What is acclimatization?
Acclimatization is the process of getting accustomed to a new climate or new conditions. In mountaineering, the term describes the process of making climbers adjust to new heights by gradually introducing them to higher altitudes during their trek. Generally, a day or two is kept aside as acclimatization days, and instead of continuing on their trail like other days, they hike up to higher elevations near them and descend back to the same place for the night.
Their day hikes to higher elevations expose them to new heights, thus preparing them to adjust to the new surroundings. The purpose of bringing them back to lower levels for the night is to have them rest at a level that they are comfortable with. This is how trekkers are acclimated on mountain adventures.
The Risks of Inadequate Acclimatization
The risks of not having enough acclimatization days on your Everest base camp trek are many. It may even lead to your evacuation in mid trek due to health complications. Skipping your acclimatization days will make you prone to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), an altitude sickness complication. Symptoms include shortness of breath, headache, nausea, sleeplessness, rapid heart rate, vomiting, etc. Hence, setting aside enough acclimatization days on mountain expeditions is very important.
How Do We Acclimatize Our Trekkers To The Everest Base Camp?
Nepal Hiking Team's Everest Base Camp Trek has two days to acclimate our trekkers on the way to the Everest base camp. After you ascend from Lukla, you will cross many quaint Sherpa villages like Choplung, Ghat, Phakding, Benker, Monjo, and Jorsalle before arriving at Namche bazaar.
Namche is the gateway to Everest. It is a famous trading hub of the Khumbu region a place on the bucket list of many mountain lovers. This town has the best lodgings and teahouses on the trail to Everest Base Camp (EBC).
You will have your first acclimatization day hike to the highest-placed hotel in the world (Guinness World Record-2004), the Hotel Everest View (3962.4 m). It is a famous spot for trekkers that offers top-notch accommodation with a picturesque view of Mt. Everest and other snowcapped mountains from its windows. After enjoying the heavenly sunrise view, you will trek back to Namche for the night.
Your second acclimatization day will be at Dingboche. It is the highest Sherpa village you will visit on your trek to the Everest Base Camp. You will spend the next day hiking up the Nagarjuna Hill (5,100 m). You will see the towering mountains from the hilltop, like Mt. Makalu, Ama Dablam, Lobuche, Lhotse, Nuptse, and others. You will then descend to Dingboche. After a good night's sleep, you will resume trekking to the EBC.
Safety Protocols and Helpful Tips
We at Nepal Hiking Team take the safety of our clients very seriously. Hence, we keep regular updates on our trekking groups by keeping in touch with our guides at every stage of the EBC trek. Our guides are fully trained for mountain expeditions and have medical first-aid boxes to monitor and treat minor complications. They will be monitoring your health conditions regularly.
Nonetheless, if you still face significant health problems due to accidents and injuries, you will be evacuated immediately by air and taken to a hospital in Kathmandu. Please make sure your travel insurance also covers air rescue and evacuation.
The best way to complete your trek to Everest base camp and get the most out of it is to take time and stroll at a pace that doesn't strain your body. Taking enough rest, hydrating yourself regularly and listening to your guide will help you achieve the best condition needed for your journey to EBC. We recommend you not to rush or over-exert yourself, for this could result in you ending your trek mid-way.