All You Need to Know before trekking to Everest Base Camp
30 Jul

All You Need To Know Before Trekking To Everest Base Camp

You know you have chosen the right trek if the trail you are traversing leads to the base of the highest massif on earth, Mt. Everest (8848.86m). Trekking to Everest Base Camp is simply a flabbergasting journey and one the Best Treks in Nepal which will definitely lifetime journey. Towering mountains, raging white rivers, astounding landscape, cascading waterfalls, intricate Buddhist monuments, Pure Traditional Sherpa culture, and congenitally hospitable Sherpa people, this is what sums up your Everest Base Camp Trek. 

Your journey commences with a thrilling flight headed eastward from the bustling city of Kathmandu with an exhilarating landing at Tenzing Hillary Airport. From thereon, you will traverse via small hamlets of Sherpa people along the way until you reach the base camp.

Everest Base Camp trek bears a charm of its own and is defined by a diverse landscape and cultural aura all along. Encapsulated inside of Sagarmatha National Park, you might just be lucky to have rare sightings of Himalayan Monal, Musk Deer, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Tahr, and others. Namche Bazaar is another iconic village shaped in an Amphitheatre style overlooking the lofty peak of Mt.Thamserkhu(6608m).


The millennia-old monasteries spread across the Everest region provide for another region to embark on this enthralling journey. Buddhist monasteries, Mani wall, and Buddhist Stupas are located across Lukla, Namche, Thamel, Khumjung, Tengboche, Pangboche, and Dingboche are living history of centuries-old religious practices of the Indo-Tibetan race of people. 

This blog will provide you with an elaborative insight into what to expect and prepare for before your amazing journey to Mt Everest Base Camp Nepal.


Short Video Clip Around Everest Base Camp.

How was the Everest Base Camp Trek started?

Mt. Everest has several unique names, such as Peak XV (15), then it was changed to Mount Everest in tribute to Sir George Everest, the founder, and the Surveyor. 


The team members of George Everest discovered and found Peak XV as the highest peak on earth. In Nepal, it is Sagarmatha, for the native Sherpa is Chomolungma, similar to the Tibetan language across the border. In both local languages means a great mother as huge as an ocean, for majestic Mt. Everest.

Since the first conquest of Mt. Everest by the late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary on May 29th, 1953. These famous climbers were the chosen mountaineers of the British Expedition led by Sir John Hunt. 

From then on mapped and known to the world, and slowly mountaineers and trekkers started their adventure to Everest base camp.


Why Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp?

The question arises for most adventurers and trekkers which leads to confusion in choosing the best holidays at the right time. Nepal with the world’s highest peaks and massif Himalayan range offers hundreds of adventure destinations with selected Best Treks In Nepal. 

From moderate, adventurous to challenging trekking, most travelers prefer Everest base camp, as their first choice. Most visitors dream of setting foot at the base of the world's highest peaks and that is Everest base camp. Besides its scenic views of wonderful landscapes lined with giant snow-capped peaks, the Everest base camp trek has much to offer. 

The only trek that provides various options for comfortable overnight stops from the budget, standard to luxury lodge. Includes the best food menu around the world's highest place on earth en route to Everest base camp. As well as the warm hospitality of the native Sherpa the highlanders of Everest and Eastern Himalayas. 

Where trekkers can enjoy the glorious mountain scenery in harmony with the local impressive cultures of Buddhism. Everest base camp is a blend of incredible scenery and immense culture of age-old heritage. The trek leads you amidst the world's highest Sagarmatha National Park designated in the UNESCO list of World Heritage. 

Choosing Everest Base Camp Trekking where high altitude passes do not involve, the highest point is the top of Kalapathar Hill. At the height of 5,545 m or 18, 192 feet high rewards views of Mt. Everest at a close distance. The Everest base camp trek is an enjoyable adventure walking from one lovely village to another in the shade of majestic Everest.

Sunset View Over Nutse and Everest, View from Kala Patthar View Point.
Sunset View Over Nutse and Everest, View from Kala Patthar View Point.

 

The History of Base Camp of Mt. Everest; 

In the past centuries, expeditions to Mt. Everest were conducted from Tibet through Rongbuk Monastery to the North Base Camp. However, from the mid-1950s, most expeditions approached the climb from the Southern Base Camp in Nepal's Khumbu area. Mt. Everest is believed to be more than 60 million years old, with marine fossils found on both sides of its base camps, indicating that the region was once under the ocean. Geologists suggest that Everest has been a mountain for about 60 million years due to the tectonic movement of the Indian Plate subducting under the Eurasian Plate, forming the Himalayas.

