Everest Base Camp

One of the Great Treks of the World

Trip Level

This trip is Level 6, Very Strenuous. A trek to the base of Everest is one of the world’s great adventures, but also very physically demanding. Most hiking is between 10,000 and 16,000 feet, and the maximum elevation reached is 17,000 feet with optional day hikes up to 18,365 feet. Trail conditions are often rough, not the well-maintained switchbacks you may be accustomed to, and there is a good bit of up-and-down (often 2,000- to 3,000-foot gain or loss in elevation per day). For the most part, you can hike at your own speed; the group will spread out along the trail during the day to cover a normal maximum of 6 to 10 miles per day (4-8 hours of hiking). There are a number of days on this trek when the walks are shorter, as well as rest days, allowing opportunities for day hikes and exploring the villages, monasteries, and the beautiful surroundings.

There are dangers inherent in any expedition traveling to remote wilderness regions, especially when they involve travel to high altitude. These dangers include everything from rock falls to the possibility of a serious fall, accident, or sickness without access to means of rapid evacuation, availability of medical supplies, or adequate medical attention once provided. Our Trek Leader and support crew are experienced veterans of the Nepal Himalaya, but it takes cooperation and flexibility from each participant to ensure a successful trek.

Getting in Shape
Every participant must understand that this trek is truly challenging—you should be in excellent physical condition. Even though trip members carry only a daypack (with camera, jacket, rain gear, water bottle, and other small necessities you may need during the day), we recommend you make a special effort to get in top physical shape for the trip by hiking, running, swimming, bicycling, or engaging in other forms of aerobic exercise well beyond your normal routine. Many activities get heart and lungs into shape, but the most effective way of getting fit for hiking is to hike! Walking up and down flights of stairs is also an effective way to train for the steep ascents and descents in the Himalaya. Bending your knees as you go down stairs will help strengthen your quad muscles. At least two months prior to your trek, we urge you to go on weekend day hikes that involve long uphill and downhill walking.

For this trek, we require your doctor sign the Wilderness Travel Medical Form. Once Wilderness Travel has confirmed your place on the trip roster, no refunds beyond our standard fees will be made if your physician refuses to sign the form. It is very important that you and your physician fully agree that you are physically capable of undertaking a strenuous trek, and equally important that you undertake proper conditioning prior to the trek.

The Trek Leader has the right to disqualify any member from the trip at any time if it is medically necessary, to avoid endangering the group, or if the participant in question is physically unfit for the rigors of the trip. Refunds are not given under such circumstances.

Trek Leader
Our lodge-based treks are led by an experienced English-speaking Sirdar (leader) who is ably assisted by a team of assistants and a trail crew. He and his team have a deep connection with the Himalayas and are wonderful trailside companions, hiking with you throughout each day on the trail, providing good company, and making sure that you are comfortable and hiking at a pace that suits you.

A Typical Trekking Day
Hiking distances on trek are normally measured in hours, not miles, since maps aren’t really accurate enough to assess how far we walk up and down winding mountain trails. On a typical trek day, wake-up is around 7:00 am. After packing up our duffels and having breakfast, we set off on the trail. There is always a guide in the lead and a “sweeper” who trails behind the slowest hiker to ensure that no one is lost on the trail. We ask you not to hike ahead of the leader because trails are often not well-marked. We typically walk for three to four hours in the morning, then stop for a leisurely lunch of an hour or more (either in a lodge or picnic-style at a scenic spot on the trail).

After lunch, we walk for another three hours or so until we reach our next night’s lodging, where we can enjoy a cup of tea and a snack on arrival. On our exploration days, we occasionally have more time in the morning or afternoon near the lodge to rest or for further individual exploration. Temperatures drop quickly as the sun falls behind the peaks, and it’s easy to get chilled after exerting yourself for several hours, so have an extra layer of clothing ready.

Meals on Trek
Our own experienced cook crew is part of the Wilderness Travel  trekking staff, and all our meals at the lodges will be prepared by them. Our cooks are trained and offer a good variety of hygienically prepared meals. Our drinking water is always boiled and treated washing water is put out before every meal so you can wash your hands before eating. Meals are a blend of Nepalese and Western dishes. Breakfast is normally a light meal of porridge or granola, with hot milk, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, biscuits, or cookies. Lunches may include potatoes, eggs, curried vegetables, cheese, local-style breads, fruit, tea, hot chocolate or a fruit drink. Dinner is typically soup and a main course such as a noodle dish, or meat or vegetable stew, depending on what is available in local villages. Dessert on trek is usually canned or fresh fruit.

Weather

The popular trekking seasons are fall and spring. Nepal lies at the same latitude as Florida, but altitude is the main factor governing temperatures. In the semitropical lowlands of Kathmandu (altitude 4,000 feet), daytime temperatures can be quite warm, in the 70Fs and 80Fs, with cool, misty nights. It rarely snows below 7,000 feet.

At altitudes of 8,000 to 10,000 feet, daytime temperatures can be in the 50Fs and 60Fs for fall trips and 60Fs and 70Fs for spring trips. Nights are cool to cold, often in the 40Fs. Skies are generally clear, although the spring has more precipitation (but Nepal’s famous rhododendron forests are in full bloom in the spring). Clouds often form in the afternoons, disappearing at night to reveal brilliantly starry skies.

At altitudes over 10,000 feet, weather is unpredictable and the wind chill factor comes into play. Daytime temperatures at these heights can be in the 60Fs, but also as low as the 30s and 40s, especially if it is windy. Temperatures drop very quickly when the sun goes down, and evening/nighttime temperatures at high altitudes often drop to around 15F and sometimes lower. We frequently encounter sub-zero nighttime temperatures on Khumbu treks and you should anticipate chronic cold weather. Snow is not uncommon at higher elevations, and rain is always a possibility throughout the trek.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.