Everest Base Camp - Nepal
The seduction of a trek to Everest base camp has long been known to travellers, climbers and adventurers. Immersed in the peaceful world of Tibetan Buddhism, and framed by the majestic Himalayas, this Nepalese trek offers more than just a walking holiday; it is for many a pilgrimage to the bottom of the highest mountain in the world, in a remarkable country which will leave you with vivid memories of the people who live there.
The base camp trek is a feasible goal for most fit hill walkers. The paths are well trodden, they are the highways and byways of the Sherpa people, so you find yourself passing through many villages and getting up close with the culture.
We have been running treks to Nepal since 1996 and this wonderful trip to Everest Base Camp takes a total of 14 days. The average group size is ten and you will have Sherpa guides and a team of porters to assist you all the way there. Accommodation is in lodges which provide a wide range of western and Nepalese food. Our programme allows you to choose freely from an a la carte menu.
The facilities for visitors are of a high standard, as is the food. We generally offer tea house treks with overnight accommodation in comfortable lodges, but we can also provide tented trips so you can concentrate on immersing yourself in a slow and easy daily routine, with only the elements, the mountains and the quiet character of the people to accompany you.
From your first enquiry you will have experienced people to talk to in the UK office who will give you an honest appraisal of the Trek. This personal service and warm welcome will also await you in Kathmandu where Pasang Tendi Sherpa from Khari Khola, runs AA Nepal. He has made nine expeditions to Mt Everest and also guides on Aconcagua. He speaks excellent English and will be on hand all the time. He understands that this is more than trekking holiday; this is often a spiritual experience, a pilgrimage to the foot of the highest mountain on earth.
We are passionate about responsible tourism and every aspect of your trip, from transport and accommodation to staff policies, and how we behave on the trek will reflect this. Adventure Alternative was winner of the Responsible Tourism Award in 2009 in the Best Personal Contribution category.
We run our Everest Base Camp treks from a permanently staffed office in Kathmandu and our dedicated team provide an excellent service. As well as Pasang, our other guides include Geljun Sherpa from Bupsa, Tsering Sherpa and Lopsang Sherpa.
All of the guides have been employed for over ten years with us, and they have been trained to our high standards personally by Director and high altitude climber Gavin Bate, who has climbed Everest 5 times. They know how to deal with medical emergencies and speak good English. They are very attentive and after so many years have a good understanding of western needs.
We give the full recommended wage and are a Responsible Partner for the International Mountain Explorers Connection. We provide clothing, food and tents for all of our staff and have proven policies for payment and tipping. This means that you are not hassled by people looking for handouts at the end of the trip, and the staff themselves are happier.
Adventure Alternative proudly supports
This is a little bit of a late email (and my apologies for that) to say thank you for all the help and advice you gave me before my trek to Everest Base Camp and for letting me complete a solo trek.
I had a fantastic trip and was looked after wonderfully in Kathmandu by Pasang and, on the trek itself, Lopsang and Dendi were brilliant, nothing being too much trouble and always attentive and helpful - you have a great team out in Nepal. I have some very special memories of my trek - the stunning scenery, the walk itself, the people I met on the way and the marvellous sense of achievement at reaching my goal by arriving at base camp; thank you once again for organising it for me.
I am still coming to terms in my head about all that happened on the trip, it really was a life changing experience for me. I really enjoyed even those times when my diaphragm would not expand for me to take a deep breath and the tiredness was so great I could not take another step.
I want to say that the porters were absolutely fantastic, and very supportive, I don’t think I could have made it without their support. It is an experience I will never forget, and I feel jealous that I won’t be able to join you on mount Everest. The whole of the Himalayas, witnessed by me in Indian movies as a child is an amazing place, thousand times better than the movies! Seeing you at base camp was surreal, but memorable.
I loved the whole trip, all the people I met and I will definitely do it again, I think for me slow and steady did win the race, however on any future trip, I will improve my fitness, if possible. It will be a while before I go back though, because there are too many other exciting things to do before then.
Many, many thanks for making this a great trip, and I look forward to travelling with you again.
