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My trek, my Everest

Author: Natalia Kachalyuk, 37, Paphos, Cyprus
Teamleader: Mykola Kolosovskyi
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At that moment (in the helicopter to Lukla) he was the only one having fun - the mountain guide, Kolya. Our fun began later. I was very afraid to go to the Himalayas. I do not know why: I like mountains, I have been there many times, the conditions do not scare me, and Asia is more the opposite. Besides, visiting Everest base camp was my childhood dream, and here I was frightened.

I encouraged her husband to do it, her brother, who, by the way, has a wife and two small children at home, but I was so snotty about it.

However, I remember well that not once in my whole life have I regretted what I had invented and put into practice. Not once!

So scary or otherwise, go ahead and get high! I knew it was a high. And I was getting high.

Know that life is high and.

So, Larnaca-Doha-Katmandu swept by with a vivid impression. Today, April 27 began the trek, after a helicopter flight to Lukla. Our super Mr. Guide played the saxophone at the airport right by the helicopter! And I went ahead to see as much as possible, feel more, notice better.

Day 1

Around 5am. Excitement. Airport of Kathmandu. We take off in helicopters with 2-5 people each. The first couple took off and landed fairly quickly. The second helicopter took off, but returned due to dramatically worsened visibility. All but five (me, Kostya, my brother, Andrew and the guide) were checked in and were in the departure area. We were enjoying the saxophone. Then they let us in too, but the departure was delayed for a long time. I slept in the room on the couch where our pilot was spending his time.

Helicopter. Saxophone again (at the request of the workers at the airport). My head was spinning. Flight.

Перелет на вертолете в Луклу

We flew in the “milk”, which means – see photo. Arrival in Lukla (2840 m). Gathering, getting acquainted with the porters and the second guide – the Nepali Raju. Tea. Departure….

Hiked about 8 km to Phagding, almost all the time downhill and lost altitude. Came to the lodge. Ordered lunch, and by tradition, right after lunch we chose dishes for dinner. What an ordeal)). I ate momo with potatoes. I’ve wanted them for a long time. Plus garlic soup. They say it is good for acclimatization. After eating we had a rest and went to the radial exit (climbing with the purpose of acclimatization, first we should gain altitude, to stay up for some time and then go back down, where after the ascent the organism would feel better than before it) to the monastery (2820 m.). We went quickly, in 2 hours, despite the fact that at first we climbed steeply upwards.

Feeling great.

We gathered for the supper by 7. I prefer a lot of garlic and onions in my dishes.

It’s warm on the track so far. T-shirt, thin trekking pants, cap, goggles with 4 protection, 50+ sunscreen, trekking boots with thin trek socks, trek. shirt covering arms and neck, trek poles and max fleece for the evening.

It was good. Even rinsed in the ice shower in the room.

The guide along the way told me to go at my own pace, get the most out of it. So I did.

8:30 p.m. Going to bed.

First night. No need for a sleeping bag. Good thing I brought my hiking pajamas.

Day 2

Charging. 7:30 breakfast – apple oatmeal and ginger tea. Went out to Namche (with a slight delay) for 10-11 km. About 600 m of elevation gain today. Going up and down. Predominantly up, and so to the Hillary Bridge. It’s the highest. It’s long and beautiful.

From the bridge it was a long climb and we didn’t get to the Himalayan Lodge until about 4:00.

I got tired towards the end when we got to the Namche Bazaar. I was very tired. The group was walking ahead within sight. Apparently, we got distracted and lost sight of the group, so we went a little higher than we should have, but in this condition and on the steep steps “higher” – it was a whole story. The mood was ruined even before that, apparently the height (with me it was, hurrah, the first and last time). Kostya went to a cafe, took wifi and called the guide – our hotel was nearby, but lower.

We arrived. We ate. I had Sherpa stew, a local soup (potatoes, galushki, vegetables). It seemed divine to me and I ate it with garlic toast.

There is hot water in the room. Free. But the Internet is already paid. Water is more expensive than 100 rupees (about a dollar a bottle of 1.5 liters. In Kathmandu, by comparison, 20 rupees). Prices are like a barometer of altitude.

