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One-year anniversary of Everest Base Camp Trek: Conquering my inner fear

Updated: May 7

On April 18, 2023, I stood proud in front of the world’s tallest mountain – the mighty Mount Everest, also called Sagarmatha in Nepali and Chomolungma in Tibetan. I was at the Everest Base Camp – a place considered to be the Mecca for all living and breathing mountaineers and those who aspire to be one. So many climbing stories have been stitched over the years at this very sacred place. I could just dream about it! Watching number of documentaries and videos, I could only imagine myself being up close with those tall peaks, or even have real-time conversations with some of the world’s climbing legends. Who would have thought that someday I would make it happen?

Towering Khumbu Icefall
Khumbu Glacier, Everest Base Camp

The rush, the high to be able to look at the tip of the world’s tallest mountain was beyond anything that I had experienced up until that moment. It wasn’t just about the dream of being there that kept me going for long; it was also about the constant hard work, sincerity and utmost dedication to work on my physical and mental strength that was paramount towards achieving the dream – the trek to the Everest Base Camp. Was I able to live up to that rush? Did I follow my inner calling?

Everything that I’ve done since July 2021, every step that I’ve taken, they were all meant to lead me to that day when I stood on the Khumbu Glacier – fatigued but alive! It wasn’t an easy journey to traverse through the unending process of actually getting there. Upon looking back, I can’t even recall the actual moment of truth when I decided to take on this project. But in the end, I was left with nothing short of a rewarding experience. Didn’t they say that what breaks you also makes you a better person? I find it relatable now!

The 20-day long march towards achieving my life’s biggest goal yet broke me and my layers. Knowing that your journey is going to be an arduous one and actually living through it are two separate things. I couldn’t quite comprehend anything about the outcome; it was after my successful completion of the EBC trek did it all sink in – it was only then I could finally internalize the entire journey and my heart was filled with gratitude.

How did I even prepare for the Everest Base Camp Trek?

High Mountains call for extreme weather conditions
Gorakshep, Everest Region, Nepal

It was always about training the mind. The work that my body needed to go through - simply followed. When was that moment I felt I was ready? I perhaps never did. But I knew one can never be ready to take on something as massive as this mission. Relying on my mental strength brought the pieces together, wherein I recognized the physical strength that the trek demanded. Roping in ideas and information from experts; reading long hours about the high mountains, about the challenges they put you through; gears to fight the harsh weather conditions with; leaning on to your mentor(s), or coach for that extra piece of advice – all of the above (and a lot more) prepared me for the final push.

If you start looking at anything as a task, you will almost always find yourself stuck at a blind spot and perhaps even struggle to find solutions to your problems. What you need is to look at it as a way of life – just how I did it, and continue to do so. Right are those wise men who claim – ‘Until you truly love something, you will always run out of ways to chase it…’ – and every bit of this statement is validated through my experiences over the past three years.

I love it enough to make it mine; I love it enough to constantly fight for it; I love it enough to never call it a task; and most importantly, I love it enough to feel empty and lost when I fail. So, you either do it this way, or don’t bother at all.

It’s one thing to recognize an idea, and something else to bring that idea to fruition. The journey in between is often the most grueling one, yet less talked about – because we get pulled towards describing all things ‘destination’ and leave behind the finer details of the road that led us to it.

Signing up: Making it real

The day I registered myself for the EBC Trek was when I came to terms with the gigantic responsibility that I had taken on. Lingering over an idea often keeps the process of preparation hanging. But when you make it official, there’s this unsaid agreement to start working towards your mission. I’ve lived by this motto for the past few years, and you can resort to the same.

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