Nepal, ‘A Paradise on Earth’, as agreed by most of the travelers, is also a dream destination of adventure trekkers that never fails to top their to-visit destination list, for mothering the head of the world, Mt. Everest. This thought-provoking altitude of Mt. Everest, has always been successful in attracting the minds of hikers who dream to conquer the heights of height in the world. For those who cannot get to 8,848m (due to some unavoidable circumstances), Everest Base Camp Trek is the right way to fulfill their dream and boast their achievement by getting to the base camp of Mt. Everest. However, for the first timers, it’s always good to get the facts straight, before planning this special trip in Nepal.
Most of the people are unaware of the everest base camp trek fact that the Mt. Everest can also be climbed from Tibet. Therefore, there are two different base camps, each on the opposite sides of Mt. Everest. The South Base Camp (5,364) lies in Nepal, whereas the North Base Camp (5,150m) lies in the land of Tibet. These base camps are used by the climbers as a campsite, while pursuing towards the top of the peak. For non-climbers, these base camps simply present an opportunity to get close to the highest peak in the world. Out of the two available base camps, the south base camp is very popular and preferred by the adventure trekkers as it’s a pure hiking till the top, whereas the north base camp trekking is on the verge of losing it’s trekking charm due to the vehicular access to the top.
The south base camp that is via Nepal is located in the Khumbu region of Nepal. This region can easily be reached with a 30-35 mins flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The walk towards base camp begins from Lukla and the entire travelling has to be done on foot till the base camp. Everest base camp trek also takes you to Kala Patthar or Gokyo that presents the magnificent view of Mt. Everest. On average it requires 12-15 days to complete the Everest Base Camp trek. Along with the beautiful settlement of people, the trekkers can also enjoy the areas of Sagarmatha National Park, listed in the world heritage site list. The national park features various species of plants, birds and animals and treats your eyes with mesmerizing views of the countryside and other towering peaks like Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam and Cho Ouy (all towering above 7000m-8000m).
March-May (Spring) and September-Autumn is the best time to plan the Everest Base Camp trek. These months support trekkers with pleasant weather, warm temperature, better visibility and smooth trails. Trekkers can also enjoy important festivals of this region during this time of the year. Winters are extremely cold and monsoons are too wet and slippery for climbing and the view is obstructed by the clouds and fog. However, the weather is very unpredictable in this area and the climatic conditions can get unpleasantly extreme. Therefore, its best to plan for the worst before proceeding to the base camp.
The clothings that you need to carry while you are travelling EBC depends on the months of the year. Its good to carry a woolen jumper, warm jacket, a windbreaker and a down jacket if you are travelling anytime in between May to October. During winter, fleece sweaters, down jackets with hood and down-filled sleeping bags are very necessary to stand the extreme cold. Long sleeved shirts, thermal underwear, synthetic insulated, waterproof and breathable pants and jackets should be carried all year long.
It’s a challenging trek and requires excellent stamina, therefore, one need to be physically fit and mentally determined to plan this trek. One should also take ample rest and set aside days for acclimatization purpose, and regularly hydrate oneself, so as to be safe from high altitude sickness caused by thinning air. In case of emergencies, helicopter rescue services (extra charges applicable) are also available.
Clean and comfortable lodges and guest houses featuring basic amenities are provided as accommodation facilities during the trek. The lodges are available till Gorak Shep, which is the last destination trekkers stop for overnight. Both breakfast and dinner are provided in the accommodation itself. However, lunch is usually ordered from a tea house menu that offer the option of both Nepali and Western food (subject to availability). Telephone services are available everywhere you stop for overnight. High speed internet can be enjoyed till Namche Bazaar.
The Khumbu region not only shelters Mt. Everest, but also the legendary Sherpas, who are well known for their ability to easily conquer the height that is usually difficult for the normal person attain. Their sincere hospitality and their culture, tradition and religion are unique enough to attract culture lovers from all around the world. These people are climbing experts and are adapted to living in high altitude conditions. Thus, they can help you with their climbing expertise. They also possess deep knowledge regarding the area and the trail and can be hired as a guide or a porter for your assistance.
The basic trip cost includes accommodation and breakfast in Kathmandu, full board during the trek, Kathmandu-Lukla airfare, National park entrance fee, porters and guide service as well as the cost of trekking permits. Additional expenditure during the trek is all in the trekkers’ pocket.
You can simply walk up to the base camp of Everest from Lukla, or chose to tread a traditional path via Jiri or even include Gokyo Lakes as well as the three High passes of Everest. The itinerary can be designed according to your requirements.
The beauty bestowed by the nature and the warm hospitality offered by the people makes this destination one of the most sought after destination of the world. There are lots of agencies, who can help you plan your trek to the base camp of Everest; however, it is always considered best to partner with local companies. Amigo Treks and Expedition, one of the local companies in Nepal can help you plan your next trek to the base camp of Mt. Everest at the most competitive rates in town.