It’s incredibly hard to summarize a life-changing journey like Everest Base Camp in 11 points.  But it’s also hard to put the experience into words at all.

I spent almost three weeks traveling with 22 of the coolest human beings I’ve had the pleasure of meeting who also raised $140,000 for 7 different charities.  We spent 12 glorious days in the most beautiful place on earth.  Oh, and we ALL made it to Everest Base Camp.

The Dream Mountains team at Everest Base Camp – we did it!

Here are the top things I learned/wanted to share with you about hiking to Everest Base Camp:

  1. It’s hard not to fall in love with the people of Nepal.  They are welcoming, kind, spiritual and want to show off their beautiful country.  They also use “Namaste” as a greeting – how peaceful is that?

    This is our head guide BB. We could not have asked for a wiser or better soul to guide us to Everest Base Camp.
  2. The entire hike is a spiritual experience no matter your religion or background.  Prayer flags hang everywhere with their colours contrasting to the mountains.  Our guides and sherpa walk clockwise around the stupas/prayer wheels and advised us to the do the same so we would have good fortune on the mountain.  Between this and the scenery it’s hard not to feel more connected to your own version of “God”.

    Prayer flags everywhere.
  3. To start the hike we had to fly into the most dangerous airport in the world in Lukla (which sounds TERRIFYING).  The flight is actually not that scary considering these are some of the best pilots in the world.  In fact it was the most pleasant landing I have ever had in an aircraft.

    A look at the Lukla Airport runway. Yes the airplanes take off AND land on the cliff.
  4. We stayed at teahouses along the way which reminded me a lot of hostels in North America.  It felt luxurious compared to tent-camping in the mountains.  The food was quite good and we drank A LOT of tea. They also offered (at a cost) wifi, charging for electronics, Pringles, candy bars + more.  Keep in mind the higher you went the more expensive things were (a can of Pringles was $6 USD at 17,000 feet).

    A teahouse with a view.
  5. It is a tough hike and is hard on your body.  Some people suffered from altitude problems. Lots from gastrointestinal issues. Others cringed the entire way down due to knee problems.

    Kristi, Vicky and Heather crushing it.
  6. You will either love or hate helicopters by the end of the trip.  Helicopters were CONSTANTLY flying by us.  Some found them very distracting and ruined the scenery.  Others gazed in awe as they put our surroundings into perspective.

    Check out the view FROM a helicopter.
  7. You will pass hundreds of fellow trekkers/sherpa/animals carrying goods up and down the mountain.  It’s also a nice reminder to always let people pass you on the CLIFF side so you don’t get knocked off.

    The views just kept getting better.
  8. This question came up a lot from friends and family: “why didn’t you decide to summit Everest if you were already at Base Camp?”  Unfortunately it’s not that easy.  To summit Everest is at least $50,000+. You have to commit to being at Base Camp for a couple of months while you acclimatize and do acclimatization hikes up and down the mountain.  Oh, and you have to come to terms with your possible death.

    But seriously have you seen this view?
  9. The most surprising and ironic thing I learned: you don’t actually get a great view of Everest.  We were lucky enough to have great weather and views to get several glimpses of Everest. BUT you don’t see much more than the tip.

    The first time seeing Everest – just the tip.
  10. You will feel very, very small.  The Himalayas are the biggest mountains in the world (with 8 mountains over 8,000 metres or 26,500 feet).  Imagine the Canadian Rockies on steroids.

    I think Vicky likes mountains.
  11. But you will also feel more connected than ever.  Being away (most of the time) from social media and our phones, having distraction-free conversations, and having euphoric moments of bliss around every corner can make you feel ALIVE.

    My absolute favourite spot to take in my surroundings.

With all my hiking love….oh and Namaste,

Mary Anne

Mary Anne Ivison

Mary Anne loves hiking, mossy rocks and her gig as a radio personality. She is in pursuit of becoming an ADK 46er and touching every mountain on planet Earth.

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