Guide to the Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp, located at the foot of the world’s tallest mountain Mount Everest, is a dream destination for trekkers. Dubbed as one of the world’s best treks by travel and adventure experts like Lonely Planet and National Geographic, Everest Base Camp Trek is on the bucket list of almost all trekkers.
Each year adventure enthusiasts and mountain lovers flock to the tiny South Asian country of Nepal to get to this world-famous destination. The Everest Base Camp, which lies within the Sagarmatha National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Khumbu Region, is by far the most popular tourist destination in Nepal.
As there are no roads in this part of the Khumbu Region, one has to either walk all the way to EBC on foot or tour the area via helicopter. The walk to Everest Base Camp takes you past the picturesque Dudh Koshi River Valley dotted with Sherpa villages, Buddhist shrines, and forests of pine and rhododendron. On the way, you cross several high metal suspension bridges built over deep river gorges. A challenging but incredible hike through the Khumbu Glacier brings you to the world’s highest base camp, the Everest Base Camp, at 5364 meters.
Everest Base Camp: Highlights
- Everest Base Camp is at the base of the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. Getting there is an achievement in itself. Those who get here can brag about having reached almost the “Top of the World”.
- The trail to Everest Base Camp goes past the traditional mountain villages of the Sherpas, a mountain community known for their superior strength and endurance at high altitudes. They are the best mountain climbing guides in the world. Walking through their villages, you get to experience their unique culture and lifestyle.
- Close-up views of the four highest mountains in the world can be enjoyed during the trek– Mount Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Makalu. In addition, a chain of 6000 and 7000-meter peaks stretches alongside the trail.
- Ancient Buddhist monasteries, stupas, prayer flags, mani walls, and prayer wheels adorn the lonely trails. There are strong roots of Tibetan Buddhism in this remote corner of Nepal.
- The scenery along the EBC trail is to die for. The landscape is lush and green at the lower river valleys. Above the treeline, there’s a dramatic shift, and the scenery turns barren and stark above 4000 meters.
- The viewpoint of Kala Patthar, which lies close to Everest Base Camp, offers panoramic views of the mountains. It’s not possible to view the summit of Mount Everest from EBC, but from Kala Patthar, one can savor close-up views of the rocky summit of Mount Everest and other 8000-meter peaks.
- Everest Base Camp is the first camp for mountaineers attempting to climb Mount Everest(8848m).
How to reach Everest Base Camp?
You can get to EBC the classic way, that is, trekking from Lukla or Salleri, or enjoy an aerial tour via helicopter. While many tourists choose the first option, those who are on a short vacation or have health issues are glad for the second option.
You can ‘heli trek’ if you have a busy schedule. You can trek to EBC via the usual route and make the return journey by helicopter. You can also fly all the way to Namche and begin your trek from there. But for this itinerary to work, you need to be adequately acclimatized before your trek.
The most popular Everest Base Camp Trek itineraries are those that last for fourteen and sixteen days. These itineraries pack in all the delights that an Everest trek promises – adventure, cultural immersion, and epic views.
The trip starts from Kathmandu with a flight to Lukla. From Lukla, the trekking begins, and one walks through the Sherpa villages of Phakding, Jorsale, Monjo, Namche, Tengboche, Pangboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorak Shep, and finally, Everest Base Camp. The return trek is shorter and takes only three or four days.
To get to Everest Base Camp, you need to obtain these permits:
- Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
- Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municiapality Entrance Ticket
If you book an organized trek or tour, your agency will arrange these permits for you. If you are traveling solo, then you can get these permits from Lukla and Monjo, which falls on the way to Everest Base Camp.
Best Time to visit Everest Base Camp
The best seasons are spring and autumn. During spring, the weather gets warmer, and the mountainside looks gorgeous with wildflowers and spring blooms. Autumn is the most preferred season for trekking to Everest Base Camp as the skies remain clear, and one can enjoy an unimpeded view of the mountains.
However, tourists have of late started to choose the beginning of an off-season to avoid the crowd and enjoy the trail in solitude.
Difficulty and Fitness
The trek to EBC is graded as moderately difficult. It takes you to elevations above 5000 meters. Therefore, one needs to be in top physical form to complete this trek.
An interesting fact about Everest Base Camp
As Mount Everest is located right at the Nepal-Tibet border, half of the mountain falls on the Nepal side while the other half falls in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Therefore there are two Everest Base Camps. The one that’s on the Nepal side is the Everest Base Camp South.
It’s easier to visit the south side of Everest Base Camp because of the tourist-friendly policies of the Nepal Government. China also allows tourists to get to EBC North, but there are restrictions in place, and the rules keep changing.
If you are traveling to Nepal you should not miss out on the Everest Base Camp experience. You can either trek or take an aerial tour. Everest Base Camp is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that you will cherish forever.