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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 8 Gorak Shep To Everest Base Camp







The distinctive yellow tents of Everest Base Camp make their first appearance on our trek from Gorak Shep.

Intro: The day had finally arrived on my 12-day trekking trip that we would reach Everest Base Camp, but with altitude sickness kicking in on the morning hike from Lobuche, I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to make it.

Day 8 was the day I was finally going to reach my destination on this whole crazy trekking adventure – Everest Base Camp. But day 8 was also the day that altitude sickness finally kicked in. I guess I could count myself lucky that I hadn’t experienced it at a lower elevation, but once we reached around the 5,000 meter mark on the trek between Lobuche and Gorak Shep that morning, it well and truly took hold.

A group of trekkers heads along the trail between Gorak Shep and the Everest Base Camp on my eighth day.

When we arrived at our tea house in Gorak Shep in the late morning, I had a quick decision to make. Was I going to trek to Everest Base Camp that day – the one and only time it was possible on this whole trip – or was I going to let the altitude sickness win. To be honest, if it had been any other trek, I probably would have just stayed at the tea house relaxing, but the whole reason I had flown halfway across the world to Nepal was to make it to Everest Base Camp, and to be this close and not continue seemed unthinkable.

Although I wasn’t in the mood to eat at all, I had a quick bite to eat for lunch at the Gorak Shep Tea House before my trekking guide Ram and I continued on. The scenery was just unbelievable no matter where I looked, and knowing I was on a private guided tour, I could really take it as slow as I wanted. It was only 10:30AM when we departed, so we had the whole day ahead of us to get to Everest Base Camp and back to Gorak Shep before nightfall.

A helicopter flying towards Everest Base Camp – just one of many we saw throughout the 12-day trek.

As we started our trek, I remember seeing a helicopter hovering towards the base camp, perhaps to pick up someone just like me encountering the effects of altitude sickness. On average, we saw around 2-3 helicopter sightings a day and almost every town along the way had its own helipad to transport trekkers in and out. I had heard that the price was 5,000USD, so having good travel health insurance when you’re doing the Everest Base Camp trek really is mandatory. You just never know what might happen!

A group of trekkers ahead of us on the trail between Gorak Shep and Everest Base Camp on the eighth day of my trip.

The trek from Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp isn’t actually that far, and it’s only a couple of hundred meters higher in elevation, but for most trekkers, this is the hardest day, with the thin mountain air making every step that much more difficult. Because I was feeling so awful, Ram actually carried my backpack for a lot of the way, allowing me just to focus on each step and using my trekking poles to get me ever closer to my goal.

The yellow tents of Everest Base Camp sprawl across the landscape at 5,364 meters, used by climbers attempting the summit of Mount Everest.

I can tell you that no matter how bad I was feeling due to the altitude sickness, seeing those yellow tents of Everest Base Camp and knowing I had made it was an incredible feeling. This is what my 12-day trekking adventure had been all about, and here I was! The Himalayan mountains really feel like they are right on top of you and the views are just 360 degrees of wild awesomeness!!

With my giraffe mascot at Everest Base Camp – the ultimate destination on my 12-day Nepalese trekking adventure.

We spent around 40 minutes at the base camp, just taking photos and letting it all soak in. There were plenty of other trekkers doing the same thing, and I presume most were going to be heading back to Gorak Shep just like me, rather than staying at the Everest Base Camp to tackle the summit.

With no guarantees that the weather would hold up, we started the trek back towards our tea house in Gorak Shep. The good news was that it was all downhill, and I was going to have the rest of the afternoon to relax and hope that the effects of altitude sickness would deteriorate as I faced the journey back to Lukla.

Looking out across Everest Base Camp, which is used by mountaineers attempting the summit of Mount Everest via its southeast ridge.

Day: 8 of 12
Start: Gorak Shep (5,164 meters) to Everest Base Camp (5,380 meters)
End: Gorak Shep (5,164 meters)
Elevation change: +216 meters and back to 0 meters
Distance: 3.5 kilometers
Time: 4 hours


  • 1: This is the day you’ll visit Everest Base Camp trek, so you want to start early (around 7AM) so you can go slow and steady to Gorak Shep.
  • 2: Take lots of break and hydrate yourself often, you don’t want to suffer from altitude sickness after making it this far.
  • 3: Have good trekking boots, preferably water resistant with a good grip on the bottom as you’ll be walking on snow.
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