The Everest base camp trek is certainly the most coveted route for trekking enthusiasts. Every year, thousands of hikers land at Lukla airport, which Sir Edmund Hillary built in 1964, and travel through the Khumbu valley to the very site of the first feat, eager to realize their dream too. As you head deeper into the Khumbu valley, the colossal giants; Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Pumori, Ama Dablam, Khumbila, Thamserku, Kantenga and others, reveal themselves, as if, telling us how futile our worldly pleasures and pain are.
Our EBC trek program begins with an exploration of the cultural troves in Kathmandu, followed by a scenic flight to Lukla. Once on the ground, you will pass through villages, hamlets and cross the mighty Dudh Koshi river back and forth on narrow suspension bridges till the bridge crossing to Namche Bazaar, the commercial hub of the Khumbu region. Along the way, during clear weather, you might even get the first glimpse of the mighty Everest.
Nevertheless, the rest day at Namche offers a brilliant excursion to a vantage point for a sunrise view and the first glimpse of Everest. Over the next days, you will follow the Dudh Koshi river and then the Imja river till Dingboche, and follow the Khumbu basin on glacially eroded and windswept valleys to Gorak Shep. The next day, you embark on the highlight of the trek; the early morning hike to Kala Patthar (5,643 m), where an incredible panorama of the "Roof of the World" and the most beautiful mountains on Earth await you. You will then retrace your steps till Lobuche, take a detour via Pheriche, Phortse and Khumjung to Namche, and backtrack to Lukla.
The mountains and the views are definitely the highlights of the Everest Base Camp Trek, but the culture, food and hospitality of the legendary Sherpas can't be dismissed. Along the trail, you will stay in family-run lodges, and hopefully, get a better understanding of their ties to the mountains. The Sherpas are the true heroes of the mountains, for without them guided expeditions to the Himalayas giants wouldn't be possible.
Keep Walking Nepal is pleased to invite you on our 18 day EBC trek as part of our extended family. We have been running trips in the region for more than 15 years and know the terrain like the back of our hands. For extreme adventure enthusiasts, we also offer the challenging 23-day Everest Three Passes Trek.
Our representative will pick you up at Kathmandu International Airport and drive you to your hotel. Depending upon what time you arrive, you can enjoy a full day at leisure. In the evening, we will meet for a welcome dinner with The Himalayan Kingdom family.
You will embark on a guided tour of two UNESCO world heritage sites; Pashupatinath Temple, the temple devoted to Lord Shiva – the god of creation and destruction, and Boudhanath Stupa – a Buddhist shrine worshipped by Hindus & Buddhists alike.
In the afternoon, your trek guide will brief you about the upcoming days and preparation requirements.
At Lukla, you meet the rest of your crew. The porters will take your duffel bag and will meet you at the lodge (this will continue throughout the trek).
Once out of Lukla, you will descend past small fields and cozy little wooden houses with vegetable gardens; all with a picturesque mountain backdrop. Along the way, you might encounter some pack animals as they are the only means of goods transportation up and down the mountain.
Along the way, in clear weather, one can catch views of the ice-covered 6000m high Kusum Kanguru. The trail is marked by impressive black mani stones painted with Tibetan inscriptions and a large stupa which indicates our destination for the day, Phakding, is nearby.
After breakfast, you will continue on the trail. It is a relatively short day as you cross suspension bridges over raging streams, past small hamlets and fields. Though the trail isn’t difficult, it is undulating – what we call the Nepali flat.
You will reach Monjo for lunch and the rest of the day is at leisure. You can visit the local school, visit the local snooker house for some beer or just call it a day.
Shortly after Monjo, you will arrive at the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hike is beautiful with beautiful pine forests, raging rivers, and mountains in the backdrop. Another hour and we cross the milky river (Dudh Koshi) – over an iconic suspension bridge hanging a 100m above the river bed.
