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EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK- A COMPLETE GUIDE

written by: Kanti Khadka   |   Nov 22, 2019   |   89 views

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK- A COMPLETE GUIDE

Everest base camp falls under one of the most popular treks in Nepal. Gateway to the highest mountain in the world, Everest base camp trek is the most sought after trekking destination in the world. The base camp flaunts magnificent up-close views of Mount Everest. In addition, it also opens up to the splendid views of other peaks such as Mt.Lhotse, Choyu, Makalu and many more. 

The trek itself is very diverse with varying landscapes of lush green meadows, dense forests to close up views of pristine mastiffs. Passing through Sherpa villages, the difficulty of the trek depends upon the number of days and the route. It usually takes 2 weeks to complete the journey thus, anyone physically fit can complete the trek to Everest base camp.

Altitude is often the problem while on this trek. The trail route elevates up to 5,364m, risks of altitude sickness are very high in case the length of the trek is inadequate without ample time for acclimatization. 

The Everest base camp trek is the complete blend of the thrilling trail with beautiful landscapes leading to spectacular scenery. Here is the complete guide to the Everest Base camp trek. 

Everest Base Camp Trek Map

Everest Base camp trek map

Weather

Everest Base Camp falls in the mountainous part of Nepal. The altitude is quite high while trekking to Everest Base Camp. The altitude elevates up to 4000meters resulting in variation of weather in various places along the trek. The higher the elevation the unpredictable the weather gets. Thus, it's wise to start preparing as per elevation.

Best Time To Travel To EBC

Everest has four seasons- summer, spring, autumn, and winter.

Summer

Summer in EBC falls in the month of June, July, and August. During the summer season, the minimum temperature at the highest point of the trek is almost around 0 degrees. This is a pleasant temperature considering the fact that you will be at the Base Camp of the tallest peak in the world.

But, due to the fact, the monsoon season in Nepal coincides with summer, EBC trek in the summer season is not as popular as trekking in autumn or spring. But, if you wish to plan your trip taking monsoon into account make sure to have the appropriate gear and summer trek in EBC could be a pleasant experience.

Winter

December, January, and February are the months when there is winter in EBC. During this season, it is common to experience a minimum amount of rainfall in the Everest region. The most stunning pictures of the mountains are captured in this season. But due to heavy snowfall, some trekking routes are closed during this season.

Moreover, some places on the trek have a minimum temperature of -20 degrees in the winter. Therefore, winter treks in the Everest region are less popular. But for people who wish to trek during the offseason in solitude, this is a great option.

Autumn

The months of September, October and November are the autumn season in the Everest region. With favorable temperature and relatively minimal chances of rainfall, autumn trek to EBC is widely popular. During this time of the year, the temperature is mild, making it a pleasant trekking experience. Also, during the night time, the temperatures are not extremely low.

Spring

Right after the end of the winter in EBC, the spring season begins. This season falls in the month of March, April, and May. The Sagarmatha National Park is full of rhododendron blooms, lush green forests and picturesque landscapes. Similarly, the mountains, glaciers and the villages in this region flaunt their best color during this season making it the perfect season for photography in EBC.

Altitude

The classic Everest Base Camp trek starts from Lukla. Lukla has an altitude of 2800 meters. From Lukla, there will be various stops to stay overnight and eventually complete the classic EBC trek in around 2 weeks’ time.

Mostly, the altitude of the places in the EBC trek is more than 3000 meters. More interestingly, there are various trekking options in the Everest region. So, trekking there might take more or less than 2 weeks depending upon the trekking packages.

So, with different trekking packages comes variations in places along the trek and altitudes as well.

There are some mountain passes you cross while trekking in the Everest region.

Places

Altitude

Lukla

2800 m

Namche Bazaar

3438 m

Khumjung

379 m

Tengboche

3860 m

Gorak Shep

5164 m

Everest Base Camp

5364 m

Kala Pathar

5545 m

Gokyo

4750 m

Island Peak

6189 m

Permits Required

While trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal you'll need the following permits: 

Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit: NRs 3000 or $33 per person

Solukhumbu Regional Permit Additional: NRs 2000or $20 per person

Trekker Information Management System (TIMS Card) - Not currently required (2019) 

The Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit can be purchased in Kathmandu at the Tourist Information Center or at Monjo while on the trek. 

Both the Kathmandu permit and TIMS offices open between 10 am - 5 pm. The Solukhumbu Regional Permit is available from a counter at Lukla. 

Don’t forget to get a receipt.

Level of Difficulty

The major concern every trekker has about Everest Base Camp is whether the trek is doable. The difficulty of the EBC trek is determined by several factors such as altitude, trekking hours as well as the season.

Longer Everest trekking routes in Nepal can take up to a month to complete while shorter trekking routes can be completed in a week. Trekking in the mountains for a month is quite strenuous. But, to lessen your worries, Everest Base Camp trek is only two weeks long. This makes it moderately difficult in terms of the number of trekking days.

While on the EBC trek, regular trekking is of around 5-6 hours a day. Breakfast will be served in a teahouse/ lodge in the morning and you set out for trekking and trek for around 3 hours before lunch. After lunch and taking some rest, the trek continues for around 3 hours before reaching the overnight stop.

Altitude is another factor contributing to the difficulty of the trek. There are various ways in which you can prepare for altitude sickness. Remember to go slowly in your treks and spend adequate time to acclimatize to the altitude.

