a journey to the roof of the World - Mount Everest
So you probably have a lot of questions, like "When is the best time to do the base camp trek to Everest?" "What route options are there?" How difficult is the base camp trek? " "How long does it take to trek to Everest base camp?
Everest Base Camp tour is sought after in the
Himalayas. Why? One answer...the scenery - the unsurpassed mountain
views. The walking tour to the base camp of Everest is one of the most
spectacular trekking routes in the Himalayas,
along paths lined and carved out by multi-hued prayer
flags, prayer wheels and Mani stones. But how Difficult Is The Everest
Base Camp Trek? It is not as difficult as you think.
We have created this everest base camp trek itinerary to combine a mix of amazing cultural highlights with hiking through the Himalayas. We start by introducing to you to cultural diversity of Kathmandu by visiting ancient temples and stupas that are an integral part of the Nepalese people.
The accommodation we use in Kathmandu is right in the heart of Thamel. Then the flight to Lukla. The quickest route into the Khumbu is by air from Kathmandu on a forty minute flight into Lukla. Throughout the trip you'll encounter the local Buddhist people reciting the mantra of "Om mani padme hum" which you will also see inscribed on endless mani walls. The trip is about 5-8hours walking daily with some days of the trek being longer.
Not only is the base camp of Everest close the worlds highest mountain (8,850m), Mt Everest, it is also home to the friendly Sherpa people, picturesque villages, colourful festivals and monasteries. Mt Everest is the highest peak in the world and known as Sagarmatha. Everest was first summited by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. This trip will take you all the way to the iconic base camp itself at the base of the Khumbu glacier.
This climb will take you up Kala Patthar where you can get incredible views across the Himalayas. It truly is a journey for the soul. Everest base camp tours are not to be missed. You'll be accompanied all the way by an experienced registered English speaking local trek guide, who will give you all the support and guidance you need and an insight into the rich local Sherpa culture.
The hike can be done throughout the year, however, Autumn (Sep - Nov) is often considered to be the best season for hiking in Nepal with a great climate and several festivals. although it is a little colder than Spring, the skies tend to be much clearer. Spring, (March - May) is the next favourite and also main summit season for Mt Everest. During spring time, the Khumbu valley erupts with beautiful rhododendron flowers. June to August is monsoon season so the route is quiet. During November and December it is cold but again, some travellers find it worth visiting during this period, as there are fewer tourists.
The cost of a medical evacuation from the mountain is expensive, which is why adequate travel insurance is required on all climbs booked through us. Adequate, means you must be covered for
1) Trekking or hiking – this may sound strange, but many insurance list that as an exclusion.
2) Altitude up to 6,000 meters. Most travel insurance providers do not include this under their standard cover and often limit it to 3500m or less.
3) Sprains strains and physiotherapy – yes, many insurers exclude this; though ironically, this is what you will most likely need cover for.
4) Personal accident – this is the horrible part of insurance. Yes, you need to be covered in the case of death. We are often told by clients – “if anything happens to me, just leave me there.” It is not that simple.
Day-1: Arrive Kathmandu
Day-2: Guided Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Day-3: Flight: Kathmandu (1,310m) - Lukla (2,840m). Trek to Phakding (2,610m)
Day-4: Phakding to Namche (3,440m) (5-6hrs).
Day-5: Rest day at Namche
Day-6: Namche to Tengboche (3,860m) (5 hiking hours).
Day-7: Tengboche to Pheriche (4,312m) (5 hr trek).
Day-8: Pheriche to Lobuche (4,920m) (4-5 hr duration).
Day-9: Trek Lobuche to Gorekshep and Everest Base (5,140m) (4 hrs).
Day-10: Hike up to Kala Patthar (5,545m). / Retrace your steps to Dingboche (4,410m)
Day-11: Dingboche to Tengboche (3,860m)
Day-12: Trek to Namche (3,440m) (4 hrs).
Day-13: Namche to Phakding (2,610m). (3-4 hours).
Day-14: Phakding to Lukla (2,840m) (3 hrs).
Day-15: Flight: Lukla (2,840m) - Kathmandu (1,310m). Hotel Overnight.
Day-16: Free at leisure
Day-17: Transfer to airport. Final departure.
Day-1: Arrive Kathmandu
Arrival and transfer to Hotel.
