Mount Everest has caught the attention of intrepid travellers since the 1920s. The people responsible for putting this peak on the global map are Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary.
What is the Everest base camp trek? And why do so many people embark on this crazy adventure so many times in a year?
This is because this base camp is one of the most renowned tourist destinations in the world. It is present in Nepal.
The Himalayan range runs through this magnificent country and has the highest peak in the world present in this very range – Mount Everest.
It is at a height of 8848 meters above sea level. The highest point on planet Earth.
Everest Base Camp Trek
Want to know everything about Everest Base Camp Trek?
In this detailed article, I have included everything you want to know about Everest Base Camp Trek.
You can click any of the sub-topics and reach to that specific section in the article.
List of Sub-Topics:
Trek Details- What all is waiting for you
Best Season to go on Everest Base Camp trek
Best things to do on Everest Base Camp trek
Where can i Rent Trekking Equipment?
How good is Everest Base Camp trek for a solo travel plan?
About Everest Base Camp trek
Mount Everest Base Camp trek comprises of either one of the two Mt. Everest Base Camps which are present on opposite sides of the mountain.
The southern base camp is located in Nepal whereas the northern base camp is located in Tibet.
These campsites are simple and are used by multiple mountain climbers during their adventures. Supplies to and from the trekking camp are made using porters or Sherpas, and are helped by yaks.
The Tibetan entry to the mountain usually has vehicular access during the summer months.
Climbers need to spend a few days (if not weeks) at the Himalayan Base camp. This is required to acclimatize the body with the intense altitude as well as extreme weather conditions.
South Base Camp (Nepal): The excited travellers make their way from Kathmandu (capital of Nepal) to Lukla to save on time energy and time before commencing their strenuous base camp trek.
Unfortunately, there are no roads from Lukla to Kathmandu, hence making air transport the only mode of transportation.
There are tens of thousands of adventure seekers who embark on this trek annually.
North Base Camp (Tibet): For a trekker to make the journey to the North side camp requires an additional permit from the Chinese government.
There is already a permit required to visit Tibet in itself.
This campsite can be accessed by cars and other road related transport. This access is permitted by a 100 kilometer road that branches from the Friendship Highway near Shelkar to the South.
From this camp, all tourists must catch the buses managed and controlled by the government.
This is done to regulate and limit the traffic, especially in the last stretch of the gravel laden road to a hill that is over 5000 meters above sea level.
There is a ‘tourist base camp’ that is located halfway between Rongbuk Monastery. The actual Mt. Everest Base Camp is located at the beginning of the Rongbuk glacier.
With the exception of the mind-blowing scenery that can include colossal mountain peaks, freshly fallen snow, cool, crisp weather, travellers to the Mount Everest Base Camp region can expect an amazing experience of the Sherpa culture by checking out the museums and monasteries that are on the way.
The trek can take days, but those days are made complete by walking just for the fun of it, to cross swing bridges, colourful prayer wheels, flower valleys etc.
These days may seem arduous, but there are multiple places and stops to make if one needs to rest and regain their strength and spirit.
Most Sherpas you will find in this area will be able to grasp basic English and can help you with any trouble or difficulty you are facing.
Whilst trekking is possible 365 days in a year, it is recommended that you travel between the months of March and May or September and November.
Trek Details – What all is waiting for you
To cover the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek, you might need around 12-15 days.
From Lukla airport to the Everest Base camp, this is what one can expect their journey to be like (with a daily breakdown).
Day 1: Reach at Kathmandu
The first day will involve landing into Kathmandu and getting yourself mentally as well as physically prepared for the upcoming trek.
Your guide (if you have made provisions for one), will help you make sure that you are well equipped in every aspect for the Everest trekking journey.
Day 2: Kathmandu to Lukla
A 35-minute flight is taken from Kathmandu to Lukla airport. This is one of the most breath – taking flights to take, as the scenery includes exquisite valleys and multiple mountain ranges.
The trek can start immediately after landing into Lukla.