Therefore, taking considering all the influencing factors, the EBC trek has a moderate difficulty level.

Train Your Body For The Everest Trek

You do not have to be a hardcore athlete to be able to trek to EBC. But you have to be fit enough to enjoy the long walks and wake up without a sore body. Some of the ways you can train your body are:

  1. Start exercising about 4-6 weeks before the trek.
  2. Do Cardio exercises like running, walking, swimming or cycling.
  3. Carry a backpack while doing cardio exercises.
  4. Strengthen your muscles by doing squats, pull-ups, push-ups, deadlifts, etc.
  5. Avoid over-exercising. The aim is to increase physical stamina and lung capacity.

Food and Accommodation

Accommodation on the Everest Base Camp trek is quite varied with a mix of traditional tea houses, more modern guesthouses, and commercial hotels. The general scenario is the higher up you go the lower the standard of accommodation. There is still one golden rule though. All the accommodations require that if you stay there you must eat all your meals there too.   

Teahouses are generally owned by local families however things have been getting more commercial recently. They own anything between 3 and 15 rooms. The rooms are basic with thin plywood walls. Some have private bathrooms while nearly all have shared bathrooms. Some will have squat toilets while others are western. They have a large communal dining area. Costs for a teahouse room are around $2-5. 

Charging: If you have a private room with a bathroom then you'll probably be able to charge your electronics for no extra charge. However, for shared bathrooms, your room will only have a light switch and nothing more. You have to charge your electronics in a common room. The cost of charging a battery ranges from $3-6.

Essential Gears

You will need several types of equipment for the trek. The below is a generous list and you may include or avoid according to your needs.

The trekking gears you must have:

  1. Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
  2. Down vest and/or jacket (optional)
  3. Fleece or wool trousers/pants
  4. Trekking/Hiking boots with spare laces
  5. Thick, warm wool hiking socks
  6. Footwear for around camp, for example, running shoes and/or sandals
  7. Gaiters (optional)

You will also need the following during the trek.

  1. Thermal tops
  2. Fleece jacket or pullover
  3. Windcheater jacket (optional)
  4. Waterproof shell jacket
  5. Thermal gloves
  6. Underwear
  7. Shorts
  8. Cotton trousers/pants
  9. Thermal bottoms
  10. Sun hat or scarf or Hat 
  11. T-shirts
  12. Socks
  13. UV protected sunglasses
  14. Sleeping bag rated to 0 degrees (3/4 season)
  15. Headlamp, spare bulbs & batteries
  16. Small padlock to lock trek bag
  17. Plastic bags
  18. Daypack (35-40 litres/2500-3000 cubic inches)
  19. Camping mattress
  20. Water bottles
  21. Small wash towel
  22. Footwear 
  23. Waterproof shell trousers/pants (preferably breathable fabric)
  24. Toiletries
  25. Basic first aid kit

Everest Base Camp Cost

There are various kinds of expenses while trekking in Everest Base Camp. The cost of EBC trek includes the cost of flights, accommodation, food, gear, travel permits, insurance, a guide, and other miscellaneous costs.

The flight to Lukla from Kathmandu costs about 177$. If you wish to reach EBC through Jiri then you won’t have to take a flight which will reduce the cost of the flight. The price of a flight from Lukla to Kathmandu is also similar.

The price of accommodation in the EBC trek depends on the comfort and facilities provides. There are tea houses along the trekking trails which are quite cheap. On the contrary, right next to tea houses, there are luxurious hotels. So, if you book the Everest Base Camp luxury trekking package, then your cost is going to be higher.

In addition, you should expect to pay higher charges for accommodation as you go to higher altitudes.

Guides and porter are a must while on a trek. Their prices vary from 20 – 40 US$. There may be additional miscellaneous expenses while charging your electronic gadgets and tipping porters/ guides/ waiters.

Routes and Itinerary

Everest Base Camp trek can be completed in different ways. It all depends upon the places you want to see along the way. This is the classic itinerary to the Everest Base Camp:

Days

Itinerary

Max. Altitude

Distance Covered

Trekking Hours

1

Arrival in Kathmandu

1400 m

 

 

2

Kathmandu sightseeing

1400 m

 

 

3

Kathmandu - Lukla - Phakding

2800 m

8 km

3-4 hrs

4

Phakding - Namche Bazaar

3438 m

11 km

5-6 hrs

5

Namche Bazaar acclimatization

3438 m

 

 

6

Namche Bazaar - Tengboche

3870 m

10 km

5-6 hrs

7

Tengboche - Dingboche

4360 m

9 km

5-6 hrs

8

Dingboche - acclimatization

4360 m

 

 

9

Dingboche - Dughla

4600 m

4 km

3-4 hrs

10

Dughla - Lobuche

4940 m

4 km

2-4 hrs

11

Lobuche - Gorak Shep- EBC - Gorak Shep

5364 m

13 km

6-7 hrs

12

Gorak Shep - Kala Pathar - Pheriche

5545 m

16 km

7-8 hrs

13

Pheriche - Namche Bazaar

3440 m

20 km

6-7 hrs

14

Namche Bazaar - Lukla

2860 m

19 km

6-7 hrs

15

Lukla - Kathmandu

2860 m

 

 

16

Departure from Kathmandu

1400 m

 

 

The number of days you spend in the places mentioned above can be extended if you want to. You can contact the travel agency whose services you are going to receive to know how they can customize a trip for you. 


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