Training for the Everest Base Camp Trek or Higher

If you are reading this post, then you’re interested in learning what it takes to get to the base of Mt. Everest or maybe even a climb up the Khumbu Icefall to higher camps.

I’d like to start by saying that I’m not a doctor, like Dr. Stephen Simko, who could tell you if I was making medically inaccurate statements.  However, I will make some generalizations below.

In general, you don’t have to be in amazing physical condition to make it to Everest Base Camp.  You do have to be medically sound, i.e. no major lung diseases, no broken bones, etc.  You have to be able to walk a few hours a day, handle some steep hills for short distances, and able to handle hot and cold climates.  Otherwise, don’t try the trip.

For a normal person, training may include some jogging for half an hour, hiking on hills with a pack, if you’re really motivated then maybe some interval training.  Really anything to build some muscle and your endurance.  These will be the most important things to consider when getting ready.

If you plan to go higher than EBC, I recommend that you do much more.  I would plan on a muscle and cardio plan that will train your legs and heart for the challenge of low oxygen environments.  A good program for this climb would not be much different than P90X (or P90X2), Crossfit, etc.  You’ll want to make sure you work and build all your muscles to a good strength, shed some weight, and work cardio into the routine.  Using multiple muscle groups per exercise is your best training program.

Because I plan to lose 75 lbs in training, I am planning on P90X and some weights/cardio time at a gym.  I know for many of you this would be too much of a time commitment, but remember I’m aiming to attempt Camp 3, which is 23,500 ft (7163m) above sea level.  To make it from 17,500 ft (approx. 5400m) up to 23,500 requires an effort more than I can describe easily.

For many of you, nothing will have to change to enjoy your trip.  For others, you’ll have to put in some work, but overall anyone can do it.  Look at the kinds of people who have summited.  Blind, asthmatics, etc. have all summited.  We’re only going to base camp!  Just remember, the better shape you can be in for the trip, the more you can enjoy what is around you and less energy will be focused on getting from point to point.

Before you go, see the Youtube video below for a video showing the acclimatization routine for high altitude climbs up Everest.  Pretty amazing how well the body adapts given the strenuous nature of the climb.

Time to get off the computer and start moving!

In case you missed the link, we’re planning a trip to Everest.  Wanna come?

Read the blog here:

Planning for Mt. Everest 2015/6

Hey everyone!  Sorry it has taken me so long to get a post online.  I have been tied up getting things put together to help make the trip a success.

First, I need you to be very excited!  Why?  Because we’re going to Mt. Everest in 2015 (or 2016 if Christine’s schedule does not allow for it earlier).  Mt. Everest is located in the middle of the Himalaya mountains, the highest range on Earth.  If you didn’t know, Everest is the tallest of all the range at 29028 ft (8848m) tall, standing high above the nearby mountains.  You can see in the photo attached, that even from 19 miles away, Mt. Everest still towers over the nearby mountains and is higher than where I was standing at 20,000 ft on Mera Peak.

Everest from Mera

Here is a video from another group headed to Everest Base Camp. Our trip will be way better!

The trip I am working to organize will take us from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to Lukla airport, where we begin a 13 day hike to base camp.  Thirteen days might seen like a long time, but really, that’s exactly the amount of time you’ll need to acclimatize the high altitude.  A general rule of thumb for trekking is you never want to sleep more than 300-500m higher than you were the night before.  Because Lukla is nestled at 2900m or so, and Everest Base Camp is at 5400m, it takes at least 10 days to get up to Base Camp and avoid the headaches of high altitude sickness.  Normal hikes everyday are usually only 5-6 miles in length, but will be intentionally very slow and will generally take from breakfast until lunch or early afternoon to complete.

The Everest Base Camp trail is amazing and well travelled.  While the area in general is “remote”, the EBC trail has about 8,000 visitors per year, making the  villages nearby rather large compared to the surrounding areas.  Life in this area is simple and hard work for those that stay year round, but the people are the nicest you will meet anywhere.  Authentic, genuine, and honest, the Sherpa are among the nicest, I’ve met in all my travels.  Sherpa run all the local shops and tea houses making a stay very pleasant and relaxing.

I have chosen to trek and climb with International Mountain Guides–an extremely professional guiding company out of Ashford, WA.  IMG takes clients every year to climb Everest and are known for their high success rates and safety records.  They also plan expeditions all over the world.  While you won’t be climbing Everest (unless you’re staying a while longer, like me), you will reap the benefit of having the professional guides, Sherpa support, and a EBC permit.

“Why is this so important?”, you may ask.  The reason is because most other people going to EBC do not get to stay at EBC overnight.  Most people walk in for the day and have to leave because the permits for base camp are reserved for the expeditions there.  Because we will be traveling with the actual climbing team (the other people in our group will be going for the summit), we will be able to use that permit for tent sites at base camp, which affords us the chance to enjoy the mountain and the people there during the exciting time prior to the attempts to climb the mountain.  See the itinerary here:


While other agencies and guides, charge much less for the trip to base camp, I think that IMG offers us the best value.  I will be calling to negotiate a group rate for us, but I expect costs (all inclusive) to be about $3000-3500 per person for the 3 week trip.  When I say all inclusive I mean that porters carry all your bags for you (except the day pack you want to have for your jackets, camera, water, etc.)  You will have your tents and tea houses set up for you.  All your meals are cooked and cleaned for you.  Hot tea and chocolate is brought to you several times a day.  Life is simple and relaxing.  There are about 4-5 staff per person.  I cannot overemphasize how relaxing this really is.  Just enjoying a nice hike every day, with nothing other than breathing and drinking water to worry about.

I’ll post another blog about training for the trip.  I hope to see many of you with us on this adventure and hope some will stay to see the glacier action!

More to come.