It can be a simple trek that does not exceed 3 hours (as it is the first day of trekking). It is of significance to note that you do not have to start trekking the day to arrive.
Some people do take 1-2 days to acclimatize themselves to the climate and altitude change.
Day 3: Trek Till Namche Bazar
On this day, you can trek up till Namche Bazaar. This is a famous bazaar. It is at an altitude of 3440 meters above sea level.
The Dudh Koshi river flows from Phakding till Namche. It is a lovely sight indeed. You can get a slight glimpse of Mt. Everest just before hitting the bazaar.
Day 4: Rest in Namche Bazar Today
This day can be used for acclimatization once again. This height of over 3000 meters can take a toll on the body.
Namche Bazaar is filled with restaurants, bars, as well as coffee shops.
There is the Namche Monastery is also there for tourists.
Day 5: Trek From Namche Bazar to Tengboche Monastery
Trekking till the Tengboche Monastery is a beautiful and scenic journey.
It can take around 5 hours from the previous location and it is of moderate difficulty.
Day 6: From Tengboche to Dingboche
Post the beautiful monastery, you can visit the Pangboche village. Around this area, you will get nice views of Mount Ama Dablam.
You can then trek towards Pheriche and reach the Imja Valley. The final stop will be Dingboche. There are 2 steep inclines on this trek.
Day 7: Rest in Dingboche
As you reach Dingboche, you will need another day to acclimatize your body to the varying weather conditions, as it is at a height of 4360 meters.
Another small hike can be made from this location to view three spectacular peaks – Mount Cho Tu, Mount Makalu, and Mount Lhotse.
Day 8: From Dingboche to Dughla
From Dingboche, you can trek till Dughla. This will be a 3-hour trek and can easily be the shortest trek you make on your Nepal Everest Base camp trek.
This trail is mostly flat and you will find yourself surrounded by lush valleys, and some spectacular scenery. The Dhudkoshi River can be crossed whilst on this path.
The source of this river, i.e., the Khumbu glacier wall can be seen at a nearby distance too. it is truly divine.
Day 9: Dughla to Lobuche
This day would entail a trek from Dhugla to Lobuche. Lobuche is located at an altitude of 4940 meters and will take a total of 3 hours to scale.
The initial part of this hike is tough. This entire path is laden with memorials of various mountaineers who lost their lives in distinct expeditions.
Day 10: Lobuche to Everest Base Camp
After 9 days, the 10th day will seem like a breeze to almost all the trekkers in any given group.
This journey begins at Lobuche and goes via Gorakshep to reach the Everest Base camp.
The Everest base camp height is 5364 meters.
This is going to be a moderately difficult trek. Mount Everest can be seen on the way but not too clearly from the base camp.
This part of the trek will feel heavenly, as you can see the glaciers up close and the colossal mountain peaks covered with snow.
Day 11 onward begins the descent.
Day 11: From Gorakshep to Pheriche
From Gorakshep, you can trek till Kala Patthar. This will be the most arduous part of the trek as it is the steepest.
But, it is also the most rewarding. This is because you can see the peak of Everest from this location.
In reality, Kala Patthar is the only region from where you will be able to view the main peaks of the entire Himalayan mountain range.
This trek will take around 3 hours to complete. Post this, it will only be a descent.
So, in a total of 7 hours, you will reach Pheriche from Kala Patthar.
Day 12: From Pheriche to Namche
From Pheriche, the descent to Namche bazaar is in order. This is a moderate trek.
Day 13: Back to Lukla
This will be the last day of trekking in Kumbu. The trek is again of moderate intensity and you will return to Lukla.
This is where the trek had begun. The trek might seem difficult but technically it is not.
Day 14: From Lukla to Kathmandu
This is when you can return from Lukla to Kathmandu, and post this you can fly back to your home country/city.
Location and How to Reach
The location has been mentioned multiple times in the aforementioned paragraphs. In this section, you will understand how to reach Kathmandu.
By air: Most Indian carriers (especially if traveling from India) like Air India or Jet Airways are operating almost daily flights to Kathmandu.
