Mount Everest. These two words conjure up images of adventure, excitement and accomplishment. It is an incredible feat to reach Mount Everest’s summit, at the southern crest of the Great Himalayas. Everest Base Camp (EBC) is at 18,300 feet. It’s not an easy climb, but it offers a realistic goal for those with good fitness and determination who wish to see the highest peak in the world. EBC’s trek is one of the most scenic and beautiful in the Himalayas. It is a spectacular trek with stunning scenery, excellent trails, cultural experiences, and meaningful interactions with local Sherpas.
Base Camp’s route is known as “the steps of heaven”. It offers incredible photo opportunities with stunning forests, rugged mountains, glacial moraines and interesting Sherpa villages. In some seasons, you may also find beautiful valleys filled by pink-blooming rhododendrons. The trek to Everest Base Camp with Nepal Hiking Team is for active adventurers who don’t mind working out.
I will answer some frequently asked questions regarding trekking to Everest Base Camp. And, give you some tips to make the trip more enjoyable.
What is the time it takes?
An Everest Base Camp round trip takes between 11-14 days. It takes most people 12 days to complete the trip. 8 days to hike from Lukla (where one flies from Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital) to Everest Base Camp. Then it takes 4 days to return to Lukla. Although you could cut down the trip by hiring a helicopter to take you back to base camp, this will add considerable cost to your trip. The return trek is all downhill so you can truly appreciate the scenery.
How far will you walk?
It is approximately 80 miles roundtrip. This is the distance between Lukla and Everest Base Camp, and back to Lukla.
The most important question is, how high will you gain elevation? Lukla is located at 9,383 feet above the sea level, while Everest Base Camp stands at 17,600 feet. This is a significant elevation gain. The more you get closer to Everest Base Camp the more difficult the trek will be. You can only breathe 50 percent oxygen up to 14,000 feet. Walking on flat ground becomes surprisingly difficult, and small hills feel like mountains.
What is the Best Time to Go?
Two main seasons are best to trek to EBC: the fall (October/November), and spring (April/May).
For those who want to climb Mt. The best season to climb Everest is April/May. However, fall is the best time to trek because the skies are clearest and views are spectacular.
Are you looking to hire a guide, a trekking company, or do it all yourself?
Although it is not mandatory to hire a guide for Everest Base Camp trek, the trail is well-marked and marked. However, I believe that a local guide can enhance your trekking experience, even if an experienced trekker.
A guide can be hired for $30 per day. You are not only providing employment, but also learning about the culture by hiring a local guide. A porter can also be hired for $20 per day by many people. The porter will take all your luggage and leave you with a day pack. This makes it much more manageable.
A trekking company offers the option of pre-arranging everything for you. This includes flights, accommodation and transfers as well as meals, guides, porters, insurance and travel arrangements. A trekking company will also have a trained guide who can spot signs of altitude sickness. They will also be carrying oxygen. White Magic Adventure Travel is a company I would recommend.
How fit do you need to be?
You will hike between 5 to 8 miles most days. This is a manageable distance. The hike is not categorized as technical. It’s a graded hiking trail. No rock scrambling, no rock climbing, no special skills needed. Keep in mind that it is not the distance required to complete the daily hikes that make the trek difficult, but the elevation. A good level of fitness can make the trip easier and more enjoyable. A good rule of thumb is to be able walk at least 10 miles per day while carrying a backpack.
How can you stay healthy?
The most important piece of advice I can give is to eat vegetarian. Due to the Sagarmatha National Park’s no-killing policy, any meat you see on a trek menu is transported up by porters below Lukla. This means that the meat is likely to be old by the time you eat it. Avoid yak cheese. It doesn’t seem like it would go well with most western palates. You might want to bring some snacks, as the food can become monotonous.
Second, be patient. Slow and steady is the key. Even the most fit, anyone can get altitude sickness. You should be aware of signs such as dizziness, pounding headaches and sleeplessness. I recommend you take Diamox before you travel. This medication helps to prevent altitude sickness. If symptoms persist, it is worth turning around and going down.
Stay alert. Although the trail is well-marked and relatively wide, it can sometimes be dangerous. You can hear the bells of approaching animals and keep your feet on the trail’s inner side to avoid being knocked off. You should also be respectful of porters who run along the trails. This is not only a sign to respect but it also helps avoid traffic jams.
Avoid alcohol and drink only bottled water. It dehydrates you, which makes you more vulnerable to altitude sickness. Hand sanitizers can make bathroom facilities quite difficult. Finally, protect yourself from the sun at high altitudes. Wear a hat, long-sleeve shirt, and pants to protect your skin from the sun.
What about altitude sickness?
It is likely that you already know what to expect when hiking at high altitudes. You may be surprised to learn how exhausting hiking at high elevation can be. Do not be surprised if your sleepless nights are filled with exhaustion!
At elevations above 7,900 feet, altitude sickness can occur. However, most people have to experience symptoms at higher elevations. Altitude sickness can cause shortness of breath and nausea. In severe cases, altitude sickness can cause death. Altitude sickness can be treated by descending to a lower elevation immediately.
I’m not trying to scare you. Although you will feel some altitude effects, the eight-day trek from Everest Base Camp to Everest Base Camp should give you ample time to adjust.
How does it feel to fly to Lukla?
The Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Lukla, is listed on the “World’s Most Dangerous Airports” list. The airport’s geographical location combined with adverse weather conditions and a short runway make flying into and out of Lukla nerve-wracking. Be mentally prepared.
What time do you need in Nepal?
To do the Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal, the minimum number of days you will need is two. You also need to spend two days in Kathmandu to help you get over jet lag and to explore the city. If you are planning to trek for 12 days, you’ll need at least 16 days in Nepal.
The accommodation is in basic trekking lodges known as teahouses that are run by Sherpa families. A central area is provided for heat and has a stove. The bedrooms are not heated and usually have two beds with mattresses, pillows and blankets. A sleeping bag is a must, and I recommend a pillowcase. Access to charging points is an additional cost. Although Wi-Fi may be available in certain locations, connections are usually poor.
EBC Trek is very popular and you will meet many other trekkers on the trail as well as groups at teahouses. It can sometimes feel crowded.
A visa can be obtained on arrival for those who are traveling with a passport from the United States.
The trek to Everest Base Camp offers travelers the opportunity to see beautiful scenery and experience the local culture. You’ll have the chance to visit Buddhist monasteries or shrines (stupas), cross deep canyons on metal bridges and see strings of prayer flags. In the evening, enjoy delicious Nepali food and chai (tea) by the fire in the teahouse. You will also feel a sense of accomplishment from having climbed one of the most memorable hikes in the world.
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