I'd like to express my huge gratitude for the immense opportunity you've given me on the Bushmills Trek. The last three months have been a roller-coaster of challenges set in unbelievable locations that I'll be talking about for many years to come! The memories of the people that we've met and breathtaking sights witnessed along the way will certainly stay with me forever. I feel incredibly privileged not only to have visited Africa and the Himalayas, but also to have been invited into the homes of the local people and gain a genuine insight into their culture.......I don't think it gets any more authentic that that! The only slight problem I'm left with now is having to decide where to go next!
Dates and Itinerary
The trek to Everest is a 14 day journey going up and back along the same path from the starting point in Lukla. The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla takes 45 minutes. The trek is ten days uphill, which includes two full days rest and acclimatisation, to the last settlement of Gorak Shep. After two days visiting Everest Base Camp and climbing to the high point of Kala Patthar (for dawn views of the sun rising behind the summit of Everest), the descent is in three days.
You can trek to Everest Base Camp from March to June, and September to November.
The start dates refer to the arrival date in Kathmandu and the end date refers to the earliest you can book your return flight home for.
However you are welcome to arrive earlier or stay on at the end, and stay in our guesthouse in order to spend more time sightseeing in Kathmandu.
Private trips are welcomed and available for groups like schools, walking clubs, companies or charities. We have our own office and guesthouse ready and waiting for any dates you may prefer.
Island Peak: Specific details, cost and itinerary to also include a climb of Island Peak (Imja Tse) after reaching Everest Base Camp can be found on our Island Peak climb page. Simply click 'Trips by Type' on the main menu to the left of this page then click 'Mountains' and finally click 'Island Peak'. If you would also like to do Island Peak then it can be added to the following treks:
12th April 2014
11th October 2014
25th April 2015
10th October 2015
|20th September - 6th October||7th March - 23rd March|
|11th October - 27th October||21st March - 6th April|
|25th October - 10th November||28th March - 13th April|
|8th November - 24th November||11th April - 27th April|
|25th April - 11th May|
|2nd May - 18th May|
|9th May - 25th May|
|23rd May - 8th June|
|29th August - 14th September|
|26th September - 12th October|
|10th October - 26th October|
|24th October - 9th November|
|7th November - 23rd November|
|1||1400m||n/a||Arrive into Kathmandu. You will be met by our staff at the airport and transfered to the hotel. Depending on your arrival time you can relax or sightsee around Kathmandu.|
|2||1400m||n/a||Rest day and acclimatisation to jetlag, sightseeing plus trek briefing.|
|3||2460m||45min flight plus 2hrs walking||Flight to Lukla, walk downhill to Phakding or Jorsale along the edge of the Dudh Kosi River. Easy, busy path, surrounded by forest.|
|4||3440m||5 - 6hrs||Uphill to Namche Bazaar which is the Sherpa ‘capital’ in the heart of the Khumbu region. Initially follow the valley to Monjo where you enter the National Park, then cross the river a few times and start a long unrelenting path uphill, with one spectacular bridge spanning a deep gorge. Leave the coniferous forest behind, and arrive at a huge natural amphitheatre with the houses spread around the sides. Namche is the major trading centre of the Khumbu, with Tibetans crossing the high Nangpa La Pass to reach the Saturday market. Nowadays there are also many equipment shops, internet, bank, post office, cafes, bars, lodges and hire shops. Rest here for a day and take the chance to visit the Everest Museum.|
|5||3440m||n/a||This is an acclimtisation day which you can rest or enjoy the sights and sounds of Namche. You can also go for radial walks to the Sherpa museum and other local places of interest.|
|6||3850m||6hrs||Walk to Deboche which is near the famous Thyangboche Monastery. The path out of Namche is initially steep and then opens out into a high valley, passing through villages like Pangboche before negotiating two steep hills. After this it is a short walk to the beautiful rhododendron glade where you will find the lodge.|
|7||4252m||5hrs||A gradual gradient up to Dingboche. The path skirts the side of the valley with the river far below on your right and passing beneath the spectacular Ama Dablam. The village sits on the confluence of two valleys and is good farming land.|
|8||4252m||n/a||This is another rest and acclimatisation day. In the neighbouring village of Pheriche it is important to visit the Himalayan Rescue Association to listen to the daily lecture on high altitude health, and get a check from the medical staff.|