Here, I took a shower. Had a long steam. The time is 6. Today, after climbing, I feel cold, apparently from fatigue, even in a thick fleece, but, in fact, yesterday I washed with iced water and norm. In half an hour we want to go for a walk. Dinner at 19:30.

Tomorrow we get up at 7. There will be a radial day (with climbs for acclimatization) and return to Namche.

In our lodge there is a portrait of Anatoly Bukkreev, but even in spite of that there is no feeling of going to Everest.

The altitude at which Namche Bazaar is located is 3440m. Tomorrow we are going to walk for a long time. We are going to gain 400m altitude.

After our evening “walk” (the whole village is a lot steep up or down) I really felt better. Not even after a shower! After walking. Here at altitude, this is important. Not to lie down. My mood improved, my smile returned. My head wants to get sick, but it doesn’t hurt yet.

Day 3

Charging. 7:30 breakfast. Radial exit from Namche. State of the art. Walking steeply uphill is hard, but you can do it at a small pace. Stupid steps. Looking for a regular trail.

Finally a lookout with a view of Everest. I took a photo in a dress (#dresseswalking tradition), bought prudently in Kathmandu.

Then another hike. Then the unpleasant descent back down. In addition, I had a headache. I don’t like these steps. I was looking for a path. Tension. And tomorrow is even tougher, they say.

We arrived early, and I wouldn’t have been me if I hadn’t decided to visit perhaps the world’s highest-rated spa, which I found thanks to the fact that we had walked above grade the day before. I later saw that there were quite a few of these salons in Namche, but I don’t like to choose. I signed up for the first one I saw (I didn’t end up losing, and I know what I’m talking about).

While there was time before the massage, I went back to my room. Shower, washed my head. Good. My travel hairdryer, bought on occasion for 400 r, could connect for free at the bar in the dining room, which is amazing, because to charge the gadget – a paid service, but to connect a hair dryer – please. I took with me a fragrant smoothing hair oil. Beautiful! Our girls also appreciated it.

Lunch. Curry rice veg. Then on to the long-awaited trekking massage ($35 plus tip). A room behind a curtain, a couch with a furry blanket without a duvet cover – special exotic. But really cool. Everything was done great. Super. Rest.

Dinner. Garlic soup and leftover veg rice.

Had a lot of laughs in the evening. We played funny card games and show us the word. We had a lot of fun. Before going to bed, as always, we packed our bags.

Tomorrow is Tengboche (3867m). At first it is flat, then very steep upwards. And after arrival to the lodge, there is also a radial exit. But it’s good for health.

I took 1.5 pentalgin for my head. Didn’t help for long. Spasm. I got some spasmalgon from Tanya, but didn’t drink it. I put some headache oil on it. Sleep.

Выход в Намче Базаре

Day 4

Charging. Breakfast at 7, out. The road is good, actually straight and down to the bridge, after the bridge steep 2 km climb for 500 m elevation gain to Tengboche. Went out at 11:44. Came in 1.5 hours. Just behind the rise was our hotel. Walked slower than walking pace. Walked sort of. With Lera. And a good companion is the key to a successful hike.

Super slow walking is great. We weren’t too much later than everyone else. For 5-10 minutes, and a lot of fun. Though the way was not easy, I walked and smiled. I said hello to everybody. I made friends with Natasha from Japan, even with two Nataches).

Lodge. Lunch was quickly made for us. I ordered boiled potatoes. My brother brought up canned sprats. Oh, it’s a miracle, just like the cod liver the day before.

At 3:30 p.m., out on the radial to 4140 m (now about 3850).

The organization of the trek is great. Just great.

15 min sleep. Leaving in 15 min.

Did not feel like walking. Plus, it was cold, piercing wind. The first 10 minutes of walking killed me: my breath was so bad, I had a headache while I was still at the lodge. The pills didn’t help. Kostya gave me his down jacket, though I covered my head and felt warm. I slowly drifted apart. Exhausting headache. Caught up with Kostya (he went ahead). Took his water to drink another pill, although relief was already. And his own head hurts badly. He sat up. The mountain sickness was coming on his heels. I drank the pill, gave the pills to him. At that time Raju and Dima, who were trailing us, caught up.

