Q1) Where is Mt. Everest?
Mount Everest is known in Nepali as Sagarmāthā and in Tibetan as Chomolungma.
It is Earth’s highest mountain and is located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas.
The international border between China (Tibet Autonomous Region) and Nepal runs across its summit point.
Q2) How high are Mt. Everest and Everest Base Camp?
The current official height of Mt. Everest is 8,848 m (29,029 ft).
Everest Base Camp is at 5,380 m (17,600 ft) and is on the south side of Everest in Nepal.
Q3) How long is the trek to Everest Base Camp?
The distance from Lukla to Everest Base Camp is 62 km.
Reaching Everest Base Camp will take 9 days and it will take 3 days to come back.
The walk is slower than at sea level because of the terrain and also mostly because our bodies need to adjust to the lack of oxygen.
At Everest Base Camp, there is only 50% of the oxygen we have at sea level.
Q4) Will I hike alone?
I will be treeking with a group of approximately 10 hikers and with local guides.
It is not recommended to hike alone at high altitude.
Q5) How did I prepare for the high altitude?
Effective strategies for adjusting to the thinning air are to walk slowly and to sleep lower than the last elevation hiked on a particular day. The trek to Everest Base Camp includes both strategies.
I will be bringing medication just in case I develop symptoms of altitude sickness above what I would consider moderate.
Hiking with a group and guides is my safeguard in the very highly unlikely event I would develop severe symptoms of altitide sickess.
Q6) What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes. This typically happens at 8000 ft (2438 m) or higher.
Altitude sickness has three forms.
Mild altitude sickness is called acute mountain sickness (AMS) and is quite similar to a hangover – it causes headache, nausea, and fatigue. This is very common: some people are only slightly affected, others feel awful.
However, if you have AMS, you should take this as a warning sign that you are at risk of the serious forms of altitude sickness: High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), which can be fatal within hours.
HAPE is excess fluid on the lungs, and causes breathlessness. HAPE can also cause a fever (a high temperature) and coughing up frothy spit.
HACE is fluid on the brain. It causes confusion, clumsiness, and stumbling. The first signs may be uncharacteristic behaviour such as laziness, excessive emotion or violence. Drowsiness and loss of consciousness occur shortly before death.
Q7) What’s the weather like on Everest?
Mount Everest lies 28° north of the equator and is subject to a typical northern hemisphere seasonal pattern. It lies at the edge of the influence of the Indian Monsoon which brings moisture and clouds from June to September.
The cold months are December/January and the best trekking is between these two seasons during March to May and October to November, when the climate is moderate.
I expect daily extremes: warm days and very cold mornings, evenings and nights…. getting colder as I gain altitude.
Q8) Will I sleep in tents?
I will sleep in tea houses…some kind of a combination of a guest house, restuarant and social hang out.
The lodges are fairly basic: private rooms with twin beds except at high altitude where they are dormitories.
Q9) Am I scared?
I can only think of the excitement of the adventure.
Q10) Will I attempt to summit Everest one day?
How about you ask me that question when I’m back.
In the mean time, I suggest the following documentary about Everest Base Camp ….just for the fun of it…..