Everest Base Camp
A simply classic Everest base camp trek on the south face of Everest is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Nepalese Himalayas and is visited by thousands of trekkers every year during the high trekking seasons. There are several ways to get into the base camp but normally people fly to Lukla from Kathmandu to save their time and energy.
Right after landing at Lukla with a small aircraft, a few hours hike to Phakding following the Dudhkoshi river valley then the same trail leads another day to a beautiful Sherpa village Namche Bazar. The route has different villages, suspensions bridges, and tea houses. The Sagarmatha national park starts from Monjo and the national park entry permits are checked here. After around 3 hour hike from this checkpoint, Namche Bazaar arrives.
Namche Bazaar has lots of nice shops, coffee shops, bars, and much more to hang around and it supplies scenic Mountain View of Kongde Ri, Thamserku, Kusum Kangaroo, and more. This is the place where all the trekkers take 2 days for the acclimatization practice and hike to the Everest view hotel and enjoy the Himalayas including Everest, Amadablam, Thamserku, Lhotse, and other high mountains.
Leaving Namche bazaar behind, the trail follows towards Tengboche with a beautiful trail with a spectacular view of Amadablam, Everest, Lhotse, Khangteka, and other peaks. The trail descends from Sanasa from where one trail goes to Gokyo valley. The Dudhkoshi river is coming from Gokyo lakes which stays behind after crossing it from Phunki Tenga and the trail ascends to Tengboche. Tengboche is an open hill station with a famous historic old Buddhist monastery and it supplies scenic Everest massif.
The trail descends for a few minutes to Dingboche then ascends gradually following the Imja river valley to Dingboche passing Pangboche and Somare and reaching Dingboche. Here is another acclimatization stop the next day. To explore the day, can hike up to Nagar-Tsang hill or hike to Chhukung towards the Island peak side.
About 5-6 hours walk from Dingboche crossing Thukla tea shops and Thukla Pass where the monuments of the death climbers are, arrives Lobuche. Lobuche is in a valley with 4910m elevation above sea level. A giant mountain Nuptse, Lobuche peak can be seen here and there will be enough time to explore around and see the Khumbu glacier.
The final day with a big goal is a day to visit the main destination (Everest Base Camp). Walking through the Khumbu valley, crossing Lobuche pass and glacier, Gorakshep reached. Take about an hour break here and have some quick lunch or snack, then hike to the base camp which takes around 2-3 hours one way. The trail along the way is mostly rocky and windy. This place will be like a small mountain city during the main climbing season (spring).
Visiting Everest base camp is not only one way. There are several routes but flying to Lukla with a small aircraft is a short and easy way that most trekkers are using. Although, driving to Jiri by bus or Salleri by jeep and walking about a week more than taking a flight to Lukla is also possible who have a longer holiday. A Helicopter flight to the base camp is another luxury option for the people who have only one day to explore the Everest region in a few hours.
Best Time to Visit
The autumn (September – December) and spring (March-May) are the best times to do the Everest base camp trek. These are the main trekking season in Nepal. Normally the weather is clear during these seasons for the trek. Spring is the main expedition season for Mt. Everest so hundreds of climbers will be ready at the base camp to win the most adventurous mountain sport. There are very fewer numbers of trekkers during winter because of freezing cold and summer because of clouds and less chance to fly into Lukla so autumn and spring are highly recommended.
Weather and Temperature
Winter (December – February) is the cold month so doing a trek during these months is most challenging and recommended very warm trekking gear. The temperature is freezing cold but the view is still good to see. Spring is warmer compared to autumn but both seasons are perfect for Everest base camp treks. Summer is warm but the weather is not clear and will be rainy.
Minimum Temperature of 12 Months (In Average):
- January - (-20 Degree Celsius)
- February – (- 18 Degree Celsius)
- March – (-14.5 Degree Celsius)
- April – (-9 Degree Celsius)
- May – (-5.5 Degree Celsius)
- June – (-1 Degree Celsius)
- July – (1 Degree Celsius)
- August – (0 Degree Celsius)
- September – (-3 Degree Celsius)
- October – (-9 Degree Celsius)
- November – (-15 Degree Celsius)
- December – (-18 Degree Celsius)
Lodge and Food Facilities
Doing the Everest base camp trek from Jiri, Salleri or Lukla have the facilities of the lodge and food are well organized. There are a number of tea houses every half an hour or every stop with a private room. Most of the tea houses have common rooms with shared bathrooms but some lodges have attached bathrooms too. There are also luxury hotels in some places.
The visitors may think that must have the Nepalese local foods during the trek. It is not true, the tea houses have the food menu but mostly the same items everywhere which are cooked by basic trained cooks but in some places, the chefs are well trained. Having meat items during the trek may make a problem of food poisoning for somebody so better to be safe being vegetarian until the trek. Drinking normal water using purifying tablets, sterilizers, or another medication is okay also can buy bottled water all the way but for a few days in the higher area, the water may be dusty so buying bottled water is recommended days.
View from the Base Camp
The Everest is blocked by Mt. Lola (west soldier) and Nuptse but on the way to the base camp, can be seen the Everest. The view of other high mountains like Nuptse, Lola, Pumori, Lingtren, Khumbutse, and the Tibetan mountain Changatse are nice to see from here. Under the base camp is all ice so the base camp is on the glacier. Khumbu icefall which the climbers cross during the expedition is very near. There is no huge sign at the base camp just some writing on the big rock and some Tibetan prayer flags at the base camp.
Sleeping at the Base Camp
There are no lodges at the base camp so it is not possible to sleep but if people have their own tent and sleeping gear, can sleep here with having dry food or cooking the food themselves otherwise only the climbers sleep at the base camp. For the normal trekkers, Gorakshep is the place to sleep hike to base camp and return back to the lodge in Gorakshep.
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