For thousands of years, mankind has ventured into the realms of the Himalayas for a daunting adventure. But many are still left behind from taking this opportunity of a lifetime to witness the grandeur of the mountains. If you belong to the latter group, then don’t hesitate to get some time off from work. We assure that this adventure will not only take you to the foothills of the highest peak. But we will also make sure that you have a safe and wonderful journey to the Himalayas. Let us see what we are up against when we travel to take the Everest Base Camp Trek.
- Kathmandu: the Beginning of a Journey
- Overview: Everest Base Camp Trek
- Accommodation in Everest Base Camp Trek
- Quotation for Everest Base Camp Trek
- When can you take the Everest Base Camp Trek
Kathmandu: the Beginning of a Journey
As you read this chapter on Everest Base Camp, there are people already lining up or planning. Not for anything else but for a long trek to the mountains. So let us start with a short intro about the place where it all begins, Kathmandu. We all know, Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal. But most of us don’t realize the significance of the cultural dominance that Kathmandu portrays. Kathmandu is a bustling city with many historic places open to the public. There are numerous temples, monasteries, and stupas around Kathmandu worth visiting. The Nepalese Government has taken a lot of steps to promote the cultures of Nepal amongst the youth. In the process, they have been fruitful in arranging camps for youths of Nepal.
Besides that, Kathmandu is a modernized version of a city rich in culture and traditions. Apart from the Nepalese culture, people are well acquainted with western cultures. You can find multiple shops, restaurants, and institutions here which will prove this theory correct. The market place in Kathmandu is also a great spot to make your purchase for the equipment necessary for your trip. Likewise, most of the travel agencies with adventure packages to the Himalayas are based in Kathmandu itself. Needless to say, they are the most popular travel agencies with experts in mountaineering. Most of these experts often go around the world preaching their knowledge and expertise in mountaineering.
Overview: Everest Base Camp Trek
Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world. The summit falls at an impressive 8848 m making it the highest point in the world as well. Apart from the elevation, it also has the highest altitude than any other mountain peaks in the world. Locals have long revered Mt. Everest is home to the Gods, and many ventures to attain Nirvana, ultimate enlightenment. Whatever is truly loved, has many names and quite rightfully so. Everest is known to the Nepalese as “Sagarmatha”, meaning “Goddess of the Sky”. Likewise, in Tibet, Everest is known as “Chomolungma”, meaning “Mother Goddess of the Universe”. But the original name came after Sir George Everest, a Britisher who served as Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843.
However, Mt. Everest attracts experienced mountaineers as well as novices looking to visit this historic region. Reaching an altitude of more than 8000 m is no ordinary feat. Most climbers face altitude sickness, breathing problems and feel under the weather on their journey. Therefore basic training for trekkers and advanced training for climbers is a requisite to complete the trip peacefully. Rest assured, the trip will be worthwhile if you are willing to sacrifice a few hours of your time daily in making yourself fit. You will be making your way through hills and valleys, across quaint villages with friendly people. There are few rhododendron filled forests on a perfectly maintained trekking trail. Each corner you take and each turn you make, you are bound to be hit by a viewpoint on this trail. And the views of the surroundings- well, it’s just magical. You will have to see it in order to believe it
Accommodations in Everest Base Camp Trek
You will be venturing through some of the highest points in the world on this trek. So discussing your accommodation is very important in order to find shelter at such high altitudes. You will mostly be passing through small villages where settlements are less so it is better to pre-book your visit. There might also be a shortage of various basic necessities for your daily needs. For instance, the internet or water or your favorite drink, might not be available for you at this altitude. So it is always better to plan ahead.
Anyway, you can be assured to get a 3star or a 4star hotel on your Kathmandu stay. Apart from that in all other stops, your accommodation will be assigned at tea houses or small lodges. Tea houses are small cozy settlements where you can rest for the night where food is also available. A few of them may also have hot showers and certain amenities for travelers. They are managed well by the friendly folks living in the Himalayas who cater to your basic needs. These tea houses are specifically built for the people coming to visit the region.
Lodges are also found in some of the villages. They are slightly larger than the tea houses and more comfortable as well. The lodges are well maintained in their own accord and provide various amenities as well. Some of the lodges provide additional sherpas or trekking and climbing gears if required. Possibility of finding a lodge as you go higher up may be diminished though. But, tea houses will fulfill your desire to rest for the night after a tiring trek in the hills. You can be assured of that fact.
