Trek team members will be provided with pre-trip medical advice and a medical questionnaire and asked to visit their family physician to receive a full medical examination. This information will be sighted only by the trek leader and our medical adviser and treated with full confidentiality.
You have the luxury of porter support during the trek. Each day you will carry your daypack containing; rain jacket, fleece, sun block, water, snacks, trekking poles, small personal first aid kit, camera and a few extra personal items. At higher elevations you will add a warm hat and gloves.
There is the issue of altitude you have to contend with and sufficient time for acclimatisation is incorporated into our trekking itinerary. We have included rest days at the appropriate elevations to allow our bodies to adjust to the thin air and we carry sufficient medication to deal with most altitude related problems. Experience has shown us that good hydration, rest days at significant elevations and good base fitness help avoid any significant problems during this trek.
Nonetheless, everyone will feel the effects of the high altitude. For those who have not been to altitude this can be a concern pre-trip. Please do not worry as your guides are trained to assist you through your acclimatisation programme.
Symptoms you should expect to feel include mild headaches, similar to the sensation of wearing tight sunglasses for too long. These ‘pressure’ headaches, as they are known, are usually relieved by Panadol, Ibuprofen, Excedrin, Tylenol or similar. Sometimes they can be completely avoided or relieved by drinking more water, rest and pressure breathing (blowing out through pursed lips). Being ready to relax, read a book, or take a ‘cat nap’ after each days trek, or on rest days is vital to allow your body to adjust. People who can’t sit still, drink excessive alcohol, or rush around usually adjust slower than others.
The feeling when you get to a new altitude has been compared to having a mild hangover. It is important to remember to walk slowly and efficiently and don’t try to keep up with any locals!
We include ‘active’ rest days as part of our acclimatisation programme. By taking a gentle walk on rest days to a slightly higher elevation we exercise the principle of ‘climbing high, sleeping low’, which aids our acclimatisation greatly.
Although the trek to Everest Base Camp is straightforward, you must train prior to departure to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. While the trek is achievable you need to be prepared to hike for the full 14 days for around 4-5 hours on hilly terrain, with some hill climbs of around 600m elevation gain. The trek takes in a total distance of 120km with over 3000m elevation gain.
Training should include regular walking on hills, in combination with swimming, light running or biking and gym work to develop strength. For more information visit our Fitness Training Programs page , or check out our Training Peaks Uphill Athlete 12 Week Everest Base Camp Trekking Program.
From the AC Blog page
Ama Dablam 2017 - Final dispatch
Island Peak 2017 - Last day
Everest 2017 - Wrapping Up