Which is the best Himalayan winter hike

Hiking in the Himalayas: Trekking to Everest Base Camp

I walk slowly but feel like I'm running a marathon. My heart rate is probably higher than healthy, and at 5,150 m I finally run out of breath. Nevertheless, I am driven by my goal, which I can already see in the distance. Mount Everest. I went on a multi-day hike to the foot of the giant in the Himalayas and report on my experiences from Everest trekking in Tibet.

Is the mountain tour to Everest Base Camp worth it?

There is no other mountain in the world where there are more myths and legends than Mount Everest. Nestled in the Himalayas, the 8,848 m high peak lies on the border between Nepal and China. The hike to Mount Everest Base Camp on the north side of Mount Everst extends over 70 km in 4 days. The starting point is the Tibetan city of Tingri. On the hike, depending on the route and weather conditions, 4,500 to 5,500 meters of altitude are overcome and some monasteries are visited. At the destination, a gigantic view of the north face of Mount Everest opens up.

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Instatipp: For advanced skiers, a picture of Mount Everest at night is something very special. Without annoying artificial light, you have a breathtaking view of the variety of stars.

Arrival to Tibet

I went to Beijing first to see the city a little. From there, the “Quinghai-Tibet Railway”, a masterpiece of engineering, went to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. You need a few days on site to get used to the differences in altitude and to "acclimate". After all, the city is at an altitude of 3,650 m. There I get to know the other "fellow hikers". From Lhasa we are then taken across the country in a small minivan to Tingri, where the trekking tour starts.

An oxygen cylinder - really?

It's a little scary to bump down a never-ending gravel road, sitting in a minivan with eight strangers. Our guide Lakdön gives an introduction to how to behave in Tibet. Then we come to the safety instructions for our hike and my heart slips in my pants. If altitude sickness catches me, my four-month preparation with endurance and conditioning training has been in vain and the dream of Mount Everest died. My eyes flicker over to the oxygen bottles. The question: "Why am I doing this to myself?" Is buzzing around in my head.

The hardships of the hike

The hike is definitely not a luxury trip. We hike six hours a day with 12 kilos of luggage on our backs. That can be exhausting. Therefore, a health certificate about the physical endurance must be submitted beforehand. Sanitary facilities are in no way comparable to a German standard. In the higher altitudes there are seldom hot showers and at night temperatures can quickly slide well below zero degrees. There are preventive prescription drugs for altitude sickness that should be discussed with your doctor. Fortunately, I was spared this.

Arrival at Everest Base Camp

We progress at a snail's pace. I no longer believed that I would even get there. It's just over 0 degrees Celsius, but I'm sweating and I'm at the end of my physical endurance. We stop in our column and I turn my gaze to the sky. And there he is. No, he is literally enthroned. The morning light envelops him in an angelic shell, in a special shine that is difficult to describe with words. I catch my breath and all effort is forgotten. To see Mount Everest with my own eyes has long been my wish, which will come true in this unique moment.

Conclusion

Yes, it was worth it. However, the effort, starting with the physical fitness that one must have, to the permit for entry into the Qomolangma National Park and the visas is relatively strenuous. At least two separate visas are required for China and Tibet. In addition, this vacation was by far one of the most expensive, as the exclusivity comes at a price. I wouldn't do it a second time. But diving down into this foreign Tibetan culture, coupled with the sight of huge glaciers and the highest mountain in the world, will quickly make you forget some of the hardships. By the way, the best travel time is in spring and autumn.

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There is also the possibility to get from the Nepalese side to Mount Everest and its base camp on the south side. There are different providers and routes. For example, a 16-day hike can be booked from 1,600 euros. You take a domestic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, from where the tour to Everest base camp starts. The hike includes visits to monasteries, leads through pine forests and past glaciers. The highest point of most mountain tours will be at Kala Patthar. This is at an incredible 5,545 meters.

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