You've heard the treacherous tales of the tallest mountain, and the arduous, and sometimes unbearable, trek up its paths. The stories in the media of deaths on Everest and it's harsh conditons are a warning for all of those who are curious. But don't let this stop you from exploring this natural wonder! With a little preparation and planning, anyone can hike Mount Everest. Just ask Kelly Castille, who hiked Mount Everest base camp in May of this year.

Kelly, from Houston, Texas, travels full time and spent two weeks hiking the base camp of Mount Everest. The highest mountain in the world is 29,029 feet above sea level and situated within the Himalayas. The border of China and Tibet slices through the mountain, making it an important symbol for both countries.

Mount Everest is known as "Chomolungma" (Mother Goddess of the Universe) in Tibet and "Sagarmatha" (Goddess of the Sky) in Nepal.

Planning and booking a tour, guide, and porter in advance is essential, even though it may cost you more. Kelly booked trough OSHA adventures, which covers all of your needs and basic items. Booking your trek by yourself is time consuming and difficult. Besides permits, food, accommodation, porters, and so much more, it's easier and much more enjoyable to book through a tour company!

"Climbing the base camp is an incredible experience. Amazing scenery and views, and you'll get a lot of exercise!"

The best way to prepare for the base camp trek is to build your strength and endurance. Being in shape helps, but altitude sickness is extremely common and not to be taken lightly. Make sure to spend a few days acclimating (about 3 days is recommended) and be prepared to hike for 2 weeks up to the base camp and 3-4 days to hike back down. Helicopters are also available to take you back if you're not feeling up for the returning hike!

The best time of year to hike Mount Everest base camp is March, April, May or October, November. Kelly's May trek was crisp and beautiful, although you should be prepared for no heat or hot showers! You will get clear skies for amazing photos and good hiking.

"Sleeping accommodations are not the best...and be prepared to not shower for a week!"

A trek up the base camp will lead you to local villages, where you'll eat some home cooked food and tea. Avoid eating meat and cheese, and always make sure your drinking water is filtered or has been boiled! The cultural experiences are a part of the trip, making it easier to take your time, eat good food, meet locals and maybe partake in a Yak Train if you're lucky! (We can't make this stuff up...)

Not for the faint of heart, the base camp trek is difficult but definitely doable. Even for those who have just started out trekking, this hike is worthwhile and an incredible experience!

Follow Kelly on Instagram below and check out her adventures around the world!

All photos courtesy and copyrighted by Kelly Castille.


Kelly Castille

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