Are the Challenges of Everest Base Camp Trek Worth It?

  • Last Updated on Jun 26, 2023

Although it’s not as difficult as ascending the summit of Mount Everest, trekking to the Everest base camp is certainly not a cakewalk. It requires reasonable fitness, both physical and mental. There are a plethora of factors to consider before you hop off to Nepal for your Himalayan adventure. 

Here are the challenges you will face during the Everest base camp trek.

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Altitude Sickness: 

While 50% of people in the world live under 165 meters of altitude, the Everest base camp trek starts at 2,860 meters, so, there’s certainly a risk of altitude sickness. You will reach a height of well over 5,000 meters multiple times during the trek. Due to lower atmospheric pressure and a lack of vegetation, the air here is sparse.

The altitude change might result in a range of symptoms such as headaches, weariness, disorientation, and difficulty sleeping for many people. Altitude sickness is unpredictable and may affect anybody, regardless of age or fitness level. Well, this doesn’t generally happen if the trekker abides by the rules put forth by their team leader but it is a risk nonetheless.

Cold Weather:

Even in the trekking season, the temperature on the trail will drop below freezing during the night. Even the days can be very chilly sometimes if the weather is overcast and there’s no sun. 

You should bring warm clothes, preferably made of merino wool that is light and still provides warmth and wicks away moisture. Also, infamous is the Khumbu cough due to the result of cold and dry air in the Everest region.

Difficult Terrain: 

The trail to Everest base camp has varied terrain. First, you go through pine and rhododendron forests, and later, the terrain changes to a rocky trail. There are a lot of ups and downs all over the trail. There are steep inclines at places demanding a great deal of fitness.

It is especially difficult to walk among the rocks and at times, you may have to walk on snow as well. On average, you will walk for 15 km at the altitude making this trek a little more challenging than others.

Accommodation and Food:

Due to the remoteness of the trail to Everest, food and accommodation can be a little underwhelming to people. You will sleep at tea houses and lodges, which do not have the modern amenities that you get somewhere else. It may not be the coziest and warmest of accommodations due to the quality of the structures.

The food you will find during the trail is mainly Dal Bhat, a rice and lentil-based staple dish of Nepal. You might crave other foods, but it provides enough energy for the trek and is easy on your digestive system.

Medical Emergencies:

Although your team leader and guides are well-versed in first aid and can give you general health suggestions, medical help is a helicopter ride away. You need insurance for the trek because the cost can go really up for emergency evacuation services.


There are other challenges like injuries, acclimatization issues, flight cancellations, and more that may come in your way of climbing to the base of Mount Everest. So, is the trip worth it? Yes. The question of whether the hardships of walking to Mount Everest's base camp are worthwhile is a personal one that is dependent on your particular objectives and aspirations. 

Here are some things to inspire you:

Personal Reward:

For many people, walking to Mount Everest's base camp is a personally rewarding and life-changing event. If this is something you've always wanted to do and you're prepared to put in the time and effort, it may be worthwhile for you.

Indescribable Views:

The pictures of the Everest region are enough to make you fall in love with the Himalayas and Nepal. Imagine being there in person and enjoying the vistas with 360 views of mountains, including many 8000-ers, lakes, and overall beautiful landscape.

Life-Changing Trip:

For many, the Everest base camp trek can be a life-changing trip to the mountains. Walking among the mighty mountains amongst which we feel insignificant, living the life of people in the remotest of places, and leaving your comfort at home to embrace hardships can bring about revelations in people.

Mandip Parajuli

Mandip Parajuli

Mandip has been a trekking enthusiast all his life and hops on every chance to pack a bag and be together with the mountains. He has been working as a writer in the tourism industry for over 10 years. He has been on all major trails in Nepal and enjoys other outdoor sports like camping, mountain biking, canoeing, football, canyoning, rafting, and more.