Everest Base Camp Trek Guide
Wanna know how it feels to stand before the world’s tallest mountain and scream “ I love my life” with all your voice? Wanna know what wandering on the remote Sherpa Villages and glacier lakes feels like?
Well, these are the dream we all often live with; however, fear to execute. So, if you are also one of those wanderlust souls who wish to conquer Mount Everest by Everest Base Camp Trek, this article is going to help you.
Thousands of adventure lovers from around the globe have already made this journey to the base of the world’s tallest mountain. The impactful spiritual power of Everest draws trekkers to its proximity. And now it’s your turn.
Firstly, let us help you with “Where Is Mount Everest?” Mount Everest, standing proudly at 8848 meters is the world’s highest peak that lies in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal. Trekking to its base camp (at 5,364 m/ 17,598 ft), is one of the world’s most popular trekking routes. Everest Base camp begins once you get to Kathmandu, Nepal, and then fly to Lukla airport. From Lukla, it is almost 10 days of walk to and from the Mount Everest Base camp, completing the journey of about 130kms.
Read through this article to the end and get to know everything about the Mt. Everest Base Camp trek.
Well, do not expect getting above 5,000 meters and standing before the Majestic Himalayas to be an easy tour. Technically, Everest Base Camp is a moderately hard hike. It is easier than many other base camp treks of Nepal including Manaslu, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga. There’s no need for any mountaineering skills and thus be completed by any trekkers with no experience in high-altitude trekking. Whether it’s your first time heading to the mountains or let it be just one of your unlimited endeavors, the EBC trek fits all.
Here are some Everest Base Camp trek difficulties one encounters during the trek and ways to solve them.
Mount Everest Base camp trek is about 130kms and you need to complete this distance in 10 days. This means one shall cover 10 to 15kms each day. Although walking mere km in a day is not a big deal, hiking on steep and rough it can be demanding. Especially, when you carry a heavy bag and walk beyond 4,000meters, even taking a few steps can be hard.
So, if you ask “Is Everest Base Camp trek difficult”, the answer is yes, it is difficult, but not impossible. All you need is the right guidance and preparation. One must prepare for the Mt. Everest Base Camp trek with cardio exercises before the trek. 3-4 months prior to the trek, if you start some light running, jogging, cycling, swimming, and squats, you will find this trek to be an easy victory.
Here’s the short Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary and the distance you must cover each day.
- Day 1: Fly to Lukla and hike to Phakding – 9 km (4 hours)
- Day 2: Trek to Namche Bazaar – 12 km (6 hours)
- Day 3: Rest in Namche
- Day 4: Trek Tengboche – 10 km (6 hours)
- Day 5: Trek to Dingboche – 12 km (6 hours)
- Day 6: Acclimatization in Dingboche
- Day 7: Trek to Lobuche – 12 km (7 hours)
- Day 8: Trek to EBC and back to Gorak Shep– 15 km (8 hours)
- Day 09: Trek to Kala Pathar and Pheriche – 13 km (7 hours)
- Day 10: Trek to Namche Bazaar – 14 km (8 hours)
- Day 11: Trek to Lukla – 15 km (8 hours)
- Day 12: Fly back to Kathmandu
Altitude: One of the hard things about this Everest Base trek is coping with the high altitude. Here’s the list of many different places on Everest and their altitude.
- Kathmandu’s elevation is 1300 m / 4265 ft
- Lukla elevation is 2,860 m/ 9,334ft
- Phakding elevation is 2652 m / 8700 ft
- Namche Bazaar elevation is 3440 m / 11286 ft
- Tengboche elevation is 3870 m / 12696 ft
- Dingboche elevation is 4360 m / 14304 ft – 5 to 6 hrs
- Lobuche elevation is 4940m / 16207 ft
- Gorakshep elevation is 5368m / 17611 ft
- Everest base camp elevation is 5,364m/ 17,598 ft
- Kalapatthar height elevation is 5,644.5 m/ 18,519 ft
- Pheriche elevation is 5545m / 18192 ft
Once you fly to Lukla, you already get closer to the mountains. Above Tengboche, you can feel the effect of altitude. When the pressure of oxygen starts to drop, you can feel difficulty in breathing. You might develop the symptoms such as Headache, Feeling sick, Dizziness, Tiredness, Loss of appetite, Shortness of breath, and even Fainting. It might even get worst with a loss of coordination and tightness in the chest, cough, etc.
Tips to overcome altitude sickness
- Keep at least two acclimatization days i.e. one in Namche and the other in Dingboche (cover less than 1000 meters each day)
- Walk slowly and take long rest when you feel tired, there’s absolutely no need to rush
- Make sure you drink a lot of warm water (3-4 l/ day) and avoid all kinds of alcoholic drinks so that you are hydrated.
- Eat only a healthy, high-calorie diet at a definite interval
- If you start feeling sick, stop the climb, and descend to a lower altitude. Carry medicines such as acetazolamide (for altitude) and ibuprofen/ paracetamol for the pain.