The present popular South Everest Base Camp was established in the late 1960s and 1970s, while early mountaineers used Gorakshep, located 6 km ahead of the current base camp, as their base camp. As glaciers receded and melted, the base camp was shifted further east. Today, traces of past glaciers can be seen, and Gorakshep is situated amidst a sandy field formed by the melted glaciers.

Trekkers can see the traces of massif glaciers from the past early days, and that is why Gorakshep is situated amidst a sandy field. Where glaciers melted and turned into sandy ground in the middle of rocky moraine and smaller glacial ponds.


Short Guideline Summary for Nepal Everest Base Camp Trekking: 

Mode of Trek: Best available lodge/guest house on treks.
Trekking Grade: Moderate to Adventurous walks.
Trekking Region: Around high Khumbu of Everest Region.
Start and End of Trek: Lukla to Lukla with flights both ways.
Highest elevation: Kalapathar top at 5,545m / 18,192 feet and Everest Base Camp at 5,364 m / 17, 598 feet.
Trek Duration: 12 Nights / 13 Days Lukla to Lukla with flights.
Total Trip: 15 to 17 Days from Arrival to Departure.


The above trip summary is just a general idea of how it looks like on most standard itinerary days for the Everest base camp Trek.

Everest Base Camp 5364 meters.
Everest Base Camp 5364 meters.

How many days of trek to Everest Base Camp? 

The average standard itinerary days from Lukla to Lukla is approx. 15 to 17 days including arrival in Kathmandu to departure from Kathmandu. Some prefer taking it much longer with enough acclimatization days to explore scenic viewpoints and local cultures. 

For athletic person wants to cover the whole distance of 62 km. or 38.5 miles one way, in the shortest time. To enjoy most of the beautiful surroundings of scenic Khumbu landscapes and cultures is taking time. Average walks of a minimum of 4 hours to a maximum of 6 hours, taking a slow steady pace.


The best way to Enjoy Trekking to Everest is by Joining with Trekking Specialist of the region;


The main flow of tourism in Nepal is mostly for trekking, apart from various adventures around the Himalayas. From this year 2023, the Tourism Department of Nepal has banned FIT (Free Individual Trekkers) or Solo Trekkers. Trekkers might be in confusion in choosing the best local trekking agencies in Kathmandu, Nepal. 

A country with more than hundreds of companies to choose from, where nearly all companies try to draw attention. In joining with the respective agents, visitors can search the websites or can have ideas from friends and families. For people interested in adventures around Nepal, the companies offer various choices from group joining fixed trek departure. As well as organizing for a private group, the option would be in the mode of accommodation from budget, standard to luxury.

Some companies can be quite expensive and fewer agents can offer you the best low price. But do not be tempted by the low price, the facilities lack minimum services. Always join and book with reputed and well-known companies like Visit Himalaya Treks. We have meticulously designed the Everest Base Camp Trek with utmost consideration, ensuring an enjoyable and unforgettable journey for travelers. As well as other good trekking agencies that will offer the best money-worth of services with an enjoyable adventure holiday.


Choosing the Right Itinerary to Suit One's Physically Ability.

Adventure around the Himalayas where trekkers have to encounter much uphill and downhill with less flat walking trails. Besides ups and down, the other challenge is to face high altitude. But choosing the right duration itinerary will make your adventure holiday more enjoyable.

Most companies offer group joining itineraries with fixed departure dates, well some provide a flexible or tailor-made itinerary. Which suits all types of individual travelers or private groups, but important to know is the duration of the itinerary. Depending upon your holiday and time in Nepal from main arrival to final departures. The itinerary for the Everest base camp should be standard with a few spare days for acclimatization also. A perfect itinerary to suit your holiday in 

Nepal Himalayas along with pleasant moments, makes a great difference. The itinerary should have average walking hours so that trekkers will have time to enjoy the views and local cultures. 


How to Make Your Trek Successful Despite the High Altitude;

First of all, choose the right itinerary that has flexible days and space for extra leisure activities and side trips. This supports enough time for acclimatization against the high altitude and makes you feel safe to continue the trek reaching higher. The next step is walking slowly, having frequent short stops to enjoy the views as well as to catch your breath. Do not push hard, walk at your own easy and gradual pace, and drink plenty of water. This is important because high altitudes can make you dehydrated and weak, consuming at least 2-3 liters of water.

