For those following my stories on my recent trek to Everest Base Camp, I posted another one this morning at Gadling. In the last post, we had arrived at Base Camp itself after a number of days hiking in the Khumbu Valley, and today I talk about the hike back down, something that gets glossed over a bit when discussing mountain climbs or treks of this nature.
As I indicate in the story, the trek down is actually about as demanding as the one up. Yes, you cover more distance in a shorter period, and the air begins to thicken as you descend, but the steep slopes that you struggled to climb days before are no easier to navigate when heading in the opposite direction. Plus, you’re using different muscles in your legs, and they tend to protest as well. Thankfully you’re through with the acclimatization process, so things like headaches and other issues brought on by altitude begin to dissipate, but a good portion of my trekking group was suffering from stomach issues and a variety of other ailments, such as the Khumbu Cough, which was worse for me at the end of the trip and after I came home.
Still, the trip down is an enjoyable one. You’ve reached your goal and you know that it won’t be long before the adventure is over. There is a huge sense of satisfaction that comes over you when you’ve visited a place that you’ve always wanted to see, and even had to struggle a bit to get there. The Himalayan scenery is just as beautiful on the way down as it was on the way up, and taking an alternate route allows you to see more of the region.
While this latest post does wrap up the stories from the trail, I still have a few more to write on a variety of topics, such as gear, challenge of the trek, and going independently vs. guided. There is still more to tell to be sure, but again, if you have questions, feel free to drop me a note. I’m happy to share thoughts and offer advice where I can. 🙂 Hopefully these stories have inspired others to make the trek, as it is an amazing experience to be sure.
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