A Starter’s Guide to Everest Base Camp Trek

The colossal Mount Everest is the appreciatively celebrated trekking destination in the world with trekkers from all over the world arriving here each year to escape in its spectacles. Trailing to the foot of this majestic and fantastic phenomenon of nature, the Everest Base Camp Trek offers awe-inspiring possibilities. Commencing from the capital at Kathmandu and subsequently flying to Lukla, the trekking expedition begins amidst the alpine backdrops of Nepal.

From the dwellings of Lukla, begin your exciting trail towards the village of Phakding and pass through Tibetan Buddhist prayer inscriptions. Engage in a mystical experience at Namche Bazaar with the first sight of the Everest. Encounter the settlements at Thyangboche and Dingboche as you meander through the mountain ranges and finally reach your much-awaited Base Camp of Mount Everest. Engage in an experience of a lifetime way beyond the breath-taking sceneries, the Sherpa Culture, the Tibetan monasteries and the delectable Nepalese food. Enjoy your sense of personal achievement with the Everest Base Camp Trek making this expedition the world’s most unforgettable experience.

How To Reach


The mighty Everest Base Camp Trek begins in Kathmandu in Nepal. You can reach the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu by air through any international flight from India. Most of the flights are scheduled from major cities with daily flights from New Delhi and Mumbai. Flight schedules and availability are dependent upon the season and the weather in the region. The airport in Kathmandu is well equipped with decent facilities and an easy immigration process. Kathmandu also has a good road network through Gorakhpur. Once can head out from Kolkata and travel to Raxaul through Birgunj to reach Kathmandu. Alternatively, there is another route that passes through Janakpur near Sitamadhi in the state of Bihar. Various passes join Nepal with the Mainland of China and Tibet, although the roads are depraved for regular transport.

Base Camp

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Image Credit: emifaulk – Flickr

The Everest Base Camp Trek offers magical landscapes amidst the wonders of cascading mountain backdrops. After reaching Kathmandu, you will be flown in to Lukla where your trekking expedition begins. Lukla marks as the basecamp and the starting point of your amazing once-in-a-lifetime trekking experience. This beautiful town sits in the Khumbu region of Sagarmatha zone of northeast Nepal, at an elevation of 2860 meters. Lukla has an extreme airport due to the high altitude and the short asphalt strip with a mountain terrain on one end and an angled drop on the other. Lukla literally stands for ‘place with sheep and goats’.

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Best Season To Visit

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Image Credit: Hendrik Terbeck – Flickr

The mighty Mount Everest positions with it the majestic aura of nature’s wonder, inviting trekking enthusiasts from across the globe to scale its transcendent pinnacles. The weather in the country, especially in the northeast region is perilous due to the high elevation. The best season to engage in this trekking expedition is during the months through March and May, just right after the outrageous winter weather, making it a suitable time to ascend the trails. September through December is furthermore a marvellous opportunity where the weather is foreseeable. Scaling these heights in December can be tricky, as there are fewer trekkers in the region and the temperatures dip below freezing points at night.

About The Locals

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Image Credit: Kyle Taylor – Flickr

The culture of Nepal is truly intriguing to the Indian eye; it is a congruence of Indo-Aryan and Tibeto-Mongolian influences due to the historical influence of migration, trade and conquest. The culture of Nepal derives its influences from Hindu and Buddhist religions with a wide diversity of Indian, Tibetan and indigenous Nepalese inhabiting the region. The group of ‘Sherpa’ people have gained importance in the past decades due to their mountaineering skills. A melting pot of different races and tribes; the Nepalese people are friendly, courteous and have diverse cultural customs and lifestyles. Hinduism dominate the country with 10% Buddhist practitioners, both respect and follow each other’s practices offering a beautiful harmony and tolerance to society.

Elevation Points

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Image Credit: lampertron – Flickr

This extraordinary trekking expedition begins from Lukla after a short flight from Kathmandu, which stands at 1400 meters. Lukla’s township boasts of being the basecamp of this expedition and has an elevation of 2850 meters. Once here, the trek begins through terraced landscapes and river valleys to the site of Phakding that sits appealing at 2650 meters. The trekking trail from here to the beautiful Namche Bazaar is riddled with pine groves and bridges to elevate you to the amusing 3450 meters. Relaxing and acclimatizing here will lead you through the northwest route to ascend at Thyangboche, which stands towering at 3790 meters. A gradual uphill climb later, you can reach the entry of the Khumbu Valley at Dingboche that attains the summit at 4320 meters. The path from here to Lobuche is laid with moraines at its great height of 4900 meters before one finally attains the resplendent Everest Base Camp at 5360 meters. Head to Gorakshep at 5140 meters, through Kala Pathar at 5500 meters and Pheriche at 4370 meters before you descend back to Kathmandu.

