If you trek to Everest Base Camp in the monsoon season, expect rain (an obvious) and few crowds. We ambled on without the luxuries of trekking season (i.e. ample apple pie) and gained an onward journey that didn’t include jostling for sleeping space at each Everest stopping base. Traveler’s note: bring playing cards, lots of reading material, layers, good friends (whom you won’t want to kill after 10 days stuck together without internet) and extra money. You’ll need the latter to survive, especially if your flight out of Lukla is delayed several days, or weeks, another downside to the monsoon season. F.Y.I. Lukla usually ranks as one of the world’s most dangerous airports for a reason, it’s best if they decide with caution. (Envision a football pitch as a landing strip, complete with high-rise mountains piercing the clouds in each direction.)
Notes from my Everest journey:
Hire a local sherpa, even if you can’t communicate well. We understood little but his speech about high altitude, which consisted of hand motions conveying sickness and broken English. Nonetheless, his helpful hauling made our trip possible and gave us a consistent pace, plus a peek into the Sherpa community in the Everest region.
Withdraw extra money in Kathmandu. We almost ran out of rupees and only managed to squeak through by not paying for showers (see photo above) and resisting the Snickers bars that inevitably popped up at every Everest rest station, that is, until the very end. My willpower is only so strong.
Everest is Everest. It’s a surreal mountain-scape that you’ve heard about so many times, but can’t envision until you’ve been there. As every traveler to Everest utters afterward, I hope it’s not my last trek, trip, or tale here.
George Mallory’s answer says it all. ‘Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest?’ “Because it’s there.”