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How to train for Everest Base Camp

Posted on: February 13th, 2020 by Lost Earth Adventures

Wondering how fit do you have to be for Everest Base Camp?

Training method to reach Everest Base Camp
Our veteran guide, Nev, has led many treks in Nepal and he’s always itching to get back out there. Finally, we sat him down for a moment or two to ask him all about how, why and when to train for a trekking holiday. Read on for his top tips, tricks and habits to make your life-changing trek even more enjoyable.

Everest Base Camp trekker enjoys views after training plan works
For most of us, trekking to Everest Base Camp is, by definition, a challenge. Trekking back involves some effort, too!

If you plan on trekking to it, you might have asked yourself: are you fit enough?

If you have asked yourself that, I’ll start off with some of the really good news…

Fun fact: The Base Camp trek favours tortoises over hares. Even if you take the shortcut of flying into Lukla and trekking from there, you still have eight trekking days to get to Base Camp. This is nobody’s idea of a sprint event. It’s about being slow and steady.

What’s more, we at Lost Earth Adventures arrange your baggage to be carried by porters (there being no roads after Lukla). All you have to carry is your day pack.

Even better, of the eight trekking days, two are usually ‘acclimatisation days’ where you walk unencumbered to a notable viewpoint and back again.

Getting used to that air

Everest Base Camp views on an acclimatisation day
Acclimatisation to altitude is exactly why there are strict rules as to how far you walk uphill each day.

The rule is that you don’t sleep more than 300 metres higher than your previous night’s sleep.

This means that the average trekking day (for the average trekker, I might add!) is limited to about seven hours’ trekking.

Don’t forget, the route out is the same as the route in. If the trekking or the altitude prove too much, there are always options to descend early or to wait for the return of the rest of your group.

Fitness first

Prepared trekkers enjoy hike after undertaking training plan
None of this is to suggest that you can or should attempt this without serious preparation. The more your body is stressed, the harder it is to acclimatise to the altitude.

We do everything we can to ensure you’re well-fed, well-rested and fully hydrated. These things go a long way in aiding your adjustment, but they can’t do anything to improve your fitness. That needed to happen months ago.

Once you’ve decided to do the trek, you should start training as soon as possible.

At the very least, improved fitness ensures you can enjoy more of the views all around you and less of the sight of your shoes as you pant for breath.

There’s more than one facet as to how you should prepare your body, and I like to break it down into lungs, legs, knees and back.

The body is a temple

If you go hill walking in the UK, you’ll find your ascents are first slowed down by either your lungs or your legs. You either start puffing and panting which means your lungs can’t get enough oxygen into your body, or your legs ache because they haven’t got enough muscle to process that oxygen.

The situation is different, and simpler, with Himalayan trekking. The higher you ascend, the less oxygen available to you. Getting your lungs in good fettle is essential. Improving their capacity is quite straightforward: get them out of breath. Frequently.

If the only time you’re breathless is running for buses, cut out the middleman and just go for a post-work run. Don’t worry about the distance for now. Just make sure it’s easy enough that you don’t injure yourself, but hard enough that you end up out of puff.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be running. Other aerobic exercise including swimming and cycling work well, as does uphill walking.

Thunder thighs

Scenic Everest views

Although walking uses all the body, uphill walking specifically targets the quads, the muscles on the front of the thighs that help you push your body up against gravity.

As is often the case, the best training methodology is to do the activity you’re targeting. If you’re feeling confident, you could go big by training on longer or more frequent ascents, or carrying a weighted pack on your bag.

If you can’t get into the hills regularly, you can work on carrying a load on the flat. Like all aspects of training, it helps if you can get into a routine. Maybe get into the habit of walking to the supermarket and bringing home the goods in your rucksack?

Avoiding the jelly legs

Team pose next to Everest Base Camp
Carrying heavy loads uphill is one thing. Carrying them back down is something else entirely.

Any preparation for Everest Base Camp should include the walk down as much as the walk up.

Everyone’s knees take a hammering to one degree or another, which is something that neither swimming nor cycling can prepare you for.

Running is excellent preparation for it, but some of us find running is a little jarring on our delicate knees.