Once across the bridge, you will definitely feel the mountain as you climb the steep uphill to Namche. The trail is frequented by porters carrying humongous loads and trains of pack animals. In clear weather, Everest is also visible.
After the 600m vertical ascent in about 4 – 5 hours, you will arrive at Namche, the Sherpa capital of Khumbu.
An important rule for a successful trek is successful acclimatization. Following the mantra, you will spend a second night in Namche but visit higher grounds to adapt our body.
We suggest an hike early morning hike to the Everest View Hotel (3,880m) and enjoy a breathtaking 360 panorama of Everest, Taboche, Thamserku, Kongde Ri and Ama Dablam.
Leaving behind the bustling town of Namche, you will head east high above the raging Dudh Koshi river.
You will climb over open slopes, a few houses and sparse pine forest and then descend to the river again at Phunki Tenga to cross the Imja Khola. The trail now sharply ascends through mixed pine and juniper forest to Tengboche.
Tengboche monastery, largest in Khumbu, was completely destroyed by fire some decades ago but has been completely restored thanks to donations. The double top view of Kongde Ri with the monastery in the front is picture-perfect. The monastery houses art, a large Buddha statue, and musical instruments.
After a short rest, you will descend through Himalayan Birch, pine & juniper forest to the Deboche, your stop for the night.
After breakfast, you will continue on the trail along the Imja Khola and cross a suspension bridge to a breathtaking view of Ama Dablam's twin towers.
You will continue to ascend towards Pangboche past mani stones inscribed with mantras. The village monastery is said to have the skull and legs/hand of a yeti but has been recently stolen so that they are unfortunately no longer visible. However, the monastery is quite worthwhile. Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Lhotse, Nuptse, Lobuche Peak, Pumori, and many other giants give one the justified feeling of walking among the highest peaks in the world.
As you ascend the change in vegetation is dramatic. You will continue up to the traditional Sherpa village of Dingboche (4350 m). The village is one of the highest permanently inhabited places in the world. The stone houses are spread far apart between the fields. Along the way, we walk along one of the most famous peaks of the Himalayas: the Ama Dablam, so famous for its peculiarly tilted shape.
We spend another night at Dingboche for better acclimatization. To better adapt our bodies we follow the old mantra of hiking up to a higher altitude and sleeping at a lower one.
Nagarjuna hill in the south of Dingboche at about 5100m has brilliant views of Lobuche, Island Peak, and Ama Dablam. We return back to Dingboche for an afternoon of rest.
Today, you will trek through alpine meadows and summer yak pastures alongside the Khumbu glacier moraine to Lobuche.
In the beginning, for an hour or so, the trail gradually ascends and then undulates till the wooden bridge crossing over the Imja river. Just across the river is Thugla, a steep ridge. After lunch amid views of Ama Dablam to the east and Cholatse and Toboche to the west, you will ascend about 200m to the hilltop which opens up to a plateau marked with stone cairns, memorials to those who lost their lives while climbing Everest.
From the memorial onwards, you will hike with the Khumbu glacier to the left, just across a deep trench, all the way to Lobuche. All the way, Nuptse (7,861m) gleams beautifully above the glacier to the east.
After an early morning breakfast, you will start towards the coveted EBC.
After about an hour’s hike through gently sloping alpine meadows, the trail passes through a moraine following the rugged contour of the Khumbu glacier, past a rocky rim, to Gorak Shep, a small valley where Pumori and Nuptse dominate the view throughout.
Post lunch, you will follow the moraine trail to Everest Base Camp. The trail is tricky with loose rocks and boulders and takes about 3 hours to and fro. If time and fitness permits, you can hike to Kalapathar (5,643m and 3 hours to and fro from Gorak Shep) for a sunset view over Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse.
If you couldn’t make it to Kala Pathar on the previous day, you can still visit it today.
You will start early to catch the sun come over the magnificent backdrop of Everest and the surrounding peaks. After breakfast at Gorak Shep, you will backtrack to Pheriche across the Khumbu Khola.