|9||4920m||5hrs||Trek up the high valley to Lobuche which is alongside the huge Khumbu Glacier. You can now easily feel the effects of the thin air as the hike takes us up to the Thukla Hills where there are many stupas erected in memory of Sherpas who have died on expeditions. Few plants live up here and it will be much colder in the evenings. It is important to walk slowly and listen to your body. Fatigue from lack of oxygen to your muscles is common, but some people may feel nauseous and suffer from headaches. Drink lots of liquid and keep warm, give your body maximum opportunity to recover.|
|10||5200m||4hrs||Hike on the glacial moraine to the final settlement of Gorak Shep. The views here are spectacular; Nuptse dominates the other side of the valley, behind which the black triangular peak of Everest is just visible. The giant wall of ice ahead is the border with Tibet. Gorak Shep is the last outpost, a small collection of huts just below a hill called Kala Patthar which is your final destination and traditionally the finest viewing point for Everest itself.|
|11||5360m||6hrs||Trek to Everest Base Camp along the lateral moraine and finally on the glacier itself. Sometimes this route is impassable. Arriving at the small tented city where climbers congregate to climb the mountain is a surreal experience. There is a network of ‘roads’ between the camps, a bakery, and a chance to have a chat with people. Visit the Himalayan Rescue Association, which does an amazing job of looking after climbers.|
|12||High point 5540m drop to 4920m||2 hrs up to 5540m, 3 hrs back down to 4920m||Early morning climb to the summit of Kala Patthar to see sun rise behind the peak of Everest. The climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall, into the Western Cwm and up the Lhotse Face to the South Col is clearly visible, with the SE ridge to the top on the right hand skyline side of the summit block. This is a tough walk in the cold and not to be underestimated. Take warm clothing. Back at the lodge for breakfast and a walk back to Lobuje and further if the team wishes.|
|13, 14 & 15||4920m down to 2850m||est 6hrs / day||Over three days a descent via Namche Bazaar all the way to Lukla with various options for accommodation. It is possible to stay in different villages, for example Pheriche, Khumjung, Monjo, but the route is the same as the way up.|
|16||1400m||45 mins||Lukla flight to arrive in Kathmandu in the morning and transfer to hotel. Day rest and sightseeing.|
|17||n/a||n/a||Depart Kathmandu. If you leave in the morning it is possible to arrive in London the same day, or arrive home on day 18.|
Everest Base Camp cost: £1,095.00
Single room supplement: £50.00
- Airport transfers
- Internal flight to Lukla
- Accommodation in Kathmandu for 3 nights - twin/double rooms
- Accommodation in lodges/tea houses (twin rooms with beds and mattresses)
- Three meals per day during the trek, and hot drinks (e.g tea, coffee, juices)
- Sagamartha National Park Fees
- Sherpa guides (English speaking, trained in first aid)
- Porters (max weight carried for you is 15kgs)
- Staff food, insurance and equipment
- International flight to Kathmandu
- Meals and drinks in Kathmandu (~£40)
- Personal costs like drinks, laundry, hot showers, bottled water (~£100)
- Trip Insurance
- Additional Porters if packs are overweight. £10/kg overweight/trek
- Visa ($40 for 30 day visa)
- Airport departure tax for some tickets (£15 paid in Nepalese rupees)
- Tips (~£30)
- Sightseeing Tours
Cost of Add-Ons and Some Optional Extras
Spa Hotel: £60.00
Located just outside of Kathmandu is the lovely Spa Resort, Park Village. We can arrange transfers and accommodation at the resort for you. People can then select and 'pay as you go' for the various pamperings and treatments. They also offer classes in yoga and have lovely trail walks in the surrounding hills. This option is all about rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
Chitwan Jungle Adventure: £399.00
This is a trip for those who would like a bit more excitement rather than pampering. We depart Kathmandu by coach and after a couple of hours driving we meet up with your white water rafting crew who will take you on an adventurous trip down river for many miles until you reach the Chitwan Jungle. We then spend the next four days based in a lovely jungle resort. This quaint home from home is our base for river trips in traditional dug out canoes, jungle walks and the highlight; an elephant back safari, which at the end involves jumping in the river with your elephant to give him or her a wash! After all of the jungle fun and activities we then return to Kathmandu by a short flight.
