Imagine: after two days hard trekking, finally you see it. Jagged, snow-shrouded, and utterly awe-inspiring – Everest rises ahead. So far on this epic Himalayas expedition, you’ve climbed to 3400m. You’re hot, dusty and have eleven more days hiking ahead – traversing mountain trails, skirting glaciers and bunking down in teahouses. You’ll grow used to wet-wipe washes, a symbiotic relationship with odd pieces of gear, and friendships forged in unforgiving environments. Your objective is Everest Base Camp. Snow-fringed and framed by fluttering prayer flags, it sits at a testing 5346m at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall.
Expedition leader Jo Bradshaw takes new adventurers on this journey to Base Camp every year these days through worldwide tour company 360 Expeditions (360-expeditions.com) (she summited Everest itself in 2016). As part of our new ‘Ask an expert series,’ we got in touch with Bradshaw to ask about Everest, the unique challenges of trekking through the Himalayas, and some essential gear and tech tips.
Trekkers passing signpost on way to Mount Everest Base Camp © hadynyah / Getty Images
Jo, you’ve led 10 trips to Everest Base Camp – what do people get from them?
JB: They’re about so much more than just a trek. They’re challenging. But difficult is good because it makes you stronger. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, going 12 days without a proper shower, being with a group of strangers, surrounded by incredible culture in the most famous mountain region in the world. These treks broaden people’s horizons because they take us away from the comforts of home and put us in the land of simplicity.
Continue reading Ask an expert: Jo Bradshaw on how to pack for the Himalayas