A flight from New Delhi (the capital of India) to Kathmandu is the most convenient way of arriving at your destination.
Delhi to Kathmandu by bus & train: there are multiple trains such as Vaishali Express, and others that will arrive at Gorakhpur.
The journey from New Delhi to Gorakhpur can be covered in just over 12 hours. From there you will have to take a jeep or a bus to the Nepalese frontier.
This can take around 3 hours. The total cost could be under INR 1500 (or around $55).
After this, you have to catch another jeep to Kathmandu. This journey can last around 10-12 hours and will cost only INR 230 (or around $3.5).
Things to Carry
Besides trekking equipment, it is important to have a list of things ready to keep with you before you embark on the treacherous Everest base camp trek.
- Clothing: To have multiple layers of clothing is what will help you when you start trekking. The summers might also feel like severe winters, especially if your body is not used to temperatures around 0 degree Celsius. Have thermals, thermal underwear, woollen socks, long sleeved and short sleeved trekking shirts, gloves, booties, jackets, vests, headbands, etc.
- Gear: Not including trekking gear, headlamps, heavy sleeping bags, 2 or 3 pairs of sunglasses and a watch with an alarm is a must!
- Extras: Keeping a journal, novel, teabags, tang powder, trail mix and peanuts, etc., can help you when you need it the most.
- First Aid: If you have altitude sickness, you should confirm with your doctor about what medicines you should be carrying. Besides that, vicks vapour rub, bandaids, q-tips, tiger balm, any anti-nauseous tablets, advil, crocin, etc., will come in handy. Moisturizers and sun screens should be carried too.
- Documents: Passports, permits (whether bought in Nepal or Tibet), plenty of cash, and maps are a big thumb up. As there is a lot to read whilst on the trek, the Lonely Planet helps in enriching your knowledge and knowing more about what to look out for
- Toiletries: Shampoo, soap, micro fibre towel, foot powder, toilet paper are some essentials you should pack in your bag.
It is important to remember that this is just a checklist and shouldn’t be considered the be all end all of the Everest Base Camp trek (or the EBC trek).
The weather up in the mountains can change almost immediately.
At one moment, you could be perspiring because of the long and tedious trek, and the next moment (due to a sudden drop), you could be shivering immensely.
Be sure to be mentally and physically prepared before going.
In addition to this, make sure that all your gear has been broken into, or worn previously.
Do not use anything brand new on the trek as this can cause excruciating pain, especially if your feet do not adapt to your new gear.
The most important thing to take into consideration is that the EBC trek requires no physical and technical ‘climbing’ as such.
It has more to do with hiking and trekking.
Therefore, it is thought that anybody will the motivation and basic fitness level can choose to complete the Himalayan Base camp trek.
Besides this, it is of significance to consider that it is a 130 km (round trip) journey.
This entire journey can be completed in 2 weeks’ time.
Out of these 14 days, around 9 days are spent walking around 15 kilometres in a day.
The terrain that one encounters on this path can be steep, rocky and hazardous, depending on the weather and season.
The Everest Base camp altitude is the most challenging aspect of this trek and can make the easy part of the trek seem strenuous too.
Acute mountain sickness (AMS) can be a life-threatening sickness if not dealt with and treated on time.
Altitude sickness does not depend on a person’s fitness level. It can impact anybody at any time.
This is why it is important to make sure that your body is acclimatized to the prevailing weather conditions.
It is advisable to chalk out a training plan before thinking of scaling the Trekking camp. Being physically fit can definitely be a bonus.
This can mean spending several weeks taking long walks (preferably with a heavy bag) and spending time at the gym, strengthening your legs.
Aerobic exercises like jogging and even swimming can help build one’s long distance fitness.
ATM and Connectivity
It is advisable to carry lots of cash with yourself as it is not easy to locate ATMs whilst on the hike to the Everest Base Camp.
Major currencies like the USA dollar, Australian dollar, Euros, and pounds are accepted to obtain visas.
