Trek to Everest Base Camp in Winter

  • Jul 29, 2022
  • Rajesh Thapaliya

The Winter season begins in December and stays until February in Nepal. It is the coldest season in Nepal, so it is hard to trek to the mountain region at this time. It might be heavy snowfall in winter in the mountain territory. If you are an adventurer high mountain trekker, you can trek to the Everest base camp in winter.

There are very few trekkers on the Everest base camp trail in winter. If you like to trek to the Everest base camp in a quiet environment, the winter could be the best for you. Although the temperature would be freezing, it will be bright days and clear views at the beginning of the winter season in the Everest region.


Trekkers to the Everest base camp in winter

Table of Contents

Everest Base Camp Trek in December

December leaves autumn behind and welcomes winter. It snows frequently and will be extremely cold this month. So not many trekkers dare to trek in December to the Everest base camp and ask about the weather and temperature like [Is it possible to trek to Everest base camp in December?]

There will be cold wind in December in the Everest region. The trekking path has an icy surface in some areas during the Everest base camp trek in December. Packing well and warm trekking equipment for the Everest base camp in winter is highly recommended.

Benefits of Everest Base Camp Trek in December

Fewer Crowed on the Trail

December is the end of the main trekking season, so there are fewer numbers of trekkers on the trail. The region will be quiet, so you can freely enjoy your time in the mountain if you do not like noise and crowded during the trek.

The wild animals come close to the walking trail because of peace environment and cold temperature inside the forest. You will see Himalayan Thar, Musk deer, Himalayan Monal and much more wild animals around the walking trail to the base camp in December.

Fewer Chances of Lukla Flight Cancellation

Except for early morning, it will be long distanced visibility for operating Lukla flights from Kathmandu. You can get a regular secluded flight to Lukla in December. If you get your flight at right time, you save time and can enjoy the trip without any ado.

If the Lukla flight is delayed or cancelled, you need to fly on a helicopter with extra charge, but there is less possibility of the flight cancellation in December. So you can save that amount if you trek to the Everest base camp in December.

Clear Weather and Bright Sceneries


Mt. Amadablam

December offers the finest weather in the Everest region. There won’t be rain and snow this month, so there is no hurdle to trek to the Everest base camp in December. You will have crystal clear weather from morning to evening this month in the Everest base camp region.

It will be some white clouds with mist in the morning, but it won’t be a dusty haze in December. So, you will have bright views after the sunlight. The mountains look beautiful and the vegetation remains dark green this month in the Everest base camp territory.

Easy Accommodation

There are very few trekkers on the Everest base camp trek in December, so getting accommodation at every camp is not difficult. You do not need to book accommodation in advance at this time during the trek. You will get an extra blanket or quilt for the night because of not many trekkers in the lodge. You may get better fare in luxury lodges due to the off-season.

Everest Base Camp Trek in December Challenges

`There are some challenges during the Everest base camp trek in December with its advantages. What should be those challenges then? Check them below:

Freezing Temperature in the Region

December is the first month of the winter season, so it begins cold and decreases the temperature every day. There are icy surfaces on the walking trail somewhere along the way to the Everest base camp in December.

Feel Lonely Sometimes

There are not many trekkers on the base camp trail in December because of the freezing temperature, so you might not meet friendly people in every place at this time. But, of course, the lodge owner and staffs are friendly in the region. So, you might feel lonely and can’t share your experience with others in the mountain in December.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness could be the biggest problem during the Everest base camp trek in winter. Altitude sickness is caused by less oxygen in the air and high atmospheric pressure up in the mountain region. Very cold and dehydration also might bring high mountain sickness.

Most of the Shops Stay Close

There are lots of bakery shops, bars, and other souvenir shops along the way to the Everest base camp. They might be close and places look quiet, so you might not have places to spend time in the town.

Tips for Everest Base Camp Trek in Winter

  • Bring warm equipment for the trek in winter
  • There should not be things for entertainment at this time, so bring books for free time
  • Be careful while walking and check if there are icy surfaces
  • Change the clothes that you wear during the walk as soon as possible once you reach the lodge
  • Sweaty socks look dry in the morning, but it might be Ice, so change them every day
  • Keep warm and protect yourself from cold wind
  • Walk slow, eat well, and drink plenty of warm fluid
  • Do not go close to the waterfall, stream and river because there will be icy stones

Temperature During Everest Base Camp Trek in Winter

January and February also remain in the winter season, so the temperature in the Everest region decreases from December. These months are even colder than December on the Everest base camp route.

The trek begins from Lukla, so it will be -3°c temperature minimum in December. Likewise, it will be -2°c in January and -1°c in February. Gorakshep is the last camp of the Everest base camp trip, so it is the coldest place for the entire trek in winter. December temperature will be a minimum of -20°c, January will be -18°c, then drops to -17°c in February. It starts getting warmer after February in the Everest base camp region. 

