HOW DIFFICULT IS THE EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK

Everest Base Camp tour is sought after in the Himalayas. Why? One answer...the scenery - the unsurpassed mountain views. The walking tour to the basecamp 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 from of the Nepalese people. The accommodation we use is right in the heart of colour and bustle 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 being longer. Not only is the basecamp 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 as Sagarmatha. Everest was first summited by 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.

Overview

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 hrtrek).

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.

Frequent Questions

It is 5545m on Kala Pathar or 18,192 ft above sea level.
The entire trek can be done in less time, but it means that you will be chasing other peoples heels to descend from Namche to Lukla in one push. It is better done over 12 and then you can always add on extra time it you want. By the time you have added on arrival and departure, sightseeing in Kathmandu and a 24hour contingency in case of delays, you are looking at 16-17 days in total. If you add on the Gokyo Lakes Trek section then you need to add another 6 days. Likewise if you decide to add Island Peak then an extra 4-5.
Although the trek is classified as a 'trek,' it has substantial altitude gain, especially the Gokyo Lakes route. You need physical fitness and stamina and most importantly, mental fitness. A good exercise and training program is essential and your training should include a lot of hill walking. The treks should not be undertaken lightly, after all, why spend the money if you are not willing to prepare yourself physically as well?
The hike to base camp is about 170km return trip, Lukla to Lukla. If you add on the Gokyo lakes, it is longer
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 route is very clearly marked out with wide paths in most places. The route heads up via the Kumbu Valley through small little villages. It is very hilly, and if there is a river to cross the paths will go down one side, over the river and up the other side. As you approach Lobuche, the route becomes quite rocky as you walk along moraines.
You can choose either, though we recommend lodges/teahouses. Almost all of the main trekking routes in Nepal are teahouse treks, and allow the trekker to travel with the miminum amount of gear. Meals are chosen off a menu and served in the lodge.
There are several variations but they start from either Jiri, or Lukla. The route from Jiri joins in at Lukla. From Namche, there are several variations you can take e.g. via Renjo La to Gokyo Lakes, Cho La, Dingboche or Periche or even Kongma La pass to the basecamp of Everest. etc. The routes via Renjo Gokyo Lakes are the longest, while the direct route up via Tengboche and Periche/Dingboche are the quickest.
This really depends on the operator you travel through. The Sagarmatha (Everest) Park authorities do not ask for any medical information on the climbers when permits are purchased. Some operators request the clients complete a medical form, others do not. We require that all of our clients complete a medical form and based on the answers, we may request a letter from your medical practitioner. People suffering with conditions such as severe asthma e.g. should not climb. Regardless, anyone attempting the climb, or any climb for that matter, should ensure that they are medically fit, and convey any medical conditions to the operator they book with.

Yes you do. We (Nomadic Adventures) do not allow anyone to climb with us unless they have adequate travel insurance. 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 option 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. Bodies need to be brought home or laid to rest overseas, and this can run into thousands of dollars, creating a huge burden on family members.

We will assist in helping you provide good cover. If you need cover or simply a quote, follow the details herewith: Once you have done your initial quote, you will need to upgrade your cover to include altitudes up to 6000m. Towards the bottom of the page you will see a section called, Options: Upgrade your cover. Click the link called 'View Adventure Sports Benefits'. A blue pop up screen will open. Look for the level of cover required for 'trekking to 6,000 meters' or 'hiking to 6,000 meters'. Depending on your country it is usually a level 1 or 2. Note: we are not insurance experts and it is your responsibility to ensure you have correct and adequate cover. If you live in South Africa, we have other cover options

There are certain essentials that are needed for most treks and base camp is no different. The best way to draw up your list is from the base layer up, i.e. thermal underwear, then hands and feet (gloves, socks etc). Then boots which must be waterproof with good ankle support, trekking pants, trekking tops, short and long sleeve, thermal jacket, outer shell jacket which likewise is windproof and water proof, hat, scarf, beanie, balaclava. Then consider sleeping, i.e. sleeping bag, etc. Accommodation along the route is in guesthouses, so a bed and mattresses are provided. Some include lovely warm duvets, others not, so a sleeping bag is required. If you are camping, then you will still need a sleeping bag but we will supply the sleeping mat.

