Guide to Everest Base Camp
  • May 23, 2022
  • Raj Kumar Basnet
  • 284

When it comes to mountaineering, Mount Everest needs no introduction. It is a goal for thousands of travellers from all over the world to reach the base of the world’s highest mountain peak! More so, it is an accolade of highest achievement traversing through a region believed to be a Mecca for adventure travellers!

Mount Everest has a fascinating history, dating back 60 million years. Although many people are aware of its beauty, few are aware of the guts, patience, and perseverance required to ascend this majestic mountain.

The iconic trek takes you through the Khumbu Valley, allowing you to take in the vast beauty of the surrounding Sagarmatha National Park while also providing breathtaking views of four of the world's highest peaks: Mt. Everest (8.848 meters), Mt. Lhotse (8,516 meters), Mt. Makalu (8,470 meters), and Cho Oyu (8,470 meters) (8,201 meters).

The classic trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp follows in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, and numerous other early Mount Everest pioneers.

As part of a teahouse journey, you'll stay in some of the world's highest settlements while learning about the Sherpas' spiritual connection to the mountains and learning about their culture and traditions.

On the journey, you will get the opportunity to hike Kala Patthar to a height of 5,500m and experience the breathtaking vistas of Mount Everest.

You'll also have the opportunities to experience the different Buddhist monasteries strewn along the trail and learn about a culture steeped in history and tradition, intricately linked to the very mountains.

Table of Contents

Your guide to Everest base camp

In this article, we provide you with a comprehensive guide on the overall journey to the Everest Base Camp (EBC). We have made the utmost effort to interpret our years of experience in the Himalayas in this article. Here, we have come up with a detailed experience that we hope will serve you as a guide to trekking in the Everest region. From the alternative trails to the kinds of food you will be entertained with, it’s all in this article. Read to know more!

First, let us know the history of the Everest summit!

In 1921, George Mallory and Guy Ballock led the first failed attempt on Mount Everest. When two humans climbed Everest in 1953, they experienced their first taste of true success. The two heroic alpinists were New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepali Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, a Sherpa on the expedition crew.

Everest's summit sits at an elevation of 8848.3 meters above sea level. It's been compared to a dining room table in size. The peak is made up of only three layers: rock, ice, and snow, in that order. The amount of the rock and ice layers is nearly constant, while the snow layer changes every year. The south summit is the one that is nearest to Everest's summit.

The rare glimpse of the planet's highest point is only a few clicks away if you reach the south summit. However, you must conquer one more stumbling block. The knife ridge is a very small and sharp slope.

The Hillary Step is located somewhere along the knife ridge. Many consider the Hillary Step to be the most difficult ascent between the south summit and the genuine summit. It is the most technically hardest stage of the ascent, named after the heroic alpinist Sir Edmund Hillary.

What about Everest Base Camp?

The trek to the base of Everest is more than simply a hike; it feeds your soul by allowing you to take in the breathtaking scenery and rich cultural legacy. It is Nepal's most exciting and adventurous trek. This trek in the Everest Region allows you to set out on a journey to the world's highest mountain summit. And, believe it or not, the views of the majestic Everest from Kala Patthar, which are at such a high height, are the most magnificent you can obtain without spending weeks slogging up to the summit! This specially designed path brings you to one of the Himalayas' lesser-known gems, a hidden valley in the Khumbu region.

For thousands of tourists who visit Nepal each year, trekking to the base camp is a dream come true. It's a journey that takes you through the Khumbu region's exotic flora and fauna, as well as scenic valleys, enticing snow-capped Himalayan Mountains, beautiful glacial lakes, massive glaciers, and a variety of climatic zones and vegetation. You'll be surrounded by snow-capped mountains on your trip across the Everest Region, which feels like paradise. Your tour will take you through neglected valleys, calm mountain views, and antique villages. When you get to the base camp, you'll be surrounded by snow-capped mountains, making it feel like you've arrived in paradise.

The base camp is the starting point for all climbers attempting to summit Everest. The Everest region is the most well-known trekking destination, with a rich history of pride, glory, and a fair share of tragedy. The trek to base camp has become a brand in itself, and many people around the world consider it a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The EBC trek is one of the most unforgettable journeys in the world, offering a heady mix of natural beauty, fascinating culture, and a personal sense of accomplishment, as well as true Nepalese hospitality from the Solukhumbu region's local inhabitants.

The trek to the Everest Region Highlights

  • A thrilling Lukla flight experience
  • An adventurous journey through Sagarmatha National Park
  • Exploring Namche Bazaar
  • Learning about Sherpa culture and heritage
  • Touring the old Tengboche Monastery
  • Kala Patthar: Admire Himalayan faces that are not visible from Base Camp.

How do we get to the base camp?

