A Complete Guide To Completing The Everest Base Camp Trek
[dropcap size=big]M[/dropcap]ount Everest is synonymous to Nepal. Many people come to Nepal to get a sight of towering Everest. To catch sight of Everest, you have to go for Everest Base Camp trek.
It is a moderate trek which gives you lifetime memories. Together with the alluring mountains and landscapes, you will have a close encounter with Sherpa people.
Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek
Kala Patthar- an ideal place for Everest view
Picturesque Khumbu glacier and ice fall
Tengboche monastery- largest monastery in the Khumbu region
Gokyo Ri- an alternate destination for best views of Everest
Glittering Gokyo Lakes and other glacial lakes
Sagarmatha National Park- a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site
Tenzing Hillary Airport – among the world’s dangerous airport
Everest Base Camp Trek Map
Maps are very important when you go in new places. Chances are high that you may get lost in the ridges, boulders, and pathways while going for EBC trek, especially, when you travel independently. In such cases, you must follow reliable maps (either printed or an online map).
Below is an online map of the EBC trek which covers the Lukla route, Jiri route, and the Gokyo route.
The starting point of the Everest Base Camp trek in Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, you can take a direct flight to Lukla and start trekking.
An alternative way is to drive to Jiri from Kathmandu by bus and the start trek from Jiri itself. This classic Jiri route is for those who fear Lukla flight or for those who wish to walk on the route followed by Edmund Hillary. From Jiri, you trek to Lukla and follow the common trail to the Everest Base Camp.
Besides, you can also walk across the Gokyo valley to the Base Camp. This is a novel route that is less crowded than the classic routes.
Everest Base Camp Trek Weather
You can not exactly predict the weather of the Everest Base Camp. You must prepare yourself for the changing weather conditions. In general, nights are much colder than days. Summer days can have temperatures as high as 25 degrees C in the day while the nights during winter can have temperatures of -20 degree C. Mornings may start with a crisp sky but the afternoon cloud may cover snow-capped peaks and obstruct visions.
During Springs the temperature is quite moderate. An average day temperature ranges from 17℃-25 ℃ while the nights go down to -15℃. With the change in season, temperature also varies. Regardless of the season, you must be fully prepared for the weather changes.
In general, September- November, and March-May marks peak trekking season in the Everest Base Camp. This is the time when pleasant weather eases your long walks. There is very low or no rainfall at all.
If you visit in Spring, you will have blissful walks across rhododendron forests. And the clear sky offers greater views of snow covered peaks, lush forests, and surrounding villages.
But if you wish to trek in other seasons, you can safely conquer the route. With proper information and appropriate packaging lists, you can go for this trek any time of the year.
Trekking in off-seasons means you will have adequate time with nature. You can walk in peaceful trails. You can even choose this trek in January or in July or in August.
Accommodation and food
Everest region is very popular among the trekkers and mountaineers. Plenty of tea houses and lodges remains open all year round to ensure comfortable accommodations after tiring walks.
As usual, at higher altitudes, there are few places for accommodations like Gorakshep, Dzongla, and Thagnak. But in places like Lukla, and Namche Bazar there are many hotels ranging from basic to deluxe.
In peak season, you must prebook for the desired accommodation. And these tea houses provide food prepared by the professional cooks. But you may have to adjust with the food prepared by lodge owners or their family during dry seasons.
At such height, you must be careful about your health and food you eat. You should drink enough water and juice. But strictly avoid alcohol products. But in higher altitudes, we do not recommend you meat products as there’s no guarantee of the freshness of meat.
You will walk relaxed if you pack wisely. You need to collect enough information on the weather and climate of the route before packing your bags. While packing, pack light!
Some common packing items for the Everest Base Camp Trek includes:
Clothing- Base layer, breathable underwears, trekking shirts, trekking trousers(waterproof), fleece jacket, insulated jacket, hard shell jacket and rain gears.
Headwear- sun protection hat, beanie, buff, neckbands
Trekking poles, headlamp, water bottles, sunglasses, and sleeping bags
This trek demands trekking permits for Non-Nepalis. You have to collect TIMS card, SNPP to trek in Everest region.
You can collect TIMS card from Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu. It costs USD 20 per person.
You can get SNPP either at Nepal Tourism Board Kathmandu or at the park in Monjo after payment of USD 34.
But if you walk through the Jiri- Everest route, you have to collect a Gaurishankar Conservation Area Project Permit. It costs USD 20 at Kathmandu. Or, if you plan to buy it in Shivalaya, Jiri it costs USD 40.