I went up. I walked alone (the other guys ran upstairs). I walked well. Very steep path to the stupa, but the quality of the road was familiar. Came upstairs. No shortness of breath, as I walk very slowly. Went uphill for a long time. Acclimatization. Went down well. Knee joint. Knees were all right. I think the massage played a role.

Sunset. It’s beautiful. Clouds. Fog. Helicopters flying below, me up!

Dinner. Tomato and onion salad and garlic soup.

20:45 sleep. Tomorrow at 6:50 gymnastics, breakfast, out.

Трек к базовому лагерю Эвереста

Day 5

Breakfast, breakfast, going out. First, the road is almost gentle, 4 km. A stop. Then 6 km uphill. We were higher than yesterday in the acclimatization trip on the stupa. Went slowly. With Lera. We were talking. The group was ahead and sometimes disappeared from sight. We went up a small hill instead of going down to the bridge, but we saw our mistake and went down quickly. The bridge. Then up.

Walked and came to Dingboche, gaining 600m in elevation. No strength. I was so tired that I could hardly blink, although it was okay to walk. Ordered lunch. I went up to my room on the 3rd floor. I was waiting, trying to sleep for 20 minutes. Now downstairs. There are steps on the 3rd floor worse than the way up, steep and high. Barely ate. Exit in half an hour. How to walk? But this fatigue is given by the altitude, and if you go up, then coming back down will be good. Our guide Kolya and Boukreev told us not to lie down, to move, to walk.

And we went. I had a good breakdown. No headache today. Kolya promised that it would be 3 times easier now than yesterday. I think it was a hundred times easier, and everyone even decided to climb even higher than planned. The altitude + 150 m from the village. The mood was excellent. Came back, resting. Ordered a laundry at the lodge. 200 rupees per item (about 2 dollars). Sitting in the dining room. It’s hot. Went back to the room. Writing. 18:08.

Dinner coming up. Appetite good. The company is fun.

Tomorrow the ascent to 5083 in the radial exit.

Day 6. Under the sky on a crystal high

We slept for a long time. In general, we sleep 8-10 hours every day. Got up at 7:30. Breakfast at 8.

Today we warmed up, because we will go higher than 5000 m. Thermal underwear, thick fleece, membrane, cap, gloves as we did last night in principle, only thermal added. The gloves I bought in Kathmandu, along with other missing equipment and on the run took both left!? That’s all right, one left hand went with the right.

We were going steeply uphill. Awfully high. It was hard to breathe. The slower you go, the better, the main thing to go, do not break the rhythm of breathing. I dragged my legs. But I don’t want to waste all my energy, and I’m not going to. The discovery of the century – soda is on point! I refuel with cola (although I’ve been drinking it for a long time). Wow effect!

In about 3 hours we got to the altitude of about 5075 below the summit of Mount NangKartShang (5083). The mountains around us opened up: Makalu – the 5th peak of the world, Cho Oyu, Lobuche, Cholatze, Taboche, Kogde Ri Thamserku, Kantega, Ama Dablam, Baruntsze, Cho Polu (recorded under the patient dictation of the guide).

While we, resting, acclimatize, he, our guide Kolya, plays the saxophone again. This is not a hike, this is some kind of extravaganza. This is not a guide – fantastic! Thank you!

Саксофон в горах

We went back down. Stupid until dinner, didn’t feel like sleeping. There is a bakery on the first floor of the lodge. We went into it before dinner and bought a chocolate Cake. Very fresh and delicious. For dinner I got Nepalese bread and yak cheese. You can’t eat as much as I do on the trek). Although this is the mountains, you can.

The third night I slept in a sleeping bag. I toss and turn a lot. So far, yay, it’s hot. I have to undress during the night. Hoping not to freeze in my super pajamas at the top. No deep sleep, but since I sleep long, there is enough rest.