Credit and debit cards can be used in major cities like Pokhara and Kathmandu, but beyond these cities, it is close to impossible to find card machines.
Do not forget to convert your currency before beginning the trek!
Speaking of connectivity, there are no telephone or mailing addresses present in the Everest area. Namche does have a post office though.
International phone calls can be made from Namche, but are very expensive in comparison to Kathmandu.
LTE service is available at particular spots through China Mobile, but mobile phone service in other areas still remains doubtful.
There are a few internet cafes available too. The average rate for the Wi-Fi ranges from 100-200 rupees per half hour.
The National Park Trekking routes within the Mount Everest Region happen to lie within the Sagarmatha National Park.
All non-Nepali population (i.e., foreigners) are required to obtain an entry permit of the Sagamartha National Park and a TIMS card to trek within the Everest region.
The permits required are listed below:
- Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality of the Solukhumbu district have started levying an entrance fee of NPR 2000 (or around $20) for every visitor or foreigner that enters the rural municipality from the 1st of October 2018. This is replacing the TIMS permit, which is approximately NPR 1000 (or around $10).
- Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit Fee for SAARC nationals are priced at NPR 1500.
- Sagarmatha National Park entry fee for foreigners is at NPR 3000 in addition to 13% VAT (Value added Tax). Thus, the total will come up to NPR 3390 (around $34).
Which is the best season/seasons to go on Everest Base Camp Trek?
There are on and off seasons to travel to the EBC.
For normal tourists who come to have a good time, the ‘golden season’ to complete the trek would be during April, May, the early days of June, September, October as well as early November.
During these times, the skies are clearer, the weather is not as harsh as the other months and the visibility is not bad either.
This does not warrant clear skies or great visibility though.
There is not much rainfall and snowfall during the aforementioned months, and the daytime temperatures will prove to be comfortable for trekking and hiking.
But, it is advisable to carry warm clothes as well as thermals, as the nights are not as generous as the days. It can get quite cold and harsh.
Tours can be arranged at any time of the year as the trek is opened all year round.
It depends on the trekker’s choice as to when they want to cross it.
Only a professional mountaineer will need to ascertain the exact time and date of arrival because the summit can be accessed only a few times in a year and not during the months of intense rainfall or snowfall.
The temperatures can range from 17 degrees Celsius to –5 degree Celsius from the months of April till June.
And it can go up till 19 degrees Celsius to – 10 degrees Celsius from September to November.
The wind speed can be around 14 km/hr and precipitation will be around 15 mm.
One can expect 7 hours of sunshine per day during the summer months at least.
Best things to do on the Everest Base camp trek?
Crossing the Old Bridge Below Namche: there are two bridges that are on the way to Namche.
The Old one is way above the new one and it is the recommended one. Especially whilst trekking downhill. It will save you time and energy and it is a beautiful bridge.
Do be careful though, it is a rickety bridge.
Culture and festivals: Other than the beauty present in the Khumbu region, there is a rich historical and cultural beauty that is not explored as much.
In late February, up till early March the Gyalpo Losar or Tibetan New Year is celebrated. It should not be missed.
The Tibetan opera and masked dances are a sight to be seen.
Buddha Jayanti or the birth of Lord Buddha is something that is celebrated in the month of May.
This is when the full moon on the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar occurs.
There are other major festivals that could catch your attention, for example, the Mani Rimdu festival.
This falls in the month of October of November. These are also ideal months to complete the Everest base camp trek.
This festival is the most famous festival of the Sherpa folk. It is celebrated for a period of 3 days with numerous ritualistic dances.
Take panoramic photos of the Himalayan mountain ranges:
On this very Mount Everest Trek, you will cross and be able to take multiple images and videos of the breath-taking mountain ranges.
Do not miss out on any of these opportunities. It is also advisable to carry a go-pro camera with you to capture the beauty of the Himalayan range even more.
Take selfies in Kala Patthar: The ultimate destination is Mount Everest Base camp. But other than this, a hike up till Kala Patthar is 5545 meters above sea level.
