Everest base camp trekking is one of the best in the world, thanks to the legendary Tenzing and Hillary who traversed this trail on their way to a successful summit of the beast. The trail passes through lush green forests and small villages to reach rocky mountainous terrain with nary a people in sight, making it a wholesome experience. The decision to walk this trail requires strong determination and a lot of planning and naturally, there are a lot of questions you need to get answered. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the Everest base camp trek.
Frequently Asked Questions About Everest Base Camp Trek
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How hard is it to climb to Everest base camp?
Everest base camp trek can be done without any prior experience in trekking.
The level of this trek is considered to be between moderate and strenuous. You will trek for at least 10 days, not including the day hikes on the acclimatization days. The up-and-down trail which starts with pine and rhododendron forests transforms into rocky moraine as you go up. The total trekking distance from Lukla to EBC and back is 130 km which you will cover in 12 days. The real challenge, however, comes from the altitude in the form of AMS.
What is the best time to trek to Everest base camp?
There are two seasons in which you can hike to EBC: Spring and Autumn.
The spring season starts in February and ends in May and the autumn season starts in September and ends in December. Both seasons are perfect for hiking to the base camp of Mount Everest as there is no chance of rain and the weather is perfect with just a perfect amount of chill in the air.
Do I need training for this trek?
No, but it’s recommended.
It’s not necessary to be in perfect condition to complete this trek, however, a little training will be beneficial for you on the trail. You will have to carry a backpack for over 7 hours a day every day for 10 to 12 days. Focusing on cardiovascular exercises for 3 to 4 days a week a month or two before the start of the trek will help you a lot.
Is my departure guaranteed?
Yes, all our dates are guaranteed to depart.
Can my flight to Lukla get canceled?
Yes, but not likely.
The main reason the flights to Lukla get canceled is due to poor weather conditions. Lukla is situated at an altitude of 2,860 meters (9,380 ft.), so, the conditions are pretty changeable up there. However, the weather during the trekking seasons is stable and the flights take place early in the morning, so, the chance of getting canceled is pretty rare. In the event it gets canceled, you will be put on another flight the next day.
Can I postpone/cancel my trek?
You can postpone the trek for a year from the date of the booking. You may also cancel the booking, but it will cost you 20% of the package price since the hotels and flights are booked in advance.
What kind of clothes/gear do I need for the Everest region?
You can complete the day with your standard hiking or trekking gear for most of the days on the trail. However, you need to get some warm clothes for the night and in higher altitude regions. If you are trekking solo, you really need to pack ultralight gear. If you have booked the trek with a trekking agency, you will get a porter who will carry 10-12 kg of your luggage. So, packing light and warm is really essential for the Everest region. Check the guide on how to pack for EBC Trek.
What is the accommodation like on the trail?
Tea Houses and Lodges
Your standard accommodation on the trail is tea houses and lodges. The trail to Everest base camp is remote and construction is limited by the geography itself and also by the national park authority. You will not find hotels with modern amenities and extravagant facilities on the trail. The accommodation is very basic with twin sharing rooms and an attached bathroom in most places.
What is the food like on the trail?
Good and Varied
The thing you will be most surprised by on the trail is the options for meals. The meals are varied and you will get a lot of options like classic Nepali dishes, pizza, pasta, baked goods, and more. However, we recommend you eat Dal Bhat, a classic Nepali dish of rice and lentils with vegetables, a staple in the region and the choice of the guide and the porters. Expect the menu to get smaller as you climb up.
What’s special about the luxury Everest base camp trek package?
As opposed to flying to Lukla from Kathmandu, you will take a helicopter and instead of making the journey back on foot, you will take a helicopter from Gorakshep. In addition, you will stay at the best lodges and teahouses available on the trail and have no limit on the food or services.
How much does it cost to reach EBC?
You can pay $1700 for the standard package with Himalayan Scenery and Treks. We also have a budget trekking option available as well as a luxury option.
What is the shortest itinerary for this trek?
The shortest journey you can make to and from Everest Base Camp is 10 days if you omit the acclimatization days, however, we don’t recommend it. Stick with the standard itinerary for a safe and comfortable trip.
How much cash should I carry?
You have to pay with cash anywhere on the trail. You will need cash for snacks, meals at the tea houses (extra from what’s included on the package), drinking water, charging, tips, and more. Consult with your guide on how much cash to bring. You can withdraw Nepali rupees from ATMs. You will find the last ATM at Lukla.