Weather and climate
The mountains are cold and the weather there is very unstable. Without a doubt, Everest weather is freezing year-round, with a thick layer of snow in winter. Winter has an average temperature of -5 to -15 degrees, making it almost impossible to trek. Although the Himalayas look magnificent in winter, trekking in the snow isn’t easy. Summer is warm, but the rainfall makes the trail slippery. Also, there are mosquitoes and leeches, adding to the difficulty.
The easiest hike to Everest Base Camp can be done in the stable and calm weather of autumn and Spring. During these months, the temperature of Everest also rises to about 5 degrees Celsius. There are few chances of rainfall and snow, making treks to Everest easy. So, it’s suggested that you travel between September to November and March to May.
If you trek in winter, carry trek boots and crampons, and don’t travel solo. A sleeping bag is compulsory and carries clothes in layers.
The remoteness and lifestyle of people living in the Himalayas might be something you might have never imagined. For these 12 days, you will be living with limited resources. Trekking makes you sweaty/ dirty and you might not get to shower at the end of each day. You don’t get to buy clothes or personal care items once you get above Namche. There’s not even an ATM machine once you start the hike.
The accommodation in the Everest Base Camp hike is very basic with cozy rooms and small beds. The rooms might not have private bathrooms above Namche. They do serve all kinds of Nepalese, Indian, Chinese, and continental foods, prepared from fresh vegetables and cereals.
Weight of your bag
The weight of every food, clothes and trek item in your bag reaches almost 15kgs. And carrying this weight for 12 days while also walking on the steep land is not easy. Packing-wise and hiring a porter for carrying your bag makes the trip really easy. While you book your trek with MyEverestTrip, there will already be a porter with you.
Well, it’s just a warning that you manage your finance well. The Everest base camp trek cost ranges between $1200 to $2000 (quite affordable). The well-arranged Everest trek package cost about $1500 and you will need $500 to $1000 more for the cost of tips, donations, drinks, and snacks. Make sure you arrange this money.
The Cost depends on where you book your trip. The International Trip operators can cost between USD 2500 to 5000/ per person which is way above your actual cost. There are local travel agencies like MyEverestTrip that offer the most reasonable Everest Base Camp trek cost of $1400 to $1800/ person. This includes everything from flight to guide, food, accommodation, and permit.
Walking the streets of Thamel, you can also get cheap Everest base camp packages ranging from $700 to $1200. But since their package will be skipping a lot of things, you will end up spending a lot from your pocket. The independent trekkers traveling in a group might be able to travel for about $1200, but the hassle of arranging your trip can be overwhelming.
Along with the cost of the Everest base camp that has been included in the package, there will be $500 to $1000 expenses of your own. This includes the cost of tips, donations, drinks, water, and other food you crave for. Nowadays, the travel agency of Nepal is offering Luxury Everest Base Camp that offers better hotels and meals, but the price of the Everest Base Camp trek is almost two times i.e. $3000.
There are two kinds of cost i.e. One-time cost which includes flight cost, permit cost, and trekking gear cost. And then there’s a flexible cost which includes food, accommodation, guide/ porter, Wi-Fi, etc which depends on your Itinerary and increases with a longer stay.
Everest base camp permit cost
- Three kinds of the permit cost i.e. Nepalese Visa, National Park entry permit, and Local area permit.
- For foreigners
- Visa Cost: USD 30 for 15-day multiple entry visas and USD 50 for 30-day multiple entry visa
- Sagarmatha National Park entry permit Cost: USD 30
- Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit Cost: NPR 2000 ($20).
- For SAARC country
- No Visa Cost
- Sagarmatha National Park entry permit Cost: Rs 600
- Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit Cost: NPR 2000 ($20).
Kathmandu to Lukla flight cost
The one-way cost of the Lukla flight is $187 per person for foreigners and for Indians, It’s 14,700 per person.
Cost of trekking gear
The cost of buying all trekking gear can range from $500 to $2000 depending on the brand. However, you can just rent them for $2 to $3 per day per item in Thamel. The cost depends on what you need.
Cost of guide and porter
For a porter and guide on Everest, the cost per day is $20 to $25 and for a guide, it is $25 to $30. For a 12 days trek, that shall be $240 to $300 for a porter and $300 to $360 for a guide.
Note: The price of Everest Base Camp depends on Your Itinerary. For the classic 12 days tour, you spend about $1500. There’s a short Everest trek that can be done in 9 days and cost $1200. Sometimes, trekkers add three pass trek and Gokyo take which cost $2500 and $2000 respectively. In short, if you stay longer, each day adds $80 to $100 (including porter, guide, and hotel cost) to your budget.
Some tips for saving cost
- You can sometimes negotiate for a lower room price when you eat in the tea house you stay in. Instead of having many items, order one food that is fulfilling (like Dal Bhat).
- Carry sterilizing tablets and water of your own. Also keep some chocolates, juices, energy drinks, snacks, etc in your bag.
- Travel in a group so that you can save cost on Guide and porter
- Using Everest Link card or NCELL SIM card data saves a lot.
