Everest Base Camp Trek is a remarkable journey to the foot of the Mighty Everest which has managed to boggle and captivate the minds of thrill seekers all across the world.
Admit it – you’ve always dreamt of climbing Mount Everest. Who wouldn’t want to brag about having been at the top of the highest mountain on Earth?
Mount Everest has captivated brave guys and gals since the 1920s. The ventures of legends such as George Mallory, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay put the mighty mountain on the map; thousands have followed, making huge sacrifices – lots with their lives – in their own attempts to the summit.
But today, the Everest Base Camp Trek has actually become a possible goal for people from all walks of life. In 2012, between 35,000 and 37,000 people trekked in the Everest area. And trust me, I dream of climbing it too.
Aside from the awesome scenery, travellers to the region experience special Sherpa culture by seeing abbeys and museums along the way. Days are filled with walking for the pure pleasure of it, past vibrant prayer wheels and across swing bridges, while nights are rewarded with hot food and discussion with like-minded people around the dining-room fire.
Tip: It’s important to make sure that you are properly covered with a good travel insurance before you embark on the trek. There are certain travel insurance companies that insure especially for hiking and trekking trips.
Everest Base Camp Trekking
Mt Everest Base Camp Trek is designed to get real close–up to see Sagarmatha, literally meaning ‘The Head of Earth or Sea’, internationally known as Mount Everest.
To reach this part of the Himalayas in Nepal within a short period of time, we have devised this short trekking tour itinerary to hike to Everest Base Camp, which directly starts and ends at Lukla.
The Beginning of the Everest Base Camp Trek
The Mt Everest Base Camp trek, a very world famous mountain trek, starts after 35 minutes of a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. We follow the Dudh Kosi River valley which climbs up to the Sherpa capital of Namche, a bustling market that is a junction for trekkers, the local Sherpa and Expeditions en route to the mighty Mt. Everest. All along this part of the trail, villages are interspersed with magnificent forests of rhododendron, magnolia and giant firs. In both the early autumn and late spring, the flowers on this portion of the trek make it the kind of walk you will remember for a long, long time.
Mesmerizing View of Everest from Tengboche Monastery
From Namche, we trek along a high traversing path where we have our first good views of Everest and then head towards Tengboche Monastery, which is a 2 hour climb. The monastery stands at the height of 3870m in a clearing surrounded by dwarf firs and rhododendrons where Mani Rimdu Festival is held in October/November full moon days. The monastery is structurally located on a ridge top with commanding views of the Everest landscape. The view from this spot, seen to best advantage in the morning, is absolutely mesmerizing and stunning and is rightly deemed to be one of the most magnificent in the world.
Trekking Kala Patthar
We also have the opportunity to trek Kala Patthar (5,554m) from where we can get some awesome views of the Himalayan giants which literally numb your senses with breathless admiration; and makes up for the lung-bursting climb that took you up there. You soon realize it was absolutely worth it. This also includes fantastic views of the south west face of the colossal Mt. Everest. We then trek down to Everest Base Camp at the foot of the Khumbu ice fall before finally making our way back down to Lukla.
Everest Base Camp Trek Tours
There are many tour operators (G Adventures and GetYourGuide) who organizes Mount Everest trips with local expert guide and porters. Basically 11 /11 days are possible, but I would like to recommend you 13 days. It will be better to have a couple of days extra to get back to Kathmandu, in case of a delay of your flight due to weather.
Example of a 13 day Everest Base Camp trek itinerary:
Day: Arrival & trekking preparation day in Kathmandu.
Day 01: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (2,800m) -30 munities, trek to Phakding (2,640m) -3 to 4 hours
Day 02: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,430m) -5 to 6 hours
Day 03: Acclimatization in Namche Bazaar and visit Khumjung Village (3,790m)
Day 04: Namche Bazaar to Tyangboche (3,867m) -5 to 6 hours
Day 05: Tyangboche to Dingboche (4,300m) -5 to 6 hours
Day 06: Acclimatization day at Dingboche
Day 07: Dingboche to Lobuche (4,930m) -5 to 6 hours
Day 08: Lobuche to Gorakshep (5,140m) – 3 hours & Everest Base Camp (5,364m) -2 to 3 hours
Day 09: Gorakshep to Kalapater (5,550m) -2 hours & Stroll back to Pheriche (4,240m) -5 to 6 hours
Day 10: Pheriche to Tyangboche (3867m) – 4 to 5 hours
Day 11: Tyangboche to Namche Bazaar (3430m) – 4 to 5 hours
Day 12: Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2,800m) – 6 to 7 hours
Day 13: Fly back to Kathmandu. Then final Departure to your Destination.
Note: (if you wish to make the changes during treks, you can also discuss about this with your Guide. The itinerary should be quite flexible.)
Things that are usually included
- Three times meals (breakfast, Lunch, Dinner), tea coffee in a cup each meal & accommodation.
- Trekking permit for Sagarmatha National Park.
- TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) Card for the Trekking.
