Jill Frazier asked the regulars at myWanderlust for advice on an up-coming trek to Everest Base Camp. Here are their best tips
Everyone agreed that fitness is key to enjoying a trek to Everest Base Camp. Jay R did a lot of running, Stairmaster and ski exercises to strengthen her legs.
“It's steep uphill to Namche Bazaar,” she says.
Fintown Trekker loved that idea of stairs training but suggested doing it with a loaded day-pack. He also recommended wearing ankle weights for long walks in the country. Or better still, find a beach with soft sand.
“You do need to train for endurance,” he says. “It will definitely be of great benefit if you can get into the mountains close to home as often as possible.”
Opinion was split on how best to deal with altitude sickness. Diamox seems to be the medication of choice, but MattyBoy876 reckons that as long as you don't exceed the daily limit of increasing altitude you won't need it. Ukdani took Diamox along but doesn't agree with taking it just to get higher.
“Altitude sickness is your body telling you that you are already too high,” say Ukdani. “But I guess ultimately it's a decision everybody has to make for themselves.”
In fact, avoid meat altogether. According to Fintown Trekker, it's all carried up in wicker criels festooned with flies.
“Stick to pasta, pizzas, good auld local spuds and veggies,”he says.
“Stick with the veggie and the carbs and you won't go wrong.”
If you're looking for a treat en-route Ukdani recommends the tomato soup at Sunrise Lodge Phakding.
“Best tomato soup in Nepal!” says Ukdani. (Closely followed by the tomato soup at The Nest in Namche, apparently.)
Fintown Trekker says don't forget to pack chocolate and high-energy bars.
“You need that stuff for several sugar punches per day!” he says.
Water and plenty of it. Exodus recommends four litres per day.
“I thought that was a lot,” says Jay R. “But it's amazing how dehydrated you get because you're sweating so much.”
Jay R took a large bicycle cape to throw over herself and her rucksack when it rained.
“It's no fun walking in wet clothes,' she says. “Also break in your boots and wear thin socks inside thick.”
Jay R also advises to take blister packs and bandages to put on bits that rub. Vaseline helps to reduce the chafe between toes.
With a stunning vista around every corner, Jay R recommends taking lots of memory cards. And a couple of extra batteries too.
“There's battery charging facilities at Namche Bazaar,” she says. “But nada further up.”
Ukdani just got back from Nepal and says getting your battery charged depends on what lodges you stay in.
“Every lodge I stayed in offered battery charging (although they charge!) and a friend of mine did ABC and Kala Pattar and he was able to charge his batteries as well.”
Ukdandi also says there's free wifi all the way up to Namche, rarer at places after that.
Nearly all our respondents said the key to enjoying the trek and avoiding altitude sickness was to take things nice and slow.
“The daily distance to cover is not too bad,” says Ukdani. “ If you leave at 8 am you are normally at the destination by latest 1 pm.”
So take your time. The slower you go the easier you get used to the height.
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