At 5,545 metres above sea level, Mt. Everest Base Camp was the highest point we have reached in any of our travels to date. The altitude had been a challenge since we set foot in Tibet, where even at our lowest elevations (approximately 3,650M in Lhasa) we were higher than most of the peaks in the Rocky Mountains back home. Despite taking Diamox to ward against altitude sickness, even going up a flight of stairs was enough to make us breathless. Our Tibetan guide constantly reminded us to move “slowly, slowly” as we walked around the various cities, monasteries and temples. When you forgot to heed her warning, the occasional headache served as a reminder of the dangers of over-exerting yourself at high altitude.
This day though we had gone even higher. China paved a road to base camp ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics so that the Olympic Flamecould be brought here and it was that road that brought us to the small ring of tents that serve as the launch point for the summit of Everest, a mere 3,400 metres higher yet!
Upon reaching our destination, I took photos and Megan built an Inukshuk, but we were surprised to hear a group arrive cheering. They had cycled all the way up the road! They broke in to song and cracked a well-earned bottle of champagne while staring up at Everest above.
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