A Beginner’s Guide to Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp trek is among the most popular treks in Nepal which fulfill your dream of standing at the base of the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest (8848 meters).

The trek is once in a lifetime adventurous journey in the Khumbu Region of Nepal. The sheer beauty of the Everest region and views of massive Himalayas awakens your soul. While the heart-warming hospitality of strong and kind Sherpas offer you the memory that lasts forever.

Everest Base Camp Trek is a moderately difficult trek which takes you to the maximum height at Kala Patthar (5,555 m). The trips are usually between 12  to 16 days including the acclimatization days. Throughout the trek, you will find comfortable tea-houses with basic facilities on food and accommodation.

Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek

  • Enjoy the electrifying Lukla flight
  • Explore the diverse flora and fauna of Sagarmatha National Park
  • Walk past the Khumbu glacier and different icefalls
  • Catch the close-up views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Pumori, Nuptse, Lhotse, Thamserku, and so on
  • Visit one of the oldest monasteries of the region – Tengboche monastery
  • Stroll around the high altitude town of Namche Bazaar
  • Interact with the Sherpa people of the Khumbu region

Everest Base Camp Trek Cost

The total cost of Everest Base Camp Trek widely depends on many factors. Who your trek with and your trek duration are the major factors though.

The tour packages of local tour operators vary significantly. Usually, package tours of about two weeks can cost up to $1500. This does not include your visa fee and the airplane ticket to/from Nepal. This includes the flight to/from Lukla, food, accommodation, permits, and cost of guide and porter service.

Major Costs incurred during your Everest Base Camp trek are:

  • Sagarmatha National Park Permit: $34
  • Solukhumbu Regional Fee: $ 20
  • Flight to Lukla: About $ 160 (one-way ticket)
  • Guide service: Around $30 to $35 per day
  • Porter service: Around $25 to $30 per day
  • Meal: $2 to $6 per day
  • Accommodation: $2 to $4 per day

Since Everest Base Camp Trek is a high-altitude trek, it comes with its own set of challenges. So, it’s better to have a travel insurance that covers you even at such a high altitude. Make sure you have one before heading to Nepal for the trek.

How to Reach There?

The most popular way to reach to Lukla, the trailhead of the trek, is by a 45 minutes flight from Kathmandu. From Lukla, you will start the actual trek on foot. From there, you will walk for almost two weeks to reach the Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar.

But if you do not want to take this flight to Lukla, you have the option of a bus ride from Kathmandu to Jiri. From Jiri, you start trekking to Lukla. This second alternative adds about 1 more week to your trek.

The Best Time to Go

There are particularly two great trekking seasons for Everest Base Camp. The best time to trek to Everest Base Camp is pre-monsoon (late February, March, April, and May) and Autumn’s months (late September, October, November, and early December).

These months have the moderate temperatures and stable weather conditions which make the trek less worrisome. In such dry and pleasant weather conditions, you will find the routes packed with trekkers, porters, and summiteers. So, trekkers who prefer fewer crowds should avoid these months. The summer and winter season may add few difficulties to the trek. But if you really want to do this trek, you can give an attempt with proper preparation and packing.

The Difficulty of the Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek has moderate to difficult grade’s rating. This is a multi-day hike different from mountaineering. So, you do not need any climbing equipment nor technical training for this trek.

You will walk through the rocky trail the entire journey with several uphill and downhills. With your physical and mental fitness along with proper packing, you can complete this trek successfully.

Also, the weather change is quite frequent in such high altitude mountainous region. So, you should come prepared for unpredictable weather conditions.

However, altitude sickness can be an issue for many trekkers. The trek takes you to the highest point at Kala Patthar at 5555 meters. Because of such heights, altitude sickness is common among trekkers.

So, you must spend enough acclimatization days, maintain body hydration, and ascend gradually to overcome this risk.

What to Carry for the Trek?

The trek can be around one and a half week to two weeks or more. The packing list depends a little on which season you want to trek. If you are planning to trek in the winter season, you have to add a few more layers of clothes. While for the rainy season, waterproof packing gears are a must.

The general packing list for Everest Base Camp trek includes

  • A good pair of hiking boots
  • Good quality socks(avoid cotton)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trekking Poles
  • Down jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Trekking pants
  • Shorts
  • Hat
  • Towel
  • Water bottle
  • Water purifier
  • Dry foods
  • Essentials like permits, money, etc.

Since you have a lot of things to carry with you, a backpack of about 45 – 60 L will be of real help for you. But before you buy one, make sure you to select right backpack according to your trek duration and needs. It must be of the utmost quality and has the capability to withstand the cold climate of the Everest Region.

Hiring a Guide to EBC

You can trek to Everest Base Camp as an independent trekker. But for a novice trekker, I do not recommend solo trek. Hiking with an experienced guide has many perks.

You will spend several days on a high altitude. The climate is cold, trails at some parts are too enduring. And a bit of language barrier adds on the downsides. During peak seasons you may face difficulty in finding the appropriate room and food.

During such difficulties, your guide comes to help. Hiring a guide helps you smoothen your trek. S/he manages the transportation, accommodation, and other conveniences during the trek.

Food and Accommodation

En route to Base Camp, you can easily find decent teahouses and lodges in almost every settlement. Hotel in the lower towns like Namche, Lukla, and Phakding have modern conveniences, but the teahouses in upper parts are pretty basic. Tea Houses in the region offer Daal-Bhat and foods with high carbs.

But, as you go further up, the settlements get thinner, climate colder, and foods cost higher.

Villages En Route to EBC

The route to EBC has several Sherpa villages on the way. You begin walking through Lukla village and gradually proceed to Phakding village. From there, your nets stop will be at Namche Bazaar. Then you will explore Khumjung, Khunde, Tengboche, Dingboche and Lobuche villages before you reach Gorak Shep.

The locals are heavily influenced by Buddhism, so you will pass through numerous chortens, gompas, monasteries during the trek.

Do Locals Understand English?

Locals have spent their years interacting with foreign travelers. So, even without any formal English education, those locals are able to communicate with trekkers in basic English. Although everyday communication can be hard, you can still communicate for the food, room, and other basic needs.

Final Words

Everest Base Camp Trek is a lifetime trek that has so much to offer you. From the sheer beauty of majestic Himalayas to hospitable people, the trek will give you an experience that will remain with you forever.

You will stand at the base camp of the world’s highest point. Witnessing the breathtaking view of Everest from Kala Patthar you’ll enjoy your days on the lap of Himalayas. You meet Sherpas, befriend locals, and learn about the local culture and tradition.

What more could you ask for in a trek?

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