The other important thing is to rest whenever you can, and wear the right gear according to the season and climate-wise. Take advice from the expert guide or group leaders in case of slight altitude symptoms. As well as having a good sleep and eating nourishing healthy foods, not taking meat products can be unhygienic.

Better stick with vegetarian meals while going uphill to Everest base camp and avoid alcoholic drinks. But can enjoy all types of foods on the way back to Namche and at Lukla, on downhill walks. 

Lukla Airport is also known as Tenzing Hillary Airstrip.
Lukla Airport is also known as Tenzing Hillary Airstrip.

When is the Best Time for Everest Base Camp Trekking In Nepal?

Everest base camp trek can be enjoyed in all seasons, except for the monsoon wet times of mid-June to August. However, the best time is spring and autumn/fall.

The spring begins from March till May and the autumn/fall seasons start from September to November. Spring is one of the best times for trekking around the Himalayas, as well as for Everest base camp. Where days are much longer with enough sunlight from morning till late afternoon, most days are clear for views. It can get overcast in the afternoon with a cold wind chill, but most mornings are fine and clear.

Spring is the best time when wildflowers are in bloom, especially the rhododendron of various species and colors. Morning, late afternoon, and nighttime will be cold, with chances of snowfall above 3,000 m sometimes. 

The next best season is autumn/fall, where days are mostly clear with sunny days. One can enjoy pleasant walks along with the views of snow-capped peaks against the clear Himalayan blue sky. But days are much shorter due to limited sunlight hours, cold morning, late afternoon, and nighttime.

Can expect snow during the mid-autumn time of October and November sometimes. Interested trekkers can visit during the winter times of Christmas and New Year Holidays also. But morning and late afternoon till night will be very cold, but most days are crystal clear with sunny days. Can get snowfall sometimes around the higher region of upper Khumbu Valley. 


What Permits required for Everest Base Camp Trek

As with any other Treks in Nepal, Everest Trekking requires you to obtain a few permits for your access to the region. The government of Nepal has mandated these permits to regulate the activities of travelers in the area and uplift the economic status of the people living there. You need to obtain 2 different permits for Base Camp Trek to Everest. 


1) About Sagarmatha National Park. 

Most of the Khumbu Valley (Everest region) where Everest massifs reside, is enclosed within Sagarmatha National Park. The area surrounding Solukhumbu district is enriched with distinct and rare species of flora and fauna. Also, this area is home to some of the spectacular landscape formations not found elsewhere.


The landscape formation which ranges from Tropical to Tundra makes the Everest region even more worthy of a visit. The whole Everest trek is filled with dense forests that include: Rhododendron, Juniper, Birch, Pine, Fir, and Alpine meadows. There have been various sightings of Snow leopards, Himalayan Tahr, Mountain Goat, and other wildlife across. The area was declared a national park in 1976 and spans an area of 1148 square kilometers.



You will enter the Sagarmatha National Park after reaching Monjo, where there is an entry gate for access. Permits can be obtained at the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) counter in Bhrikuti Mandap in Kathmandu or upon reaching the entry gate of the National Park at Monjo. 


Sagarmatha National Park Entry Fee

   For SAARC Nationals:Rs 1500 Per person. 

   For Other Nationals: $30 (Rs 3000) 

Note: Sagarmatha National Park entry fee is levied to everyone above the age of 10. Children below the age of 10 irrespective of nationality can have access without the permit. Fees are payable in Nepalese currency.


2) Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Municipality Entry Permits:

As mandated from the year 2022, the local governing body has set for another permit for the Everest region. Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Municipality Entry permit or a trekking card is to be obtained for the matter. It is an initiation of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Municipality to safeguard trekkers and track them in case of any uncertain happenings. You need to have a copy of your passport for this permit. You can obtain this permit at Lukla upon your arrival. 

Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Municipality Entry Fee

      For all Nationals

For 4 weeks: Nrs. 2000

Longer than 4 weeks: Nrs. 2500 

3)Additional Permit for EBC trek via Jiri


These are the 2 permits required for Everest Base Camp Trek if you fly in via Lukla. If you choose to trek Everest Base Camp via Jiri, you will traverse via Gaurishankar Conservation Area which requires another additional permit for access. 

This permit costs also Rs 3000 for all nationals and is valid for one single trek.  It can be obtained in Shivalaya during your trek or from the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) counter in Bhrikuti Mandap in Kathmandu. You will need your passport information (Passport Copy) to issue a Gaurishankar conservation entry permit. 