That said, your trekking poles are there for this very reason, so make sure you have yours to hand.

Back to basics

While you won’t have to bring much on the trek, you will carry a 30 litre pack on your back every day. Make sure your pack feels comfortable on your back by filling it up, adjusting the straps and wearing it for a few hours. If it’s not comfortable, do yourself a favour and choose a different one!

The nitty gritty

OK, so you’re determined enough to get going. It’s time to put some numbers on this thing.

When should you start training? No time like the present.

Most people start with 3-4 x 30 minute sessions of sustained activity at moderate intensity per week. Moderate intensity means raising your heart rate and getting you slightly out of breath.

With the introduction over, time to move on to the main part of your training. This should be 4-6 x 45-60 minute aerobic sessions of sustained activity, including a gentle warm-up and cool-down with stretches.

This kind of exercise might include running, walking on an inclined treadmill, doing stair-master training, trail running, working on an elliptical machine, walking up and down hills, or joining an aerobics class.

Though biking, rowing and swimming are good alternatives, they don’t put much load onto your spine. If you decide to train with these activities, make sure you work your back.

Prominent hill walking

Team reach Everest Base Camp after intense training regime
If you’re able to get out into the UK mountains, it’s good to start with a hike which gains up to 300 metres of elevation over a 4-6 miles round trip while carrying an 3.5kg (8-pound pack). With each walk, try adding another pound until you’re comfortable with a 7kg (15-pound pack), then increase elevation. The end aim is to gain 900 metres in 3 hours with a 7kg pack.

If you live in a flat area, you can make the most out of stairs and inclined treadmills. Find terrain which will simulate hill walking, such as gravel beds, sand dunes, river banks and walking on beaches.

If you want to practice with a group, why not test yourself on a UK-based hiking challenge like the Yorkshire 3 Peaks or Hadrian’s Wall? See a list of our Open Group Events.

The benefit of interval training

Interval training is pushing your body to a certain limit, then giving yourself a set time to recover before going again. Push yourself hard, then time how quickly you recover. Keep practicing and add elevation and weight as your trek nears.

About a month before your trek, you should be at the conditioning level where you are comfortable hiking on consecutive days. This involves hiking with about 7kg (15 pounds) on the first day for at least 600-900 metres of elevation gain, and a somewhat lighter pack for greater mileage on the second day to simulate two days of trekking in a row. It’ll not only help you physically but will prepare you mentally for pushing on without adequate recovery time.

All part of the service

Of course, it’s up to you to get your training plan right, so let’s look at this from a different angle. Imagine the disappointment of getting out there and being unable to make it to Base Camp? Or, instead of training to make it there, use it as motivation to get fit(ter). What better motivation?

That acclimatisation you built up will linger for a while on your return, too. You’ll feel how ridiculously efficient at getting oxygen to your muscles your body is. Though it will wear off after maybe three weeks, there’s nothing stopping you from reaching any Personal Bests from walking to running to cycling and more. All part of the service. Go for it!

Nev is one of our most trusted overseas guides and loves the Everest Base Camp trek. He’s also written what it was like leading a charity challenge up to Base Camp.

Read more about our Everest Base Camp trek or speak with our team.

A River Runs Through It

Posted on: January 29th, 2020 by Lost Earth Adventures

A Micro-Adventure Canoeing Down the River Ure


It was a cold day in January and the River Ure was in full spat. In the distance, wisps of white water trundled downwards. Rapids. I was sat in a Canadian canoe, and although I am in fact a full-fledged, maple syrup loving Canadian, I am most definitely not a canoer! I felt like a fish out of water, as I scoped out this small section of rapids.

Up until this point, it had been a thoroughly relaxing affair. My husband, Richard and I were having a lazy morning, drinking coffee with no real plans in place. But, we opened the blinds and the sky was a bright blue. It would be criminal to stay indoors on a day like that. So, we hatched a plan to go on a micro-adventure; canoeing from Ripon to Boroughbridge. As a climber and hiker primarily, I’m more akin to solid ground, so this was an exciting prospect.