The day after tomorrow we will be at Everest base camp! How fast the time flew by! Feeling great. At 5000m I took half a tablet of pentalgin and I was OK. I am going well. The main thing is to have a slow pace, and if it’s still difficult, then even slower and no problem. The horror-horror I’ve been waiting for isn’t there.

8:40 p.m. bedtime. Tomorrow at 6:50, exercise. My knees don’t hurt anymore, got pumped up, apparently (I’ve been working out on the uphill, and it turns out I could use a workout on the downhill, too)). It’s okay.

Day 7.

Morning. I slept so well! But the shortness of breath came on while packing my bag. Is it raining outside? No rain, just a little fog, and dripping from the roof. Charging. It got a little clearer. Went on a “flat” road for quite a long time. After crossing the river – sharp rise on stones, but short, especially in comparison with the yesterday’s radial.

Slow hiking is good. The mood is super, I’m smiling all the time. Then it was “even” again. I walk ahead of the group, as instructed by the guide, to keep the general slow steady pace. Came to the promised coffee shop in Lobuche. What will I have? An espresso macchiato! Although I had planned not to drink coffee on the trek at all, but how could I resist? The coffee is great. The ambiance is great. Some people slept at the table, some people sang. All in all, fun.

We went further out. I wore thermal underwear, took off my fleece, which I soon regretted. I stopped and got dressed. I couldn’t stand it: cold wind was blowing in my ears the second day. Fleece + windbreaker. A hat on the rises was hot, but “even” normal.

We came to Piramida. This Italian former research station, with solar panels on all sides, is now a hotel, the warmest, apparently, at this altitude. Couloir books the entire hotel for their groups half a year before the trek, so those who dreamed of a night here without pre-booking, alas, shone only a cold attic.

So, hot water!!! is there (shared showers), no supposed free internet (it’s the Himalayas, baby), but for us and bathing is included and one meal. That’s how nice.

My lunch got cold while we washed up in line with another group of Couloir, with whom we joined in the Pyramid, but no one was upset. Rest. Waiting for dinner. Talking a lot. I love these people, our group. Tomorrow – base camp.

Feeling better than on the plain. Almost everybody is good and cheerful. My pajamas are super. My sleeping bag too. Even the boots are motivating!

After dinner, my heart raced at an even pulse. Coffee? I guess I shouldn’t have had that. And I’ll switch from Coke to Sprite. I feel better before bed, but I get a little shortness of breath every time I move. At this altitude, you have to do everything slowly and smoothly. No sudden movements. Sleep.

Day 8. Everest base camp, but this is not the end!

Morning, Bauls. Breakfast. Exit for 4 km to Gorakshep, and then to the base camp.

Slowly. I need to slowly. Mood is super duper. Smiling at everyone. A man on the way asks for water. I pour from my full bottle into my empty bottle (I happened to have an empty bottle with me). I give it back.

Came to our next lodge. Ordered lunch and went to the base camp 3.5 km one way. In the mountains it is a wow-how.

In the beginning it was hard to walk, rhythm, breathing. Whatever. Started to have a headache. Better to lag behind, not in a hurry, as always. Water. Half a pill. Slowly. All right. I’m a cosmo-navt, I’m in a cosmo-navt. Even slower. Breathing steady. I’m coming along nicely. Everyone needs my water. My head is gone. I see Zhenka (my brother) resting. He says, why are we going there? I answered – we just wanted to. We went to my rhythm. My breathing became even. We are walking together well. The birds live here small beautiful.

At first we were walking on snow, it fell out at night, now on thawed snow. Base camp. Photo, video. Then came Dima, he did not feel well at all. Gave the rest of his water. Somehow people decided to “run” to the base camp and back on light and without water.

General photo. Photo with a flag of a charity organization that helps children Together forever (Kostya brought it with him).

Базовый лагерь Эвереста

A small descent to the Khumbu glacier. Photo. Back. Photo on the peak without a line this time.

Descent. Going well. I am in good condition. I am cheering up all the people going up, like crazy.

