The Everest Base Camp Trek is a bucket-list adventure for many outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers around the world. Situated in the heart of the Himalayas, the trek offers breathtaking views of the highest mountains in the world, cultural experiences, and personal growth. However, trekking to Everest Base Camp requires proper planning, preparation, and caution to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the Everest Base Camp Trek, including the best time to go, permits and regulations, acclimatization, gear and equipment, tips for a successful trek, and FAQs.
The trek starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, a small town situated at an altitude of 2,860 meters. The flight itself is an adventure, as the airport is considered one of the most dangerous in the world due to its short runway and challenging terrain. From Lukla, the trek leads you to Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorak Shep, and finally to the Everest Base Camp.
The day-to-day itinerary may vary depending on the trekking company or individual preference. However, most itineraries include acclimatization days to prevent altitude sickness and ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. Some of the highlights of the trek include the Namche Bazaar, the Tengboche Monastery, and the Kala Patthar viewpoint, which offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas.
What are the Highlights of the Trek?
The Everest Base Camp Trek offers several highlights, including:
- Breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse.
- The opportunity to explore the unique Sherpa culture and visit traditional villages.
- Crossing the high suspension bridges over raging rivers and deep gorges.
- Visiting the ancient Tengboche Monastery and receiving blessings from the Buddhist monks.
- Check out a Coke can left behind by a trekker in 1976
How long is the Trek?
The trek takes around 12-14 days to complete, depending on the route you choose and your level of fitness. The trek covers a distance of approximately 130 kilometers.
What is the cost to trek to Everest Base camp?
Alrighty then. Let’s just get the finer details ut of the way shall we. Just to keep the “moaning, set the lawyers on you” types. This artcile was written at 11:36 on 28 April 2023. The pricing we are going to flash about is reflective of 2023. If you are reading this in 2067, please take into consideration that a) the effects of inflation will have changed the pricing and b) You may consider trekking into Mars Base camp instead. Now….our price in USD is $1600. “Seems expensive”….Seems? “Well, this seems to be a waste of our time. A lot of companies charge a lot more. What school of finance did you study? Its a steal. its a deal, its the sale of the frikken century!!! So don’t rock up at our office scratching your arse with that “what’s going on here?” look slapped all over your chevy chase
What does the costing for Base camp include?
- Return fights from Kathmandu to Lukla
- 2 nights accommodation in Kathmandu. We make use of 3 star hotel in the Thamel District called the Avatar Hotel. So…. 1 night before the trek and 1 night on return from the trek. Savvy? Any additional nights accommodation are for your own account sunshine.
- All airport transfers. We take care of the airport pick up when we arrive. The transfer back the next day for the flight to Lukla. The transfer after the trek from Lukla to the hotel. The transfer from the hotel back to the airport for your departure flight back to South Africa. Make sense? I’m glad. If you are not happy with this you can dial 5 now.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner on the trek into Everest Base Camp
- 12 nights accommodation in tea houses ( mountain lodges) on the trek.
- All trekking permits
- All local taxes
- Includes us putting up with all your crying, blisters and longing for your mommy.
- Medical Kit and Emergency oxygen
- A day tour to the Temples of Kathmandu
- A bespoke turnkey solution that incorporates a bilateral and systematical deviation to your corporate jargon that us mountaineers refuse to use.
- International Flights
- Dinners and lunches when in Kathmandu
- Extra nights accommodation if we finish the trek early or if you need to come down earlier than scheduled due to unforeseen circumstances.
- My wife
- Hiking equipment ( backpacks, sleeping bags and so fifth)
- Travel Insurance. We highly recommend you take out TIC travel insurance that must include helicopter evacuation. Trust us on this one. If you need to get evacuated due to an altitude related illness and you are not covered best you have a spare R50k in your skyrocket.
- Tea/coldrinks/bottled water in the tea houses.
- My left nut
- Entry fees into any tourist attractions like the Monkey Temple and the Eiffel Tower.
What are the Different Routes to Everest Base Camp?
There are two primary routes to Everest Base Camp – the Classic Route and the Gokyo Lakes Route. The Classic Route is the most popular and takes you through the villages of Namche Bazaar, Dingboche, and Gorak Shep. The Gokyo Lakes Route takes you through the beautiful Gokyo Valley, offering stunning views of the Gokyo Lakes and the Ngozumpa Glacier.
Basic itinerary of the Everest Base camp trek
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu.
Day 2: Flight to Lukla and Trek to Phakding. After an early morning flight to Lukla, we start our trek to Phakding. The trail descends from Lukla and follows the Dudh Koshi River, passing through beautiful forests and small villages.
Day 3: Trek to Namche Bazaar Today, we will trek to Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the Everest region. The trail passes through stunning landscapes and offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
Day 4: Rest Day in Namche Bazaar This day is reserved for acclimatization, and we spend the day exploring the town and the surrounding areas.
Day 5: Trek to Tengboche. After breakfast, we trek to Tengboche, a picturesque village known for its beautiful monastery and stunning views of Mount Everest and other peaks.
Day 6: Trek to Dingboche. We trek to Dingboche, a small village located at an altitude of 4,410 meters. The trail passes through beautiful forests and offers stunning views of the Himalayas.
Day 7: Rest Day in Dingboche This day is reserved for acclimatization. You can spend the day exploring the village and the surrounding areas.
Day 8: Trek to Lobuche. After breakfast, trek to Lobuche, a small village located at an altitude of 4,940 meters. The trail passes through beautiful landscapes and offers stunning views of the Himalayas.