Detailed information on weather and temperature in Everest base camp

EBC Trek Equipment for Winter


Main bag for trekking equipment

You need to have extreme warm equipment for the winter Everest base camp trek. Check a list to pack essential gear for the winter EBC trip below:

  • Duffel bag or Ruksack
  • Daypack
  • Super down jacket
  • Goretex jacket with a fleece layer
  • Fleece high-neck t-shirt
  • Long sleeves trekking shirts
  • Thermal layers
  • Warm and windproof gloves
  • Light gloves for the day
  • Sun hat
  • Warm and windproof hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Trekking poles
  • Long sleeves trekking pants
  • Windproof trouser
  • Good quality trekking boots
  • Sport shoes and water sandals
  • Feather boot for the night
  • Toe warmers
  • Extra camera battery
  • Multi uses power sockets
  • Charging power bank
  • Sun lotion
  • Wet tissues
  • Moisturizers cream
  • Lip balm
  • -20°c above sleeping bag
  • Books to read
  • Head torch
  • First-Aid kit
  • Quick drier towel
  • Toiletries

Festivals in Nepal During Everest Base Camp Trek in Winter

There are several festivals in Nepal, and you can be a part of them during your Everest base camp trek in the winter. Winter is the special festive season for the Buddhist people in Nepal. The Lhosar also spell Losar remains in winter. The Losar begins with the Tamu community that represents the Gurung and Magar. This festival is in December every year. You can celebrate Christmas in Nepal in December. Sonam Losar in January to the Tamang Buddhist then Gyalpo Losar for the Sherpa in February, that you can be a part of them during your Everest base camp trek in winter. You can see and celebrate Shivaratri in February before or after the Everest base camp trek in winter. Magi festival is also celebrated in Nepal in February.

The Best Trek in Everest Region for Winter

Do not dare to reach the base camp with freezing temperature in winter? Don’t worry! You can still trek in the Everest region to see the world’s tallest mountain. The 7-day Everest Panorama trek is one of the best trekking packages for this cold season.

The Everest panorama trek goes up to Tengboche hill starting from Lukla and then turns back. It is a perfect trip for the family, the elderly and beginners. You can see amazing views of the Everest Himalayas, vegetation, attractive landscapes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls, wildlife and more. You can also explore the Sherpa tradition and culture on this trek in winter.

Short Everest Base Camp Trek in Winter

Most Everest base camp trekkers are doing 12-day trips from Kathmandu to Kathmandu, but you can also make it in 8 days if you do not have enough time or do not want to stay in cold for a few more days in winter. The helicopter return trek is the shortest trekking package of the Everest base camp.

You follow the usual Everest base camp trekking itinerary to the base camp, then fly out to Kathmandu from Gorakshep on a helicopter for this short Everest base camp trek in winter. The trek begins with a scheduled flight to Lukla from Kathmandu and then trek to the base camp in a week. On the 8th day, you fly to Kathmandu from Gorakshep after visiting the base camp and Kalapatthar.

Reach Everest Base Camp in Winter Without a Walk


Helicopter flight to the Everest base camp

Do not want to trek with the insufferable freezing temperature of the Everest region in winter? But, you still are interested to visit the Everest base camp. Is it possible to reach the Everest base camp and Kalapatthar in winter without a walk? Yes, it is possible! You have a luxury option to visit the base camp and Kalapatthar in winter and explore the Everest region well.

Everest base camp helicopter tour is one of the best options to see amazing views of the Everest Himalayas and more without suffering walk-in cold temperature. You fly on a helicopter from Kathmandu to the Kalapatthar with several landings on the stunning viewpoints. After the Kalapatthar landing, you fly over the base camp and Khumbu glacier before returning to Kathmandu.

Cheapest and Fastest Way to See Everest in Winter

There is an option for budget travellers to see Everest and its range with a low budget. Everest scenic mountain flight on a plane from Kathmandu airport is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to explore the world’s famous Himalayas.

You can see Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Manaslu, Gaurishankar, Everest, Makalu and Kanchenjunga Himalayan ranges during this scenic mountain flight. The plane for this mountain fight has a single seat on both sides and flies in both directions, so all the travellers can see the mountains well.

Other Activities in Nepal During Everest Base Camp Trek in Winter

You can do some day trips in Kathmandu before or after the winter Everest base camp trek in Nepal. Kathmandu day tour, Bhaktapur and Patan day tour, Dakshinkali religious site tour, Bungmati Khokana traditional town tour, Namobuddha tour and more day tours are available heritage tours, that you can do during the Everest base camp journey in winter.

Besides these heritage tours, you can hike on the beautiful trails around Kathmandu before the trek. A day hike around the valley can be a good practice walk for a long mountain trek in winter. Champadevi hike, Nagarkot Changunarayan hiking, Shivapuri nature hike, Jamacho hike and Kakani Suryachour hikes are the beautiful hiking routes near Kathmandu valley for winter.

You can go for 2 nights and 3 days Chitwan jungle safari tour after the winter Everest base camp trip. This safari tour can be a refreshment trip after a long tiring adventure mountain trip. Chitwan is low land, so there is a very much warm temperature compared to the mountain and Kathmandu, so you feel relaxed.

Conclusion

December, January and February are considered the winter season in Nepal. It is the coldest period, so trekking to the Everest base camp at this time can be a big challenge. There are a couple of hundreds of trekkers on the EBC trail in December, but there are very few visitors during January and February.

You need to have super warm trekking equipment for the winter Everest base camp trek. If you can not dare to reach the base camp at this time, you can just try the Everest panorama trek in winter, which offers beautiful views of Mt. Amadablam, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and lots of other mountains. You can also enjoy the beauty of this great Himalaya without a long trek in winter if you do not have enough time or do not want to trek in a cold temperature.

Rajesh Thapaliya

Rajesh Thapaliya

Namaste! I am Rajesh, a Nepal travel blogger who provides Nepal travel tips to travellers who are planning to visit Nepal and know about Nepal.

I am a tourism service provider in Nepal So far, I have been to the Nepalese Himalayan base camps as a tour leader and collected lots of information about the Nepalese Himalayas. You can find my experiences in my travel blogs, so it may make it a lot easier for you to travel to Nepal.

You may find beautiful photos on Instagram,  Facebook and Twitter. I have worked very hard to be in this stage after high school and dedicated my experiences to the people who would like to know about Nepal and Nepal travel.