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    Everest Base Camp Trek in May

    Balaram Thapa
    Balaram ThapaUpdated: May 28th 2023  |  Trekking/Hiking

    The month of May marks the end of the busy spring season in the mountains of Nepal. As May is the best month for climbing in the spring season, an Everest Base Camp Trek in May will have you rubbing shoulders with mountaineers who make their summit bids to the mountains of their choice in Khumbu. The expedition groups in Mount Everest head up the world's tallest mountain to stand atop its summit. May is a month when the adrenaline runs high in the mountains of Khumbu. There's jubilation and sometimes tragedy when expedition groups head out to conquer the mountains.

    Advantages of trekking to Everest Base Camp in May

    • The days are warm and it’s comfortable to walk. At the lower reaches temperatures reach as high as 20 degrees Celsius
    • The days are longer allowing you to spend more time outdoors
    • There's more greenery on the trail and everything looks fresh and verdant
    • The trail is filled with rhododendron blooms of different hues and wildflowers
    • Opportunity to meet mountaineers and adventurers from the world over
    • Teahouses remain open for business


    • You get a fair bit of rain and sometimes clouds obscure the mountain views
    • The trail remains busy
    • There are chances of flights getting canceled due to bad weather. Keep some buffer days.

    Weather in May

    The maximum average temperature in May at Everest Base Camp is 6° C and the minimum average temperature is -4° C. It's warmer at the lower elevations with maximum temperatures hitting 19° C in Lukla and 15° C in Namche Bazaar. But the nights remain cold with the mercury sometimes dipping below zero degrees.

    As the monsoon season starts after May, one can expect brief thundershowers and rainfall. The clouds tend to roll in late in the afternoon and cover the mountains. Do not forget to pack your rain gear when you trek in May.

    Lukla Flights

    To fly to Lukla you will have to reach Manthali Airport, which is located about a 4-5 hours drive from Kathmandu city. You will have to wake up really early (at around 2 AM) to make it to the airport on time to catch your flight. It takes about twenty-five minutes to fly from Manthali to Lukla.

    If you don't want an early morning ride, you can book a ride to Ramechhap (Manthali Airport lies in the Ramechhap district) a day before your flight's departure and stay overnight at a local guesthouse.

    In case you have booked a helicopter charter to Lukla or Namche you can board directly from Kathmandu's domestic airport. While big-body aircraft are rerouted to Manthali Airport for the Lukla flights due to congestion at the Kathmandu airport, CAAN(Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal) allows helicopter flights to operate from Kathmandu.

    Safety while Trekking

    Altitude sickness or AMS is the main cause of trekkers abandoning their Everest Base Camp trek. To prevent it, first and foremost you need to get your body acclimatized to high altitude. This can be done by resting at lower altitudes before hiking to Everest Base Camp. Most EBC itineraries include acclimatization days at Namche and Dingboche.

    Secondly, you need to keep yourself hydrated by drinking water and other fluids frequently. Avoid drinking alcohol at all costs as alcohol dries up your system. Refrain from smoking as well as it will take a toll on your lungs. As you go higher the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere decreases and breathing becomes difficult. Smoking will further aggravate your breathing problem. Therefore stay away from alcohol and cigarettes while trekking. 

    Also, avoid meat dishes as Sherpas buy meat from other communities living in the lower hills. As they are Buddhists they refrain from butchering animals. The meat that is prepared at the teahouses is usually brought from the lower villages and happens to be a few days old.

    Thirdly you need to be physically prepared to tackle the steep ascents and descents. You will be walking for long hours on up and down paths which require a lot of stamina. Each day there will be an elevation gain of about 400 to 800 meters.

    If you fall sick listen to your body or your guide's advice. Rest at a lower altitude till you feel alright to resume your trek or give up and return to Kathmandu. There have been instances of trekkers losing their lives after they ignored the symptoms of AMS.

    Keep the details of your travel insurance ready in case you may have to use the services of the air ambulance. Make sure your insurance covers high altitude ( above 5000 meters)  accidents and illness.

