Everest Base Camp, Kala Patthar & Lobouche Peak
“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hillary (the first person to climb Mt. Everest)
Why This Peak for Tami?
Hiking to Everest Base Camp is number 3 on my bucket list and has been one of the things I have most wanted to accomplish. The Himalayas are THE mountains and to be able to see them up close will be a dream. If weather and health holds, then we will be attempting a summit of possibly two peaks: Lobouche and Island. It would be my first time above 20,000′ and that would be a tremendous achievement for me. I have also wanted to see the culture of Nepal. I am drawn to the Eastern philosophies and the rich history of this part of the world, which includes the birthplace of the Buddha.
Why This Peak for TJ?
I first started reading books about mountaineering before I even became an avid hiker. By the time I took my first introduction to mountaineering course on Mt Shasta, I had already amassed shelves of books with accounts of death and survival on big mountains. Naturally, topics about Mt Everest always seemed to stand center stage with mountaineer authors like Anatoli Boukreev, Ed Viesturs, Jon Krakauer to name just a few.
While Everest itself remains out of reach for me, I hope to be able to attempt both Loboche 20,070′ and Island Peak 20,305′, to the West and East respectively, of the Everest Base Camp Trail.
From Kathmandu to Namche Bazaar to Everest Base camp itself, I will have the opportunity to walk in just a few of the footsteps of the mountaineers I have either met or read about…Some of whom, never returned and some of whom, continue to climb and provide inspiration to this day.
Peak & Route Facts
This expedition will be 18 days. The first nine days are to Everest Base Camp. We will be trekking and staying in lodges and tea houses along the way. The second half of the expedition will be the climbing of the two peaks. These will be mountaineering peaks and we will be tenting at high camps in the snow.
Historical and Cultural Information
Nepal officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a landlocked central Himalayan country in South Asia. It has a population of 26.4 million and is the 93rd largest country by area. Bordering China in the north and India in the south, east, and west, it is the largest sovereign Himalayan state.
The territory of Nepal has a recorded history since the Neolithic age. The name Nepal is first recorded in texts from the Vedic Age, the era which founded Hinduism, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in southern Nepal. Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The Kathmandu Valley in central Nepal became known as Nepal proper because of its complex urban civilization. It was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala. The Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley’s traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional art and architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal. The Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and later formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and Colonial India. In the 20th century, Nepal ended its isolation and forged strong ties with regional powers. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs in 1960 and 2005. The Nepalese Civil War resulted in the proclamation of a republic in 2008, ending the reign of the world’s last Hindu monarchy.
Modern Nepal is a federal secular parliamentary republic. It has seven states. Nepal is a developing nation, ranking 145th on the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2014. The country struggles with the transition from a monarchy to a republic. It also suffers from high levels of hunger and poverty. Despite these challenges, Nepal is making steady progress, with the government declaring its commitment to elevate the nation from least developed country status by 2022.
The Himalayas have the Earth’s highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest. The Himalayas include over a hundred mountains exceeding 7,200 metres (23,600 ft) in elevation. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia – Aconcagua, in the Andes – is 6,961 metres (22,838 ft) tall. The Himalayas are spread across five countries: Bhutan, India, Nepal, China, and Pakistan, with the first three countries having sovereignty over most of the range. The Himalayan range is bordered on the northwest by the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, on the north by the Tibetan Plateau, and on the south by the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Some of the world’s major rivers, the Indus, the Ganges, and the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra, rise in the Himalayas, and their combined drainage basin is home to roughly 600 million people. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of South Asia; many Himalayan peaks are sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism.
On 29 May 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. Following his ascent of Everest, Hillary devoted most of his life to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, which he founded. Through his efforts, many schools and hospitals were built in Nepal.