A beginners guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek

Trekking to Everest Basecamp

The Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek is one of the most prominent destinations in the world. Every year more than 40,000 thousand trekkers visit Nepal to be at the base of the world’s tallest peak, Mt. Everest.

Retracing the trails of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, the trek starts from Lukla to the lap of mighty Mount Everest. The round trip length of the trek is 130 km. In average, you’ll be covering about 15 km with around 5-6 hours of trekking per day.  

During this amazing journey, you’ll pass through some charming Sherpa settlements like Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche and Dingboche, before reaching the highest point at Kala Pattar. Finally, you’ll retrace back to Namche Bazaar and then to Lukla and end your trek with a flight back to Kathmandu.

This article will provide a complete guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek. We’ll discuss the cost, routes, accommodation and provide some useful tips to make your trek more comfortable and enjoyable.

Highlights of the Everest Base Camp Trek

  • Explore the Sagarmatha National Park
  • Walk through green hills, blissful rhododendron forest, and ecstatic waterfalls.
  • Witness the Khumbu and Ngozumpa glaciers
  • Splendid views of 4 out of the 6 highest peaks in the world – Mt. Everest, Mt Lhotse, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Cho Oyu
  • Panoramic view of Mt. Everest from Kala Pattar at an altitude of  5,545 m
  • Hillary Museum in the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar
  • Explore the enchanting Tengboche Monastery
  • Indulge in the unique culture of the Sherpas

Everest Base Camp Trek Cost

The total cost of the Everest Base Camp Trek depends on different factors, such as the duration of the trek, the size of the group you are travelling with, and quality of the accommodation you choose.

Usually, a two week package tour can cost up to $1500 per person. This includes the flight to/from Lukla, food, accommodation, permits, and cost of the guides.

For an independent trekker, the cost may range from $750-$800, and please keep in mind, everything becomes more expensive as the altitude increases.

Important Tips: On the Everest Base Camp trail, ATMs can be found at Lukla and Namche Bazaar, although these aren’t always reliable so you need to carry enough cash. During the trek, carrying cash may be intimidating as you may worry about losing your money. So, make sure to carry an anti-theft backpack for safety and security.

How to Get There

Basically, there are two ways to reach the starting point of the EBC trek. The first option to get into Lukla, the starting point of this adventure, is an electrifying 35-45 minutes flight from Kathmandu. From there on, you’ll continue your trek on foot for around two weeks and reach Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar. The second or alternative option is a bus ride from Kathmandu to Jiri which adds another extra week.

Lukla Airport

The Best Time For Everest Base Camp Trek

You can do the Everest Base Camp Trek all year round. But there are two major trekking seasons which are Spring (pre-monsoon) and Autumn (post-monsoon):

Spring Season (March-May)

During the spring season, views are much better as the summer monsoons will clear all the dust from the atmosphere. You’ll also see green bushes and trees bursting into bloom with colourful rhododendrons flower adding an exquisite colour to the landscape.

Autumn Season (Late September-Early December)

The autumn season is another favourable time for EBC trek. The weather is mostly dry and stable. Seven hours of sunshine gives you ample time to trek and enjoy the scenic beauty of the region. In addition, you can be a part of two biggest Hindu festivals Dashain and Tihar along with the Sherpa festival of Mani Rimdu. Thus, this season offers grand visibility of the Himalayas with a blend of festive mood.

Trek Difficulty Level

The EBC Trek is a lifetime adventure for many outdoor enthusiasts. Generally, this trek is rated as moderately difficult. Each day you need to walk around 4-8 hours with ascents of 400-700 meters. Thus, this adventurous trek is a test of stamina!. The hardest part is the altitude and the effect it can have on your body.

So, we strongly recommend you do some gym training or regular physical exercise like jogging, running, cycling, swimming, and short hiking to prepare. Since this is a multi-day hike, you can complete this trek without any technical climbing experience or climbing equipment.

Trek Essentials

The Everest Base Camp Trek usually takes around 12-16 days.  The gear you carry depends on which season you want to trek but the essentials are the same.