- Air ticket Kathmandu to Lukla and Lukla to Kathmandu & Airport Tax.
- Trekking equipments (down jackets, slipping bag etc.) during the trekking in you needed.
- Two nights’ accommodation at Kathmandu.
- Long range experience friendly & helpful a Guide.
- Helpful & strong a porter.
- A Guide and porter salary, accommodation, meals, all transportation.
- Guide and potter insurance for the happy journey.
- Other fee and taxes if necessary.
Things that are often not included
- All kind of beverage including mineral water, Phone calls, laundry, hot shower during Trek.
- Clients travel Insurance and evacuation (compulsory).
- If incase, flight cancel and charter helicopter or plane.
- Tipping for Guide and Porters.
- Personal expenses like Shopping, souvenirs or gift. Personal mountaineering gears.
- Optional trips and sightseeing if extend.
- International airfare, airport departure tax and Visa fee.
- Things which not mention above our services.
Tips for doing the Everest Base Camp Trek
Here are some tips to help you have the most unforgettable experience with your Everest Base Camp Trek.
1. Go during a friendly season
The best times are from March to May and from September to December. It gets hot between May and August, and December reaches below-zero temperatures.
2. Get in shape before the trek
This is the most essential if you want to make your Everest Base Camp Trek a successful one. Though you may not need any previous technical climbing experience, you still need to be physically fit enough to bear the continuous strain in the high altitudes. Absolutely nothing can really prepare you for the trek’s extreme hillsides and altitude of approximately 5 545m. But, do not be put off — individuals with average physical fitness levels can do this expedition. Slow and steady is what ensures a successful and enjoyable trek.
You are advised to start training approximately 3 to 4 months prior to the trekking. Prepare with cardiovascular training many times a week: biking, swimming, hillside climbing and strolling. Go for a five-hour walk at least once a week. Find hillsides or tall stairs and repeatedly walk up and down on them.
3. Get a competent guide
During the trek, people sometimes die or disappear due to inexperience and not having a guide. In June 2012, some lone travelers disappeared and a Belgian trekker died in the Langtang area.
So while it’s possible to solo trek, it’s not recommended. It’s best to hire a trustworthy and competent guide. They will arrange everything for you, help you stay safe, enjoy your trek, and learn much about the local culture and natural environment.
4. Get the proper kits
Everest base camp trek is a trip of a lifetime. You need to prepare well for it. But don’t go overboard. Aim for loads of between for 10kg and 15kg. Get a fleece coat, down jacket and thermal underwear, as the Himalaya gets cold above 3000m at any time of the year.
Several pieces of gear are essential for your own safety in the higher altitudes of the Everest Base Camp Trek. Make a checklist of these items and identify whether or not you need to carry all of these from your native place to Nepal. Never compromise on the footwear when you are walking several hours a day in difficult terrain. A pair of good, tough and waterproof trekking boots will save you from many problems that you may encounter during the trekking expedition. A good down jacket with at least 650 fill down is a must. Have a platypus water carrier and a Nalgene styled bottle along with a sun hat, good quality sunglasses among other things.
Also, take 2 pairs of long trousers, and two or three synthetic fabrics T-shirts. Also, get boots, trekking socks, and sneakers or shoes for nights. A good sleeping bag (rated to -20 ° C/0 ° F) is necessary; if it’s winter season, a thermal liner makes it extra warm. You will also need a raincoat, gloves, woollen hat, sunhat and polarized sunglasses. Also go with travel-size toiletries, including a good sunscreen, lip balm, travel towel and tissues.
5. Prepare for first aid
Altitude sickness can affect any person — even the very healthy. Look for indicators of altitude sickness: signs include headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and loss of hunger and shortness of breath. Be well aware of the dangers of climbing Mount Everest.
6. Mental Endurance
Besides the physical training and preparation you also need to be mentally prepared for living life in the mountains for some days. The adaptation to the difficult life in the hills and mountains needs enduring mental strength. Prepare yourself for what may come ahead in your trekking expedition.
Accommodation in the teahouses run by the Sherpas may not be as decent when compared to the accommodation in your country of origin. Be prepared not to have facilities like a western-style toilet. Be prepared to use the great outdoors at times or use bottles to pee in during your trek. Be prepared for these small things and have moderate expectation in terms of physical facilities. However, the display of natural wonders will be beyond your expectation throughout the Everest Base Camp Trek, making the inconveniences well worth it.
7. Arrival Info
Get all the necessary information related to travel, to and from Nepal. Be informed of the visa requirements for Nepal and other necessary formalities. Working on this matter with the travel agency might be a good idea as they can give you some practical information regarding your travel arrangement as per your need. Independent trekking may not be a good idea, especially if you are a novice trekker.
8. Stay Hydrated Always
This is the other vital life saving tip in the high altitudes of the Everest region. At higher altitudes the rate of dehydration is quicker than at sea level. Fill up the bottles before you begin the day and make sure that the water is either boiled or treated with proper water purification tablets. Make sure you monitor your hydration levels on a regular basis to make sure your trekking experience a positive one. The imbalance in the hydration level of your body can create problems for you especially when you are at higher altitudes and eventually limit the chances of your success.
