Family Trek to Everest Base Camp - A Wonderful Shared Experience

Photos from Left: Breakfast at Dzonghla, Top of Cho La, Too Heavy

In 1985, my wife and I trekked to Manang, halfway around the Annapurna Circuit, before bad weather forced us to retreat to Pokhara. However, we then trekked to Annapurna Base Camp so all was not lost.

We wanted to return to Nepal and decided that September 2001 would be a good time to go. Our sons were 14 and 13 and had been on bushwalks and in Scouts so we were confident they'd be up for an adventure.

A week before we were due to fly to Kathmandu, the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon were attacked. Friends and family were worried about our safety but we decided that there would be greater levels of airline security than ever before.

Everest from Gokyo Ri

We flew to Kathmandu then to Lhasa and travelled back to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp. As an avid reader of books about the history of Everest expeditions I was thrilled to visit this iconic location.

Our flight from Kathmandu to Lukla was cancelled due to bad weather. The conditions the next day looked just as bad but the pilot decided to take off. We flew in thick cloud for most of the way with the mountainsides seemingly only metres from the wing tip. I expected we would have to turn back but the pilot found a gap in the cloud at Lukla and landed. The anxious passengers applauded with relief.

We set off with our guide Deepak. Our first stop was at Phakding where the wife of the owner decided that our sons would make good husbands for her daughters. However the sons and daughters were not impressed.

Photos from Left: Ama Dablam from Kala Patthar, On Top of Kala Patthar

On to Namche Bazaar, an acclimatisation day trip to Khumjung and Kunde, then to Gokyo. At Macchermo we saw a porter with a trekking group had been placed in a hyperbaric bag after falling ill at a higher village. Sadly he died. In the lodge our sons played cards with three members of a South African trekking group, and a few years later I found out they were training to climb Everest and one of them had reached the summit from Tibet in 2004 and from Nepal in 2007. 

We climbed Gokyo Ri, then crossed the Cho La to Gorak Shep and Everest Base Camp. It was all downhill then, back to Kathmandu and back to Melbourne. The end of a great family adventure.

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