We leave Loboche around 9am and continue along the valley towards EBC the trek isn’t too bad with only a gentle rise as we follow the glacial river to our right, sharing the pathway with Yaks loaded with equipment and the occasional group of trekkers.
The views of the glacier are amazing as we near EBC and its evident where the glacier has retreated from where it once was.
We arrive at the last stop before EBC, Gorakshep at 5,190m above sea level, this is the point that trekkers return to for the night once they have reached the edge of EBC and taken their photos and memories, posing against the huge rock spray painted with ‘Welcome to Everest Base Camp’.
After a welcome warm ginger and lemon drink we push on towards our final destination if this phase of the trip, pausing briefly at the welcome point to take a few photos. Its another 40 minutes walking up and down through base camp, a rocky track right next to the icefall before we reach our Elite Exped Camp - it doesn’t disappoint! There’s a huge dome tent erected in the centre of the camp where we will dine and hangout complete with welcome arch of flowers, a heater and thick rugs laid out across the artificial grass and beanbags scattered around to relax into. We each have individual tents, large square ones that you can stand up in which is welcome so we head off to our individual homes for the next six weeks to sort our kit and equipment out before we all head back to the dome tent for a camp briefing and some dos’ and don’ts.
Base camp is stretched out across a huge area and whilst no markers separate each teams camp everyone seems to know where each camp is and what the pathway through them is, camp etiquette means you stay out of other camps unless invited and everyone has their own set up, some relatively luxury and some fairly basic, everyone trying to make their stay here as comfortable as possible.
Before dinner the whole Elite Exped team come into the dome tent to introduce themselves individually, it will take some time to learn all the names but its nice to see everyone together and meet everyone, its all smiles and laughs as we all introduce ourselves too.