Leaving Pheriche, you will cross over the Khumbu River to a junction with the outbound trail below Dingboche. The trail eventually meets at Pangboche, but you will hike to Upper Pangboche and then walk through one of the most spectacular trails in all of the Everest region. It is the high trail to the less often visited village of Phortse (3800m) which is home to many Everest climbers.
The trail follows the side of the hill and climbs up and down often making steep ascents and descents on stone staircases some of which are quite steep. As you skirt the hill you can see the lodges of Deboche which you had passed a fews days ago. This trail has brilliant views of Ama Dablam, Melangphulang, Kangtega, and Thamserku and to the north Everest and Lhotse as well.
The trail finally climbs to a small chorten from where the village of Phortse lies below. Keep an eye out as you pass through terraced fields that are home to a brightly colored pheasant, the Daphne Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal.
Phortse village is a maze of small walled lanes. It is one of the oldest villages in the Khumbu region. You can visit the Phortse Gompa at the top of the village.
Initially, you follow the trail that drops sharply to the banks of the Dudh Koshi river. On the other side is the small settlement of Phungi Thenga. The trail then ascends to Mong La (4,000 m). The trail is frequented by trekkers either going to or returning from Gokyo.
After a scrumptious lunch at Mong la, with excellent views of Aama Dablam, Thamserku, Kusum Khangkaru, Kongde Ri and Tawache peak to keep you company, you will descend to Khumjung village, the largest settlement in the Khumbu region.
The only high school founded by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1961 is definitely worth a visit. Also, don't miss the mysterious Khumjung monastery where a Yeti scalp and skull are said to be "preserved".
It's all down hill from here. You will hike directly down to Namche and after some rest retrace your steps back to Monjo.
The decrease in elevation from Khumjung to Monjo is almost 1,000m, but it isn’t all descends. Just out of Namche, you will have the famed “Nepali Flats” all to yourself till Benkar. You shouldn’t rush as it can be hard on the knees; we suggest you pace yourself and don’t be intimated by the scampering footsteps of children’s and grannies.
Backtracking to Lukla on the famous ‘Nepali Flats’, your journey in the homeland of the Sherpas will have come to an end. Alas, its your last day with your crew of Sherpas and porters, and rightfully calls for a celebration.
Bidding farewell to your crew, you will fly back to Kathmandu, where our office represetative will be waiting for you.
The rest of the day is at leisure. We recommend a quick shower and a visit to the laundromat. You can also visit Kathmandu Dubar Square or Thamel for souvenir shopping, lunch and dinner. For party animals, Thamel has pubs and nightclubs which open till 2:00 in the morning; although we recommend you don't stay that late.
You have the whole day at leisure to explore Kathmandu valley. This extra day also ensures a contingency plan, in case flights out of Lukla are hampered due to inclement weather.
In the evening there will be a farewell dinner by Himalaya Kingdom to celebrate your achievements.
If you're a regular long distance walker, especially used to hills; if you do aerobic sport regularly, such as swimming, cycling, athletics; if you're a regular gym attendee and comfortable for half an hour on a stair climber or running machine set to a steepish gradient; if your back’s strong enough to carry a rucksack that weighs, roughly, 15kg (although once on the trek porters will carry your gear); if you're comfortably able to walk longish distances (12km) on consecutive days. These are just a few of the activities that you should be able to do if you're contemplating a trek to EBC.
Having said that, you might know someone who said the trek was easy or might have read somewhere on the interenet that the trek is heard. Just because someone has one experience, one time, does not mean that it will be the same for others! Therefore, you need to assess the information you read on the internet. If someone says it was easy, then look at their situation, age, experience and hiking history. Likewise, if someone says it was the hardest thing they have ever done. You will need to look at their itinerary, age, prior training, pacing and lodges they stayed in. You need an honest assessment of your fitness, age and how much preparation is needed to enjoy the overall experience. Call Us or Email Us and we can help you get the correct information to make a safe and successful trek to Everest.
