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How to prepare for the Everest Base Camp Trek is a Frequently Asked Question by travellers. Furthermore, they often search on Google or Bing to get information about their preparation for the trek. That’s why we have prepared an article to inform travellers about pre-information about their pre-planning of the trek. In addition, this article will give you basic ideas about the EBC trek itinerary, how to prepare for the trek, when to trek, how to start the trek, how much it costs, travel insurance, equipment checklist and other related trek information.
It is a two-week thrilling expedition that leads you to the base of its tallest mountain, Everest. The adventure seekers, who want to fulfil their dream, the base camp trek to Everest, has been the ultimate destination.
There are many tourist attractions and the top 9 trekking areas in Nepal. Among them, Everest Base Camp is the first choice and the best attraction for travellers. When you think of planning for the Everest Base Camp trek itinerary, a 12-day to 14 days itinerary will be the best choice. However, if you want to include other trek routes such as Gokyo Ri, Gokyo Lake, and Chola Pass, you need 3-4 additional days. Above all, you can shorten your trek duration by taking a helicopter on your return journey after you visit EBC. However, it is only available in high seasons such as October – November and March – April. For this kind of Tailormade programme, you must contact one of the reputed local agencies in Kathmandu.
- The main objective of the trek is to reach the Everest Base Camp.
- The second objective of the trek is to reach Kalapathar (5545 metres), from where you can witness an eye-catching view of Mt. Everest.
- During your trek journey, you will be in the Sagarmatha National park, the world’s natural heritage site.
- You will witness and experience the social life culture of local people.
- As a side trip, visiting Buddhist monasteries in Phakding, Namche Bazar, and Pangboche will be worthwhile.
- You will enjoy an impressive view of Khumbu Glacier, the world’s highest glacier, on the way to EBC.
- It will be an exciting flight to Lukla airport, as it has been rated as the most dangerous airport for over 20 years.
- While you are in Namche Bazar for 2 nights, don’t miss out on your visit to Sagarmatha National Park Museum. This place also offers a good view of Mt. Everest.
- A side trip to Thame village will be worth visiting while you are in Namche Bazar.
The trek will be one of the most beautiful remembrances and adventures of a lifetime. This trek escorts you for a close-up sight of the mountain ranges, along with the Makalu (8481m), Mt. Lhotse (8516m), and Cho Oyu (8201m), which are affirmed as the top 10 tallest mountains in the world.
Preparation of the trek
The Everest Base Camp trek is quite demanding and tough compared to other treks in Nepal. Therefore, to avoid altitude sickness, you should be physically, mentally and spiritually balanced. Furthermore, we advise you to follow the itinerary as suggested below.
When to trek the Everest Base Camp?
Mainly there are 2 most favourable trek seasons for trekking in Nepal. Firstly, mid-September to the end of November is the best time in Autumn. Similarly and secondly, from March to the end of May is another good season for the trek in the spring.
Not recommended to trek
Trekking in Mid- June to September is not recommended due to raining season in Nepal. Likewise, December to February is the winter season in Nepal. You still can do the trek, but we don’t highly recommend it.
How do you start your trek?
To commence this trek, you will take a half an hour exciting flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, the “Gateway to Everest.” First, to reach the famous local community villages of Phakding and Namche Bazar, you will walk from Lukla to enjoy your first day’s hike to Phakding, which takes just 3 hours. You will stop here and spend your first night at Phakding.
After your first day and wonderful night at Phakding, you will trek ahead and spend nights in different places. You visit and spend overnights in Namche Bazar, Tengboche Monastery, Dingboche, Lobuje and Gorak Shep. After your return journey from EBC, you will spend your last trek night at Lukla before taking a flight to Kathmandu.
Day 01: Kathmandu (1350 metres)
If you booked the trek with a local Kathmandu agency, the agency would generally arrange a pick-up service for you. As a Nepalese culture, your host agency will welcome you by offering a bunch of flowers or garlands.
Day 02: Flight to Lukla (2704 metres) and trekking to Phakding Village
Generally, the air companies arrange a flight to Lukla earlier morning, starting from 6 am till 2–3 pm.
You should know that the weather is unpredictable in Lukla and even in Kathmandu. The weather may suddenly be bad, even in October or November. Thus, you must be flexible on your holiday while you plan for this trek. Because Your tight schedule sometimes doesn’t work. If everything goes fine without delay, you will be in Lukla earlier and have enough time to walk around, relax and make a leisurely first day walking to Phakding, where you spend your first night.
2 nights in Namche Bazar (3535 metres)
Day 3 and 4: Trek to Namche Bazar and day hiking
Before reaching Namche Bazar, you will trek through many hinterlands, cross many suspension bridges, and witness and experience the local people’s social and cultural life.
While in Namche Bazar, the elevation is already above 3500 metres above sea level. Thus, considering your health issue, you must spend 2 nights here to acclimate to a new environment. When you are in Namche Bazar, we suggest 2 alternative options for your day trips – The first option is to take a day hiking to Thame valley and return to Namche Bazar by the evening. And 2nd option is to go as high as possible to Syangboche Airport, just about 400 metres above Namche Bazar. As stated in trip highlights, a visit to the Sagarmatha National Park museum will be worthwhile.
As stated above, you can choose either option. But, equally, you will have a great day with the fascinating views of the mountain peaks, such as Mt Thamserku, Kusum Kangaru, Amadablam, Lhotse and Mt. Everest.