Tired. Slowness is my forte.

Lodge. Lunch. Rest. Writing. Tomorrow the weather should be good, not the clouds and snow we were walking in before camp.

After all, tomorrow is departure at 5 am to Kalapattar mountain (5644 meters!!!). Will I go? Will I make it? They say everyone reaches it in 2 hours. The descent takes about 40 minutes. Will it be harder than it was?

Day 9

From Everest base camp you can’t see Everest, and we’re going even higher! Higher than Everest base camp, but in the other direction, to Cala Pattar, to meet the dawn (5644 m) with a view of the cherished mountain!

Departure at 4 am after tea and chocolate. We start walking in the dark with flashlights. This route is not more difficult. Dawn. I’m going very well, but dumb. I had to force myself to stop to put the down jacket on top of the membrane, but I was going. It wasn’t cold, but my body froze.

We went upstairs, and the sun was warming up. Photo. Descent.

Everybody was tired of heights. I felt good, acclimatized and ready to go anywhere. We came back to the lodge, where we slept. We had breakfast. But when we started to walk back down, but actually up (in the mountains up-down alternates in any way, no matter where we went), I didn’t want to go, though the group was going home joyfully.

Valley. 5000 м. I could hardly drag my legs in a straight line. A real straight line. I didn’t want to walk. Not at all. Not down, not up, not anywhere. The coffee shop. The same one where I had so much fun two days ago. I went in and lay down on the bench. The vanilla coffee latte for 7 bucks came in handy. A guide caught up with us at the coffee shop, he was dealing with a helicopter evacuation for Dima. (Dima flew away, having realized his dream, and secretly we were jealous, if I may say so, of his helicopter descent.)

When Kolya saw us sprawled out on tables and chairs, he said cheerfully: “I don’t get it, you were going so well up there, and now in 2 hours (or maybe 3) you dropped only 100 meters of altitude!” He lifted us up and “chased” us on.

Downhill. Somewhere with more oxygen. Oh, how relieved. Everybody’s better, our mood is much better. It’s going well now.

Walked 18 km, not counting the ascent to Kala Pattar.

Had lunch on the way.

Windy, cold, down jacket.

Fast walk downhill. It’s hot. Wet. Wind. Feeling unwell. Dinner. A sleeping bag. Sleep. 20:44

Tomorrow in Namche 13 km. There my favorite spa and hot water in the room.

Then on to Lukla, then off to Kathmandu.

Базовый лагерь Эвереста


Since recently, the example for me is not the difficult path to success, but the easy achievement of the difficult.

When I decided that difficulty was not for me, I went and climbed Everest base camp. Seriously. Without any contrived problems:

  • I knew in advance where I was going and why, had a good idea of what awaited me, understood the possible nuances and was ready for them, trained specifically for the trek easily, without tension and fatigue, and accepted for myself the idea that it was the path itself that mattered, not the goal.
  • That at any time, even at the beginning, my ascent can be stopped, for example, mountain sickness, and my new mountain boots will still be new, and an expensive warm sleeping bag never unfolded, that this climb can not buy any money in the world, if, suddenly, it becomes bad.
  • I decided that I would walk slowly, or rather crawl at the end of the group, but I would definitely enjoy it as much as possible: look carefully around, breath in the smells, feel the wind or lack thereof, take pictures as much as possible. I decided that if it became too difficult, I would not mock myself and would turn back. But I did not. There was no reason to.
  • But all this killed my perfectionism, and instead came the joy of the moment and the inspiration to move forward. I loved everyone and everything, and I was loved. May it all go on!

A huge thank you to everyone involved!


Thank you, my friends,
For this way, for these mountains,
For what we could see
From the heights of heaven.

For your glances, for your breath,
Between the mountains in a vise,
Oh, how unfortunate to say goodbye
Now that we are so close.

Thank you for being like family
All were on this visit.
Thank you, dear mountains,
For the incomparable Everest!

For the guide Kolya, thank you,
For his uniqueness and talent.
Luckily he didn’t make a choice:
A climber or a musician,
Even the leader of the best teams!

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