The Everest Base Camp is an ultimate pilgrimage for trekkers.
Trekkers follow a rocky trail that winds ...
The Everest Base Camp is an ultimate pilgrimage for trekkers.
Trekkers follow a rocky trail that winds up the bustling Namche Bazar, through the liberating path embellished with colorful Rhododendron flowers and Pine trees, ultimately adjoining the astronomical mountain peaks.
While your eyes are fixated on the peaks, take time now and then to absorb the beauty of the world beneath them. For instance, spare a moment to appreciate how the young kids up there manage to play and pose at your camera despite the cold. While you sip tea at the teahouses, your nose chilly and the fingers numb, observe how the Sherpas go about their daily life; one that is so foreign to yours.
The trekking trail up there is second to none. The roaring Dudhkoshi river accompanies you at various parts of the trek. You will be ever so careful to cross the suspension bridges--while a porter hauls a load twice his size from the other side--hoping that the prayer flags will keep you safe.
However, you haven’t realized that these bridges have connected generations of mighty climbers to the almighty peaks.
The journey takes you from the green hills to the high alpine, lush valley and up to arid peaks. Along the trail, you pass through hospitable villages and picturesque monasteries.
If you choose to go with our Everest Base Camp Trekking and Tour Manager package, this is our most popular itinerary. Nevertheless, even if you plan to go independently, this article will explore the nooks and crannies of the journey to this serene world.
Note that we are flexible with the itinerary to some extent. We can custom-design the itinerary to suit your interests. For example, there is a spot called Everest View Point. The view-point provides a serene, 360 degrees view of numerous mountain peaks. If our members take more time to take pictures and absorb the serenity, we will delay the plan for the rest of the day.
You will already have booked a flight to Nepal by this day. Our representative will eagerly wait for you at the airport. You will then be escorted to a comfy hotel to stay the night. A delicious welcome dinner is on us, either for this day or the next. We will also present a cultural welcome performance.
The day starts with an early breakfast. We will head off to visit the Pashupatinath temple and Bouddhanath.
Built during the fifth century and later renovated by the Malla kings, Pashupatinath is a sacred place for the devotees of Lord Shiva. This is also a cremation site for the Hindus. Only Hindus are allowed through the gates of the main temple. Nevertheless, the purity of the aura that surrounds this temple is equally serene.
Bouddhanath, on the other hand, is the center of Buddhism in Nepal. Since we are going here in the morning, we will get a chance to witness the morning kora of Tibetan pilgrims. Bouddhanath buzzes with tranquil energy.
We will then return to our hotel for lunch. After lunch, your team will be heading to behold the grandeur of either the Kathmandu Durbar Square or the Swoyambhunath Temple.
Kathmandu Durbar Square was where the city’s kings were once crowned and legitimatized. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the Square is now dotted by monuments, temples, and wandering animals.
For Tibetans and followers of Buddhism, Swoyambhu is second only to Bouddha. The stupa has a dome at the base, above which is a cubical structure painted with the eyes of Buddha looking in all four directions. The eyes represent Wisdom and Compassion. The structure symbolizes that when a person wakes up (symbolized by the eyes) from the bonds of the world (symbolized by the dome), they reach a state of enlightenment. Although impacted by the 2015 Earthquake, the place is now renovated and opened to visitors.
Flights to Lukla are prone to delay or cancellation due to unpredictability of the weather.
Temporary change of plans: For renovation purposes, we can’t get a direct flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. For this, we will go through a four-hour drive to a place called Manthali in Ramechhap and take a plane from there.
The flight to Lukla will take 15 to 18 minutes.
Important: Till this day, the package only included a morning breakfast and a one-time welcome dinner. Your entire room and board will be taken care of from this day.
For lunch and dinner in Kathmandu, $25 a day should be enough.
Tip: Line up earlier than the rest to board the flight to Lukla and take a seat on the left. You will see the majestic mountain range to the left during the left. If the sky is clear, some might even see Everest.
Our trekking journey starts right from Lukla airport.