I’ll spend the night at EBC, right?
You might expect to spend the night at the base camp but it’s not the case. There are no hotels or teahouses at the base camp. You can make a special request to spend the night there in a tent with your trekking agency.
Can I complete this trek? This is my first time.
A lot of first-time trekkers complete the Everest base camp trek with flying colors. Any person with moderate fitness who stick with the itinerary and listens to their team leader can easily reach the base camp and back.
How cold is it on the trail?
The average temperature during the day on the trail is 13-15°C while it goes to freezing temperature during the night. The teahouses and lodges available don’t have the greatest insulation against the weather. So, be prepared.
How dangerous is it to reach the base camp of Mount Everest?
There are no real dangers to reach the Everest base camp. The main challenge that may arise on the trail is altitude sickness, which can easily be prevented. Other than that, there are no real dangers. If you’re hiking alone, don’t deter from the main route and talk with the locals and other trekkers.
Do I get electricity and wifi on the trail?
You can recharge your phone and other devices on the trail. You will have to pay for it from Namche and upwards because the teahouses use solar panels and batteries. Most places also offer wifi.
Do I need to carry oxygen?
There is no need for supplementary oxygen while trekking to the Everest base camp. However, if you trek with Himalayan Scenery Treks, we will carry emergency oxygen just in case, so, you don’t have to.
Do I need to take Diamox/altitude drugs?
If you take enough precautions, you may not have to take drugs for altitude sickness, however, we recommend you take them anyway.
Do I need insurance for emergency rescue?
It will be a lot more difficult and expensive to get rescue services in the mountains without proper insurance. Here are the recommended insurance services for the Everest base camp trek:
- Sports Cover Direct
- Tyrol Air Ambulance
- Med Deutch
What is the most altitude I will gain on one day during the trek?
560 meters. (1837 ft.)
You will gain the most altitude on the seventh day from Tengboche to Dingboche, where you start from 3860 meters (12,665 ft.) and reach 4410 meters (14,469 ft.)
How is the weather in the Everest region?
The weather up in Everest can get pretty changeable due to the high altitude and strong winds. However, during the season, there’s not much chance of rain and snow and the weather will be clear for the majority of the time.
How long will it take to reach Everest's base camp?
Following our standard itinerary, you will reach Everest base camp in 8 days. Starting the trek from Lukla, it will take you 8 days to reach the base camp, including the acclimatization days in between.
Can I do the EBC trek in the off-season?
If you are a seasoned trekker and can endure a cold climate, it’s possible to do this trek in the winter season. You will hike in the snow all the way from Lukla, so, be specially prepared. We strongly discourage you to try hiking in the monsoon season.
What are the symptoms of altitude sickness?
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
If you have the symptoms of altitude sickness, it can be too late. Immediately return back and try again a few days later if your health allows you. It’s recommended to follow the rules to not get the symptoms at all.
Do I get reception on the trail?
Surprisingly, the network on the trail is pretty strong on the trail. Don’t expect a blazingly fast connection to stream movies, but it’s good enough to place a call and send texts over the internet.
Do I get a porter from my agency?
You get a porter even in the budget camping package from most agencies. A porter carries 10-12 kgs of your luggage and the luggage limit for Luka is 15 kgs. Bring a daypack to carry your essentials like water, cameras, a phone, and other devices.
How much do I need to spend on the gear?
Well, that depends.
Investing in proper hiking gear is a good thing to do. However, you don’t want to spend too much. There are a lot of affordable options available that are of good quality and won’t leave you high and dry on the trail.
How do I pack lightly?
As I said, there are a lot of options to choose from. For example, choose light-weight moisture-wicking merino wool instead of cotton which is lighter as well as warm.
Where can I exchange money?
There are money exchange outlets in Kathmandu where you can exchange money. From Kathmandu, you will fly to Lukla, where you can exchange money too. You will be safer exchanging money in Kathmandu. You can withdraw money from ATM up to Namche Bazaar on the trail.
Do I need a guide?
You can hike to the Everest base camp without a guide if you are a seasoned trekker and are used to trekking in high altitudes in Nepal. If you are a beginner in trekking or have no experience in the Himalayan region, we recommend you book the trek with an agency.
How can I get a visa for Nepal?
You can get a visa to enter Nepal at Tribhuvan International Airport. Here’s what you will pay for the visa:
- 15 Days - 30 USD
- 30 Days - 50 USD
- 90 Days - 125 USD