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James’ Journal Entry - Everest Base Camp Trek

By 5 years ago
Categories Pokhara

Wednesday 16th January 2013

‘Namche Bazaar’ My Room 3.50pm

The majority of today has been a day of leisure.  It began with a 7am wake up and day 3 without a shower.  For breakfast – porridge with 2 slices of toast.  The streak of good meals continue.  At our current location we are approximately 3400 metres above sea level so after breakfast we began our short trek to the summit of a peak some 400 metres higher.  The main objective of this trek was to test our ability to breath at this altitude.  At 3800 metres above sea level the air becomes noticeably thinner, even compared to where we currently sit at 3400 metres.  The first few minutes were quite a struggle as I became accustomed to walking up steep stairs once again.  

As the trek continued I began to realise at this stage that my muscle soreness will not be a factor, but my ability to take in oxygen.  More and more focus was needed to combat the thinning of the air as we climbed higher and higher.  It began to feel as if there was something sitting on my chest or blocking the airway into my lungs.  All of this meant that I needed to start breathing through my mouth as well as my nose taking in as much oxygen as I could with each breath.  

Water was also important at this point – the ability to stay hydrated and the need to keep away altitude sickness became very important.  After an exhausting 2 hours of steep climbing we reached our final stopping point.  Our reward – an unobstructed view of Everest.  There were a couple of other mountains blocking part of it.  OK, maybe we just saw the peak, but it was an impressive peak!  Also at this location was the highest airport in the world – 3800 metres above sea level.


Coming back down was a lot harder on my legs.  After 2 hours of climbing to the top it only took us 30 minutes to climb back down.  By the time we arrived back at Namche Bazaar my legs were jelly.  Our second reward when we returned –  a hot shower.  Damn it was good!  Whilst in there I had a chance to wash some thermals.  It’s a shame they fell onto dirt after being blown off a clothes line while I was trying to dry them.  They now sit on a brick wall with stones on them to keep them in place.  That will be my last shower for 8 days.  Thank goodness for baby wipes.  They will save me.  Dinner in 1.5 hours, I think it’s mushroom pizza.  Nice!

James Flynn

Adventure Group Program Volunteer