Quotation for Everest Base Camp Trek
Your Everest Base Camp journey begins at Kathmandu from where you will be taken to Lukla airport via Kathmandu airport. After reaching Lukla, you will be transferred to Phakding for a night’s halt. Phakding is conveniently located on the trade route through the area and is the home for many clean and lodges to spend our nights in. After that, we head up on the banks of River Dudh Koshi, where we need to cross the river twice using suspension bridges. Then we reach 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 2hours up Namche hill to reach Namche Bazaar (3440m).
Namche Bazaar is the capital of the Khumbu Region and is a prosperous trading town inhabited by the Sherpas of the mountain. In Namche Bazaar, you have the chance to observe the Tibetan merchants crossing the border to trade their wares in the local market in Namche, which is a fascinating sight. If you are a fan of artifacts and would like to take a souvenir home, you can have a look at things the traders have brought to sell. As you cross the valley in the east at Namche, you can take in the spectacular view of Thamserku and Kangtega mountain peaks. For acclimatization, we will spend 2 days at Namche before continuing our journey and will be hiking to Khumjung as an acclimatizing process. You can also visit the famous bakery there.
From Namche, we venture on the Everest trail contours around the valley side high above the Dudh Kosi. As we traverse along the path we get our first spectacular view of the Khumbu: Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam ranges. We go past smaller villages and numerous tea shops following the route, and we also 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 across from the three enormous Himalayan valleys. We then descend to the river and the village of Deboche (3700m) and spend our night at a comfy lodge that stands a little further along the same trail.
Before our ascent up the Khumbu valley, we will make use of the location for acclimatization here. In Deboche, one can opt to attend a seminar based on the importance of high altitude acclimatization at a nearby hospital in Pheriche. This hospital is run by the Himalayan Rescue Association. The trek to Pheriche and then back to Dingboche also serves to fulfill the process of acclimatization as we get closer and closer to Everest Base Camp.
Next day we go back to Pheriche before making our way up to a valley towards Dugla. Just ahead you will notice the trekking peak of Lobuje East (6,119m), and to our left the formidable north side of Taweche. After a three hour walk, we reached the village and lodges at Dugla (4,620m). We can visit the Sherpa memorials close by, where you get an outstanding view of Ama Dablam, Cholatse and Taweche. It is all uphill from Dungla. After a few hours of trekking, the trail will eventually lead us to a small cluster of tea houses situated at Lobuche (4,940m) where we can rest for the night after a somewhat longer walk.
After walking for three hours from Lobuche we reach the village of Gorak Shep (5,160m). As we move uphill towards the Khumbu valley we come across the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. After yet another 3 hours, we will reach our final destination located near the foothills of the Khumbu Icefall. The Everest Base Camp is a large area spread along and we can spend a long time wandering through it. There is a chance you can meet some of the climbers readying themselves for the climb up the mountain. But to go any further than the base camp, you will need to be a mountaineer with proper mountaineering experience.
In the morning, we go uphill towards Kala Pattar (5545m) for the blissful sight of the sunset. Travelers are advised to make the trek during the afternoon before evening as the view is more spectacular than.
The climb uphill takes a tiring 2 to 3 hours. However, after a tiring walk, you will be rewarded with the magnificent view of Everest and the Khumbu icefall, and even the ranges of Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumori immediately above the ranges. We then go back to the trekking trail via Lobuche and make our way down Khumbu Valley after a brief halt at Dungla. With sufficient views of the majestic Ama Dablam, we walk back to Pheriche to turn in for the night. So as we retrace our steps back through the main trekking trail took earlier, we descend past the lush green valley and through Pangboche then cross the Dudh Koshi once more to enter the small hamlet of Deboche. We take our last steps to end the trek to reach Lukla airport after which you are transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu to thus end the lasting trek of Mount Everest Base camp.
When can you take the Everest Base Camp Trek
The best time to take the Everest Base Camp Trek is during the Spring season and Autumn season. During Spring, the weather is warmer and the rhododendron trees and other flowers are in full bloom. The longer days provide better opportunities to stretch and explore more of the locations you visit. The visibility is also good during this time of the year, especially during the mornings. The trekking trail is also in good condition, with greenery surrounding you while you make your way to the top. However, this is one of the most popular times of the year and most people take the venture at this time.
Then Autumn season. The monsoon clears the sky after its rain and the visibility is unobstructed during this time. The terrain has a rich green layer bursting with freshness after the showers. The breeze is cooler and the trail is also cleaner. The temperature becomes comfortable especially for trekking although the weather is colder at this time. The days are dry and the view is just perfect. The landscape gets washed clean by the monsoon rains too, making it easier for you to tread on.