    Be respectful of the locals' culture and traditions. Do not take photographs of people or items if you are asked not to. And do not bargain while buying food items. It's not easy to transport food to these mountains. It takes a lot of effort and money to get everything to the mountain villages. Therefore one should not protest and bargain if a shopkeeper charges more than the printed price for an item.

    What to pack?

    Apart from a roomy duffel bag or rucksack, and a small daypack you need to pack these essential items.


    • Down Jacket
    • Sleeping bag
    • Warm woolen cap, buff, or scarf
    • Gloves, socks, undergarments
    • Thermal base layers
    • T-shirts or shirts
    • Waterproof Parka
    • Shorts, Trekking pants
    • Quick drying towel, face towel


    • Sturdy and waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support
    • Flip flops to wear at the teahouse


    • Diamox, paracetamol, painkillers, anti-diarrhea tablets, band-aids, pain relieving balm or spray, insect repellent, prescribed medicines that you take, etc.
    • Electrolyte or ORS sachets


    • Sunblock cream or moisturizer, lip balm
    • Wet wipes, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
    • Toilet paper roll, sanitary pads(if you are female)
    • Hand sanitizer

    Gadgets, accessories, and other items:

    • Head torch with extra batteries, power bank
    • Sunglasses with UV protection
    • Ziplock bags to keep your gadgets dry
    • Raincoat or umbrella
    • Trekking poles
    • Reusable water bottle with water purifying tablets or steri pen
    • Your favorite snacks

    You should also have enough money in local currency to last you till the end of the trip. Most teahouses don't accept card payments and except in Namche, there are no ATM kiosks along the trail.


    The teahouses and lodges along the trail remain open. Compared to the rush of March and April, May will be quieter at the teahouses. You can expect to find good rooms without much of a struggle.

    Alternate Routes

    You can trek to the Gokyo Valley and the famous Gokyo Lakes. May provides a good weather window for summit bids. If you are into mountaineering you can try climbing one of the trekking peaks – Lobuche, Mera Peak, or Island Peak.

    You can take a detour from Tengboche and head towards the Ama Dablam Base Camp. The Ama Dablam peak looks more beautiful up close. If you are short on time and can afford helicopter charters you can try 'heli trekking'. It includes heli transfers from Kathmandu to Namche and from Gorak Shep to Lukla or Kathmandu. Heli trekking not only saves you time and energy but offers you amazing aerial views of the snow-covered mountains.

    A less crowded and adventurous route to Everest Base Camp is via the Hinku Valley. Trekkers rarely travel this route as it includes a crossing of the highly technical Amphu Labtsa Pass, one of the most dangerous mountain passes in Nepal.

    May Festivals and Events

    Mani Rimdu in Thame  - The Mani Rimdu Festival is held at the Thame Monastery in Thame Village during the months of either May or June according to the Tibetan lunar calendar. Mani Rimdu is an important Buddhist festival celebrated by the Sherpas of the Solu Khumbu. It is held at the monastery where monks perform masked dances and religious rituals to appease the Buddhist deities. Villagers from Thame and neighboring settlements congregate at the monastery to celebrate the festival.

    Mani Rimdu is also observed in Tengboche and Chiwong but at different times of the year.

    Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon -  A high-altitude marathon is organized on May 29th the anniversary of the first conquest of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1954. This is an annual event with local and foreign athletes vying for first place. The trail run is divided into three categories – Extreme Ultra(70km), Full Marathon(42.195km), and Half Marathon(21km). All trail runs except for the Half Marathon starts from the Everest Base Camp and end in Namche.


    May, though a bit wet is a good month to trek to Everest Base Camp. The days are warm and not too cold making your walk outdoors a pleasant experience. While there may not be many trekkers on the trail, the mountaineering activity will be in full swing as May provides the season's best weather window for summit bids. The trail will be busy as ever and you will get excellent opportunities to meet mountaineers and adventurers. May is also a good month to trek to EBC if you love flowers and greenery. There will be abundant blooms of rhododendrons, orchids, Irises, etc. along the trail.

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