It is the last and most amazing destination from where you can take in the view of Mt. Everest.
Not just this, you will also capture the surrounding peaks.
What is the Everest Base Camp Trek Cost?
Firstly, it is important to decipher how many days will be spent trekking. The Everest Base camp trekking can last from 12-16 days.
If one travels during the peak season, the cost will be higher, invariably.
Who do you purchase the trek from will also affect the total expenditure.
Booking a trek online: in this package, the prices can range from $1200 to $5000 for an average 12-16-day trek. this will include permits, flights from Kathmandu to Lukla, meals, as well as accommodation.
It generally won’t cover trekking equipment, visa fees, or your travel insurance.
Nepali Trekking Company: this is the 2nd most popular method of getting to the EBC trek. the prices can range from $1400 – $1700.
The benefit of booking this would be that everything is pre-arranged for you and you will get to meet your guide too.
Independent Guide to EBC: this could be the most economical method of reaching the EBC.
This means landing into Kathmandu or Lukla and finding a guide on the street.
The prices could range from $400-$500 and this price will not include permits, travel insurance, meals, accommodation, etc.
Going by yourself to trek the EBC: This means that you will not be guided or helped by porters/Sherpas.
There are no provisions made for you at all. Everything will have to be made by you.
How to prepare for this trek?
The most common question that trekkers (especially the novice ones) have is how they should prepare for the trek.
Whilst most of the nitty-gritties are mentioned, here is another list that might aid you:
- Practice: practice will definitely help you. By ensuring that you make your body strong and agile by walking and trekking every day with a heavy load, you will be helping yourself. Increasing strength can include training at the gym around 5-6 times a week. Strength training should be the focus at the gym, in contrast to only cardio.
- Some Key Exercises: Dead lifts, front squats, pull ups, push ups, weighted step ups, bench presses, etc., are all exercises that will aid your uphill ascent and downhill descent from the Mount Everest Base Camp trek.
- Breaking into Boots: the trekking boots should be purchased a few months prior to your trek. And you should make sure that you that you have broken into your shoes properly or else your feet will give way due to the numerous blisters and other problems you will face on the way.
- Get Documents and Other things in Order: Though this seems like a simple and non-complicated procedure it is important to understand that with even a single permit out of place, your trek could be ruined in no time. Do keep all documents and other paper work and a lot of money with you at all time. Make sure it is easily accessible too.
Necessary Trekking Equipment to Complete Everest Base Camp Trekking
As it has already been deciphered, the EBC trek is a challenging but rewarding trek. When you are prepared with the correct gear and equipment, your journey will only be enhanced.
But the gear could add to your total Everest Base camp trek cost.
- Down Jacket: This needs to be a light and warm jacket.
- Tri-Climate Jacket: as it gets windy and rainy in the ranges, it is advisable to keep this jacket for the early morning trekking. This will be layered up with a fleece jacket.
- Fleece Jacket: this fleece jacket will be layered with the aforementioned jackets.
- Hiking Boots: boots with good ankle support that have been broken into are important.
- Hiking Sneakers: need these sneakers to be your backup.
- Woollen Socks: 3 pairs, minimum need to be carried.
- Light Socks: at least 50% woollen socks need to be carried too.
- Sandals and Flip flops.
- Cargo Pants
- Long underwear tops (thermals)
- Long underwear bottoms (thermals)
- Hiking pants
- T-shirts and tank tops
- Day backpack
- Small lock
- Plastic bags
- Sleeping bags
- Trekking towels
- Duffle bag
- Trekking poles: these are poles that provide support whilst trekking uphill and downhill. These help the knees a lot.
Mentally prepare yourself: The Mount Everest Trek is something your mind needs to be ready to do too, along with your body.
Find the right gear: as mentioned before, if you don’t have the right gear, you will hate your trek immensely and it will not be a good experience for you.