Here’s a suggested packing list:

  • A hiking rucksack
  • A good pair of hiking boots
  • Good quality socks
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trekking Poles
  • Rain jackets
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Trekking pants
  • Shorts
  • Hat
  • towel
  • Water bottle
  • Water purifier
  • Dry foods
  • Sunscrean
  • Essentials like permits, money, etc.

Clothing Tips: Layering is a key concept to keep in mind while trekking to Everest Base Camp. Layering allows moisture to pass from one layer to the next which is also called wicking. Thus, you should use wicking fabrics which are made of high-tech polyester, unlike cotton which traps moisture.

Trekking to Everest Basecamp

Accommodation Facilities

The Everest Base Camp Trek is a recreational and as well as a strenuous activity. After a long and tiring day, everyone wants to sleep in a soft warm bed and have a hot shower.

Along the EBC trail, different types of accommodations are available. Depending on your types of trek and budget, you can choose from basic tea houses to luxury hotels.

Basically, most of the tea houses are simples, with two single beds and blankets. Most have squat toilets, and only a few have a western toilet with hot shower facilities.

The cost of accommodation depends on the type, altitude, and time of the year, and ranges from $2-$5 per night. Camping is another fun option. Due to the easy availability of tea houses, most of the trekkers prefer this option. 

Likewise, Lukla and Namche Bazaar has a luxury hotel. So, if you wish to trek in extra comfort you can choose to go on a Everest Base Camp Luxury Trek, where you’ll get the luxurious accommodation and services.

Food and Other Miscellaneous Facilities

The EBC trail offers you a decent variety of foods, and $25 would be enough for 3 meals per day. You can have the typical Dal Bhat, or go for other option like Mo: Mo, Tibetan bread, Burger, Macaroni, Spaghetti, Sandwich, Yak Steak and so on. Water can get more expensive as you ascend to a higher altitude ranging from $1-$4 per 1.5L. Also, you can carry some dry foods and energy bars along with water sterilizer.

Along the EBC trail, most of the tea houses will have charging-facilities but you will have to pay. So it is wise to carry portable chargers and extra battery packs.

Other Important Tips for EBC Trek

Altitude sickness

Trekking to high altitude can result in various risks and the most common is altitude sickness. Caused by a lack of oxygen at a higher altitude, altitude sickness has the following symptoms: headache and weakness, sleeplessness, irregular breathing, loss of appetite, mild nausea, etc.

The only way to reduce the risk of altitude sickness is to descend immediately. Staying at the same altitude may

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is essential when you’re planning a higher altitude trek like EBC. Getting ill in the remoteness of the mountain can be expensive. So, make sure to have an insurance that covers medical emergency evacuation, flight cancellation, luggage delay, lost or damaged and so on. Thus, for enjoying the trek with peace of mind, you need to have proper travel insurance policy.

Trekking Permits

You’ll need two permits for EBC trek:

  • Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit

Replacing the Trekker’s Information Management System(TIMS), the local permit cost NPR 2000 ($20). This can be obtained in Lukla or Monjo.

  • Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit

This permit can be obtained in Kathmandu or Monjo. It cost NPR 3000 ($30)

Hire a Guide or Porter

Although there is no such law to do the trek with guide it is still advisable to hire one. Guides are the people with years of experience and make your trek secure and hassle-free. They can provide you with more local experience and insight. The guide will also help during navigation and looking for a place to camp or rest. Before hiring a guide, make sure he or she has a government license.

Likewise, you can also hire potters to carry your baggage to make your trek more enjoyable. We recommend you to hire a guide-porter to cut expenses. 

Final Words

The Everest Base Camp Trek is considered as one of the best treks in Nepal. Every adventurer’s dream. From the sheer beauty of the Himalayas to the humble and enticing culture of the Sherpas, EBC trek provides you with a lifetime of memories.

Thus, the EBC trek will offer you an unforgettable experience, divine, and mystique, something adventurous explorers will want to experience once!

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