Everest Base Camp is no doubt the most popular trekking destination in Nepal and also is listed within the top 5 trekking trails around the globe. This Everest Base Camp trail is the most visited region in the entire Himalaya extending from Tibet to Nepal to India to Bhutan to Pakistan and finally to Afghanistan, covering a distance of approximately 2400 km, making Mt. Everest the highest mountain in the world with an altitude of 8848.86 meters further growing every year.
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This Everest Base Camp trek is a two-week-long trekking trail, starting from Lukla, a small town with an only airstrip to the entire Everest region and further leading us back to Lukla for a flight to Kathmandu.
This airstrip was also known as Tenzing-Hillary airport or Lukla airport has shortened the length of the entire Everest Base Camp trek, limiting for only two-week, as it used to be more than a three-week-long trekking trail via Jiri.
Now the airport is the main transportation way to carry trekkers and also construction materials and foodstuff to the entire Everest region, which normally happens early in the morning before the visibility for the plane gets disturbed.
Starting the trail from an altitude of 2840 meters/ 9318feet (Jomsom), the trail goes with an incline climb uphill with some descend until we reach the base of the highest mountain on earth which is Mt. Everest (8848.86 meters).
It sounds easy to reach Everest Base Camp but from Lukla, it takes 8-day to reach the base camp with two extra nights for acclimatization and days to descend back to Lukla from Everest Base Camp, making a journey of 130 km approximately from Lukla to Lukla.
However, on the very first day after landing at Lukla (2840m), we move forwards to Phakding( 2610m) this is a descend of almost 230 meters with ups and down making a short 4-5 hour journey through Sherpa village, deep forest, farmland, rivers, etc.
On the very next day, we climb uphill passing by deep forest, crossing the suspension bridge over the snow-melted river to the lower point of Namche Bazaar, as it will be the entry point of Sagarmatha National Conservation Area to register our permit for the further climb.
Then, we move to Namche Bazaar (3446m), an official and trade headquarters for the entire Khumbu region. This little town is well-equipped with banks, ATMs, bars, hospitals, shops, bakeries, etc. spending two nights will help us to acclimatize and can explore all around the town, villages along with the first view of Mt. Everest along with surround Himalayas.
This extra night which we spend in Namche is mainly to help our body acclimatize for the coming days, so instead of spending flocking around the town, we move higher to the surrounding hills and descend back to Namche.
Further with some ascend and descend through pine forest, visiting one of the popular monasteries of the entire Khumbu/Everest region known as Tengboche monastery we will reach Tengboche (3867m) for our overnight stay.
The very next day will be towards Dingboche (4410m), the trail will be through bare Himalaya with far and deep visibility of the areas, lucky enough to see some wild beast and Himalayan eagle. Dingboche will provide us with an extra night for acclimatization and can further diversify our trail or day hike towards nearby hills.
Now onwards, the oxygen level in the space gets thinner as compared to lower altitudes. We hike passing by mani walls, making incline climb uphill to reach Lobuche at the altitude of 4910 meters/16109 feet. This will be a challenging climb and onwards can be a death zone to some. So to stop risk factor, need to slow down our pace with frequent stop.
Form Lobuche will be a short hike to Gorakshep but will be the longest day to the trek because from Lobuche to Gorakshep it will be a 3-hour hike. Unpacking our stuff at the tea house in Gorakshep, we start our journey towards the most awaited spot which is Everest Base Camp (5364m/17598ft). this will be 4-5 hours two-way from Gorakshep to Gorakshep.
Everest Base Camp is a day tour from Gorakshep (5140m/16864ft), the last overnight camp for any trekkers heading towards Base Camp of Mt. Everest, due to high altitude and protected area carrying religious importance to the local Sherpa people, it is legally forbidden to operate any hotels, lodges and tea houses at the Everest Base Camp. So we need to descend downhill towards Gorakshep.
Exploring the base of the highest mountain on earth and making some pictures and videos, we descend towards Gorakshep before it is too dark for the next morning program.
Trekker by noon reach Gorakshep and further carrying their backpack as light as possible can hike for a maximum of 2 hours to reach the Everest base camp.
During the expedition season mainly in autumn and spring, there will be multiple tented camps of climbers to support with foods and other required stuff by their team.