The total trekking journey for the day is four hours long. The first couple of hours is a relatively easy, undulating journey. After we reach Thadokoshi, the trail now goes gradually uphill.
Our destination for the day is a beautiful place called Phakding where we will spend the night. However, most trekkers are stunned when we say that Phakding is actually at a lower altitude than Lukla.
The trek from Phakding to Namche the next day is a challenging part of the entire trek. Thus, to make things easier, we might also opt to walk further Phakding and stay the night at Manju. You will walk more today, only to have time to catch a breath tomorrow.
Our journey starts after breakfast. The trek is undulating. If you go uphill for 15 minutes, the next 5 will go downhill. We will stop for tea after approximately two hours.
The day carries an eight-hour-long trek.
The difficulty increases after lunch. We will shake hands with river Dudhkoshi (translates to Milk Koshi River). Some ridges meet so steeply that bridges are required to traverse from one to another. Expect to see and cross a lot of bridges.
This day has to be one of the most glamorous ones in the journey. After a 45-minute stroll after lunch, you will see the confluence of the major rivers Dudhkoshi and Bhotekosi. A confluence is a junction where two rivers meet. This is a major attraction of the day.
Although the trail is steep and challenging, this day is worth it. The trail will be skirted by beautiful Rhododendron and Pine forests. If you come during the right season (March-April), the entire hills will be covered by multicolored Rhododendron flowers.
Another major attraction today is the Double High Bridge, which is a suspension bridge on top of another. Prepare to take a lot of pictures. This is the last bridge you will see today.
Mid-way in the journey, we will go through a hill called Top Dada. Weather permitting, you will catch the first glimpse of Mt. Everest if you did not during the flight to Lukla.
We will reach Namche Bazar by four PM.
Namche Bazar is the most advanced place around this trekking trail. It is popularly called the doorway to Everest. You can get almost all your supplies here (but at a higher price).
Professional trekking guide Ajaya Tamang says this town can be compared to Thamel Bazar of Kathmandu. There are pubs and bars, ATM machines, and whatnot. Some like to buy a souvenir at Namche so the memory of Everest lives forever.
We will spend the night here.
This day has to be the highlight of the entire trek.
Namche View Point is 10 to 15 minutes uphill climb away from where we stayed the night. This spot provides a 360 degrees view of the surrounding mountain peaks.
To feel insignificant in front of the majestic massifs is a significant experience. You will have undisturbed views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Amadablam, and other smaller peaks.
As a fun fact, many trekkers claim that Mt. Amadablam is the most beautiful peak seen from the spot. If you ask a climber, they will tell you that this peak is a technical peak; much more difficult to summit than Mt. Everest itself.
What’s more, the experience is so sublime that our team members choose to spend hours at this place.
A 45-minute trek from this place takes us to Syangboche Air Strip, the highest in Nepal. This is where the airplanes bring supplies during the climbing season.
Another headline for the day is a museum. We won’t disclose anything about the museum. It is for you to come and explore.
Finally, we will head to Hotel Everest View (also known as Everest View Point). This place is roughly at a height of 3,880 m. They claim this place provides a clearer, closer, and amplified view of what we saw from Namche View Point. However, it takes an uphill climb of two hours to get to this place. We sincerely hope the tea break during the climb will make things better.
Needless to say, this is the best day for photography nerds.
According to Wikipedia, the Himalayan Trust is an international non-profit humanitarian organization first established in the 1960s by Sir Edmund Hillary, who led the trust until his death in 2008. The Himalayan Trust aims to improve the health, education and general wellbeing of people living in the Solukhumbu District.
We will go see a village that is being sustained by this trust. for the children is also sponsored by this trust.
This is followed by a gentle walk to Khunde village. There is a Khunde Hospital in this village where volunteer doctors are stationed. Trekkers can gain information about living in higher altitudes like this from them. Most also provide a donation to the hospital.
Our next stop is the Khumjung Monastery that costs NRs. 300 (less than $3) to enter. The monastery houses a scalp that allegedly belongs to a Yeti. It belonged to an old lady who kept it as a good luck charm of the village. It is said that Edmund Hillary had to donate to this monastery and the local school to own it away from her. (1)
The night will be spent in Kyangjoma.
