Ever since the duo took the summit for the first time, Mount Everest has been a dream destination for millions. No wonder each year, thousands of trekkers and climbers book their passage to the mighty Everest. Apart from offseasons, the trekking trail usually has footprints of the previous party that went through. It is not a surprising fact that popularity has increased due to the great maintenance of the region. The Nepalese Government has taken numerous precautions and initiatives to sustain popularity. The tourism industry as well plays a vital role in affecting the experience of the tourists coming to this region. Here, we will learn how we go about to reach Everest Base Camp. In order to begin this journey, one needs to reach Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. 

Nepal: A Briefing

Nepal is a small, landlocked country surrounded by a few of the Indian states and Tibet, now under China. Though small in area, the country is rich in biodiversity and has a rich cultural heritage. Nepal also has 8 of the 10 highest peaks in the world within its territory including Mt. Everest. It has always been famous for handmade goods, art, and architecture. Not to forget the numerous historical temples and monasteries within Nepal. The location of some of the holy places is worth a mention too. Besides this, Nepal is also the world record holder for the tallest mountain peak in the world, Mt. Everest. The deepest gorge in the world, Kali Gandaki (1200m) and the highest lake on earth, Tilicho Lake (4919m). Along with these wonderful destinations, there are other magnificent breath-taking vistas around Nepal worth visiting. 

So naturally, with historic places and awe-inspiring viewpoints, Nepal is a great destination for tourists and travelers. Consequently, the people of Nepal have become well acquainted and open to visitors entering their country to explore these wonders. Which has to lead to an increasing demand to visit all these landmarks? In the process, the Government of Nepal has been very cooperative in enhancing the experience of the tourists. They have taken various steps and set rules to ensure the maintenance of all the tourist destinations around Nepal. There are certain permits you need to acquire before you enter certain areas now. Presently, we can freely say that Nepal Tourism is the largest industry in Nepal and the largest source of Foreign exchange. At the moment there are hundreds of travel agencies serving the tourists with their best efforts. With this in mind, let us take the journey to Everest Base Camp.

Everest Base Camp Trek: Introduction

Everest Base Camp trek is the most complete trekking adventure towards the Himalayas. It is a daunting experience filled with great viewpoints for many peaks in the Khumbu region. The Base Camp sits at an elevation of 5380m and has spectacular views of the mountain giants. The trekking trail goes through Annapurna Base Camp and there is a chance to witness many mountains of the Khumbu region. It holds a special significance in the hearts of the trekkers visiting as well as the people associated with it. Mt. Everest also holds a sacred significance to the Hindus and Buddhists around the world. This sacred landmark serves as a source of revenue for the locals and a challenging adventure for adventure seekers. 

Mt. Everest peak stands at a height of 8848m and is the tallest mountain peak in the world. However, you will not be able to see the summit from the base camp at 5380m. And the best spot to get a glimpse of the summit is from Kala Patthar 5550m. You will stay in quaint villages scattered around the region with friendly faces. Your stay will also be assigned at teahouses found in the region managed by friendly folks. The trail takes you through beautiful valleys, through dense forests filled with rhododendron trees and numerous gorges. You can also visit a few monasteries along the way to offer your prayers. Each corner has a wonderful view of the surrounding hills and valleys. There is a chance of running into some animals like the blue sheep in the Khumbu region. Rare animals like the snow leopard are seen only during winters when the trail is inaccessible or snow-fed. 

Where to stay during Everest Base Camp Trek?

Your stay during Everest Base Camp Trek will usually be assigned in teahouses or small lodges. These teahouses are small cozy establishments found in the villages you enter specially built for trekkers, climbers, and campers. They are simple structures able to withstand the cold of the region and few amenities which may be available. For instance, the internet or Wi-fi facility is not common in this region. But you can find few teahouses providing Wi-fi and hot showers or extra sherpas to travelers. The hosts will provide meals and beverages on demand. To make sure you get what you want, please ensure you speak to the consultants before making the trip. 

