What happens if I slow the group down on the Everest Base Camp trek?

One question I was asked recently by one of our customers was what would happen if they slowed the group down on the Everest Base Camp trek as they didn't want to be the slowest person in the group.


When you're trekking to Mt Everest, or any of our treks for that matter, some people are concerned about slowing other people down in the group and I totally understand that. However, one thing I mentioned to this particular person, which is something important in my opinion, is that we only go as fast as the slowest person in the group.


Now, if you are going on a trek such as Everest Base Camp, or you're thinking about doing it and you're a bit concerned, then let's take a step back as concerns like this turn up in life all of the time. At the time of writing this in 2018, I was preparing to take on the Cardiff Half Marathon shortly after a trek to Everest Base Camp. I was certainly not the fastest runner and I was very new to it all really. I'm a big hiker and I love climbing and surfing, but running is certainly not something I did all that regularly. I'm very slow compared to most of my friends and I knew that in the Cardiff Half Marathon, I was going to be towards the back.


This got me thinking too...


Will I hold my friends back? Am I going to be too slow?



As with any challenge, you will find out by trying and doing it at your own pace. The thing with high altitude trekking is that it's not about pace, it's not about speed. Every day you will have your target destination and whether you get there at two o'clock or four o'clock, it doesn't really matter.



Most importantly always remember that the slower you go, the better you're going to be able to acclimatise.


When I'm trekking on the Everest Base Camp trek I do see a lot of other groups, whether they're just private individuals or they're part of another trekking companies expedition, the main thing that I often notice is that they are walking very fast. Then, two or three days into the journey, upon seeing them again, they are really struggling with the altitude. It's the reason I always go on and on about taking your time on a trek like this, as the trip is not about being the fastest person at all. It's about taking your time, going super slow and having an amazing journey.


In my eyes, the best adventures are not the ones that are rushed or the ones that just pass you by, they are the ones where you stop, look around and take it all in, one step at a time.


Something to look out for if you're going too fast, is that a day or two in you might get some mild headaches, you might also lose your appetite and these, although very minor, are the early symptoms of altitude sickness. So the slower you go the better you will acclimatise and the nicer trip you'll have. So, if you're worried about slowing people down and slowing your group down then don't worry about that as our teams go super slow anyway and in doing so, they have a better time. We don't want to be rushing you up to Everest Base Camp and have you getting ill. That's not what we're about. We want to get you there and in my eyes, a successful trip is getting you to Everest Base Camp AND back again. I know we don't live in a perfect world and things do happen, sometimes they are out of our hands, but getting the pace right is one of the reasons we have a very good success rate in getting people to Everest Base Camp.


I hope that makes sense and hopefully allays any fears of holding your trekking group back as that's certainly not going to be the case. As I mentioned, it's actually more beneficial for the group if they do go slower and I'm sure there will high fives all around when you reach Everest Base Camp and celebrate an amazing achievement.
Written By

Andy Moore

Head Yeti & CEO