There are several ways to reach the Base Camp. The base camp trek usually starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and then continues on foot along Tenzing-Hillary paths. The EBC Trek is the quickest, easiest, and most reliable form of transportation from Kathmandu to Lukla, taking 30-40 minutes. Due to recent changes in regulations and upgrades at Kathmandu's domestic airport, flights to Lukla are more likely to depart via Manthali Airport near Ramechhap. The classic route begins in the south at Lukla, then heads north to Namche Bazaar, where it splits and heads north-east to Pheriche/Dingboche. It then continues through Lobuche to Gorak Shep, taking the right branch. The base camp is a little further east, while the Kala Patthar vantage point is to the west.

The alternative is the Jiri route to the Base Camp! Since it follows the same pathways as the region's early pioneers in the 1950s, the Jiri to base camp is the region's 'purest' and most authentic trek. The Jiri trek begins with a 7-hour bus journey from Kathmandu to Jiri, where the trek begins.

Choices that lead you to the base camp!

The Classic EBC trek takes you to the base camp along with Kala Patthar via Lukla flight. (12-14 days)

  • EBC Trek along with the high altitude freshwater Gokyo Lake (14 days)
  • EBC with the high passes (14-22 days)
  • EBC and return helicopter (7 days)
  • EBC 1-day helicopter tour (1 day)

Best time to embark on an Everest Journey

Throughout the year, people visit can journey to the base camp. However, certain seasons make the trips easier than others. Trekking in the spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) is easier since the skies are clear, the temperatures are just right, and the views are spectacular. You can experience the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp in October 2022!

Because Nepal's summer (June-August) coincides with the monsoon season, the routes are frequently wet and slick. Rainfall is heavy below 3,500 meters, and the days can be gloomy. On the other hand, these obstacles thrill a distinct type of trekker who enjoys the raging rivers and breathtaking waterfall views.

Winter delivers considerable snowfall to the high altitudes of the trails (December to February). Although the cold makes the climb difficult, thrill-seekers and skilled trekkers approach the trek in the winter.

Consider helicopter services if you are committed to trek in any season. The helicopter trip will provide you with an aerial view of the entire Everest region. It doesn't take much trekking, and virtually anyone can do it!

Prepare yourself for the level of Difficulty

The majority of typical treks to the base camp are tough. However, you can select helicopter excursions that need the least amount of time on the terrain. You can also add three passes to your EBC treks to make them more difficult. You can, of course, only include two or even one of the main passes.

The highest point on most Everest treks is Kala Patthar (5,555m), from which you can see the sunrise over Everest and other adjacent mountains.

Trekking at high altitudes is exhausting, and you should plan on hiking for five to six hours every day! There are severe ascents, descents, and straightforward pathways to navigate.

Prepare yourself mentally and physically

Treks to the base camp are strenuous. Though anyone in good health can accomplish this journey, the fitter you are, the more enjoyable it will be! So, a few weeks before your excursion, we recommend doing some stamina-building workouts. Swim, cycle, or jog are all options. Short hikes lasting six to eight hours are also recommended. ‘How to make your trek a safe experience?’ is a question that must be running on your mind!

The journey takes you to abnormally high altitudes, you must have suitable clothing, boots, and other essentials. Remember to bring a good camera because you will be seeing some of the most extreme and thrilling high-altitude terrain, which you may want to photograph. You must, of course, bring your cellphone. In the lodges where you will be staying, you will be able to recharge your electrical equipment.

The journey to the Himalayas will be both physically and mentally challenging. A strong and steadfast attitude, as clichéd as it may sound, will carry you through a difficult day better than years of gym training. All those months (or years!) of training will be for naught if you lack the spirit to keep going. Mentally prepare yourself as well.

Travel Insurance is a must that concerns your safety

You never know what awaits you on an adventure journey like trekking to the Himalayas! Always check your insurance policy before leaving your country and before filling out your insurance application, check with your travel insurance provider to verify if their policy covers mountainous excursions.

Many insurance policies do not cover you over a certain altitude in mountainous regions. Thus, look for insurance providers that have policies that cover your insurance throughout the trek, which reaches a maximum elevation of 5,545 meters.

While emergency services are available, they are unreasonably expensive. This is one of the most compelling reasons to obtain comprehensive insurance for this trip. A single rescue helicopter might cost upwards of $5,000. Hence, we strongly advise you to obtain comprehensive insurance to ensure your safety!

If you need assistance choosing an insurance company, we can make recommendations based on our clients' previous experiences.

Carry as less as possible

If you are taking a flight to Lukla, then there is a weight limit! Your luggage weight limit is 10kg, and you can carry an additional 5kg in your hand. So your overall weight is 15kg. For your convenience, we advise you to hire a porter with yourself!

Porters will carry the majority of your luggage during the hike. You will, however, be limited in your luggage. The trek allows you to bring only 9kg of luggage. A porter will be shared by two trekkers and will not carry more than 18kg of weight. You can, however, employ one porter for yourself if you choose.