Canoeing From Ripon to Boroughbridge

The journey would take us on a beautiful 13-km stretch of river. It’s an area abundant with wildlife, including kingfishers and otters. The trip can be done in around 5-hours, and for the most part, meanders its way quietly through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

We arrived at the put-in point, which is in a field managed by the BCU (British Canoe Union) and was swiftly greeted by Mr. Snuffles, a very hairy and inquisitive pig, with a big toothy grin! After a few pets and ear scratches, we made our way to the river. It may have been sunny, but it was still winter so we donned wetsuits and neoprene gloves and booties.

The first proper gander at the river and it looked swift; intimidating to my novice eyes. But, Richard is an adventurous paddler, having kayaked wild Himalayan and icy Canadian rivers in the past. With him at the helm, I felt confident we could go for it!

It seems counter-intuitive, but when you enter into flowing water, you situate your boat facing up the river, in an eddy, which is a circular current separate from the main flow of the river. You paddle up the river, lean into the main flow, paddle hard and the current turns you around so that you’re now facing downstream. So, that’s what we did, and away we were.

Paddling the Rapids

From the banks, the river looked swift, but once we were actually in it, and paddling, it was pretty chilled out. What a fantastic means to while away an afternoon! But, wait! There was that chute in the distance, and the closer we got the faster the river went and in my eyes that rapid looked HUGE! We tucked into an eddy and Richard went to scope out our options for the best line.

He came running up the bank and shouted, “it looks great, we’ll run it, grab your paddle and follow my lead, we’re taking the biggest line!” I weighed up my options and decided I was okay with falling in (this was my original fear, mainly due to the cold temperatures), I had a thick 5mm wetsuit, a buoyancy aid, and a helmet. The power of positive thinking seemed to work because as we approached I paddled hard and found myself absolutely loving it. The rapid was short-lived and when we were in the thick of it, it didn’t seem that big. We rocked it!


Regular paddlers may laugh, the rapid was no more than a Grade 1 (entry-level) and in the summer this section would be no more than a ripple. But, at that moment I truly felt alive.

But, at that moment I truly felt alive!

The rest of the trip was a gentle, relaxing saunter downstream, all the way to Boroughbridge. We passed the beautiful gardens of Newby Hall, bypassed a lock where the canal joins the river and just, took it all in. We ended the day with a celebratory pint at the Grantham Arms, raising our glasses to a very successful and rewarding micro-adventure!

The Ripon – Boroughbridge canoe trip is best done in the spring, summer, and autumn months, but can be done year-round. For the most part, this is a gentle river trip and can be undertaken by complete novices, perfect for a fun, adventurous day out. The rapid mentioned is only sizeable (maximum Grade 1 rapid) in the winter months and can easily be bypassed. There’s also the option to take the canal down for the first part of the trip and join the River Ure later on downstream.

We provide canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding trips across Yorkshire, the Peak District, the Lake District, and Norfolk. See where your paddles can take you or get in touch on 01904 500 094 or email us.

How to choose the right trek in Nepal

Posted on: January 29th, 2020 by Lost Earth Adventures

Which Nepal trek should I do? A quick guide

Choosing the right Nepal trek
Nepal is rightly considered one of the very best mountaineering locations in the world. Its diverse terrain is like no other place on the planet. Home to the Himalaya mountain range, eight of the tallest ten mountains in the world lie in Nepal, including the daunting Mt. Everest (8,848m) herself.

As with any of our treks, you’ll find yourself marvelling at the sheer height of the peaks that lean over you, the rich cultural mosaic in the villages you’ll explore, and the genuinely staggering landscape all around you.

Classic treks vs. adventure treks

So, the first question to ask yourself is what style of trek is for you? Our classic treks encompass the most famous routes in the Himalaya, often referred to as ‘teahouse trekking’. Teahouse trekking in Nepal means staying in traditional lodges for each night of the trek. On these routes, there’s a clear Western tinge. So you’ll see coffee houses with free Wi-Fi, for instance, and you’ll almost certainly bump into fellow trekkers on these routes.