The last items to add are personal items like toiletries, camera, medicines, water bottle, backpack, camera etc.

We supply a duffel bag on arrival

This is one of the most often asked questions - "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 and the route to base camp. 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, acclimatise correctly, don't ascent too quickly and drink plenty of water.

Detailed Itinerary

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 acclimitise.

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 wth 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 basecamp 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).

Day-16: Leisure.

Day-17: Departure.

End of services

What's Included

Price includes

Airport transfers by private vehicle
Thamel Eco Resort in Kathmandu, twin sharing with breakfast
Kathmandu sightseeing tour, entrance fees, guide, private transportation
TIMS
Flights: Kathmandu to Lukla to Kathmandu
Everest NP entrance fees
Teahouse arrangement (staying in lodges)
Breakfast, lunch and dinner while hiking (starters and main) Meals include coffee or tea but not soft drinks, beer, milo etc
Guide and porter (s) ; their wages, insurance and expenses
Welcome dinner with live Nepali cultural show
Duffel bag

Price Excludes

International flights, departure taxes and any excess baggage charges.
Mandatory travel and medical insurance
Tips, baggage and porterage
Expenses of a personal nature such as bottled drinks, mineral water, morning and afternoon teas etc laundry etc.
Meals while staying at the hotels in Kathmandu (only breakfast is included along with accommodation).
Extra expenses and/of additional accommodation caused due to unexpected events (such a flight delays, porterage because of land slides and other natural events.)
Entry Visa $50
Rescue and evacuation
Tips and gratuities
Costs incurred for returning to the hotel earlier than expected (From $35 per night)
Single supplements if applicable
Cost for giving up the tour (and any unused portions which are not refundable), additional accommodation in Kathmandu as a result or costs incurred for changing the itinerary, if applicable, extra costs incurred for landslides and delays beyond our control etc.

Video

Route Profile Map

Everest trekking route profile map
Everest Base Camp query


Book your Everest Base Tour
Other Treks in Nepal
15 days trek
Start is from Pokhara
Altitude of 4130m
Not as steep as Everest base camp trek
Lower average altitude than Everest base camp
Several route options
Choice of base camp or circuit hike
Stunning expansive mountain vistas
Annapurna Base Itinerary
23 days tour
Trek from from Lukla
Altitude of 5495m
Less busy than base camp for the first section
Steeper and more challenging passes than Everest Base Camp
Breathtaking Gokyo Lakes
Different approach to Everest's base camp
Dramatically contrasting scenery and more of a circuit
Everest Gokyo Lakes Itinerary
23 day tour
Begin in Pokhara
Altitude of 5360m
Very remote with few permanent settlements
Extended and strenuous
Challenging mountain passes
Lots of snow and ice sections
Dramatically contrasting scenery
Dhaulagiri Itinerary
10 days
Pokhara as the starting place
Altitude of 3200m
Hike along a well populated route
Expect steep sections and lots of stairs
Wonderful variation of scenery, forests and mountain views
Trek in part of Annapurna region
Accommodation in lodges
Poon Hill Itinerary
10 days
Start from Kathmandu and Syabru Beshi
Altitude of 3300m
Expect steep sections and long treks
Gives you a great insight into the local cultural of the Tamang people
Wonderful variation of scenery, forests and mountain views
Trek in the Langtang Region
Accommodation in home stays and lodges
Tamang Cultural Itinerary

Trekking Peaks in Nepal
These two peaks are called trekking peaks. Unfortunately, this has led many to believe that there is no difficulty involved. This is not the case. Anything involving the use of ropes, crampons, climbing gear, climbing skill, snow gullies etc can be difficult, even if it is just for one summit.

Mera Peak is the highest trekking peak in Nepal at 6654m. Island Peak is slightly lower at 6160m.

If you are looking at something tougher than a standard hike and are keen to try adding a peak, these are good options.

Island Peak Itinerary Mera Peak Itinerary


Other treks nearby
In Tibet there are options such as Mt Kailash, the Kharta Valley Trek or Everest Advanced Base Camp Trek. In Bhutan, there is everything from the Laya Ghasa Hike or Dagala Lakes, to the long and difficult Snowman Trek


Other Questions