A trip to the Everest Base camp is a daunting and wonderful experience plus a must-do trek for trekking enthusiasts all around. Before we embark on this journey, we must understand the basic things that make the Everest base camp trek a delight and what you should expect during your trek. In the following content, we will learn about:

  • The Everest Base Camp Trek Experience
  • The Trekking trail on your Everest Base Camp trek
  • How do we initiate the Everest Base Camp trek
  • Places you see on the Everest Base Camp trek
  • Itinerary for the Everest Base camp trek
  • When is the best time to take the Everest Base Camp trek?

Introduction to Everest Base Camp trek

Everest, as it stands, is one of the most magnificent and daunting peaks in Nepal. Naturally, a trek to the Everest Base camp is one of the most sought-after and popular trekking destinations in Nepal, and quite rightly so. Trekkers who undertake this venture are blessed with a combination of the majestic view of the soaring high Mount Everest, along with the surrounding lush green hills to accommodate the perfect picture and compliments of a vast blue sky in the backdrop. As you make your trip through the sometimes grassy, sometimes rocky trail leading the path at a height of 5364m, you are bound to come across quaint villages, inhabited by the most friendly people on earth. If you have assigned porters to carry your luggage from the pickup point, you might get a heads-up before you make your way through these villages though. A trek to the Everest Base camp might be the closest one can get to the Everest summit. Beyond the huge campsite, you must be a mountaineer to continue, as the venture involves climbing and other extreme mountaineering activities.

Overview of Everest Base Camp trek:

The trek is on good trails, with some moraine stretches near our destination, but nowhere is this climbing or even scrambling – there are good walkable paths all along the way. You can expect to trek for 4 to 6 hours each day, with some days spent resting and acclimatizing to ensure that we are all fit and healthy at this altitude. This makes the trek suitable for any average fit walker. Accommodation while going towards the Everest Base Camp is adjusted in Nepal’s famous tea houses – the accommodation though basic, is comfortable and the friendly and hospitable folks of the region will make your stay a memorable one.

Initiative for Everest Base Camp:

Almost all trips to the Himalayas in Nepal begin with the arrival at Lukla Airport, Nepal, after which your paths vary. With awe-inspiring views of the world’s highest and most beautiful mountains, our treks are carefully organized to ensure you have plenty of time to acclimatize to the climate conditions, making sure you can enjoy the trekking experience to the fullest. We also adjust our schedule depending on the speed and time taken by the trekking group, so that you can enjoy the viewpoints and landmarks you come across during this trek.

Places to visit while on Everest Base Camp trek:

The pickup point for the trek is the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu. A diversified city, rich in culture and crowded areas, Kathmandu has the largest number of tourist population in Nepal. The next stop is Lukla Airport from Kathmandu Airport, the standard flight taken by trekkers making their way to the Himalayas. As we begin the trek we come across many lodges and tea houses for your stay. First, we come across Phakding, located on the banks of the river Dudh Kosi. You also come across small suspension bridges to cross the rivers. Monjo is another village we go by before entering the Khumbu National Park. Then after a few suspension bridges, we reach Namche Bazaar, the capital of the Khumbu region. While acclimatizing in Namche, we will also make a trip to Khumjung. We also go through many small villages such as Thyangboche where you can visit the monastery, Deboche where we have a night's halt, Pangboche which has a stunning viewpoint, the farming village of Dingboche where we will have another acclimatization session, the Khumbu valley, Periche hospital, Dugla, Lobuche and Gorak Shep where you will be staying for a night each. We will also venture uphill towards Kala Pathar for a view of the sunset after we reach the Everest Base Camp. While coming towards the end of the trek, you will visit Pangboche and Deboche again before you head back to Kathmandu via Lukla airport. Each point has a significance of its own, so make sure you utilize your time there fully.

Itinerary for Everest Base Camp trek:

Once our staff picks you up at the airport for the Everest Base camp trek, we head for the first night's halt at Phakding. Situated on the banks of the river Dudh Kosi, which drains the whole of the Khumbu Region, this small hamlet is on the main trade route through the area and there are several clean, well-built lodges where we can spend the night. Then we head up the banks of Dudh Koshi, crossing it twice by way of small suspension bridges before reaching the village of Monjo where we enter the Khumbu National Park. We then cross the confluence of Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi on a high suspension bridge and walk a steep route for about 2 hours up Namche Hill to reach Namche Bazaar (3440m). Namche Bazaar is the capital of the Khumbu Region, inhabited by the Sherpas, and is a prosperous trading town.