Permits

Required Entry fees at certain check points, permits for the trek and obligatory forest camping charges in the region for the entire length of the trek will be included as part of the trekking expedition of the organizers. Please carry your identification cards such as driving license or voter ID, preferably a passport along with your photo, a medical certificate ensuring your fitness for the trek and a disclaimer certificate ensuring your submission to voluntarily participate in this trek. Acquire a TIMS Card for the permit in Kathmandu or any other region as available for this trek.

Medical Advice and Emergency Numbers

A well-equipped first aid kit will be accessible with the guides throughout the duration of the trek. We recommend that you carry your own individual resource of first aid items such as medicines, antiseptics, insect repellents, prescription drugs etc. All precautionary measures shall be taken to ensure your safety yet there lays no harm in having awareness of the general know-how of healthcare. CPR and other common medical knowledge about altitude sickness (Acute Mountain Sickness) should be present. This illness is associated with trekking with symptoms that range from headache, insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, lung problems, ataxia etc. Please consult your doctor before your trip to procure prescription drugs for such possible situations and only consume them if required, as they are powerful and have strong effects, especially if taken during your trek.

The Everest Base Camp Trek is situated in Nepal, which requires you to keep with you at all times the following emergency contact details.

Tourist Police, Tribhuvan International Airport: +977-1-6227122
Tourism Crisis Unit +977- 97510-44088
Himalaya Rescue Association: +977-1-4440292/ 4440293/4262746
Nepal Tourism Board: +977-4256909/4256229
Police: 100, Tourist Police (Bhrikuti Mandap): 4226359/4226403
Tribhuvan International Airport: 4472256/4472257
Ambulance Red Cross: 4228094

Advice and Expectations

This expedition is the perfect experience to enjoy the thrill of the Himalayas yet it holds extreme conditions and is generally considered to have a moderate to hard level of difficulty. Prepare thoroughly with regard to clothing and other protective gears to endure the unpredictable mountain weather, as it may get very cold. Keep your trekking gear safe and always keep essentials such as wind-proof jacket, dry socks and caps at hand. Make sure you choose correct and good quality footwear and fitted boots to avoid frostbites. Wear the right kind of socks to facilitate blood circulation. Carry a sturdy sleeping bag that is durable and comfortable. Carry a good quality backpack that can ensure harsh conditions of wear and tear, especially with a plastic or waterproof lining. Carry your identification proof as you might be expected to furnish it with the officials.

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Things To Carry

–Durable good-quality trekking shoes
– Camping shoes for crossing streams
– Thick woollen socks
– Thermal innerwear
– Heavy fleece clothes
– Torch
– Whistle
– Covers to store used/wet clothing
– Winter jacket and water proof coat
– Trekking pants
– Woollen cap, gloves, etc.
– Sunglasses
– Sun screen lotion and other toiletries
– Water bottle
– Trekking pole
– First aid kit
– Personal medication
– Swiss knife

Attractions

Kathmandu – The largest city and the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu consists in its valley three cities if Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. It is the core of the Nepal’s largest agglomeration and is also called KTM. Standing at an elevation of 1400 meters, Kathmandu is the gateway to tourism in the country. It has a rich cultural history and has been ranked the third in the world’s top ten destinations on the rise. Full of historical sites, ancient temples and golden pagodas, one can visit the Monkey temple, the Durbar Square’s temples and the various world heritage monuments.

Lukla – A small town in the Sagarmatha zone of northeast part of Nepal, Lukla stands at 2860 meters above sea level. With an exhilarating airport, which holds a 2000 feet steep fall on one-end and mountain terrains on the other, landing a charter flight here is quite a nervous delight. The site of the airdrome here is named after the first people who reached the summit of Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. This is the starting point of the trekking expedition to the Everest and sees some of the busiest life with a number of trekkers and travel enthusiasts visiting the region.

Phakding – A small village that is situated in the Khumbu Region of Nepal, Phakding lies in the River Dush Kosi’s valley at an altitude of 2610 meters. UNESCO has declared it as one of the world heritage sites owing to its travel reputation. The village supports tourism with a large number of guesthouses to cater to travellers. One can witness the majestic mountain ranges while resting and camping overnight this picturesque village in the Himalayan Ranges.

