FIELD TEST FRIDAY: EVEREST BASE CAMP

For this weeks FTF we had the opportunity to catch up with Jared Skidmore. Jared is based here in Utah, but has spent the last couple of years making his way around the world living out of a backpack and making memories that will last a lifetime. For the second time in two years, Jared found himself in Nepal to make the trek to Mount Everest Base Camp (elevation 17,600') and take in some of the most magnificent mountains on the planet, the Himalaya. We spent a little time with Jared to ask him a few questions about his journey to the base of the highest peak on earth.

How long does the trek to Base Camp take? 

After landing in Lukla (9350') the trek will take about 12 days. You will arrive to EBC (17,600') on day nine. 

How far will you walk? 

Generally you will be hiking 4-6 hours each day and the last few days will be long. There are two acclimation days  to help with the altitude. On these days you will still do a hike to keep your body moving and adjusting to the altitude. In total the trek is about 80 miles. 

What is it like to fly to Lukla?
Flying into Lukla will be exciting for most, scary for a few. It can feel like a rollercoaster at times. 
What about altitude sickness? 
Altitude sickness can happen to anyone, regardless of how good of shape you are in. The secret is going very slow and drinking a lot of water. Listen to your body.
When is the best time to go?
There are two climbing season in Nepal, spring and fall. I prefer going in May as the season is winding down and there are fewer trekkers.
 
How much time do you need in Nepal?
If you are going to come all the way to Nepal I suggest you plan 15 days at the least for your trip. This will allow for weather delays and sightseeing in Kathmandu. 
Should you hire a guide and porter?
You should definitely hire a guide. You can definitely do it unguided but it will be difficult to find rooms to sleep in during the peak season. The guides will provide porters to carry your gear. Generally 1 porter for 2-3 peoples gear. Make sure the company you choose treats the porters fair and pays them fairly. They do most of the work and deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. Tip them well.
How much will it cost?
I have seen prices as low as $1200 up to $3000. Shoot for somewhere in the $2000 range. This should be all inclusive including meals, rooms, permits and flights from Katmandu. 
How much cash should I bring on the trek?
Bring enough money for personal goods, extra snacks, and tips. There are ATMs and money changers in Namche Bazzar. 
How do you stay healthy?
Staying healthy can be a challenge. Hand sanitizer is your friend. All the food is carried up the mountain on the backs of humans and animals. Avoid meat! Be cautious with milk and cheese. To be honest you will probably get a little sick. It will add to your story. 
How fit do you need to be?
You should be in decent shape for this trek. You do not need to be an elite athlete. If you are walking or hiking 5 miles a day at home you will be fine. There will be people less fit than you on the trail. 
Can kids hike to EBC? 
I have seen kids as young as 10 yrs old on the trail. If they are active kids then I would for sure take them to base camp. What an incredible experience that would be at a young age. 
Any final thoughts or advice?
 
Trekking to Everest Base Camp is a journey you will never forget and you will want to do again. The feeling you get being surrounded by the tallest mountains and most incredible views in the world is unbelievable. You will meet the best and most kind people, hear stories of years past from the older Sherpas and make friends for life. 
Big thanks to Jared for taking the time out to let us pick his brain about all things Everest Base Camp and thanks for taking the Ventureborn Classic Collection rings on your adventures. Definitely an inspiration to all and we're moving a trek to EBC up a few notches on your bucket list, that's for sure! 
Make sure to follow Jared on Instagram @jaredskid