Day 05: Trek to Tengboche (3850 metres)
After staying 2 nights in Namche Bazar, you will energize yourself for another 5-6 hours trek to Tengboche. While you are heading towards Tengboche, you will see the Tengboche situated on the hilltop of the mountain. So you can easily point out the building of the Buddhist monastery where you are going today. If you are not exhausted, you can visit the monastery in the evening and join a praying ceremony. Meanwhile, you can ask for a blessing of a successful trek.
2 nights in Dingboche (4410 metres)
Day 06 and 07: Trek to Dingboche and day hiking
Dingboche valley is just situated near the foothill of Mt. Ama Dablam, where you can see her impressive view from Tengboche. But you can’t see the Dingboche from Tengboche, although you can guess by seeing Mt. Ama Dablam where you are today. On the way, you will go through the picturesque village of Pangboche, where you can visit an old Buddhist monastery. Then, in 5-6 hours, you will reach Dingboche, a nice and wider valley.
According to the itinerary, you will spend 2 nights here by making some side trips around the valley. To make the trek go smoothly and safely, you will make your 2nd acclimatization here after your 1st acclimatization in Namche.
On day 07 in the morning, to make a day hiking, there are 3 different options available, which are as given below:
The first option (A): Nagarjuna Hiking (3-4 hours)
Second option (B): Hiking to Chhukung valley including Chhukung Ri (6-7 hours)
Third option (C): Hiking to Ama Dablam Base Camp (5-6 hours)
Day 08: Trek to Lobuche (4950 metres)
From Dingboche, you commence your trek by walking a few hundred metres up on the hilltop. Then, the trail is quite easygoing till you reach Thuklha, the place with some lodges. Also, the views are quite impressive while looking down the valley of Pheriche. Eventually, you will go through this village on your return journey from Everest Base Camp.
From Thuklha, the trail is ascending; take a slow pace while walking as it’s quite hard to take a breath. When you get to the ridge, you will see many prayer flags and mani stones (memorials). These memorials are in the name of climbers who lost their lives climbing Mt. Everest. In 5-6 hours, you will reach Lobuje. And enjoy the night there comfortably.
Hiking to Kalapathar and EBC
Day 09 and 10: Hiking to Everest Base Camp (5380 metres) and Kalapathar (5545 metres)
Get up early morning. As early as possible would be good to start up your hike! Looking at the weather, you can decide where to go first- Everest Base Camp or Kalapathar. If the weather is good enough, don’t delay capturing the view from Kalapathar. So, you can decide to go to Kalapathar, which might take about 4-5 hours.
If the weather is just ok, expecting the following day will be better for Kalapathar, you can decide to go to Everest Base Camp today.
Please note that the base camp doesn’t offer you a view of Mt. Everest; you go there to see how the base camp is! On the contrary, Kalapathar offers both views of Mt. Everest and the Base camp.
On day 10, after visiting, Kalapathar or EBC, you can trek further down to Pheriche.
Some alternative options
1: Sleep in Everest Base Camp
Some trekkers love extraordinary adventure! They want to explore and experience more by staying a night in Everest Base Camp. However, it would be best to stay in a tent as there is no permanent human settlement. Would you also like take the same experience yourself? If yes, contact Nepal Hiking; they will arrange a tailor-made programme to meet your needs.
2: Return to Lukla from Helicopter
For your return journey to Lukla, there is no alternative trek route to Lukla. So, you will have to trek back the same way via Tengboche, Namche and Phakding. It is a reason some trekkers want to avoid trek back and choose to return to Lukla by taking a helicopter. It is possible in high seasons such as October, November and March-May.
3: Return to Lukla on foot
Day 11 – 12: Trek to Namche Bazar and Lukla
In 2 days, you will return to Lukla by spending a night in Namche Bazar on day 11 and the last night at Lukla on day 12.
Day 13: Return to Kathmandu
If everything is in order per the itinerary, you will return to Kathmandu by flight by 10 am.
Day 14: Back home or extend your holiday in Nepal
How much does it cost if I decide to book this 14 days standard Everest Base Camp Trek?
It depends on where you book this trek. If you book this trek with an international operator in your home town, it is much more expensive than a local agency in Kathmandu. Moreover, we would advise you to book with a local agency based in Kathmandu for cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Generally speaking, it costs between 1100 US$ to 1500 depending on group size if you book locally. And it’s all-inclusive of 2 nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu, English speaking guide, porter(s), Flight to Lukla, a Trek permit, accommodation at local guest houses on the trek, and meals on the trek.
What about travel insurance?
The price you paid for your trek doesn’t include travel insurance. Therefore, you must purchase comprehensive travel insurance to cover your health insurance, medication, rescue evacuation, etc., which you can do by contacting one of the following insurance companies.
Equipment Checklist for Everest Base Camp Trek
While preparing an equipment checklist for the Everest Base Camp trek, you first need a duffle bag of 40-50 k.g. to keep your main trekking equipment. Also, it would be best if you had a small backpack of 15-20 to carry by yourself for your personal belongings.
Many travellers ask, “we are staying at lodges during the Everest Base Camp trek; do we still need to bring a sleeping bag?”. Naturally, we say ‘yes’ because the blankets you get at lodges may not be hygienically clean enough. Thus, you should bring 4 seasons type of sleeping bag yourself. Alternatively, you can also hire in Kathmandu, which costs US$ 2 – 3 per day, which depends on quality.