Tengboche Buddhist Monastery On the way to EBC Trek.
Tengboche Buddhist Monastery On the way to EBC Trek.


How Difficult Is Everest Base Camp?

As considered by many, EBC Trek is said to be moderately challenging. Compared to its counterparts like Gokyo Lake Trek and Everest 3 Passes Trek; this trek is pretty straightforward with linear ascents and occasional switchback ascent. 


The trail is dotted with Sherpa settlements along the Everest base camp trekking route so if you happen to have any problems, help can arrive sooner. Based on the itinerary you will have to walk for 5-7 hours each day and will be provided with comfortable accommodation. Reliable Heli services are available in the Everest area in case of any uncertain events.


That being said, proper physical fitness and mental soundness are required for the trek. After Namche Bazaar, there are several switchback ascents along the trail to traverse. And with elevation gain, you are prone to altitude sickness as well. 


It is paramount to have appropriate clothing and gear with you for a comfortable journey. Having a professional trekking guide navigate and lead you will make it even easier. Also, note that flights from Kathmandu to Lukla are rescheduled mostly due to weather conditions. It can add a cost burden to your travel plans and other trek schedules. 


Is Everest Base Camp Trek A Challenging Walk?

Overall the Trek to Everest base camp is not challenging, but for some people can be quite challenging. Especially for beginners who have not done many outdoor activities, the trek begins with easy moderate walks. The long uphill of a few hours is a climb to Namche Bazaar which is near 150 m. from Monjo village.  


The other tough climb is from the lunch spot of Phunki Tenga to Tengboche Monastery, covering approx. 200 k.m. The rest of the walk is moderate but makes it harder due to the rise in altitude.

Essential Gears for Everest Base Camp Trek

An important item on the list for the Trek to Everest Base Camp is to pack the right kind of gear and clothing. Depending upon the season-wise, but overall around the Himalayas, one needs to pack all types of warm gear. Like Down Jackets, fleece, sun-hat, warm woolen caps or Balaclava, mittens, and sun/snow goggles. 


Including footwear, good trekking boots, nice pair of woolen and cotton socks, snow gaiters, walking poles, and personal clothing. Most important a good strong water bottle, day pack, and waterproof duffel bags. 


As well as water and windproof suits like Gortex or similar. Sun cream to avoid strong UV light from the sun around the high altitude terrain, face mask, etc.


Most of the packing list will be provided by your agents when booked.


If it’s too much to carry from home, most of the trekking gear and clothing for treks. Can be bought or hired in Kathmandu, one must be careful with the weight allowance on international and domestic flights also.  


How to Prepare for Trek to Everest Base Camp

While the Everest Base Camp trek is doable for individuals of all kinds, we need to take into consideration the preparation factor. It is likely that if you have proper cardio and endurance training before your trek, it shouldn’t be much of an issue to traverse to the base camp. The trek requires you to walk each day for at least 5-7 hours to reach the base camp. It would be much easier if you start such practice 2-3 weeks before embarking on the trek. 


Training and Fitness Schedule:

Regular training and fitness schedule right before you embark on your trek is well-appreciated. If you train your body for a daily traverse of 5-6 hours, the trekking becomes less burdensome. Aerobic exercise and endurance training performed before your trekking days will prove to be worthwhile. Taking a weekly hike to elevated areas in your local spaces is recommended to test your shoes if newly bought. 


Aerobic training is proven to have the benefits of adapting your body to low oxygen spaces. Aerobic training is beneficial for high-altitude traverses like Base Camp Trek. It is recommended that you begin your training and fitness schedule at least 3-4 weeks before your date of departure.


Acclimatization:

While ascending to a higher altitude, it is paramount to acclimatize adequately. Acclimatization is an adaptation process while ascending to a higher elevation. It is done by making gradual ascents and taking adequate rests during your trekking days. As a general rule, as you cross the mark beyond 3000 meters, it is advised to gain elevation not more than 500 meters a day. During your Everest trek, you reach the final elevation of 5545 meters which is enough for getting AMS. 

There are certain guidelines we adhere to acclimatize on a trek to Everest:


1) Slow Ascents:

The Everest trek starts from Lukla (2,800 m/9,186 ft) and passes through Sherpa settlements before reaching Everest Base Camp (EBC). It's crucial to plan the itinerary with a gradual and steady ascent, allowing enough time for acclimatization to the thin air at higher altitudes.