Flying to Kathmandu and staying here for a couple of days is your choice. This time depends on how far your country is and how many days you need for preparation in Kathmandu. A few days in Kathmandu for shopping, renting trek gear, sightseeing, and understanding Nepalese culture is actually a very fruitful thing to do.
Now, let’s count the time once you get to Lukla. Flight to Lukla airport from Kathmandu is only about 30-mins and operates regularly throughout the year. From Lukla, the trek is 8 to 12 days depending on your speed. A standard Everest Base Camp trek package from MyEverestTrip is 14 days right from your arrival day. From Lukla, our EBC Itinerary is 11 days long, giving you enough time to acclimatize and walk slowly.
Experienced trek prefers a short Everest base camp trek package that is 7 to 9 days from Lukla. However, we don’t recommend such short Everest tours for anyone other than professionals. If you do that, the risk of altitude sickness is very high.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp from Jiri
Although this is rare, there are tourists who prefer to trek to Everest Base Camp from Jiri and completely skip the flight to Lukla. For that, you spend one full day driving to Bhandara. From there, it takes you 5 to 6 days to join the classic Everest Base Camp route at Phakding. And if you also skip the return flight, it will add 3 more days. The Everest Base Camp trek from Jiri is about 20 days long.
Other treks in Everest
Adding some places and skipping a few places along the route can add or lower your Everest Base camp trek time. For example, the trekkers often head for Gokyo Lake Trek which is 16 days long from Kathmandu itself, and adding Everest Base Camp Trek and Gokyo Lake trek makes it about 20 days. Also, there is another Everest Three Pass Trek that is about 17 days.
Tips: Don’t rush, this journey is obviously a once-a-lifetime, so take your time. Although the trek is only about 10 days long, you can take a month-long vacation. You can add a few days to your trip by staying for a couple of days in Namche, Tengboche, and even Gorakshep. Hike to nearby hills and experience the culture.
Is Trekking to Everest Base Camp worth it?
Yes, Everest is worth all pain and sweat you face on this tour. This is the busiest trekking route in the world and there are so many reasons for that. Here is why the Everest Base Camp trek is worth it.
Mountain View: Obviously, the first and foremost reason is the soaring mountain view that looks so magical. You will definitely see Mt. Everest standing high and proud. Together, there shall be other mountains to witness i.e. Lhotse (8,516 meters), Makalu (8,485 meters), Cho Oyu (8,188 meters), and many other small peaks. You will see this spectacular view from not just Everest Base Camp, but many other magical viewpoints like Kala Patthar (Kalapathar), Everest View Hotels, and Nangkar Tsang / Dingboche Viewpoint. The sunrise view with the mountains before you will obviously be magical.
Sagarmatha National Park: The rich bio-diversity of Nepal is preserved in the Sagarmatha National Park- a renowned World Heritage site. You can encounter Himalayan Thar, Snow leopard, Red Panda, Monkey, and many birds on the trek. While staying at the Namche Bazaar, you also get to visit this beautiful museum.
Namche Bazzar: This stunning town in the Everest region is equally exciting. With many great restaurants, bars, and a bakery, it’s a place to relax and enjoy. During your stay here, you visit many other villages hear by, and interact with locals. Also, there is Museum, Edmund Hillary schools, and a local hospital to visit.
Cultural insight: The life and culture of people living on Everest might be something that you have never known or heard of. The Sherpa are the bravest and most peaceful people, living in the hidden villages of Khumbu. They even let you borrow their clothes and let you cook some of the traditional foods in the Kitchen. You can form a group and even enjoy dancing and singing in the hotels on Everest you are staying at. You get to live their lifestyle, pray at their monasteries, and understand life from a different angle.
Tengboche Monastery: This oldest monastery which is also called Thyangboche Monastery or Dawa Choling Gompa is also an exciting place to visit. You can join the evening prayer and light candles. A visit here blesses you with calmness and happiness.
Find peace: Strolling with pristine waterfalls and rivers, listing to the birds chirping, and hiding within the mountain, will help you discover yourself. This trip will surely fill you up with joy and peace, rejuvenating your core.
So, Yes, IT IS ALL WORTH IT.
How do you poop on Everest?
Though wired, this is one of the most searched questions on the internet. And let us answer that one for you.
During the Everest Base Camp trek, we will be staying in quite comfortable hotels. So, the bathroom is not an issue. This might be a problem for mountain climbers who always travel with a tented camp. While camping, the trekkers poop in a hole toilet; making small holes in nearby places and closing it when done. Sometimes, they also use wag bags or poop tubes.
How do you go to the toilet on Everest?
Hotels up to Namche Bazaar has rooms with private bathroom and western-style seats. They even have hot showers and toilet amenities. So that’s not a big issue.
Above Namche to Gorakshep, the landscape starts to be difficult and accommodation becomes basic. So, naturally, you will have to use bathrooms on sharing basis, and sometimes, they have squat seats. Hopefully, it’s clean.
So, do you have any more questions for MyEverestTrip regarding your Everest endeavors? If you do have more queries, we will be happy to address them. Just leave a comment below us and send us an email.
Excited to be hearing from you.