9. Have a Proper Medical Kit
This saves you a lot of problems especially if you are prone to health related problems, ranging from mild headache to altitude sickness. A mild headache is not a big issue up there. Have other medicines that counter the altitude sickness or stomach related problems. To combat the mild headaches you have to listen to Tip 4. Drink plenty of water in the mountains. Another way to combat such headache is to add a Disprin to the water every morning. This will help to slightly thin out your blood and thus reduce the headache due to the thickening of the blood at higher altitudes.
10. Slow and Steady Completes the Trek!
Take your time when it comes to a challenging trekking experience like that of the Everest Base Camp Trek. This is not a marathon or a race for some prize money. Listen to your body and follow the rules as conveyed by your trekking guide. Acclimatize well in the higher altitudes. All the research suggests that acclimatization is needed at 3,500m / 11, 500ft. Namche Bazaar (3440m) is one of the best acclimatization spots along the EBC trekking trail. Pay close attention to the schedule to make sure the itinerary gives proper time for acclimatization. Also, make sure that the trekking schedule is flexible.
11. Adapt to Local Culture
Respect the local culture, tradition and lifestyle when you are in the Everest region. Circumambulating in a clockwise direction or putting your shoes or slippers outside the holy shrines are some of the cultural values that should be paid attention. Make sure your clothing style and other habits don’t offend the locals. It is advised that you pay proper attention to these small details so as to get good cooperation from the locals and learn more about the rich cultural legacy these inhabitants carry from their past. Making compromises with these issues for few days to help you create memories for the rest of your life.
12. Stay Out of the Sun When Possible
The level of protection you have from the UV rays decreases with the increasing altitude. Some days on the trek might be tough due to the brutal radiation from the solar rays. So it is advised that you remain out of the sun whenever possible to minimize the wrinkles you have on your skin, the chances of developing skin cancer and to reduce the impact of dehydration caused due to the sunburn.
13. Enjoy It!
This is the most common advice given by experienced people. You are on vacation so relax and enjoy yourself. On a trekking trip like the Everest Base Camp, you try hard to successfully complete an adventurous expedition and create memories. This trekking adventure gives you a lot of spare time so that you can go slow and live each and every moment of the trip. Except a few longer trekking days you can always find time to rest, enjoy and laugh with your fellow trekkers. Have an open and positive mind while interacting with the locals. Keep in mind that these people are there to make your adventure a successful one despite all the cultural differences. Be focused, calm, open minded and positive!
The below video from Blank Canvas Voyage shows the experience of doing the Everest Base Camp Trek with no guides or porters. Yes – they trekked to Everest Base Camp Independently!
Frequently Asked Questions About The Everest Base Camp Trek
If you are planning to embark on the Everest Base Camp trek sometime in the near future, we are sure that you will have plenty of questions about what to bring and what to expect.
We have compiled this handy list of frequently asked questions in the hopes of providing you with some of the answers that you seek.
What is the best season to plan a Everest Base Camp trek?
The best time to trek is in the pre-monsoon season (which occurs in March, April and May) and the post-monsoon season (which occurs in September, October and November). You can choose to travel at other times of the year, just be aware that rain might be an issue.
Is there an age limit for this kind of trek?
Whilst there is no minimum or maximum age for climbing to Base Camp, you will need to ensure that you are in good physical shape and have a positive attitude. As such, young children and the elderly often do not meet the fitness requirements of the endeavour.
What sorts of meals can I expect to enjoy?
When dining at teahouses, you will be served meals that consist of rice, pasta or potato with vegetables and egg, chicken or meat dishes. Some of the breakfast foods you might enjoy include porridge, muesli and toast with peanut butter or honey to spread.
What sorts of clothing should I wear?
You can basically wear whatever you want, but we recommend warm clothing (such as a down jacket, thermal underwear, comfortable pants, t-shirts, fleece, a windproof jacket, hats, scarves and gloves). If you would prefer, you can purchase these items when arriving.
What problems can arise due to altitude?
Altitude sickness (known as Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS) can start to occur when you reach 3600 meters and higher. To ensure that you don’t become a victim to AMS, you will need to trek slower and at a gradual pace to help acclimatise your body.
Is there any communication available?
You will find landline telephones in most of the villages along your route and mobile phone service is available, but reception will vary from location to location. Internet can be find in a few of the villages, but it can be quite expensive. All guides carry mobile phones.
What kind of weather should I expect?
Unfortunately, weather in the mountains is notoriously difficult to predict but you can rest assured that nights are generally colder than days. The coldest time of year is definitely winter (which occurs in December, January and February) and you can expect snowfall.
Will I have access to clean drinking water?
Lodges will serve bottled, boiled and filtered water that is generally safe to drink (although you will have to pay extra for it). Even so, we encourage all trekkers to use iodine and other water purifying agents to ensure that the water is clean.