Along with this, climbers spend almost a week at the Everest Base Camp to acclimatize and also to conduct climbing training at the surrounding mountains, which helps them to gain the technical difficulty of Everest.
Although the mountain Everest is an expedition destination, trekkers can trek up to the base camp of Everest which lies at an altitude of 5364 meters.
From Gorekshep, the very next morning we can hike towards Kalapatthar (5545m/18192ft), the highest point of the entire trek, this will be a stunning viewpoint to explore 360° panoramic views of the wide range of the Himalayas in and around Khumbu/Everest region and also to experience the close range of Mt. Everest itself better than from even the Everest Base Camp.
Kalapatthar which literally means ‘black rock’, was very recently the original base camp of Mt. Everest, as the altitude is even higher than Everest Base Camp with majestic views of all the Himalayas including Everest.
Further, we descend downhill until Lobuche to take a different trail to reach Pheriche (4252m/13950ft) for our overnight stay and then towards Namche Bazaar on the second last day and finally to Lukla on the final day.
The very next morning we fly back to Kathmandu or Manthali (during high trekking season Autumn and Spring all the flight to and from Lukla has been diverted towards Manthali airport which is some 4-hour drive from Kathmandu, to avoid air traffic)
Everest Base Camp is not a mere trail to the highest base on earth, it is a hero’s journey with diversity in all aspects. Exploring the culture, nature, and vegetation of the remote land on earth will be once in a lifetime journey.
Starting the trail from lush green vegetation, passing by snow-melted rivers, crossing suspension bridges, visiting monasteries of which Tengboche monastery is a must, will lead us towards the alpine forest and further towards the bare region of Himalayas for 360° panoramic views is something which can’t be expressed with words.
The native culture, religion (Tibetan Buddhism), lifestyle, and hospitable welcome of the local dwellers are the most fascinating vista during the trek.
No doubt, Everest Base Camp is a strenuous trekking trail due to high altitude but can be an easy climb with two extra overnight for acclimatization, one being at Namche Bazaar the official headquarters of the entire Khumbu region at the altitude of 3446 meters and the other in Dingboche at the altitude of 4419 meters.
This two extra night for acclimatization is what makes the difference for the Everest Base Camp Trek while ascending uphill. Acclimatization makes our body cope up with the environment of the Himalayas, the more we acclimatize the more possibility of stepping into the Everest Base Camp dreams comes alive.
This will help to reduce the risk factor of different altitude sicknesses like Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), or High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), commonly known as ‘altitude sickness.
If we strictly follow the entire procedure requirement mainly related to our physical and mental condition while trekking at the Everest Base Camp, nothing can stop us to accomplish our dream come true.
Trekkers mainly get confused while dreaming about Everest Base Camp, as there are multiple numbers of trekking agency both local and international dealing with Everest Base Camp Trek and they go through different information available in ‘Google’.
This information is useful but may not match with one’s physical condition, so each and every individual has a different physical condition and their body needs a different environment to stimulate the situation.
Keeping all this in mind and observing minute details of hundreds of trekkers, we personally suggest all the trekkers be physically and mentally well-prepared before heading towards Everest Base Camp.
How does it work maybe your question, the best and easy way to accomplish the entire Everest Base Camp trek is not your age, it is only the fitness level?
To make your dream come true, trekkers should at least start engaging their physical bodies in a form. This can be through regular exercise like cycling, swimming, hiking, walking, jogging, etc at least an hour per day. Climbing for 6-7 hours per day at a high altitude won’t be an easy task for any.
No matter how many time you have been to the Everest Base Camp is not an excusable solution, every time you trek will be a new journey for your body. To maintain a regular pace physical exercise is a must to do before joining Everest trekking or any high altitude trek in Nepal.
Discover Altitude hope this information will be useful for any trekkers planning for Everest Base Camp Trek. All the information provided above is totally informative with experience, as our team shares a large amount of experience related to Everest Base Camp Trekking, with travelers from different countries, different races, and gender.
The truth behind this article is to provide genuine information but not to make travelers scare with the situation and the altitude but only to make them strong within self and prepare mentally and physically for the Everest Base Camp, instead of facing a problem in the Himalayas or just turning back due to physical difficulty.
If you are enthusiastic about your dream and want to explore the Himalayas of Nepal in a more relaxed way or in a short span of time, you can contact discover altitude or email [email protected] your guide to the high altitude Himalayas.