The hosts of these teahouses are linked with the agencies bringing people to the Himalayas. If there is any gear or equipment you wish to bring along, you can have a check with the hosts. You can also opt to take tents to camp during your trek. For this make sure you are aware of how to set up a tent or get help from the experts. Some factors may not agree with camping especially if it rains or snows, so it is advised to act accordingly. The only place where you will be allotted a hotel is during your stay at Kathmandu. 

Places to visit in Everest Base Camp Trek

Your journey to the realms of the Himalayas begins at the bustling city of Kathmandu. A day will be kept aside for the final formalities of acquiring a permit. Including a briefing on the dos and don’ts and the importance of Acclimatization in high altitudes. A day may also be kept aside for short sightseeing around Kathmandu. Accommodation is allocated in a hotel here in Kathmandu. The next day, we take the flight to the picturesque airport strip at Lukla. The runaway is one of the highest and the shortest airport strips in the world. Mainly because the flights to Lukla are 20seater aircraft and are not as big as the Airbus or Boeing aircraft. 

Once you land at Lukla Airport, previously known as Tenzing-Hillary Airport, a trek to Phakding is on the cards. Phakding is a small hamlet on the banks of river Dudh Koshi.  You can visit the local monastery at the location too. Halt is scheduled for the day at Phakding in one of the teahouses there. The next day we trek towards Namche Bazaar and enter the Sagarmatha National Park. Namche is the gateway to Mt. Everest and the rest of the Himalayas in the region too. It is mostly populated by Sherpas of the Khumbu region and you can indulge in small luxuries while you are there. There is a chance to come across some wild animals when you make your way into the National Park too. Such as the Himalayan Bear, Thur, Red Panda and many others. Namche is also the main trading center in the Khumbu region. The next day will be kept aside for acclimatization at Namche. 

Acclimatization is an important process which we need to go through before climbing higher up. On this day, you can take a stroll through the village of Namche and mingle with the Sherpas there. It is also famous for its bakery for its own reasons. You can also get a great first view of Mt. Everest. As a part of acclimatization, you will be taken to the town of Khumjung. As it turns tonight, you can indulge in awesome Nepali cuisines served hot at your teahouse. Your trek towards Tengboche begins the next day after breakfast. There is a flight of steps you need to climb to reach a magnificent view of the surrounding valleys. Atop the steps you get panoramic views of Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Thamserku and Mt. Khumbila. 

Tengboche is famous for its picturesque Tengboche monastery, one of the largest monasteries in the Khumbu region. You can offer your prayers at the monastery and enjoy the tranquility of the monastery at the same time. There is a chance of meeting climbers of Mt. Everest visiting the place during peak season. We rest at a teahouse in Tengboche village. The next day, you travel through lush alpine forests and across smaller villages on the trail. A good place to learn about the people of the Himalayas and their cultures. The surrounding landscape on this path is magnificent with great views of Mt. Taboche, Mt. Nuptse and Mt. Cholatse. The landscape also changes as you near Dingboche, your next destination. It has a desert feel as the trees are replaced with smaller shrubs and you’ll love the transition. Rest day at Dingboche.

Before we make our ascend, we have another acclimatization session here at Dingboche. We will make our way up the steep hill for the acclimatization process. The trail leading to the summit is pretty steep and rocky but the views on each corner are priceless. The main viewpoint is surrounded by prayer flags where you get amazing views of Ama Dablam and other nearby peaks. For better views of the mountains, you can also climb another hour uphill. After experiencing this spectacular views, we head back towards Dingboche. We halt for the night here. 

Next, we head towards Lobuche through the steep terminal moraine left by the Khumbu Glacier. It may be a bit difficult to ascend from this point on for a while. But the views of the mountains surrounding the trail will definitely motivate you to go further. Atop the hill, we find several memorials strewn across the summit for those who lost their lives climbing Mt. Everest. After walking a few more clicks, we reach Lobuche where you spend the night at a local teahouse. Next, we head towards our main destination, Everest Base Camp. First, we make our way towards the village of Gorak Shep, which is a few miles from the Base Camp. Before the present Everest Base Camp, Gorak Shep used to be the base camp for Everest. The trail leading to Gorak Shep is over a large rock so it can be a bit tiring or difficult at first. 