We will immediately wake up to descend to Tyangboche.
You will see the only suspension bridge above the Dudhkoshi river for the day.
The trail will be covered by pink, white, and red Rhododendron flowers in spring.
While we will be staying at a fairly constant altitude, we have a lot of plans on our pockets for this day, one of which is a visit to the largest monastery around.
The view of the towering Amadablam is the sweetest today.
We will take a seven hours trek to Dingboche.
The treeline ends after lunch and the climate is now drier and colder.
On day 8, we will reach Naharshang Peak.
The trekking isn't so difficult but some might encounter difficulty because of the altitude.
To put it simply, this day is what you paid for. We will reach Everest Base Camp today.
We will start the day at the earliest today. We will take a three hours trek to Gorakshep. This is a beautiful trek, with the glorious Khumbu glaciers on your right.
A two and a half hours further will take us to Everest Base Camp. Your arrival will be signaled by a signboard and countless prayer flags.
Congratulations, you made it to the EBC!
Base Camps are staging areas used by climbers to prepare for a climb.
First of all, let us clear a common misconception that base camps are flat. Well, they’re not! Like most other base camps, the Everest Base Camp is carpeted with bulks and boulders of ice and gravel.
Climbers have to change their tent after a few days because their body heat melts the underlying ice, causing the surrounding surface to “sink.”
The Khumbu Icefall, known as the ultimate entrance to Everest, is visible and in close proximity to the base camp. Mt. Pumori will also smile at you from its place.
Because of its placement, Mt. Nuptse will appear taller than Everest itself from the base camp.
Since the night cannot be spent at the base camp, we will have descended down to Gorakshep.
Most of the trekkers now aim to conquer Kalapatthar (that translates to black rock), which is at a higher altitude than Everest Base Camp.
If you are one of them, please wake up on time: at around 4. We are expecting to see the sunrise from Kalapatthar.
This is a challenging trail because of the altitude, bone-chilling cold, and the steep slope. Your water will freeze inside the bottle. The uphill struggle will last for three hours and heaven is all yours.
Kalapatthar provides the best view of everything. When compared with all the stops in our trekking journey, Kalapatthar is an entirely different animal. You will see almost all the mountain peaks all at once that you saw throughout the journey. Camp 4 is also visible from here.
Moreover, the sunrise is exhilarating. You won’t directly see the sun from within these mountain giants–obviously–but the rays that disperse from the snow and the peaks are something to die for. *Goosebumps*
We highly recommend you to not miss out on Kalapatthar. It is difficult but extremely worth it.
You will now carry your satiated heart down to Gorakshep and then to Peruche.
We will hike down to spend a night at Namche. (Kyangjoma)
We will further descend and spend a night at Phakding.
The next morning, we will take a plane from Lukla to Manthali and then a drive from there to Kathmandu.
Expect an on-the-house farewell dinner in Kathmandu.
The tour can now either be extended or we will be bidding you farewell at the airport.
On a scale of 1 to 10, Everest Base Camp is given a difficulty rating of 5. (How difficult is this trek?)
The trek is a total of 78 miles from Lukla to EBC and back. (Everest Base Camp Trek distance.)
The terrain from Lukla (2860m) to EBC (5364m) is uphill in overall. But some parts of the trail is undulating (gradual ups and downs.)
What is the best time to go for EBC trekking?
April and May: This is when about 95% of climbers come for Everest. If you want to be when the base camp is busy and alive with climbers aiming for the peak, this might be a good time for you. Moreover, the region is vibrant at this time of the year, with the routes skirted by flowering rhododendrons.
Can I meet the climbers at their camps?
The place that you will call base camp in the trek is at a distance of 100m from the “real” base camp where the climbers will prepare for their expedition.
Nobody can go there without permission. But if your guide knows somebody from the expedition, you can spend a few minutes (or even sip tea) with the team. Fingers crossed.