There are two distinct trekking seasons in the Himalayas; pre-monsoon (February, March, April and May) and post monsoon (late September, October, November and December). It is possible to make the journey in January and early September. We suggest the above for our treks into Everest base camp. My personal favorites are March, late October and November.
You can trek to Everest Base Camp in January and February. It can be cold higher up (-20C/-4F to – 30C/-22F). Snow can fall at anytime of the year in the region. It is more likely during this time and the summer months. If you are planning on trekking to Everest Base Camp in these months, you are definitely going to need more time for weather delays. Weather conditions can be more challenging in these winter months.
February and March are generally colder months to be in the region. However these can be some of our favorite times to be there! February and March generally have less people on the trail. Colder temperatures usually bring crisper and clearer views along the way, making it a great time to be there as long as you are prepared with the correct gear for the cold.
April is one of the busier months to be in the region, but there is a reason for that! Generally, the weather is stable and the views are clear, with less heat haze, that can impede the views. You will be contending with a lot of other trekkers and climbers in the region in April. Many choose this to be the month they will travel. The trails can also be busy with porters/animals that are maintaining the large number of climbers in Everest Base Camp. This is the time climbers are preparing for their summit attempts.
May is traditionally the warmest month to visit Everest Base Camp. However, sometimes the warmer temperatures can also bring in more clouds, and heat haze, which obstruct your views. During this time in Nepal, the monsoon is moving north from India, bringing warmer temperatures and potentially more cloud cover. If you are worried about the colder temperatures in the region, then going during May could be the right choice for you. With this said, we can never guarantee the weather in the region and it can change from year to year. While we normally see warmer temperatures in May, we have also seen years where it has snowed on the trail and been quite cold along the way!
Traditionally, you will find late September, October, November and December will provide better views of the mountains, less heat haze, less cloud cover and overall more consistent and better views of the mountains. This is not always the case but the trend usually follows this pattern.
In September the monsoon can linger a bit, causing there to be more precipitation on the trail. If there are more cloud cover, it can cause more issues with getting in/out of the mountains as well, so having some extra time built into your schedule for these possible delays are important. The temperatures are generally warmer in September and the lush and green landscapes can be quite spectacular in the lower parts of the trail.
Once you move into October, you are going to see one of the busiest months on the trail. The reason it is busier is because this months generally brings clear skies and the temperatures have not yet dropped, making it quite comfortable to trek at this time.
Another one of our favorite times to be in the region is in November, where the crowds start to dissipate and the temperatures are a bit colder, bringing the crisper and clearer views. This weather pattern will go into December as well, however the temperatures can definitely get colder as you head towards the end of the year.
Trekking during the monsoon season of June, July and August can be quite challenging in the Himalayas. The biggest challenge is going to be getting in or out of the mountains. There may not be flights in or out of Lukla for days on end. You could experience torrential rains lower on the trail, making it difficult and challenging terrain to trek in. If possible, we suggest avoiding this time of year as your views most likely will be impeded, there is more risk of land-slide and an overall more challenging time to be in the Everest region.
When thinking about the weather on the Everest Base Camp trek - think ‘change’. There are weather patterns throughout the year which affect the Everest Region and so it’s important to plan accordingly, and to select your trip date based on the best possible trekking weather for you!
If you’re trekking with us, we’ve done a lot of the thinking for you - we only run trips to Base Camp when the weather and the trekking is at its best. We run most of our trekking season during March/April/May and September/October/November which are some of the most moderate times to visit EBC.
The Summer weather in the Everest Region (June to August) is influenced by the Indian Monsoon which brings frequent rainfall and cloudy days. You might find solitude during this time but clouds and rain generally obscure the peaks and it’s not a good time to visit the Everest region.