Day 9: Trek to Gorak Shep and Hike to Everest Base Camp. We trek to Gorak Shep and hike to Everest Base Camp, say hello to the yeti, throw a ping pong ball at the glaciers and hike back down toGorek Shep again.
Day 10: Hike to the summit of Kala Patthar and trek Back to Pheriche back to Pheriche.
Day 11: Trek to Namche Bazaar, enjoy a beer or 50 and avoid the HAV. ( high altitude vomit)
Day 12: We trek back to Lukla, where we spend the night before flying back to Kathmandu.
Day 13: Flight Back to Kathmandu
Day 14: Departure from Kathmandu
What is the Difficulty Level of the Trek?
The Everest Base Camp Trek is considered a moderately difficult trek. The trek involves steep ascents and descents, and you will be walking for 5-7 hours a day, covering average distances of 8-12 kilometers. However, with proper acclimatization and training, the trek is doable for anyone with a moderate level of fitness.
Best Time to Go
We would love to say that the best time to attempt the trek is at 5:34pm on a Wednesday, but that would just upset my toaster. Allow us to continue if you dare…The best time to trek to Everest Base Camp is from March to May and September to November. During these months, the weather is clear, and the visibility is good, offering stunning views of the Himalayas. The temperature is also mild during the day, making it comfortable for hiking. The monsoon season from June to August and the winter season from December to February are not ideal for trekking due to heavy rain, snow, and extreme cold. Check out out our comprehensive artcile on the best time to go.
Permits and Regulations
To enter the Sagarmatha National Park and trek to Everest Base Camp, you need two permits: the TIMS card and the Sagarmatha National Park Permit. The TIMS card is a trekking information management system that tracks trekkers’ movements and provides security in case of emergencies. The Sagarmatha National Park Permit is a conservation fee that goes towards preserving the natural environment and supporting local communities.
These permits can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu or from the trekking agencies in Lukla. The cost of the permits varies depending on the season, and it is essential to carry them with you throughout the trek. Something you would not need to worry about if you book the Everest BAse camp trek with Soul Adventures. We handle all of the red tape for you. There are also rules and regulations that must be followed during the trek, such as not littering, respecting the local culture and customs, and staying on the designated trekking trails.
Acclimatization is a critical factor in trekking to Everest Base Camp. As you ascend to higher altitudes, the air pressure decreases, and the amount of oxygen in the air reduces, making it harder for your body to breathe. Altitude sickness is a common problem that ranges from mild symptoms such as headache and dizziness to severe, and can even be life-threatening in some cases. It is essential to understand the symptoms of altitude sickness and take appropriate measures to prevent it.
The key to acclimatization is to ascend slowly and spend time at higher altitudes to allow the body to adapt to the reduced oxygen levels. It is recommended to take at least two acclimatization days during the trek, where you will hike to higher altitudes during the day and sleep at a lower altitude at night. It is also essential to stay hydrated, eat well, and avoid alcohol and tobacco during the trek. We have compiled a detailed article explaining the effects of altitude on your body including the 2 suckers you don’t wnat to meet-Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema.
Gear and Equipment
Proper gear and equipment are crucial for a successful and comfortable trek to Everest Base Camp. The gear will not work without a clutch. We recommend that you hire 400 porters to carry the clutch for you. And then all you need to do is engage the gear and ignore this previous attempt at humour. The weather can be unpredictable, and temperatures can drop below freezing, especially at higher altitudes. Essential gear includes warm and waterproof clothing, comfortable trekking shoes, a sturdy backpack, a sleeping bag, and trekking poles.
You should also bring a good quality sunscreen lotion, a hat, and a pair of sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harsh rays. Optional gear such as a camera, 45 bricks, a ping pong ball and personal hygiene items can also enhance your trekking experience. It is recommended to bring your gear if possible, but you can also rent or buy gear in Kathmandu or Lukla. Check out our comprehensive artcicle on our suggested equipment list for an Everest Base Camp trek
Tips for a Successful Trek
Getting into the highest base camp in the world can be a challenge. The best tip we can suggest is the one at the end of a spear. It is sharp and hurts when you poke out your eye. This will casue you to trek faster and thus avoid getting attacked by the Yeti. Moving on…Physical fitness and mental preparation are essential for a successful trek to Everest Base.
Camp. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the trek: ( although a summary, check out our comprehensive article on our suggested tips for a successful trek)
- Train and prepare: The Everest Base Camp Trek is a challenging and physically demanding trek, and it is essential to train and prepare for it. You should start training at least three to six months before the trek, focusing on building endurance, strength, and flexibility.
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration can exacerbate the symptoms of altitude sickness, and it is essential to stay hydrated during the trek. Drink at least 3-4 liters of water per day and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate the body.
- Pack smart: Packing light is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable trek. Bring only the essential gear and clothing and leave behind unnecessary items. You can also hire porters or yaks to carry your gear and equipment.
- Respect the local culture: The Everest region is home to the Sherpa community, and it is essential to respect their culture and customs. Dress modestly, ask for permission before taking photographs, and follow their rules and regulations.
- Listen to your body: Altitude sickness can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or fitness level. It is essential to listen to your body and recognize the symptoms of altitude sickness. If you experience any symptoms, descend to a lower altitude immediately and seek medical help if necessary.
- Never trust a fart at altitude
The Everest Base Camp Trek is an adventure of a lifetime that offers stunning views, cultural experiences, and personal growth. However, it is crucial to plan, prepare, and take appropriate safety measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. By following the tips and guidelines in this article, you can make your Everest Base Camp Trek a memorable and life-changing experience.