Everest Flight!: £160.00
This is a flight around Mt Everest offering spectacular views of the mountain. This flight leaves daily in the morning and can be undertaken by those who plan to depart Kathmandu for home, on an evening flight following the trek or as an addition to the next two options. The one hour flight takes off from Kathmandu Airport and flies east in a fully pressurised aircraft, where one can see magnificent mountains from a height of around 25,000 feet. A must take tour of the majestic Himalayas. It’s an hour of breathtaking scenic beauty of the Mighty Mountains. It is a sparkling clear journey across the world’s highest peaks, Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga – 3rd highest, Lhoste, Makalu, Cho Oyu, to name just a few including the Tibetan plateau. You enjoy a seemingly endless chain of snow capped peaks as you fly above the clouds, over glaciers and lakes, rivers and gorges from your private individual window. The clear, non tinted windows offer a great opportunity to experience and photograph the aerial views of the Kathmandu valley, the high peaks and the landscapes of Nepal
Moving Mountains Village Trek: £350.00
This is a wonderful 7 days trek extension which starts when you approach Lukla on the way back from Everest. Two days further and off the beaten trail is two villages which our charity had been developing over the last decade. You are welcome to come and see what we've been doing and get involved. This is beautiful trip, like stepping back in time and will introduce to the traditional ways and cultures of the local people.
Island Peak Climb: £450.00
On the way back down from Everest Basecamp you can make a short 5 day diversion to climb one of the most spectacular 'trekking peaks' in the world. You will climb to the snow covered summit of a Himalayan peak and from the top admire the amphitheatre of the highest mountains in the world.
Not all about money
Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running cheap trips that promote the practise of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider.
Additionally we will run 14 day treks which gives good time to acclimatise. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of successfully reaching base camp also greatly reduce.
We include professional staff and a porter for each member. We do not operate kitties and we use an excellent hotel in Kathmandu with which we have built up a strong relationship over the years.
We have our own licensed company in Kathmandu, Adventure Alternative Nepal and full time staff to operate all our treks, climbs and tours in Nepal
As soon as you book you should purchase a policy which covers trekking to 6200m this will cover you should any unexpected events force you to cancel. Your policy should also inculde helicopter rescue in the event of an evacuation. See our More Information - Insurance page for further guidance.
Type of Terrain
The Everest Base Camp trek is on a well trodden path all the way though this can be rocky and uneven in parts. It is not precipitous and there is no rock climbing or ‘mountaineering’ which requires equipment. It is a walk all the way to Everest, although some of the hills can be steep and never-ending!
You will meet many people along the way, and also yaks. There is only one rule of the road when meeting an oncoming yak, and that is to always ensure you step to one side, towards the inside of the trail.
Poles are useful but not necessary, depending on whether you have problems with knees and if you have a personal preference for using them. Higher up, the open slopes and moraine may give you added reassurance with a pole, but again the path is quite easy to follow.
The final section to Everest Base Camp, on the Khumbu glacier itself, is not difficult but occasionally slippery underfoot. The ice is covered in dirt and stones, so it is not like being on a skating rink.
Lightweight hiking boots with a high ankle are recommended for the base camp trek, to protect you against possibly going over on an ankle, but heavy boots will be hot and heavy and cumbersome. Cross trainers are popular, but cold in the morning up high.
The total distance covered throughout an Everest Base Camp trek is approximately 92km. Every day the trek starts after breakfast at about 8.30am and there are many opportunities to stop and take photos, or have a cup of tea. The pace is slow and the itinerary allows for acclimatisation and also rest days. At the start of the trek the distances are short but there are hills aplenty, and higher the distances increase but the gradient is more consistent and even.
Kathmandu is at an approximate altitude of 1400m and the flight to Lukla will take you up to a height of 2866m. With Everest Base Camp standing at 5360m and Kala Patthar at 5545m, the base camp trek gains a total of 2679 metres from Lukla and 4145 metres from Kathmandu.
Accommodation will be in comfortable lodges and tea houses run by Sherpa families, unless people specify a preference for tents. Each lodge has a central communal area with stove, while the bedrooms are unheated with two beds and mattresses and pillows. You will need to bring a sleeping bag (3 season is normally enough), and the lodge will lend you a blanket if you ask.
