For many, visiting Nepal is just a dream. Home of the world’s highest mountain ranges, it’s a country that most people have on their “must travel to before you die” bucket lists, including my own. Recently, I was able to transform my childhood dream of climbing the Himalayas into a reality. I was asked by my travel friend, Lauren Monitz to accompany her to this magical country, after winning the trip through Sherpa Outdoor Adventure Gear.
Getting to the Himalayas is no easy trip – first you board on a 24 hour flight, depending on layovers from the states, then you hop on another short flight from Kathmandu, Nepal to one of the most dangerous airports in Lukla Nepal. Flying near the Himalayas is an experience of its own since these mountains tower as high as flying altitude. There is nothing like the site of seeing these majestic mountain peaks hovering at the same height as the plane.
When we arrived in Kathmandu I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but I sure was not expecting hot weather and busy streets. Kathmandu is a bustling metropolis, maybe one of the busiest cities I have ever seen. After spending two days getting accustomed to the Nepalese culture, we took a small plane from Kathmandu to Lukla – a town hidden in the mountains. The flight itself was like a ride from a theme park, you could literally feel every movement of the plane.
Our trek from the Himalayas started as soon as we landed – leaving Lukla and heading towards Namche Bazaar. Originating from a high altitude city like Boulder Colorado – I was already acclimatized to the starting elevation, so I decided to make the trek more like a trail run, which surprised both the guide and the porter. Luckily, I had brought my new Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor Pack to hold all my gear, which I have to say is extemely well designed. I was carrying a load of 40lbs most of the trip without any discomfort, and I ran through most of the trek. Usually you do not want to run with a heavy large pack on your back – but this pack seemed built to my body. So why not get more exercise!
Running has its merits, within no time I was able to get to our first tea house, our first destination. What’s really amazing about the Himalayan Trek to Everest basecamp is the tea houses along the way. The towns and tea houses are fully equipped to handle many incoming trekkers – luxury backpacking as I would like to call it – with full food service, indoor lodging, and the amenities.
I’m a camping addict, so when given the option between camping and indoor lodging, I go with camping. In this situation, it was an easy choice, I was in one of the most gorgeous places on earth.
I picked out a tranquil spot to camp overlooking a beautiful Nepalese river, and with the help of my trusty porter, easily assembled my new Sierra Designs Convert Tent. In little less than 10 minutes, I had built my home away from home. The scenery was so lush and green that it was hard to imagine how this river flowed from the harrowing glaciated peaks of Mount Everest.
Sierra Designs newly designed 4-season Convert Tent is a camping experience in its own – equipped with two entrances and two vestibules, it simulates a multi room feel – pretty impressive for such a light weight tent. As I get older I realize how important comfort can be, so having all the bells and whistles of the Convert Tent made my camping experience something to thoroughly enjoy. I could totally see myself living out of this tent.
The next couple days involved packing up my gear, trekking to another village, feasting at the tea houses, and setting up for another stunning night under the Himalayan skies. It was an adventure on repeat, a routine I quickly embedded in my daily psyche. These majestic mountains were calling my name.
This place had it all — Incredible river crossings across ancient looking suspension bridges, close encounters with Orba (cow-yak hybrids), and the crisp alpine air of the world’s highest mountains. After days of trekking we reached the top of fourteen
thousand feet peaks, pale in comparison to the neighboring giants. It’s one thing to see these twenty six thousand peaks in the movies and quite another to be engulfed by these massive beasts of mountains.
While I didn’t climb Mount Everest so to speak, I experienced the spirit of the Himalayas, a childhood fantasy finally awoken.
If you are looking for a mystical backpacking experience – I highly recommend signing up for a trek in the Himalayas. There’s hundred of guiding companies who organize the whole trip, so you can focus on the simple joys of life. And if you want to take your camping experience to the next level, Sierra Designs has you covered with their super light weight spacious tents.
Visit www.sierradesigns.com to check out their newest line of sleeping bags, tents, and apparel.
Take a look at my instagram.com/jj_yosh for more pictures on the trip.