The Everest Base Camp trek, is a dream come true for anyone aspiring to be at mind boggling altitudes among some of the highest mountain peaks to be found anywhere in the world. This high adrenaline hike does offer an unbelievable escapade, but as it usually always is, good things are not easy to come by. Since it’s discovery, way back in 1847, when surveyors determined that Everest indeed was the highest peak in the world, hundreds of famous climbing pioneers have left their footprints at the base camp in their endeavor to ascend to the top, albeit at a price.
Nowadays, raw enthusiasts as well as hard core trekkers, flock to Nepal to be a part of this world famous classic adventure which passes through some unbelievable scenery and vivacious flora. The two week journey from the capital Kathmandu is so popular, that one is bound to come across trekkers of many different nationalities as you walk along the established route. Starting from quality time spent in the exotic capital to getting up close to some towering mastiffs, this detailed guide will be of immense help as you challenge yourself to scale the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Suggested 14 Day Itinerary for Everest Base Camp Trek
DAY 1: KATHMANDU
Spare at least one day to explore the colorful capital of Nepal. The plethora of shrines and temples display a fascinating blend of cultural heritage and intrinsic architecture which are worth a visit or two. For the lucky ones with extra days to spare, make a trip to the religious towns of Bhaktapur and Payable as well.
DAY 2: KATHMANDU TO PHAKDING
Be prepared to have a dramatic 45 minutes experience as your fixed wing aircraft soars over the Himalayas to take you to Lukla,the starting point of the trek. Remember though, that flight operations in Nepal are prone to delays due to adverse weather conditions. Set aside a day or two, should you have to return to the hotel in case of cancellation, which is quite routine.
After a hearty breakfast in the basic teahouse, your dream journey begins which will pass through valleys, glaciers and high mountain passes enroute to the final destination. A short introduction with the porters and the initial stage of the walk commences with a gentle three hour walk along the Dudh Kosi river to Phakding, at an altitude of 2610 m. Night halt in a teahouse.
DAY 3: PHAKDING TO NAMCHE BAZAR
This is the first strenuous day of your trip, but as the difficulty level increases, so does the natural beauty.The seven hour walk to Namche Bazar passes through river valleys and pine forests and is quite spectacular. As you cross the Dudh Kosi river at Venkat, you will be rewarded with the first views of some of the prominent peaks of the region namely, Kusum Kanguru and Thamserku, both over 6000 m. As you do the final climb up to Namche Bazar the going gets a bit tough but keep the camera ready to have your first glimpse of Everest and Lhotse among others. Overnight at Namche Bazar.
DAY 4: NAMCHE BAZAR (3440 m)
You need to spend an extra day at Namche Bazar in order to acclimate properly to the altitude. The best way to do this is to trek to Thami at 3810m and return and sleep it out. Keep in mind that this is your last chance to check your equipment and requirements for extra gear, enjoy the local life and catch up with friends on WiFi.
DAY 5: TENGBOCHE (3860 m)
Home to the centuries old Tengboche monastery, this high altitude valley is probably the most scenic part of the entire trek. The trek is of moderate difficulty and takes around five hours to cover. Overnight at Tengboche.
DAY 6: DINGBOCHE (4360 m)
The trek takes around seven hours to cover and is of moderate difficulty in most parts except for two places where the climb is quite steep. Pangboche village on the way makes for a perfect lunch spot in the background of Mount Ama Dablam. The hike passes through Pheriche village and enters the Imja valley. This is the point the steep ascent begins for Dingboche, after crossing the Lobuche river. Overnight at Dingboche.
DAY 7: DINGBOCHE
This is an extra day for acclimatization and should be used for maximum benefit. Apart from sleeping and relaxing one can hike to a viewpoint to see three of the highest mountain peaks namely, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Yu. Overnight at Dingboche.
DAY 8: DUGHLA/THUKLA (4620 m)
The trek to Dughla/Thukla is of a short duration of just three hours and brings you quite close to the origin of the Dudh Kosi river and other glacial lakes. Magnificent views of the 7318 m high Mount Pumori can be had on the way. Overnight at a teahouse in Dughla, from where you will get the first glimpse of the famous Khumbu glacier.
DAY 9: LOBUCHE (4940 m)
The beginning of this four hour trek is a bit difficult as the climb is short and steep. With the Khumbu glacier on one side the trek is full of mountaineering memorabilia, with epitaphs of famous persons who lost their lives located here. Beyond this point the trail is almost flat. Overnight at Lobuche.
DAY 10: GORAKSHEP/EVEREST BASE CAMP/ GORAKSHEP (5364 m)
Though the trek is moderate, the route is almost completely glacial and takes about five to seven hours to complete depending on personal ability. The Khumbu Icefall will be clearly visible, but good views of Everest can be had only from Kala Patthar, rather than from the base camp. The view of the gigantic mountain is definitely going to enthral you with glaciers as a backdrop. You descent later in the day back to Gorak Shep for the night.
DAY 11: KALA PATTHAR (5645 m)
This is going to be the most memorable day of the trip, both difficulty wise and from the rewarding experience you are likely to get. It is a tough three hour climb from Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar, but the mighty Himalayas just open up before your eyes. Apart from stunning views of almost the entire Mount Everest other ranges too are clearly visible. If time permits, one can then immediately start to descend right back to Lobuche or even Pheriche at 4940 m. The climb down is relatively easy and takes three hours to complete. Overnight at Pheriche.
DAY 12: NAMCHE BAZAR
The trek to Namche Bazar is a moderate one, with some areas near Tengboche and Phungi Thanga being difficult as one has to be extra careful while coming down inclines. Overnight Namche Bazar.
DAY 13: LUKLA
All good things come to an end on this final day of your simple trek which will bring you back to Lukla. This is the very path you took two weeks back on your onward journey, and daresay you will move at a fast pace to get the first available flight out to Kathmandu. Overnight at Lukla.
DAY 14: KATHMANDU
A day totally for leisure and simply remembering the events of the last fortnight. Truly a time to unwind, use the internet and probably enjoy a game of pool before catching the flight back to civilization, that is Kathmandu.
Quick Facts, Tips and Costs for Everest Base Camp Trek
Trekking level – Moderate to difficult
ATM – Namche Bazar last ATM
Best time- April, May, October early November.
Bring Extra batteries and charging packs
Prepare for extreme weather.
Do not forget the camera.
Trip cost- Roughly 1100 USD ex- Kathmandu includes flight tickets to Lukla, guide, meals and accommodation.
Exclusions- Tips, travel gear, porters, drinks and beverages of personal nature, battery charging enroute and insurance.
These costs might vary based on the tour operator and the company you choose to go with.
Everest base camp trek can be challenging so prepare yourself in advance and don’t forget to have fun while conquering the peaks.
Have you done this trek? If so, share your experience and tips in comments below.