Riding Everest - RDA trip to Everest Base Camp


RDA trip to Everest base camp - 'Riding Everest'

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The RDA helps disabled people access the benefits of riding. We want to help more people access those benefits by attempting an epic journey to the base camp of Mount Everest. Please join us!

In Spring 2018, Max Stainton and his team will attempt to reach Everest Base Camp to raise funds for Riding for the Disabled Association. RDA UK is a national charity that helps people of all ages and disabilities access the therapeutic benefits of horses.

The dates of the trip are from 30th March to 15th April 2018 and support trekkers are welcome to join the trip. 

Max, who has cerebral palsy and relies on an electric wheelchair, has ridden with RDA since age 5. He has received a range of treatments throughout his life, including intensive physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and even botox injections; but finds the positive physical impact riding has on his mobility unique.

Livi and Giles who make up part of the team, have volunteered with RDA since early 2016 and have witnessed the incredible physical and mental benefits riding provides those with disabilities as well as the barriers RDA breaks down and the supportive communities it builds.

In the months leading up to the 15 day trip to Everest Base Camp, the trio will undertake a detailed training plan and many fundraising activities. To reach there Max will ride a Nepalese horse with his team walking alongside. We believe a climb of this nature is a world first with the challenges faced by Max likely to push his endurance, perseverance and stamina to the limit.

“What Max is trying to achieve is one of the most ambitious challenges I have ever been a part of. It is a truly inspirational story, with a whole team of supporters coming together to help Max reach Everest.

— Carl Reason, Zedmill

All of the donations will be used to build a new national training centre for RDA UK in Warwickshire. The centre will train both volunteers and allow thousands more riders access the benefits of riding.

Want to join us? We have opportunities for keen trekkers, RDA supporters or adventurers to help us make a huge difference to the RDA kitty and also enjoy and experience the challenge alongside Max, Livi and Giles. The fundraising section of the challenge is independent of the costs you see here, which cover your land costs and also go towards the infrastructure and logistics required to make this adventure a possibility for Max. Additional details can be found on the Riding Everest website or by emailing Max, Livi or Giles directly on hello@ridingeverest.com 

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.

The Everest 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. 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.

Meet the Team

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Everest base camp trek - fitness and terrain

The Everest Base Camp trek is a well trodden path all the way, although it 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.

Accommodation on the Everest base camp trek

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.

Experience for the Everest base camp trek

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 however recommend that you embark on a good fitness programme 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 tea houses which are very well equipped, warm and sociable.

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 fifteen years with us, and they have been trained to our high standards personally by Director and high altitude climber Gavin Bate. 

Dates & Bookings


Everest base camp trek itinerary

Days 1 - 2 :    Arrival on Friday March 30th 2018. One day of preparation in Kathmandu.
Days 3 - 11 :   Fly to Lukla then trek up to Everest Base Camp
Days 12 - 15 : Trek back down from Everest Base Camp
Days 16 - 17 : Fly back down to Kathmandu & depart. We do recommend giving yourself an extra day before flying home. 


DayElevationTravel TimeInfo
Friday 30th March 1400m None Arrive into Kathmandu. You will be met by our staff at the airport and transfered to your accommodation. Depending on your arrival time you can relax or sight see around Kathmandu.
31st 1400m None Rest day and acclimatisation to jet lag, sightseeing plus trek briefing.
1st April 2460m 45min flight 2hrs Trek Flight to Lukla*, walk downhill to Phakding or Jorsale along the edge of the Dudh Kosi River. Easy, busy path, surrounded by forest.
2nd 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.
3rd 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 short walks to the Sherpa museum and other local places of interest.
4th 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.
5th 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.
6th 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.
7th 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.
8th 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 shoulder of Mount Pumori called Kala Patthar which is our destination the day after tomorrow as a fine viewing point for Everest.
9th 5360m 6hrs Trek to Everest Base Camp along the lateral moraine and finally over the Khumbu glacier itself. Arriving at the small tented city where climbers congregate to climb the mountain is a surreal experience. There is a network of paths between the different expeditions' camps and a chance to have a chat with people. Visit the Himalayan Rescue Association, which does an amazing job of looking after climbers.
10th High point 5540m drop to 4920m 2 + 3hrs Early morning climb to the summit of Kala Patthar (5540m) to see sun rise behind the peak of Everest. 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.
11th to 13th 4920m down to 2850m ~6hrs a 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.
14th 1400m 45mins Lukla* flight to arrive in Kathmandu in the morning and transfer to hotel. Please note that mountains can, and often are, delayed due to bad weather or low cloud cover (see below). Day rest and sightseeing.
15th April n/a n/a Depart Kathmandu. We recommend an afternoon or evening flight, or you are welcome to stay an extra night. 