Our adventure treks are more bespoke and aim to take you off the beaten path onto the road less travelled. Depending on the trek, you might stay in teahouses or traditional camping in a tent. While you might have a little more to carry, these treks are usually much quieter, so there’s a good chance you won’t see any other trekkers on your journey.

Each trek offers unique challenges, views and experiences, so it’s worth considering all our treks before you choose the right one for you. Below, we’ve created a quick outline of some of our favourite treks.

Classic treks

Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp trek
Duration: 16 days
Maximum elevation: 5,364m
Difficulty: Challenging
Overview: Probably the most famous trek in Nepal, Everest Base Camp is the starting point for those attempting Everest proper. Filled with a near limitless amount of photo opportunities, stunning forests and ancient Sherpa villages, this trek is like a window to the top of the world.
Best for: The bucket lister
Explore Everest Base Camp

Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Circuit Chulu Central crossing tour
Duration: 15 days
Maximum elevation: 5,416m
Difficulty: Challenging
Overview: Often considered one of the greatest treks on the planet, you’ll visit stunning lowlands, towering mountain passes and the world’s deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki. Ancient temples, gigantic icefalls and panoramic views of Nepal’s tallest mountains make this trek worthy of serious consideration.
Best for: Active adventurers
Discover the famed Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Hike & Bike

Annapurna Hiking and Biking trek Nepal
Duration: 15 days
Maximum elevation: 5,416m
Difficulty: Challenging
Overview: Combine hiking with biking in our famed trek encompassing the very best of the Annapurna region. From sub-tropical to high alpine, semi-desert to the Tibetan plateau, there is no better feeling we know than hiking across the daunting Thorung La Pass before blistering downhill on bike.
Best for: Bike nuts
Saddle up for Annapurna Hike & Bike

Chisopani & Nagarkot

Chisopani and Nagarkot trek Nepal
Duration: 6 days
Maximum elevation: 2,175m
Difficulty: Easy
Overview: This short but sweet trek packs in authentic village life, abundant wildlife and 360 degrees views of the world’s greatest mountains — Manaslu, Annapurna, Everest and more. The stunning Shivapura National Park plays host to birds, monkeys, Asiatic bears, mongoose and the Himalayan pika.
Best for: Wildlife spotters
Spot the Chisopani & Nagarkot trek

Adventure treks

Manaslu Circuit

Manaslu Nepal trek
Duration: 16 days
Maximum elevation: 5,100m
Difficulty: Moderate
Overview: Get up close and personal with the world’s 8th highest mountain. Staying in teahouses, this quiet conservation haven is the home of the snow leopard. You’ll hike across wild rapids, through forests and to monasteries well off the beaten path, soaking up untouched culture as you go.
Best for: Active all-rounders
Explore Manaslu Circuit

Langtang Valley

Langtang Valley trek
Duration: 15 days
Maximum elevation: 4,984m
Difficulty: Moderate
Overview: Probably one of the most stunning treks in Nepal, you’ll sleep in teahouses, eat traditional food, soak up ancient Tamang culture and revel in the secluded and serene Langtang Valley well off the beaten path. Trekking to 5,000m with colossal peaks all around, just don’t forget your camera!
Best for: Culture buffs & snappers
Unearth the beauty of the Langtang

Gosainkunda Lakes & Helambu

Gosainkunda Lakes tour
Duration: 14 days
Maximum elevation: 4,360m
Difficulty: Moderate
Overview: Journey into the unknown and soak up the mystical cultures of Sherpa, Tamang and Newari villages. On this trek, you’ll visit traditional mountain communities, ancient temples and the holy Gosainkunda Lakes, all while 8,000m peaks dominate the landscape around you.
Best for: True ruralists
Explore the Gosainkunda Lakes

Secret Trails of Nar Phu

Nar Phu off the beaten path trek Nepal
Duration: 16 days
Maximum elevation: 5,322m
Difficulty: Challenging
Overview: Get well off the beaten path and immerse yourself in the rugged landscape of the hidden valleys of Nar and Phu. Trek to remote villages and ancient monasteries, soaking up the untouched Tibetan culture as you go. If you want to go somewhere few others have gone, this is the trek for you.
Best for: Ultimate explorers
Discover the secrets of Nar Phu

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