Walking beside the clouds among gigantic mountains of the Himalayas is certainly an exhilarating experience. Challenging yourself and nature to ascend up to 5365m is a huge deal and something the adventurer inside us seeks. The Everest Base Camp fulfils this for us.
Just like the name suggests the Everest Base Camp allows you to trek to the foot of Mt.Everest. The highest and final spot of the trek is Kala Patthar. Throughout the trek, you go through quaint little villages, monasteries, and be surrounded by the stunning Himalayan environment.
The Sherpa people are the locals of this region. You get a peek in their culture through their food, religious places and the hospitality they offer. Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary were the first ones to climb up Everest Base Camp and thousands of other thrill-seekers have followed through the years.
There are two base camps, the South Base, Nepal and the North Base camp, Tibet. The South base camp located in Nepal is the most preferred location by trekkers.
How To Reach Everest Base Camp From Kathmandu?
You can fly to Kathmandu. Most major airlines have regular flights to Kathmandu. Another option is to take a train to Gorakhpur and then taking a cab, bus or jeep to Kathmandu. Many direct buses to Kathmandu are also available,
Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla:
Board a 30min flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Note that at times the availability gets affected by bad weather conditions. You can hire a guide here if you haven’t already. This is where the actual trek begins.
Best Time To Trek Everest Base Camp:
1.Pre-monsoon ( March-May)
Spring is the busiest season of the year in the Base Camp. The weather is pleasant with clear skies and little-to-no rainfall. It can go down to -6C on colder days.
2.Post-monsoon ( October-November)
The autumn trek let you enjoy a dry climate with clear skies. The crowd is usually less in this season. November is the busiest month of the year at the Base camp. As winter approaches it becomes colder and trekking becomes difficult.
The winter begins from late November – February. Since it gets extremely cold very few experienced trekkers opt to trek in this season.
Major Attractions Near Everest Base Camp
1.Sagarmatha National Park
This 443sq.mile wide region is the highest national park in the world. It is a UNESCO World natural heritage site. You can spot endangered species like the red panda, snow leopard and Himalayan black bear. Many bird and animal species also live here.
Namche bazaar is the largest town in Khumbu. It’s pubs, restaurants, tea houses and markets make it a hub for travellers. You can buy everything from trekking gear to daily commodities here. Namche holds several lodges and tea houses for the accommodation of Base camp trekkers. You can even visit the Sherpa museum and library.
3.Buddhist Spiritual Sites
Throughout the trail, you can spot monasteries and gompas. They are spiritual places of worship of the Buddhists. You will experience the Sherpa culture by visiting these places. You can clear your mind and find some peace and calm by spending some time here. The Thame Monastery is the oldest monastery in Khumbu.
Permits Required To Reach Everest Base Camp
1.Sagarmatha National Park permit
You need to acquire this permit to trek in this region. For SAARC citizens it costs NPR.1500* and foreigners will have to pay NPR.3000( taxes excluded). Your guide will hand you permit to you. But if you’re on your own you will have to collect it from the Nepal Tourism Board Office, Kathmandu or Monjo, a small village in the Everest region.
2.Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality fee
Deposit this entry free at the Lukla check post. Travellers will have to pay a sum of NPR.2000.
This card is a requirement for your safety and security. Foreigners will have to pay NPR.1000 per person while SAARC citizens must pay NPR.300 per person. Note that if you are not part of a trekking group you will have to pay double the price. You can collect the card at the Tourist service centre at Kathmandu or Trekking Agencies Association Nepal, Bhaktapur. Many governments registered trekking companies also provide the TIMS card.
Places To Stay Near Everest Base Camp
Lodges are available for travellers to rest everywhere in the Base camp. There are lodges catering to every budget. They provide electric mattresses, beds, hot water and free Wi-Fi.
These are present throughout the trail. The locals manage the tea houses providing basic necessities of the trekkers. You can even opt to share a room to reduce the cost. They provide hot water and basic bedding.
Tents are used on remote treks. In most cases, they are avoided due to the availability of tea houses.
Everest Base Camp Trekking Guide:
The Everest Base Camp trek extends up to 13-15 days. You have to make sure to evenly distribute trekking time and acclimatization time. Keep in mind to spare 1-2 extra days in case of delays due to bad weather.
The Trekking Trail
Lukla – Phakding
Phakding – Namche bazaar
Namche Bazaar – Tengboche
Tengboche – Dingboche
Lobuche – Gorakshep
Hike to Kalapatthar
Descend to Pheriche
Pheriche – Namche Bazaar
Namche Bazaar – Lukla
Altitude Sickness: Causes & Prevention
Everest Base Camp is one of the highest trekking routes in the world, you will be ascending thousands of meters above sea level. This makes you prone to altitude sickness. As you go higher the air gets thinner and your body undergoes changes to adapt to the situation. Some bodies might take longer to adapt and hence cause unwanted symptoms.
Keep in mind that altitude sickness affects everyone irrespective of fitness or age. Headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite are a few symptoms of altitude sickness. In such cases, you must not panic, with proper measures you can gain back your health. Some helpful measures are to –
- drink lots of fluids, stay hydrated
- use appropriate medicine
- give enough time for acclimatization and do not attempt to end the trek in a rush.
- take it slow, do not force yourself to keep up with the rest
- if necessary descend
- have an experienced tour guide who knows how to deal with the situation
Important Things To Keep In Mind
- Carry proper trekking equipment
- The Everest Base Camp is a difficult trek so it is essential for you to train yourself before it. Having experience of even 1 trek is make the journey easier. Keep yourself mentally and physically prepared.
- You will be exposed to altitude sickness so make sure to carry the proper medication and take a rest.
- Carry cash since the local shops usually do not accept cards.
- Pack essentials like snacks, batteries, medication, clothing, first aid, a water bottle, etc.
- Avoid throwing littering the trails.
The time is now! The Everest Base Camp trek is a great chance to discover yourself. Get away from the outside world and become one with nature. The perfect boost that you need. Have a joyful and safe trek to all the seekers out there!