September to November: Autumn is arguably the best trekking season in Nepal. Not too warm and not too cold, Autumn is a pointer for trekking journeys, one of which is the Everest Base Camp. The temperature ranges from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius during the day and minus 7 to minus 10 degrees at night. This time is characteristic of clear days in the EBC trekking route, allowing trekkers to get perfect views of the numerous mountain peaks.
November to January: If you chose this trek to escape the chaos of civilization, you probably won’t enjoy seeing the EBC trek trail flocked with people and their oversized backpacks. For trekkers who love solitude, winter can be the best time. There are fewer trekkers, and there have been only a handful of summits during winter in the Everest expedition’s long history.
Moreover, the snowing will cause snow to accumulate in the peaks, and most of the otherwise black, rocky segments of the mountains will be snow-capped.
However, take note that the weather is going to be the coldest, ranging from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius during the day to minus 20-25 degrees at night.
June to August: Lots of rain. Slippery steps and leeches. If this did not turn you down, let us also mention that this is not the best time to get extraordinary views of the mountains.
What do I need to know about altitude sickness?
First things first, your age or health status is in no way related to the chance of you suffering from altitude-related problems. Seemingly healthy individuals suffer from AMS (acute mountain sickness) while others don’t.
However, keep in mind that almost everybody experiences minor problems at higher altitudes. Dizziness, mild headache, poor sleep, and loss of appetite is common even for experienced mountaineers and guides.
“Trekking to base camp has its set of challenges,” says Ajaya Tamang, who has worked as a professional guide to Everest Base Camp for the last eight years. Tamang claims he knows every nooks and cranny of the trekking trail but still experiences altitude-related discomfort to some extent.
The problems are caused mainly by cold and altitude of course. The blood vessels fail to supply enough oxygen throughout the body and people also experience irregular breathing while sleeping.
Here are some pieces of advice that Mr. Tamang gives to his trekkers:
Hydrate well. The importance of drinking plenty of fluid at higher altitudes can’t be stressed enough.
Allocate enough time to acclimatize. Acclimatize is a natural process in which your body adjusts itself to the changing environment.
Carry light. Make sure your backpack doesn’t contain more than 5 kgs (11 lbs) of materials. Your backpack should only include your immediate necessities, like water bottles, camera gear, etc.
No smoking and alcohol. Consumption raises the probability of altitude-related issues.
Walk slowly. Mr. Tamang likes to put it straight (but in a friendly way)–do not rush and try to be a hero in these trails. In other words, do not fight the surrounding, try to absorb it.
Some trekkers also use “altitude tablets”, a medication called Diamox that speeds acclimatization. However, some opt to not use it for safety concerns (side effects).
Mr. Tamang personally is against the use of medication but he also admits that his trekkers experienced fewer instances of serious altitude-related issues after using tablets.
If you choose to go with medication, let us aware you that you will have a frequent urge to urinate. Do not forget to keep up by hydrating enough.
Caution: The side effects of these tabs might be intense for some. Mr. Tamang recounts a time when a member of his team had headaches and dizziness after taking the tabs. His discomfort disappeared after he stopped the tabs.
Pregnant women should not take tabs. Consult your doctor to learn more.
Is age going to be a problem?
Even if you are in your youthful twenties, your guide cannot say with certainty that you will make it.
In fact, some youths never make it because they try to rush things off, skip acclimatization days, and the environment ultimately hits them hard.
We repeat–the probability of getting altitude-sickness is not related to age.
However, you should be at the peak of your physical health to complete the journey. The trail is demanding, and the path is not always smooth. You have to go through rocks and gravel, so keep a cautious eye at your feet. Do not forget to occasionally look up though.
Is vegetarian food available during the trek?
As a matter of fact, we recommend vegetarian food for the journey. The quality of meat up there is questionable.
Vegetarian foods are the cheapest in the mountains.
Avoid oily and calorie-dense foods as well. They upset the stomach at higher altitudes. Boiled foods are the best. (If you subscribe to our Everest Base Camp Tour Manager package, we will take care of all these for you.)
Most people lose their appetite during the trek. You may have to force yourself to eat the required amount.
Tip: Avoid bakery as well. They are usually not fresh.