Porters are important in making your travel more comfortable and enjoyable. Thus, they will expect tips. Tipping is accepted in Nepali culture. Tipping is, however, at the discretion of the traveler. We feel that tipping should be proportional to the level of service received, the length of the journey, and the cost of the journey. We recommend tipping at the end of your trek as a group.

Please only bring the bare minimum with you on the trek. The specific items you'll need to bring will depend on your preferences and the trekking season. Furthermore, we anticipate you carrying a little backpack. It assures the safety of your valuables and critical documents, such as your passport.

Get yourself some cash as well

The majority of packages include major expenses while on the trails. You will, however, require spending cash. Bringing significant currencies (such as USD, Euro, and GBP) and exchanging them in Kathmandu is your best alternative. We do not suggest you carry a traveler’s check as you will have to go through a lengthy banking process and pay extra commissions.

In Kathmandu, money exchange is simple and swift. The exchange rates of most legitimate transactions are available. At the moment, 1 USD is worth 120 Rupees (approximately). You can also use your credit or debit card to withdraw Nepali Rupees from ATMs in Kathmandu. The maximum withdrawal amount is Rs. 35,000, with a fee of Rs. 500.

You'll need money for lodging and meals in Kathmandu, as well as purchases of equipment, beverages (hot, cold, and alcoholic), souvenirs, snacks, battery recharge, hot showers, and crew tips.

Be informed about the latest Visa issues

The majority of foreign nationals obtain an on-arrival visa at Tribhuvan International Airport at immigration checkpoints along Nepal's borders. To apply for a visa, you will need a passport that is valid for at least six months, a passport-size photo, and visa application fees. For a 30-day stay, you will require USD 50.

The Nepalese government can change visa restrictions at any time, so visit https://www.immigration.gov.np/ for the most up-to-date information.

Nepal does not require a visa for Indian citizens. Citizens of China and the SAARC countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) are also eligible for free visas. The free visa for SAARC citizens, however, is only valid for 30 days every visa year.

A free visa is granted to children under the age of ten.

Make sure you have the permits

On your way to the Everest Region, you'll need two permits: a Sagarmatha National Park permit and a Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality fee. The Sagarmatha National Park Permit costs Rs. 3,000 (Approx. USD 27) per person for foreigners who are not SAARC citizens.

Similarly, the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality entry permit costs Rs. 2,000 (Approx. USD 16). Trekkers can purchase a Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit at the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu or at Monjo, the park's entrance checkpoint.

Your demeanor during the overall trek

You will be staying in a foreign land, it is going to be rather different from the one you’re accustomed to, back home. The best thing you can do is to respect the culture of your hosts. You can always ask your queries but be open to learning and make sure you are not condescendingly questioning their culture. Nepali is the usual language people communicate over here. However, in the touristic regions, you can easily communicate with the locals in English!

Communicating with the outside world

Unlike the Annapurna region, which has plenty of WiFi, the Everest region does not. Wi-Fi is available in Namche and Lukla's larger towns, but it may cost $1-$2 per device. Outside of Namche and Lukla, we advise you to purchase an Everest Link prepaid internet card. It can cost roughly 600 rupees ($6) for 200 MB of internet. Each of the guesthouses has this accessible for purchase and use.

You can access 4G service in Namche and the occasional 3G service in Tengboche if you buy a SIM card. You can purchase a SIM card cheap in Kathmandu. Likewise, you can purchase Ncell or Ntc prepaid SIM cards that will not cost you much but will give service to a specific point! At higher elevations, phone networks are inaccessible. As a result, the inhabitants rely on Everest Link's Internet services. Surprisingly, Gorakshep has an NTC tower, allowing calls to be made via NTC.

If you don't want to pay for them, notify your friends and family that you'll be without internet for the entirety of your journey!!

Should food and water services in the Everest Region be any of your concerns?

Everest excursions are physically and mentally taxing. Thus, you'll require sufficient calories. Traditional, western, and Asian dishes are available on the menu. There will be lots of food alternatives initially, but as you ascend higher, your selections will become more limited. With increasing altitude, food becomes more expensive. Nonetheless, there will be enough hygienic, tasty, and nutrient-dense food available.

We recommend Dal Bhat, a Nepalese dish that provides enough carbohydrates and protein for your body. You'll get plenty of protein from the lentils, beans, and pulses soup. Syakpa, commonly known as Sherpa stew, is another favorite dish! Seasonal vegetables will also be served in the guest's home, providing additional nutrients to your body.

Momo (dumplings), locally grown Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, and Corn Roti (Bread), noodles, sandwiches, bakery products, tea, coffee, and many other menu items are also available. Buckwheat, millet, and barley are high-fiber cereals that are also nutritionally dense. Noodles, spaghetti, macaroni, pizza, lasagna, various curry dishes, and fried rice are just a few examples of cuisines that can be prepared with minimal effort in the Everest Region.