Nepal comes out of monsoon season at the end of August, so early September will still be a bit rainy, but things warm up and dry off by the end of September. You will see temperatures getting close to 20°C (68°F) on the trek in September. Don’t be fooled though - the temperature does drop considerably during the night, so you will still need to bundle up!
Weather on the Everest Base Camp in Spring & Autumn
Generally, the Spring and the Autumn months make for the best possible Everest Base Camp trekking experience. The days in Spring are warm and clear, and temperatures are comfortable throughout the Autumn months. You will often see trekkers in T-shirts and shorts during these months, and you’re more likely to meet some future summiters as the Spring in particular (May especially) has some of the best weather for going all the way! We also run some trips in the Winter months, which is a great time to go - but it’s definitely a bit colder. When November comes around, the temperature can drop to -10°C (14°F) in the evenings.
Winter weather (Nov to Feb) is dominated by the southward migration of the northern hemisphere jet stream which brings high winds, cold temperatures, and on occasion heavy snow falls. Winter can be a great time for trekking as the trails are really quiet and there is something challenging about reaching Everest Base Camp in the coldest time of year.
Day temperatures are comfortable with sunny skies generally prevailing, although it can get well below freezing - even as low as -20°C (-4°F) near Everest Base Camp.
The accommodation on your Everest Base Camp Trek depends on the service you are looking for. There are a wide range of options trekking to Everest Base Camp.
There are good lodges and there are poor lodges on the trek to Everest. We use the same lodges on every trek. The lodge owners know us and we know them. This helps us offer you consistency for your trek. We have been building relationships in the region for years to make sure you have the most comfortable experience on your journey to Everest Base Camp. Our service is second to none. We don’t cut corners and give you the best service and experience on your journey to Everest Base Camp.
During your Everest Base Camp Trek, food is something you don’t have to compromise on at all. There are a variety of options from typical Nepali dal-bhat, soups, snacks, momos, fried rice, to Chinese and continental dishes like noodles, spaghetti, spring rolls, and steak.
With Himalayan Kingdom, three meals are included in your package cost; breakfast with a cup of tea, lunch with a hot drink, and dinner. Additionally, a cup of hot drink will be provided upon your arrival at the rest stop for the day. You will also find some bakeries at Tengboche, Dingboche, Pheriche, and Lobuche and alcohol drinks (beer, local spirits, imported spirits) all along the trail, but these are not included in your package cost.
Most of the tea houses along the trails in Everest Base Camp Trek sell biscuits, candies, and Pringles. Besides, there are small convenient stores in Lukla, Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Pangboche, Dingboche, and Pheriche with a lot more options like Granola Bars, Dry fruits, Candies and Coke.
If you’re worried about whether or not you should bring snacks from your home country, given the weight of your backpack, you can consider buying them in Kathmandu or directly in Lukla. The rates are way less in Kathmandu than Lukla, and the prices increase with the altitude.
An exit poll at Kathmandu’s International Airport showed that 68% of people suffered from some form of diarrhoea. Here are some ways to make sure you don’t become one of them:
If you are a vegan, please rest assured that you will easily survive the Everest Base Camp Trek. With the increasing number of vegans, hotels and restaurants (in Lukla and Namche Bazaar) have vegan options for trekkers.
For breakfast, popular options include Chapati, Oat porridge, fried, or mashed potato. Lunch and dinner have a bunch of options. ‘Dal Bhat,’ the staple food for Nepalese, that comes with cooked rice, boiled lentils, vegetable curries, and pickles, can be your best friend during the trails. It is filling, healthy, and tastes great. Besides, there are nutritious soups of all kinds, fried rice, veg noodles (soup and fried), potatoes, veg momos, veg pasta with tomato sauce, etc.
If you want to try Sherpa food in the Everest Base Camp Trek, you can go for Tsampa or Tibetan Bread for breakfast and Veg Shakpa (Sherpa Stew), Veg Thukpa (noodle soup), Riki Kur (potato pancakes), Tmomo and Rildhuk (soup with potato lumps).