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.

* These flights ‘fly by sight’ so if there is cloud cover or bad weather there can be delays. If the planes can’t fly then there is little that we can do except wait. Occasionally the planes can’t fly but helicopters can, if you prefer this option we can organise it for you but there would be a supplemental charge. Helicopters do not have a fixed charge, it depends on many factors, but you can expect to pay $500 per person for a one way journey back to Kathmandu. This is why we recommend giving yourself an extra day in the itinerary to allow for flight delays and not booking your flight home on the same day as the flight out of Lukla. On average nowadays flight delays last 24 hours, but it's possible they can be longer. 



Everest Base Camp trek cost £1,795.00


  • Airport transfers
  • 3 nights accommodation in Kathmandu (local guest house / camping B&B). Upgrade hotel options available - see below
  • Trek accommodation in lodges/tea houses (twin rooms with beds and mattresses)
  • Three meals per day during the trek with a hot drink (additional drinks are self funded)
  • Sagamartha National Park Fees
  • Sherpa guides (English speaking, professional, experienced and trained in first aid)
  • Porters (max weight carried for you is 15kgs)
  • Staff food, insurance, accommodation and equipment

Note: the figure above does include the internal flight to Lukla but we ask that this payment is made separately to Adventure Alternative Nepal. 


  • International flight to Kathmandu
  • Charitable fundraising for the RDA. 
  • Upgrade accommodation options in Kathmandu - have a look at www.booking.com for options around Thamel
  • Meals and drinks in Kathmandu (~£60)
  • Personal trek costs like drinks, laundry, hot showers, bottled water (~£100)
  • Trip Insurance estimate £70 - £95
  • Additional Porters if packs are overweight. £10/kg overweight/trekker
  • Visa ($20 for 30 day visa)
  • Tips (about £50)
  • Sightseeing Tours


A deposit of £250 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 4 weeks prior to your departure. When you book with us you're given your own secure online account which you can access 24/7. Through this account you can edit your booking, add flight, health, insurance and dietary details and also make interim payments. We make payments as flexible as possible and you can choose, if you wish, to pay a bit off your trip fee whenever it suits you.

As soon as you book you should purchase a policy which covers trekking to 5500m this will cover you should any unexpected events force you to cancel. Your policy should also include helicopter rescue in the event of an evacuation.

Kit List

Everest base camp trek kit list

The basic idea of the kit we will take is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move comfortably in the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night.

You will be given a detailed kit list after booking, but the main points to cover are as follows:-

  • BAGS - Rucksack or duffle bag for a porter to carry plus a day pack to be carried by you
  • SHELL - Top and bottom waterproofs to keep off wind/rain
  • LAYERS - Shirts, trousers, shorts, Tshirts, jumpers and jackets, hats and gloves
  • BASELAYER - Thin layers to wick away any sweat and to wear for cold mornings
  • FEET - Comfortable boots with a good sole and ankle support. Lighter footwear to change into in the evenings.
  • SLEEPING - Warm sleeping bag (3 or 4 season) to get a good nights sleep at the lodges (they also have blankets)
  • DRINKING - Water bottles should be hard plastic (Nalgene), not throwaway bottles.
  • WASHING & MEDICAL - wash kit, towel, first aid kit
  • SUN CARE - sunglasses, sunhat
  • TREKKING - trekking poles, umbrella, dry bags
  • PERSONAL ITEMS - cameras, books, music


All equipment (both real and fake!) can be hired in Kathmandu and also higher in the mountains in Namche Bazaar. The shops sell just about anything you may need, in terms of equipment, snacks, food and of course souvenirs.

Luggage Allowance on internal flight to Lukla

Please note that standard luggage limits on internal flights are 15kg in the hold and 5kg as hand luggage. 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. If you have particularly heavy luggage then we will need to bring in more porters and pay an extra charge for the aeroplane, so therefore Pasang will charge you an excess fee for the trip to be paid in cash. This is around £10 per kilo over 15 kilos in your main luggage.



You can book your Adventure Alternative holiday for as little as £100.00 and pay the balance in as many instalments as you like. Choose a scheduled date or contact us for private dates, a bespoke itinerary or more trip details. 

Tours from only pp Dates & Bookings

I had a fantastic trip and was looked after wonderfully in Kathmandu by Pasang and, on the trek itself,  Lopsang and Ten…

Read More Jan H
Key Information
  • Duration 17 days
  • Numbers 4 - 15
  • Altitude 5545m
  • Distance 90km
  • Challenge Moderate
  • Comfort Lodges