Travel, Teach, Live in Asia
Climbing Everest up to its summit is an incredible undertaking. It requires lots of supplies, including tents, food, water and bottled oxygen (that all then get left on the mountain) to even begin preparing for. Training to make sure you're ready for the high altitudes and the demands that will be placed on your fitness are also necessary, and the training is rigorous too.
It's all necessary, of course, because people die attempting to climb Everest every year. There are harrowing tales of people having to walk past people who have collapsed on the mountain side and are slowly dying, leaving them to their fate as attempting to rescue them would just result in the deaths of both of them.
Of course, getting to Everest base camp is a totally different story. This is a trip that you need to be fit for, but you won't require anywhere near the amount of training or equipment that a trek to the summit demands. It's a holiday that you can enjoy, whereas attempting to climb Everest itself is not a vacation, it's a crazy mission that is genuinely dangerous.
On a trip to the base camp you'll start out at a height where plants and trees are still abundant and will have to make your way on foot, following river banks through thick magnolia and rhododendron forests. Your accommodation will consist of lodge houses along the route where you'll get to spend your evenings getting to know those who have taken up the trail with you. You can also expect the tour you're on to give you a couple of rest days on the way towards base camp.
These are necessary because your body will need time to adjust to the altitude. You're not going to need oxygen tanks every few minutes, but the air is still thinner than what your lungs will be used to. They'll also give you a chance to explore some of the towns and villages that you'll be passing through, which is another real treat of the trip.
All along the route are some incredible views, but these really come to a head when you reach base camp itself. There are frozen rivers and a landscape barren of everything but rocks, snow and ice. You'll have reached the foot of the highest mountain in the world, temperatures and oxygen will have dropped massively since you set out and you're surrounded by the most impressive mountain range in the world.
Thom Sanders wrote this article. He did so for The Adventure Company, a travel company that offer trekking holidays to Everest base camp. http://www.adventurecompany.co.uk/tours/everest-base-camp