Be safe and take care of your belongings: it is important to be aware and understanding of your surroundings. Though most areas in the Everest trekking zone are safe, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Train before you go: there have been a few cases, where people are just too unfit and have to end their trekking adventures midway or halfway.
If you do not want that to happen with you, make sure your body is physically able to trek at least 6-7 hours a day without giving up.
Hydrate yourself before, during and after: this is a precaution that no one pays much heed to. Water is your best friend.
Slow and Steady wins the race: acclimatization doesn’t happen in a few hours. It can take time. So, don’t push your body to do things it is not used to or will have a very tough time doing.
You are traveling over 5500 meters above sea level. There are bound to be various changes in your body.
Treats are important too: if you enjoy chocolate, tea, coffee, etc., make sure you carry it with you at all times. You will be able to help yourself.
Where can I rent trekking equipment?
Renting trekking equipment is a good money saving options for people who are not professional climbers or trekkers.
But you should make sure that you are renting only authentic equipment and nothing fake.
Do some research and find out the best local shops and people to help you out with it too. These establishments will recycle proper cold-weather gear that is required only for Nepal.
There are a number of online rentals and stores from where you can rent your gear in pocket-friendly amounts.
You can rent from websites like:
But your guide will be the best person to tell you where to rent authentic trekking equipment from.
As they know every corner of Kathmandu, and are experienced with climbers beforehand, do take their advice seriously.
These are people who have dedicated their entire life to knowing everything there is to know about mount Everest Trekking.
One look and feel of the equipment should make you feel sure of what you’re purchasing. Don’t blindly take whatever your guide tells you.
You should check whether it is your size, whether it suits you and will it be able to last for the next 2-3 weeks until your trek is complete and you are ready to go back to your home country.
How good is the Everest Base Camp trek for a solo travel plan?
Doing the EBC trek along will push you to your wits end. But it will be a rewarding journey.
People have been known to grow spiritually and mentally in 14 days when they have trekked the Mount Everest base camp alone.
There is nothing more than one can aim for than scaling the base camp of the highest peak in the world.
It is the hardest thing for people to do, to leave porters and guides and carry their own luggage and travel a foreign land which is an uphill trek.
Figuring out navigational routes and paths is something that helps you grow too.
So, to make a decisive conclusion, if it is your first Everest Trekking journey, a solo trip is not advisable.
This is especially after a few solo trekkers have gone missing in recent years.
Thus, why would you want to put yourself or your family members in that much trauma or worry?
Mobile network and internet is also difficult to come across as the altitude gets higher whilst on the trek.
If you are a professional trekker, then the EBC trek is a cake walk and you will not need to think twice before embarking on a solo journey that will open your mind and soul to the different thing this mountain range has to offer.
Is guide required?
Some lone rangers have disappeared whilst embarking on solo journeys.
This is why the Nepalese government is seriously considering making the hiring of a guide absolutely compulsory.
There used to be a solo trekking ban but it is on hold now.
But, hiring a guide has its own advantages. For starters, at just around INR 700 or INR 1000, you are helping someone with their job, in addition to learning a lot about a different culture and a foreign land.
It is not something you will embark on every other day or week of your life. So, make full use of it.
A trekking company can also help you with everything you need, especially if it is your first time attempting the Mount Everest trekking journey.
They will take care of accommodation, insurance, porters and guides, as well as small things like airport transfers.
If you get sick cause of the Everest Base Camp altitude problems, your guides will know what medication to offer you and will tell you how much you should rest.
You might not be able to decipher these nitty-gritties in detail. For this reason, it is important to keep a guide with you at all times.
All in all, if all the points above have been taken into consideration and have been thought out carefully, you will have the best time of your life, whether you plan a solo journey as an intrepid traveller or whether you go in a large group along with like-minded people.
Just remember to listen to your body and mind and most importantly your guide! Happy trekking!
The Mount Everest Base Camp trek is one of the best treks, for a reason.
Trekking on Mount Everest Base Camp will leave an everlasting impression on your mind and soul.
The Mount Everest Base Camp Trek is an experience that will touch your soul and will give you memories for life.
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