Namche Bazaar – The beautiful village of Namche Bazaar lays lows in the Khumbu region at the low point with inhabitants settling in the sides of the hill. It is a pretty expensive place in Nepal, owing to the fact that the tourist hub and the main trading centres are located here. It is famous for climate acclimatization, which makes the trail for trekking easier for adventure enthusiasts. Various lodging facilities and cafes can be experienced here with a daily Tibetan market with clothing and cheap consumer goods for sale.

Imja Valley – The Imja Khola Valley is formed from the Imja Glacier that channels the steep slopes of the majestic Mount Everest. Located on the trekking route to Mount Everest, one can tread through beautiful Rhododendron forests while visiting the nearby monastery at Pangboche. It is a tributary of the Dudh Kosi offering snow capped mountain valleys in the horizon.

Lobuche – A colossal mountain with two summits, Lobuche Peak is the hidden treasure of the Himalayas. It holds overwhelming ridges that are so enormous that it regrettably gets dwarfed by the majestic surrounding landscapes. It stands at the pinnacle of 4900 meters amidst breath-taking backdrops with its trails treading along the slopes above iced streams. Lobuche has its two diverse summits; one is Lobuche East that staggers at 6119 meters and the other, Lobuche West at 6145 meters.

Everest Base Camp – Explore the Nepalese Himalayas as you conquer the scale of the Base Camp of the monumental Mount Everest. The South Camp can be scaled from Nepal while the other North Camp can only be accessed by Tibet. The ascend to the scaling summit of the base camp will leave you enthralled with the excitement and sense of accomplishment. Be rewarded by the mighty attractions that lure trekkers along with views of the Sagarmatha National Park and Gorak Shep to Pheriche. The iconic Everest stands a a majestic 8848 meters while the base camp allows for a truly incredible scenery.

Gorakshep – Encountered on the trail descending from the Everest Base Camp, Gorakshep is the homeland of the Sherpa, who are popular for their mountaineering skills. This is the final acclimatisation stop and has been dubbed as ‘the steps to heaven’ by the Dalai Lama. A beautiful sand covered frozen lakebed, Gorakshek also is referred to the beautiful village that sits at 5164 meters. The village is uninhabited except for the trekking groups that pass by halting here to catch in the astonishing sights.

Kala Pathar – A notable landmark in the Nepalese Himalayan region of Pumori’s south ridge, Kala Pathar is another monumental mountain that is popular for trekking. Steep switchbacks line the ascent to this region until the summit ridge offering the backdrops of Pumori Ranges. One cannot miss the array of prayer flags that adorn this range. View the stunning Khumbu Valley from here, for it is a sight of awe-inspiring marvel.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu (1375m)
Day 02: Fly to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (2650m) (3-4 Hours)
Day 03: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440m) (5 to 6 Hours)
Day 04: Namche Bazaar, Day at Leisure (3440m)
Day 05: Namche to Thyangboche (3790m) (5 to 6 Hours)
Day 06: Thyangboche to Dingboche (4320m) (5 to 6 Hours)
Day 07: Acclimatisation trek to Imja Valley (5 to 6 Hours)
Day 08: Dingboche to Lobuche (4900m)
Day 09: Lobuche (4900m), Day of Rest and Acclimatization
Day 10: Lobuche to Everest Basecamp (5360m), Back to Gorakshep (5140m) (8-9 Hours)
Day 11: Trek to Kala Pathar (5500m), descend to Pheriche (4370m) (8 to 9 Hours)
Day 12: Trek Pheriche to Namche Bazaar (3440m)
Day 13: Trek to Lukla (2860m) (6 Hours)
Day 14: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 15: Depart from Kathmandu

Tips And Tricks

– Hydrate two days before your trek – you must triple your water intake to avoid dehydration.
– Choose a shoe that is half a number larger than your normal size. It may be uncomfortable if one chooses a shoe size, which is one number smaller than your actual size. You may end up with sore fingers and blisters at the end of the trek. To avoid blisters, you can wear double layers of socks – a thin nylon one first followed by a thick Turkish sock.
– In case you carry your camera or a mobile phone, make sure you carry enough supply of plastic waterproof bags to keep them safe.
– Once you start trekking with the entire group, try and get your natural rhythm of walking. Never attempt to walk too fast or too slow as this can lead to premature fatigue.
– It is advisable to carry a windcheater but it is not advisable to wear it while trekking. During trekking, our body produces solid heat and to regulate that, the heated muscles of our body sweat profusely. In a humid atmosphere with a hot and perspiring situation, we aggravate it by wearing windcheaters. All in all, it leads to a suffocated feeling. Our advice is to carry a windcheater in your sack and wear it only when you take a long halt.

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