Day-2: Guided Sightseeing
Guided sightseeing around Kathmandu Valley.
Day-3: Flight: Kathmandu (1,310m) - Lukla (2,840m). Trek to Phakding (2,610m).
Our early morning hike to begins with a flight into Lukla - is a lifetime experience, in itself. The airfield is on a slope and the difference between the two ends of the runway is about 460 meters! You will land on an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s. After meeting with guides and porters and a short break for tea we hike away from Lukla towards Everest base camp for a few hours along the Dudh Kosi River to Phakding 2,610m. Once you have trekked through the small village of Ghat (2550m), Phakding is a short walk away.
Day-4: Phakding (2,610m) Namche bazaar (3,440m).
After leaving Phakding the path takes us through a magnificent forest of rhododendron, magnolia trees and giant fir trees alongside the Dhud-Kosi river through small villages like Bekar and Monju. You will crisscross over the river a few times on high suspension bridges until you eventually come to the Sagarmatha Check Point where your permits needs to be checked. The climb then goes downhill to the river and then all the way back up to Namche. The trail heads up through blue pine forests and as you climb there are rhododendron trees which bloom in Spring time. Namche is the largest Sherpa village and is the unofficial capital of the Khumbu, gateway to the high Himalayas. This relatively small town is a bustling tourist zone and trading hub literally is perched on a sloping hill. It is surrounded on all sides by mountains, from Thamserku to Kongde Ri. Trekkers heading to Mt. Everest, Gokyo, Island Peak and many other destinations for both trekking and expedition, have at least two nights stopover in Namche to acclimatise.
Day-5: Namche bazaar (acclimatisation 3,440 m)
We will spend time here on short walks to acclimatise. Although it says acclimatisation, this means you need to walk for the principle of climb high and sleep low, meaning we gain altitude, then descend again to sleep low, enabling our bodies to better adjust to the altitude. A slow and steady pace with adequate time for acclimatisation is key to success. So we hike up to Everest View hotel for just that, a view of Mt Everest, assuming the weather is clear.
Day-6: Trek from Namche to Tengboche (3,860m)
With incredible views of the Thamserku we steadily descend to the Imja Khola where we see a series of water driven prayer wheels at the little river spot of Pungi Tanga. After a lunch break we begin the slow long steep climb to the famous Tengboche Monastery (3,860m) - one of the most beautiful places in the world. Apart from natural scenery and mountain views, many festivals take place here, such as Mani Rimdu festival. This festival performed at the monasteries in Tengboche, Chiwang, and Thame. This sacred ceremonies held for nineteen days; culminating in a 3-day public festival. Lamas and monks dress in colorful attire with elaborate masks and dance to the victory of Buddhism over Bon. We will get amazing views of Mt. Ama Dablam, meaning Mother's Charm Box. According to legend, Lama Sange Dorjee, who came from Tibet's Rongbuk Monastery, founded Thyangboche Monastery in the 17th century. Thyangboche was destroyed by an earthquake in 1933, rebuilt and again badly damaged by a fire in 1989. Construction of the present monastery was completed in 1992. We may continue down to Deboche for the night where it is warmer and accommodation options better.
Day-7: Tengboche to Dingboche (4,410m)
Continuing up the Imja Khola valley, we hike towards Dingboche (4,410). The route is easier with a lot less steep ascents than on Namche or Tengboche trek. The terrain becomes like a tundra of grasses and vast open plains as the Khumbu valley opens up ahead of you. Dingboche is the highest permanent Sherpa settlement in the region and also lies on the route towards Island Peak.
Day-8: Dingboche to Lobuche (4,920m)
We have a gentle climb away from Dingboche above the Pheriche valley. After ascending up a small ridge we contour around the base of Khumbu Glacier before climbing for about two hours up Thokla Pass for about 210m in altitude gain. At the top of the pass are several memorial sites with endless strands of prayer flags dedicated to Himalayan climbers who lost their lives in pursuit of their climbing dreams. We then continue alongside the terminal moraine to Lobuche (4,930m).
Day-09: Lobuche to Gorakshep (5,140m) to Everest Base (6-8 hrs).
Our distance is quite far as we walk past Gorekshep and continue to base camp Everest itself. We then retrace our steps from base camp to Gorek Shep for our night stop. If there is a chance of clear weather in the afternoon though we may ascend Kala Patthar instead and watch the sunset though what we do will be a decision with the group and guide. Overnight Lodge.