On reaching Gorak Shep, we rest for a while, then head out towards Everest Base Camp. You have reached a high elevation point so it is advised you walk on your own pace to avoid sickness. We will come across the Khumbu icefall once we mount the Khumbu Glacier. After a few hours of walking, we reach the Everest Base Camp. Much history has been created at this camp at an elevation of 5380m. You cannot see the top of the mighty mountain, but you can indulge in the vastness the base camp is spread across. If lucky, you can also see climbers making their attempt in climbing the highest peak, with all their gear and equipment. The base camp is filled with small tents and camps by the visiting climbers during peak season. You can also gather thoughts about how it must feel to come here to climb the mighty Everest. After that, we head back to Gorak Shep to rest for the night.

Early morning, we get ready for the most stunning views of Mt. Everest from Kala Patthar. In order to get a clear view of the sunrise falling on the mountain, we need to be there as early as possible. People have described the first rays of the sun hitting the peak as something magical and awe-inspiring. Kala Patthar is considered one of the best viewpoints for a breath-taking view of Mt. Everest in the Khumbu region. The hill stands at an elevation of 5545m, the highest altitude in this trek. Apart from Mt. Everest, we can get panoramic views of Khumbutse, Changtse, Lhotse and Nuptse mountains from Kala Patthar. After witnessing all the magic the hill has to offer, we descend making our way towards Pheriche. Here we halt for the night.

Then it is all downhill walk from here on till Phakding, where you will need to walk an inclined plain to reach Lukla. But nothing you cannot handle after you’ve made your way to the Base Camp, right? We first enter Namche Bazaar and you can explore whatever you missed on your first visit. You can also celebrate the success of the trip since many things are available at Namche for a small victory dinner. We will halt the night at Namche. The next day marks the final walk of your Everest Base Camp Trek. The trail towards Phakding goes through many suspension bridges to cross Dudh Koshi. It is a sloping hill downhill till you reach the river banks. We rest for a while, have our lunch, then head uphill again. But comparatively, it is not a steep hill you need to walk on towards Lukla. After the Gorak Shep walk, this will be child’s play for the party. We halt for the night at Lukla. 

The next day, we fly towards Kathmandu, a spiritual journey thus comes to an end. There will be another flight back from Lukla airport the highest airstrip in the world to take us to Kathmandu. The view of the region surrounding Lukla is indeed spectacular, so you can take another glimpse of it. Once back in Kathmandu, you will be taken to your respective hotels, finally back to civilization. In the evening you can take a stroll through the marketplace exploring the various shops. You can buy souvenirs for your family and friends from the shops there. We will arrange a hearty dinner for your party at supper time, and you can celebrate once again the grand success of the trip. The next day, depending on the time of your scheduled flight, the staff will take you to the airport. Thus here we will say our final goodbyes. 

When can you go for Everest Base Camp Trek?

Depending on the type of experience you are looking for, you can take the trek any time of the year. But in order to have a smooth trekking session, it is advised to take the trip during two seasons. First is pre-monsoon, February-March-April-May, and post-monsoon, October-November and December. You can take the journey in September, but the risk of rainfall remains active at that time. And since the climate of the himalayas can become unpredictable, it is advised you check before you take the trip. Monsoons can be a wrong time to come, as the views are blurred, the trail is muddy and slippery. Plus the rain at this altitude can make you fall sick pretty easily. In winters, the fear of snowstorms and avalanches are prominent in these parts. The trail has the tendency to be covered by snow and most of the teahouses and lodges remain closed during winters. No question about the weather, as it is in negative figures during winters. 

Therefore, Spring and Autumn seasons are the best time to enter the Khumbu Region towards Everest Base Camp. The sky is clear and the roads are clean. Most of the animals are seen at this time of the year. The lush green valleys and the landscapes are greener than ever. The breeze is cool and fresh and the air for trekking is always flowing around the region. The only drawback is that it is the peak season so bookings might be hard to come by. The trail may even get crowded at this time of the year. Since it is dry during these two seasons, climbers also venture to make an attempt on the peaks. If you are coming solo or on your own, then it might be a problem getting bookings. But if you pre-booked your stay or have come with a travel agency, then it will be taken care of.

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