Trek to Everest Base Camp April - May 2015

Reaching Everest Base Camp 2015

EBC Trekking Party

Emily Harridge (Australia) and Satyabrata Dam (India) accompanied by his friends the Bonaert family (Belgium), joined Dr. Pell on the trek from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp with the Seven Summits Treks guides, sherpas, porters and staff. Each member of the team was invited for their unique passions, and skills including suitable mental, social and physical fitness (see profiles below). Our goal was to communicate the experience in support of the Bending Horizons documentary and escort me and the Everest climbing party to Base Camp.

On route to BC Tengboche. Image Sarah Jane Pell Tengboche Image Sarah Jane Pell

After exploring the bazaars and restaurants of Kathmandu we take an exciting mountain flight to Lukla and trek up the Dudh Kosi Valley, surrounded by the soaring peaks of Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru. It’s a steep ascent to Namche Bazaar, capital of the Khumbu Sherpas, where we are again greeted by spectacular mountain vistas. A rest day here aids acclimatization and there are great optional walks to enjoy the area. We then follow the trail to famous Tengboche, located high on a ridge where a magnificent 360-degree panorama awaits. The views of Everest, the Lhotse-Nuptse Wall, Ama Dablam and Kantega dominate this peaceful and spiritual location – surely one of the most tranquil and inspiring places in the world. While passing Buddhist monasteries views of Everest get closer every day. This stunning trek visits Kala Patar (5555m), a viewpoint recognised as the best vantage point to see Mount Everest. On day 12, Emily presented with altitude sickness symptoms after 5000m and was escorted to a lower altitude to recover. Satyabrata also pulled out of the expedition to return to India. Emily and Satyabrata and other trekkers in our party flew over Everest Base Camp in a helicopter before returning to Lukla for their return flight to Kathmandu. I encourage you to read Emily's account.

Returning to Namche Bazzar. Image Emily Harridge Emily & Sarah, Penboche. Image Satyrabrata Dam  Image Emily Harridge

Three strikes

I continued on to Everest Base Camp with Sherpa Nim Dorjee and settled in to my tent on the glacier at the base of Khumbu Falls alone. Three days later, I returned by foot to Lukla to fly to Kathmandu to renegotiate the terms of my expedition with Seven Summit Treks and my sponsors before the official punja. With all the changes to my team, I no longer qualified for a group permit, and had to raise more funds and apply for a single summit permit. There was uneasiness in the air but I was not giving up.

Sarah Jane Pell from Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp. Image Nim Dorjee Sarah & Nim Dorjee, Selfie Gorak Shep to EBC Pell's Everest Base Camp Tent in Snow 2015 Sarah Jane Pell, Everest Base Camp 2015 Seven Summits Charging Station, Everest Base Camp 2015 Sarah Jane Pell, Everest Base Camp 2015

At 11:56 NST on 25 April, I was in Thamel, Kathmandu when a XI Violent 7.8Mw earthquake killed more than 8,800 people and injured more than 23,000. The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 19, making April 25, 2015 the deadliest day on the mountain in history. The earthquake also triggered another huge avalanche in the Langtang valley, where 250 people were reported missing. That moment changed everything. Read more of Nepal Earthquake 2015. Official Base Camp member Benjamin Pothier (France) was unable to join Bending Horizons in May due to the dangers and cancellation of all services. From the safety of home I can contemplate if this was a reconnassaince or a rennaissance mission, but for now, the people of Nepal need our help. I plan to return to Nepal to summit in 2017.

Meet the Base Camp Team

Emily Harriage Satyabrata Dam Benjamin Pothier

Emily Harriage is founder and director of Visual Playground: an award-winning Australian production and post production company. Her designer eye knows what works in broadcast television and what is vital in attracting a target audience. She won’t settle for average – every project Em is involved in is cutting edge. She also loves to compete in rowing, skiing and stair climbing. Twitter: @emilyharridge

Satyabrata Dam has climbed the highest peaks of all the 7 continents including Mt Everest, skied to the North and South Poles, climbed the second highest peaks of 5 continents, climbed more than 350 peaks worldwide, walked the length of Africa from Tunisia to South Africa, traversed the ancient Silk route from Mongolia to Istanbul, and skied across the Greenland ice cap. Twitter: @satyabratadam

Benjamin Pothier is an artist, film director and a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Plymouth University (UK) Center for the Advanced Inquiry in the Integrative Arts [C.A.I.I.A]. He was the first French selected for the 2013 Arctic Circle residency at 20° from the North pole, and the 2014 ARS BIO ARCTICA Residency at Kilpisjarvi's research station, Lappland. Twitter: @BenjaminPothier