2) Rest Days:

In between your trekking days, you must keep a few rest days for your body to properly acclimatize. As a general practice, we set aside rest days at Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286 ft) and Dingboche (4,410m/14,468 ft) for acclimatization. This helps in adjusting your body to elevating geography.


3) Climb High- Sleep Low:

This trekking principle states that one must hike higher altitudes during the day and descend to lower elevations during the night to acclimatize. This technique helps the body get used to higher altitudes while still allowing sufficient recovery at a lower, more oxygen-rich level.


4) Hydration and Nutrition:

Since trekking demands physical activity, you will be consuming lots of nutrients and water during your traverse. Additionally, you will gain elevation during the process which makes it even more arduous. It is paramount to have a balanced nutritional diet while on a trek to adapt. Hydrating yourself timely is also necessary for a smooth-going trek.


Mental Preparation

As the saying goes, your physical strength is irrelevant if you are not mentally tough. Mental preparation is another prominent factor for Everest Base Camp Trek. As you will be adjusting to a whole new environment full of remoteness and ruggedness, it is necessary to be mentally prepared. There are lots of internet resources available which provide insight into what this trek is like. Since the surrounding, culture, and practices in the Everest region is distinct, it is required that you prepare soundly for what to expect.

Accommodation availability during the EBC Trek

Accommodation Facilities

Accommodations are of several choices from the budget, standard to luxury bedrooms, having common or attached baths and toilets.

Most lodges and guest houses provide nice clean and cozy rooms with large dining rooms with fire stoves/heaters. Trekkers can have the option for attached baths and toilets or sharing the common bath/toilets.

From Dingboche onwards, attached baths/toilets will be a problem due to harsh and cold weather. Where plumbing systems do not work the pipeline gets frozen during nighttime and morning. Better to have a common toilet and bath from Tengboche or Namche Bazaar onwards. 

All lodges have good accommodations with hydro or solar power to run the electricity in every lodge till Gorakshep. Lodges with running hot and cold showers and in most places have to be bought for hot showers. As well as for charging electronic items depending upon the areas of trekking on overnight stops.  


Food and Water

During the Everest trek, teahouses in the region offer a variety of cuisines, including Italian, Continental, Indian, Tibetan, and Nepali dishes. Popular food options range from potatoes, noodles, soup, and pasta to Western dishes like pizza, steak, and burgers. For hygiene and health reasons, it's recommended to stick to typical Nepali foods, such as Dal Bhaat (Rice, Lentil Soup, Veg Curry, and Pickles), which are nutritious and filling for the trek.

Drinking water is available in most teahouses, and trekkers can ask for boiled water at no extra cost. Using a filtration bottle or Chlorine/Iodine Tablets to sanitize water is also advised. Throughout the trek, lodge restaurants offer a comprehensive food menu, including various cuisines such as Continental, Chinese, Indian, Nepali, Tibetan, and Sherpa. The most popular food on the trek is Nepali Dal Bhat.

Breakfast options include oats porridge and toast with egg, while lunch often consists of simple items like fried noodle soup or fried veg rice.


Communication and Internet Availability

Local cellular networks function properly along the Everest region. Nepal Telecom (NTC) has good coverage with 4G data available up to the base camp in the area. You can buy a sim card while in Kathmandu and use it. Teahouses along the Everest trail have wifi available but it costs extra ($2-3) per user. Also, It is possible to buy a rechargeable WiFi connection that provides reception along the Everest region of Nepal.

On that note, the Everest region is a geographically challenging area and there are several disruptions of power and cellular network. Your tea house or guide will have a backup communication service available if needed.


Conclusion

Trek to Everest Base Camp is a once in life opportunity for most. This adventurous journey is filled with enigmatic wholesome experiences of amusing landscapes, quaint villages, picturesque vistas, tranquil surroundings, and hospitable Sherpa people. With proper preparation and a professional helping hand, you can make your Everest dream journey come true. Embark on this adventurous journey with Visit Himalaya and create lifelong memories in the foothills of the Himalayas.

 

We are confident that our comprehensive guide has provided you with a clear understanding and a complete overview of everything you need to know about the Everest Base Camp Trek. However, it's essential to emphasize that gaining insights alone is not enough; proper preparation is crucial before embarking on your journey. That's why we have prepared another blog titled "Helpful Tips For Planning Your Everest Base Camp Trekking" to ensure you are well-prepared. Feel free to check it out!

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