Trekking to Everest Base Camp and doing some good along the way

I watched the tiny gray strip of asphalt grow in the windscreen as the Otter dove for the tiny landing strip, barely longer than an aircraft carriers, only there was no opportunity to go around if we missed our approach. The engine roared and one of the fifteen of us passengers exclaimed, "Oh shit!" as our plane slammed into the runway and skidded to a stop three seconds later. Welcome to Lukla, one of National Geographic's Ten Most Dangerous Airports in the world, and the first hurdle on the way to  Everest Base Camp.

This was my second trip to Nepal, my first time, I hiked the Annapurna Circuit in 2003, a three week journey, and I've been hooked on the Himalayas and the people of Nepal since then. It took me a long time to get back, although I had been to Tibet, Bhutan, and northern India in the meantime. This particular trip, organized by Camera Voyages, fulfilled a lifetime dream to go to Basecamp on the Nepali side, and we would have the opportunity to work with a great non-profit, Kids of Kathmandu.

Our twelve-day trek took place under perfect weather alongside a professional and knowledgeable set of guides and Sherpas, essential to a successful trip to EBC. Comfortable tea houses, nutritious lunches, milk tea, momos, and the ubiquitous dhal bhat rounded out the logistics.

All along the hike we took in the amazing vistas, took some amazing still and video, and each enjoyed the experience of being in the timeless landscape of the Himalaya in their own way. To be away from technology, the 24-hour news cycle, and the mundane details of modern civilization is a opportunity to ponder one's own life.

Michael SetoComment