The CMC’s Membership Director, Lauren Shockey, spent a few weeks in Nepal during the summer of 2018. She left the country with a new appreciation for its culture, peaks, and lack of oxygen. Read on for Lauren’s top reasons to head to Nepal on your next vacation.
Lauren’s Top Five Reasons to trek to Everest Base Camp:
- Ama Dablam
- One of the most recognizable mountains along the trek! Uniquely shaped and standing tall at 22,349 feet, it towers above all of its neighboring mountains. Ama Dablam will dominate the sky for most of your trek—making it hard to miss.
- Tengboche Monastery
- Tengboche Monastery is one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist centers in the Khumbu Valley. This was a definite highlight of the trip for me. Not only did we catch our first glimpse of Everest in the city of Tengboche, but we were also able to witness the monks’ daily prayers in the Monastery. You can only visit during certain times of the day, and photography isn’t allowed inside the incredibly ornate and elaborate Monastery, but you’ll definitely want to take pictures of the wood-carved exterior set right beneath the spectacular mountain of Ama Dablam.
- The Personal Accomplishment
- The great thing about this trek is that it is achievable! The trek does not require technical expertise or mountaineering skills. However, I do recommend training for the not only the distance and difficulty level of the daily hikes, but also for the altitude gain that you’ll experience. Go slow, acclimatize, and listen to your body along the trek. Yes, it’s difficult, but it’s doable—that’s what makes completing the trek so worthwhile and rewarding!
- The Journey
- You know you’re in for an exciting trip when it begins with a hair-raising flight into the Lukla airport, perched on the edge of a cliff! This legendary trek will take you on a journey through many unique landscapes. From the forests, waterfalls, and misty mountains of the lower elevations, to the flowering rhododendron forests, to the rocky, barren (yet beautiful terrain) of the higher altitudes, to finally the incredible ice-blue Khumbu Glacier and Mount Everest. Along the way, you’ll stay at teahouses run by local families that are each charming and unique.
- See the highest point in the world!
- If you are there during trekking season, you’ll be able to see the buzz and busyness of Base Camp and watch climbers navigate the Khumbu Icefall. However, the star of the show is the stunning vista of Mt. Everest, and four of the world’s other tallest peaks- Mt. Makalu, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt. Shishapangma that flank Everest. Being able to stand below the world’s tallest mountain is both an awe-inspiring and humbling experience that I will treasure forever.
BONUS: Yak Bells– You’ll pass a lot of yaks on the trail. Each yak has a hand stitched bell around its neck and each handmade bell has a slightly different sound. So if you hear a beautiful bell chorus coming your way, you know the yaks aren’t far behind! I loved the bells so much, I bought one to bring home. If you want to snag your own, find them at Namche Bazaar. This may not be on everyone’s top list of reasons, but the yak bells have a special place in my heart.
Sold on Nepal as your next adventure destination? Join the CMC as we trek Anapurna Sanctuary from October 18–November 3. Learn more at www.cmc.org/AdventureTravel/AdventureTravelTrips/NepalAnnapurna.aspx.