When in high altitudes, many people face physical difficulties due to extreme climatic conditions and low oxygen level in the air. While in the EBC trek you may experience headache, nausea, and fatigue or, dizziness, loss of appetite and sleep. In such cases, instead of walking further, you have to descend down to lower elevations. Therefore, I highly recommend you to get yourself familiar with altitude and elevation of EBC.
To keep yourself fit at high altitudes, you have to keep yourself hydrated. Drink enough water! But never think of alcoholic drinks and smoke. It worsens your health. And to feel energized, consume food high in carbohydrates. Take proper rest along the way. You need to ensure that your body is acclimatized to the altitude.
Also, carry along water purifying tablets.
Trekking at higher altitudes can be a bit risky than you have imagined. So a travel insurance is a must while trekking to the Everest Base Camp. Even a small injury or sprain may turn disastrous. Therefore, it is better you get insured with appropriate insurance policy before going on this trek.
While in the EBC trek, you may suffer altitude or other illnesses. For this, you have to get the policy that covers up to the height of 6,000 meters. Also, do not forget to choose the policy which covers helicopter evacuation in case of emergencies.
Itinerary for Everest Base Camp Trek
This is a high altitude trek in Nepal. You should spend enough time on this trek. Else, you may suffer altitude sickness. While trekking in highest altitudes, you have to walk slow, take proper rest, and continue. Here’s a general itinerary of the Everest Base Camp trek. But you can choose to add extra days or add new routes according to your convenience.
The standard 13 days Lukla Everest Base Camp Trek itinerary goes as below:
Day 1- Arrive in Kathmandu. If you are solo trekker, take a taxi from the Airport to Thamel and book your room. Otherwise, the tour operator will pick you at the Airport and take you to a hotel.
Day 2- Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla in the morning. It is a thrilling 40 minutes flight. Especially, during takeoff and landing in Lukla airport.
For solo travelers, you can buy a ticket for US$250 -$300 return at the airport.
After checking out of the airport start your trek (3-4 hours) to Phakding. There are enough tea houses in the village for your overnight stay.
Day 3- After breakfast, you start your hike to Namche Bazaar. For this, you cross the Khumbu river, walk through many swing bridges and uneven pathways. And enter Sagarmatha National Park. Walk of about 6 hours and you reach the biggest town of the Khumbu region. The Namche Bazaar! Also called as the gateway to Mount Everest.
Day 4- Day for acclimatization. You take short walks around the town. Involve in everyday activities of Sherpa people. Spend some time familiarizing with the climate and altitudes. If you are lucky and the weather is clear, you will catch a glimpse of Mount Everest.
Day 5- Trek day to one of the oldest monasteries- Tengboche monastery. You walk for 6 hours and get chance to stop at the monastery to spot its magnificence. During expedition seasons, you will encounter climbers offering prayers before their departure for the summit.
Day 6- The next morning you start your usual trek to Dingboche. To reach the village, you walk across many curvy slopes and winding uphills. On this trek, you will have a splendid view of Mount Ama Dablam.
Day 7- Acclimatization day at Dingboche. To get accustomed to the increasing altitudes and changing weather, you will spend an extra day in the village. If you wake up early and are in good health, you can take a hike to Chukhung Ri. Or you can go for a day trip to Nagarjuna Hill and enjoy the views of Lhotse, and Island Peak.
Day 8- After refreshments, you continue walking to Lobuche. The pristine views of Khumbu glacier keep you energetic in your walks. You can stop by at the memorials of the dead trekkers and pay respect for their courage. Not to forget is the alluring views Lobuche peak.
Day 9- The next day after breakfast, you leave for Gorak Shep. You will take some rest at the place before climbing to Everest Base Camp. You spend some time at the Base Camp and return back to Gorak Shep for night stay.
Day 10- Trek day from Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar- the best place for Everest view. It is the highest point of the trek (5,500meters). You will have amazing views of Lhotse, Nuptse, and Everest. After framing these peaks in your eyes, you walk down to Dingboche. And spend a night there.
Day 11- Enjoy crisp morning at Dingboche, and walk back to Namche Bazaar. En route you walk through lush Alpine forests and rhododendron bushes.
Day 12- The final day of your walk in mountainsides. Walk to the Airport- Lukla Airport.
Day 13-14- Take a flight to Kathmandu in the morning. From Kathmandu, it’s up to you where you want to go. You can go for further treks in Nepal or go back home.
(Sometimes during bad weather you may have to stay extra days at Lukla or at Kathmandu. Very often flights get delayed due to bad weather.)
This standard itinerary may not fit every time. If you choose Gokyo route or Classic Jiri route, you can extend your itinerary from 11 to 19 days.
Everest Base Camp trek is an amazing trek in the foothills of towering peaks. And you can walk easily on this trek route. But it is a must for you to collect necessary information and pack appropriately before you embark on your trek.