandu
Elevation – 1,400m (4,600ft)
Trekking Time – 0
When my friend Zita informed me that she was visiting Nepal and asked if I wanted to come with her, I replied “Sure, let’s go to Mount Everest!” She had no idea what I was talking about and I had no idea what I was talking about. We arrived into the capital city of Kathmandu with little to no knowledge of the Everest Trek, but we took a few days to gauge what we were about to take on.
There are 2 options in getting there from Kathmandu: You could either take a 10 hour bus ride to the end of the road getting off in a town called Jiri and start trekking from there. Or you could take a 45min flight into the mountains to a town called Lukla and save a whole week of trekking. We chose the latter. But apparently, the mountains have been too foggy and windy all week for flights, so passengers have been backed up during that time. Fortunately for us however, the weather cleared up on the day we arrived in Kathmandu and all of the people on the waiting list got their flights in that day. So we were able to fly out the very next morning without any delays. Delays are a very common problem with these flights.
For the trek itself, you could do it all on your own or you could hire a guide to lead you around. You can even hire porters to carry your bags up for you and there are complete packages from trekking companies that would meet all of your trekking needs. But with many villages and towns spaced every few hours apart along the way that have tea houses fully equip with accommodations, food, and heat, Nepal is one of the only places in the world that you can trek without needing to carry any camping equipment. Of course you can always camp, but why carry all that equipment up the highest mountains in the world. For that reason, we did not have a lot of stuff to carry with us so there was no need for a porter. However, we did decide that a guide would be useful.
Booking through a trekking company we were able to get a package that included a guide, accommodations, 3 meals a deal, our trekking permits, flights to and from Lukla, and transfers to and from the airport for a 16 day trek through the Himalayas for $775 US each including taxes. Not bad considering the flights alone are around $300 total. The only thing we need to spend on when we are up there would be drinks. Our trekking permits were processed and we were flying out the next morning.
With our expedition all set, we decided to celebrate. But with my plan to not drink any beer in Nepal, we had to be creative. Whiskey was the choice. Mount Everest whiskey to be exact.