Day-10: Hike up to Kala Patthar (5,545m) return to Dingboche.
After climbing Kala Patthar for early more sunrise views across Everest, you retrace your steps to Gorekshep, down to Lobuche and then head to Dingboche (4,410m)
Day-11: Dingboche to Tengboche (3,860m)
We have a relatively easy walk along the Imja Khola with a visit to the Gompa at Pangboche, before climb up to Tengboche Monastery.
Day-12: Tengboche to Namche (3,440m)
We head down on a long descent down the right flank of the Dudh Kosi valley to Namche.
Day-13:Namche to Phakding (2,610m)
We continue down along the gorge of the Dudh Kosi to the village of Phakding.
Day-14: Phakding to Lukla (2,840m)
We walk through town to the little airstrip of Lukla
Day-15: Flight: Lukla (2,840m) - Kathmandu (1,310m).
End of services
Everest Base Camp elevation is 17,600 feet (or 5,380m) but considering it takes 8 days to reach that altitude from 2845m or 9,383 feet (or 2,845m) it is quite an altitude gain. Climbers also have the chance to climb Kala Patthar for sunrise or sunset view and can go as high as 18,514 feet (5,659m)
In general if you are happy walking for 5to 6 hrs a day with a light day pack then you should be fine so long as you are fit in advance. Trekkers should be comfortable with occasional rough terrain, but expect long steep climbs. Some days could include ascents and descents of 500 metres or more. Most walking is done in the morning and afternoons are for relaxing. One thing you can’t train for is altitude and that can prevent people reaching base camp where there is 50% less oxygen compared to sea level. The secret is to acclimatise well and to do so you need to take a slow pace, a good itinerary, ascend to altitude slowly, rest, eat good food, sleep well and drink plenty of fluids.
The trek takes 14 days from Kathmandu to Kathmandu if you fly into and out of the mountain airstrip of Lukla and take the normal route to base camp. You should allow 2 or 3 days on top of this for travel days to reach Kathmandu and to get over jet lag and to explore the city. There are other Everest Base Camp route options for the trek such as Jiri, Saleri and Phaplu which are all beautiful, less travelled and take longer.
The rooms are all generally basic. The higher elevation rooms do not have toilets, and some facilities only have squat toilets. Lodges at lower levels may have attached private bathrooms. There is no heating and electricity is often solar and on only for a few hours in the evening. Rooms have a bed, pillow and a thick blanket a small light.
The best time to visit Everest Base Camp is either side of the late May to mid-September monsoon season. Late September to November and February to May are the main trekking months with fairly stable conditions, good visibility and temperatures at Base Camp getting up to about -6°C. Base Camp gets busy during late April or early May with climbers preparing for their attempts on Everest’s summit. Although late Nov-Feb are extremely cold, around -15°C by day and much colder at night, clear skies are present with quieter trails.
Yes, you can charge your batteries and mobile phones in every place by paying extra at the rooms do not have charging facilities. The price of charging may vary in different places. It is wise to bring your power bank which you can charge in Kathmandu and use it in the higher area as charging batteries in the higher area is quite costly.
You can choose the food from the menu and it depends on the places. You can also choose local dishes and continental/Chinese dishes. However, food is cooked by the basic local lodges so the variety and flavour differs from one place to the next.
Most people think Everest Base Camp is higher than Kilimanjaro but surprise surprise, it is not. Base camp of Everest (or rather Kala Pathar – the little hill you climb up above base camp) is actually 5545m, whereas Kilimanjaro summit is 5895m.
People also think it is a tougher hike than Kilimanjaro, but Kilimanjaro is actually regarded as tougher by those who have done both.
This is a really difficult one to answer directly - "how will I cope with the altitude". To be honest, this is an ' unknown' factor as no-one can predict how your body will cope at altitude. People who have been to altitude many times in the past without problems, may on one climb suddenly develop problems. There are many factors that play a role. The only way to help combat this, is to take all of the necessary precautions, and walk slowly.
The flights to Lukla have a limit of 10 kilograms per person of checked luggage and 5 kilograms per person in hand luggage. They weigh all bags and will charge you if your bags are overweight.