Nepal'sEverest Base Camp Trek
Everest base camp trek
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.
We have a long history with this region of Nepal. We have been running treks and climbs here for two decades and run our very own company based in both Kathmandu and the Solu Khumbu.
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.
From your first enquiry you will have experienced people to talk to in the UK office who will give you an honest appraisal of your holiday. This personal service and warm welcome will also await you in Kathmandu where Pasang Tendi Sherpa from Khari Khola runs AA Nepal. 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.
Everest base camp trek itinerary
Days 1 & 2 : Arrival and 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
|1||1400m||None||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||None||Rest day and acclimatisation to jetlag, sightseeing plus trek briefing.|
|3||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.|
|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.|
|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 short 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.|
|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 shoulder of Mount Pumori called Kala Patthar which is our destination the day after tomorrow as a fine viewing point for Everest.|
|11||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.|
|12||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.|
|13 to 15||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.|
|16||1400m||45mins||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.|
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.
Everest Base Camp trek cost £1,295.00
- 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/trekker
- Visa ($40 for 30 day visa)
- Airport departure tax for some tickets (~£15 paid in Nepalese rupees)
- Tips (~£30)
- Sightseeing Tours
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 practice 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 a good time to acclimatise. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of safely reaching base camp also greatly reduce. We follow established mountaineering principles of height gain on all treks to altitude.
We include professional staff and a porter for each member. We do not operate kitties and we use an good hotels in Kathmandu with which we have built up a strong relationship over the years, or you have the option of staying in our own guesthouse.
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
Insurance for a trek to Everest Base Camp
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 include helicopter rescue in the event of an evacuation.
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 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 teahouses 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 ten years with us, and they have been trained to our high standards personally by Director and high altitude climber Gavin Bate. 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.
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.
Everest base camp trek - why us?
- We offer an inclusive package. We don't ask for land payments. We include all of your meals on the trek, we include accommodation for the entire itinerary, we include your flight transfers and a full itinerary (14 days trek) allowing you plenty of time to safely acclimatise, enjoy and explore your surroundings.
- All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, Company Director and high altitude climber who has made six expeditions to Mount Everest
- 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 and exceed the IPPG five guidelines on porter safety as well as the Trekking Agencies of Nepal (TAAN) best practice guidelines. Porters' health and welfare is constantly monitored by local and UK trekking group leaders.
- All the staff in our UK office have been to Nepal so you can chat to people who understand what its 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. Adventure Alternative underwrites the charity Moving Mountains which operates initiatives to help develop the mountain communities through which you will travel and the home villages of the porters and staff who will be looking after you.
- Financial security is guaranteed as we are bonded with ABTOT.
- Duration 17 days
- Numbers 4 - 15
- Altitude 5545m
- Distance 90km
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Lodges