The Namche Bazaar permits many Tibetan merchants to cross the nearby border to trade their wares in the local market, and it is a fascinating spectacle. This is a good place to buy genuine Tibetan artifacts. Just across the valley to the east, you can emerge yourself with the magnificent view of the Thamserku and Kangtega mountain peaks.  To acclimatize to the weather conditions, we will be spending 2 days in Namche bazaar and will be visiting the village of Khumjung for its famous bakery.

From Namche, we venture on the well-worn Everest trail contours around the side of the valley high above the Dudh Khosi. As we move along the path we get our first splendid view of the Khumbu: Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam ranges. We pass several villages and numerous tea shops following the route, during which we cross the Dudh Koshi River and make a steep climb towards Thyangboche. Thyangboche is the home of the famous monastery and surely one of the world's best viewpoints, looking at the three enormous Himalayan valleys. We drop down to the river and the village of Deboche (3700m) and make our night's halt at a comfy lodge a little further along the same trail.

After a night's rest, we continue our journey along a path strewn with Rhododendron trees and cross an airy suspension bridge just beyond Deboche. An hour's walk is all we need to bring us to Pangboche, which boasts an excellent view of Mount Ama Dablam. Contouring up the valley, we will recross the river and climb uphill along the Imja Valley to reach the picturesque farming village of Dingboche (4410m). Dingboche is another location where we can acclimatize before our ascent up the Khumbu Valley. While in Dingboche, we can attend a seminar on high-altitude acclimatization at a nearby hospital in Pheriche, which is run by the Himalayan Rescue Association. This walk to Pheriche and back will also serve as an acclimatization training before we continue.

The next day, we retrace our steps back to Pheriche before continuing along the trail up the broad valley towards Dugla. Ahead of us is the trekking peak of Lobuje East (6,119m), and to our left is the formidable north face of Taweche. After a three-hour walk, we reach the small collection of lodges at Dugla (4,620m). We might choose to walk up to the Sherpa memorials, from where you get outstanding views of Ama Dablam, Cholatse, and Taweche. From Dugla, the trail climbs steeply beside the glacial moraine. After a few hours, the track eventually leads to a small cluster of tea houses pleasantly situated at Lobuche (4,940m) where we spend our night in.

About three hours beyond Lobuche we reach Gorak Shep (5,160m), the site of the 1953 expedition’s base camp. Contouring along the valley side, the trail leads to the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier which becomes quite vague, weaving between mounds of rubble. After another 3 hours, we will eventually reach the base camp near the foot of the Khumbu Icefall. For those visiting base camp in the spring, there is a chance to meet teams making an ascent of the mountain. The Everest Base Camp is spread over quite a wide area and we will spend some time wandering through it and getting a sense of what it must be like to be camped here for two whole months, whilst attempting the mountain. To go any further than base camp, you will need to be a mountaineer with proper mountaineering experience. But mountaineer or not, we rest at the base camp.

After touching the base of Everest, we then make an ascent of Kala Pattar (5,545m) and organize ourselves for the trip to base camp the following day. It is highly recommended to make an afternoon and evening ascent of Kala Pattar for hopefully a sunset view of Everest. The climb takes between 2 to 3 hours and can be a hard and tiring walk, but the effort is rewarded by the classic view of Everest and the Khumbu Icefall, as well as Lhotse, Nuptse, and Pumori immediately above. For many teams, this is as far as they go on the Everest Trail. We retrace our steps back to Lobuche, and return down the Khumbu Valley, stopping for a break in Dugla. With views of the stunning peak of Ama Dablam ahead of us, we continue along the flat valley back to Pheriche.

Following the main Everest trail down the beautifully scenic valley, we pass through Pangboche and re-cross the river before arriving at the quiet hamlet of Deboche. Then finally back to civilization.

The best time to take the Everest Base Camp trek:

A trek to the Everest Base Camp can be taken any time of the year, but the best time to make the decision is for a trek between March to May and from September to November. Winters may be a hard time to come by, due to the cold weather and snow, which will make your trekking experience a difficult one. Higher altitudes may even find the lodges being closed due to the terrible weather and you might not find a place to spend the night in. In summer, the landscape is wet and peaks are lost to the clouds, so many of the views may be disappointing. Therefore, Spring, when the freshness of the mountainous trees and shrubs blossom at their best, Rhododendron particularly, is the best time to make the trek. The fresh lush green surroundings complement the view spectacularly. After monsoons, between September to November, is also a good bet once the rain has washed away the dust and cleared the skies to give a more spectacular view of your surroundings.

Resource: Everest Base Camp