If you obtain cold water in your bottle while trekking, you must either filter it using purification pills or get a SteriPen before drinking it! If you consume contaminated water, your base camp journey may be spoiled. Bottled water is also fairly costly. Hence, make sure you have adequate water purification tablets with you on your trip. While you could carry a device like a SteriPen on the trip, we've found that using tablets is the handiest, most effective, and cost-effective option.

Green tea, lemon tea, hot lemon, ginger tea, and garlic soup (a must) are all recommended at high elevations. Though there will be plenty of non-vegetarian options, we strictly advise against them because the meat may not be as sanitary.

Dairy and cheese products, as well as alcoholic beverages, caffeinated beverages, and hot chocolates, should all be avoided on high-altitude excursions, according to experts.

What kind of accommodation will you encounter?

You can stay in accommodations that suit your preferences and budget outside of trekking zones, such as in Kathmandu. Where you stay is entirely up to you. You will be staying in standard and comfortable tea houses/hotels/lodges in trek regions. Wherever possible, can stay in rooms with an attached bathroom, with ordinary rooms otherwise. Almost all of the rooms are set up as twin beds.

In Namche, the cost of accommodation can go as high as US$ 150. However, the town has varied lodges with budget-friendly accommodations as well! If you prefer luxury, we can offer a Luxury Trekking, where you will spend as much time as possible in the best hotel in the trek region.

Should Altitude Mountain Sickness be a concern?

Trekking at high altitudes carries some inherent risks. This is why all of our guides have undergone extensive outdoor first-aid training. We carry medical kits and other equipment on hand in case of an emergency. Furthermore, at high elevations, we employ oximeters to continuously measure blood oxygen saturation to detect health uncertainties.

For trekking at high altitudes, altitude sickness is a prevalent problem. So, you should not skip acclimatization for your body needs time to adjust to the thin air.

You must not disregard the indicators of altitude sickness, since severe altitude sickness necessitates rapid medical attention. In such situations, we dispatch helicopters to transport you back to safety (funded by insurance).

The following are indications of altitude sickness.

  • Headache
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
  • High heart rate and shortness of breath

You must notify your guide if you see any of these symptoms.

With proper precautions and preparations, you can avoid altitude sickness at Everest Trek!

How difficult is trekking?

The trek to the base camp is moderate in difficulty level. If you are new to trekking, especially on the Himalayan terrain, this journey can be challenging. Every day, you must walk for a minimum of 5 to 6 hours. The trail features multiple ups and downs as well as a steep and difficult path. This journey demands good health and physical fitness.

Are you concerned that the rigours of the EBC journey would distract from the overall experience? Don't worry; once you've gained a complete insight into the challenges you'll face, you can make appropriate plans and conquer the trek challenges. Overcoming the trip's difficulty will make your journey even more memorable, and you'll be better prepared for your next ascent.

Is there any possibility of the flights getting delayed or postponed to/from Lukla airport?

Lukla/Kathmandu/Lukla flights sometimes get canceled or delayed due to poor visibility induced by terrible weather conditions, especially during the summer and winter seasons. Turbulence and cloud rising at Lukla airport are further factors that cause flights to be delayed or canceled for several minutes to many hours.

Early and late summer sees a lot of airline cancellations. The flight, on the other hand, can be delayed or canceled at any time or month. Hence, trekkers should plan ahead of time by adding extra days to their itinerary.

What to do just in case your Lukla flight is canceled?

You can take a helicopter flight on a sharing basis or take a chartered flight. If there is an issue, some insurance policies will cover emergency flights, cancellations, or modifying foreign travel charges. Make sure you understand all of the policies, terms, and restrictions before purchasing travel insurance. Outfitter Nepal will be able to provide the essential papers if you need to make a legitimate insurance claim.

Lastly,

We also offer trekking packages following the base camp trail, along with some alternative trails to the route and surrounding regions:

We hope this blog has given you a better understanding of the Everest Trail before you set out on your adventure! If you choose to go on a trek through a tour operator, we wanted to let you know that we have more than 2-decades of base camp trek experience. You can contact us without any hesitation and get yourself ready for the best trekking experience ever!

Raj Kumar Basnet

Raj Kumar Basnet

Hello, Hi & Namaste Everyone !

Raj Kumar Basnet holds more than two decades of travelling experience in different regions of Nepal. He has trekked in both popular and off-the-beaten-path Nepali trekking trails which have allowed him to gain expertise in tourism. With years of field experience under his belt, he is now concentrating on sharing as much of his tourism knowledge as possible. Now, the co-owner of Outfitter Nepal, he hopes that the knowledge he’s gained over the years would deem helpful for the travellers visiting Nepal!

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