The lodges generally have showers which are powered by gas and they use ‘drop’ toilets (in Namche Bazaar they are generally flush systems now).
Sometimes we use tents which are two person mountain tents, and we will provide foam mattresses. The tents are pitched close by the lodge and eating is done indoors.
The Everest trek is not a forced march and the pace is always slow, the days generally being shorter than a day hike at home.
We do recommend that you embark on a good fitness programme at least 6 weeks prior to your trip though, and one that builds up general stamina and specific leg muscle groups. There is nothing like hiking with a rucksack to train for Everest Base Camp, so the best advice is to get out into the hills as often as you can. You are likely to carry about 5 kilos in your day sack so this is a good weight to work with.
If you are going to be using the gym then concentrate on step machines which work on the thigh and calf muscles, and try to build your heart rate up to 50% above resting rate. Any cardiovascular activity is good, but remember that swimming will not train the correct muscle groups so it must be added to other exercises to be effective. Exercise groups like bodypump, Pilates and aerobic are all excellent preparation for a trek like this, especially those which work on core strength, balance and stability.
Adventure Alternative Support
The porters will carry your main bag up to a maximum weight of 15 kgs and cater for all the group needs, including assisting you if you need to go back down the valley. Unless specifically tenting, all accommodation is in lodges or teahouses which are very well equipped, warm and sociable.
Pasang Tendi Sherpa is our operations manager in Kathmandu and Director of Adventure Alternative Nepal. He organises all the staff, equipment, permits and hotel arrangements. You will have his telephone number, or the staff at the hotel desk can call him for you. He is the organiser, translator, problem solver, advisor and the main link between you and the UK office. He will talk to the Sherpa guides regularly on the mountain and can make arrangements while you are on trek.
You also have continued support from the main office in Northern Ireland. Should a problem arise of significant proportion then you only need to call us. In the Khumbu region there is still an opportunity to communicate since most lodges now have satellite phones.
- The basic idea of the kit we will take is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move efficiently on the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night.
- There is a detailed list via the menu below and to the right but the main points to cover are as follows:-
- BAGS - Large Rucksack ~80L (for a porter to carry) + Medium Daypack ~40L (carried by you)
- SHELL - Top and bottoms to keep off wind/rain
- INSULATION - Warm layered system to keep you warm- body hands & Head
- BASELAYER - Thin layers to wick away sweat and to strip down to when it gets hot
- FEET - Comfortable, Waterproof boots to support your ankles over rough terrain. Lighter footwaer to change into in the evenings.
- SLEEPING - Warm sleeping bag to get a good nights sleep at the lodges
- EATING/DRINKING - Water bottles & favorite snacks for during the day
- WASHING & MEDICAL - To allow you to wash and maybe stave off a headache or blister
Additional Kit Info
Luggage Allowance on Internal Flights
Please note that standard luggage limits on internal flights are 10kg in the hold and 5kg as hand luggage. You can pay for extra luggage allowance at 120rupees(~0.75GBP)/kg. However, note that the amount that the plane can carry also has a limit! You can of course wear your trekking boots and jacket to help cut down on the weight of your bag. You will also have left any city clothes or extra travel kit in Kathmandu.
All equipment both real and fake can be hired in Kathmandu and also higher in the mountains in Namche, though Kathmandu tends to be cheaper.
- All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, Company Director and high altitude climber who has made six expeditions to Mount Everest
- We offer small scale, authentic adventures, which support the local economy.
- We do not contract out our trips, we employ full time staff, offering job security and good benefits, and we are continually improving our quality service year on year.
- We follow the IPPG five guidelines on porter safety
- Porters' health and welfare is constantly monitored by local and UK trekking group leaders. Through Moving Mountains we consistently work to improve conditions for porters.
- All the staff in our UK office have been to Nepal so you can chat to people who understand what it’s like to go up for the first time, before you go.
- We are members on Interhealth which gives you access to pre-trip health information and on-site assistance by phone in the event of an emergency.
- We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company supports sustainable development in Nepal in a real way.
- Adventure Alternative underwrites the charity Moving Mountains.
- Financial security guaranteed as we are AITO bonded.