October is one of the best months to trek in the Nepal Himalayas. An Everest Base Camp Trek in October offers the ideal trekking conditions – stable and pleasant weather, clear skies, and stunning views of the mountains. There’s something special about an autumn trek; the whole mountain scenery appears at its best – the cloudless blue sky, dazzling snow-covered peaks, green forests and milky rivers. October is also the time when the Nepalese Hindu population celebrates Dashain, their biggest festival. While Sherpas who are Buddhists do not celebrate this festival, people in the middle hills and valleys celebrate this festival in a big way.
Advantages of trekking to Everest Base Camp Trek in October
- Good weather and less precipitation
- Warm days and cold nights
- Clear skies with glorious views of the Himalayan mountains
- All the teahouses and shops en route remain open
- Lively trail with opportunities to meet trekkers from different parts of the world
- Opportunity to observe Dashain, one of the biggest Hindu festivals
- A lot more crowd and noise on the trail
- Lukla flights operate from Manthali Airport in Ramechhap District
- Overland journey of about four hours from Kathmandu to catch your Lukla Flight
- Rates of services spike during October, which is the peak tourist season
- Most of the good rooms at teahouses fill up real quick
- Crowded viewpoints and queues at popular photography spots
October is mid-autumn, the most popular trekking season in Nepal. During autumn you get the best conditions to trek in the mountains. It's neither too wet as in the summer season nor too cold as in the winter season. The weather remains just right to walk in the mountains. However, be prepared for a stray drizzle or thundershower.
In October Lukla's maximum average temperature is 17°C and minimum 6°C. In Namche, the mercury rises to 13°C and drops to a low of 1.4°C on average. The maximum average temperature in Gorak Shep is 5.4°C and the minimum average temperature is –8.9°C.
Flights to Lukla during the peak seasons (spring and autumn) operate from Manthali Airport. The airport lies in Ramechhap District, about 132 km from Kathmandu city. As most trekkers try to trek to Everest Base Camp in October, flight tickets get sold really fast. You need to book your flight tickets in advance as there's no chance of getting a seat if you buy your ticket on the day of your travel. If you book your EBC adventure with an agency then they will arrange the tickets for you.
The drive to Manthali Airport is scheduled early in the morning (2 or 3 AM) as flights to Lukla are operated in the morning hours before it gets too windy. It takes around four to five hours to reach the airport via a mountainous road. If you want to skip the early morning drive you can arrange for a transfer to Manthali a day before your flight. There are some newly opened lodges near the airport where you can book your accommodation.
While precipitation gets pretty low in autumn, one cannot rule out some late monsoon storms or rainfall in October. Be prepared for flight delays due to bad weather.
It gets pretty crowded on the EBC trail in October and getting accommodation becomes a problem if not booked in advance. Try to make an early booking. It's better to book your trip with a reputed agency like Nepal Hiking Team so that you won't have to face any hassles while seeking accommodation in the mountains.
Facilities provided on the Everest trail are much better than on the other trails. Most teahouses provide rooms with en suite bathrooms, hot showers (for an extra fee), and a meal menu with an extensive choice of dishes. Beyond Namche, amenities at teahouses may get a bit basic. But you get shelter from the cold, a comfortable bed to sleep on, and nutritious meals.
What to pack?
These are some of the items you need to have with you if you are planning to trek to Everest base Camp.
- A large rucksack or duffel bag
- A small daypack
Both these bags should be waterproof or have a rain cover.
- Beanie or warm hat
- Balaclava, scarf
- Warm base layers
- T-shirts or shirts
- Trekking pants, shorts
- Quick drying towel,(large), hand towel
- Down jacket
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Crocs or flipflops
Toiletries and Accessories:
- Sunglasses with UV shield
- Sunscreen lotion, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper roll, wet wipes, tissue
- Sanitary pads or menstrual cup if you are female
Gadgets and trekking equipment:
- Power bank
- Head torch with extra batteries
- Trekking poles
- Sleeping bag
- Rain gear(umbrella or raincoat)
- Reusable water bottle with water purification pills or steri pen
Diamox, Paracetamol, band-aid strips, pain relieving balm or spray, throat lozenges. ORS or electrolyte sachets, a course of antibiotics, and the medicines prescribed by your physician.
Nepal has some of the highest mountains in the world and an adventure to the foot of the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest is fraught with risks. You will be walking on high-altitude trails that are sometimes narrow and exposed.
If your body is not properly acclimatized you might suffer from altitude sickness. Nausea, headache, breathlessness, vomiting, etc., are some of the symptoms. If you don't take precautions and ignore your symptoms, it might lead to far serious problems like HACE (high-altitude pulmonary edema) and HACE(high-altitude cerebral edema).
Therefore, you need to include acclimatization days in your itinerary to allow your body to get used to the thin air. Most trekkers prefer to spend their acclimatization days at Namche(3440m) and Dingboche(4410m). It's crucial to rest at these elevations before ascending to 5000 meters. It's best to travel with an experienced guide who will know what to do in case of health emergencies.
Having a copy of your travel insurance is important as you don't know when you might need it. The details of your insurance are necessary to avail services of an air rescue and evacuation team.
Ultimate Everest Base Camp Treks
You can venture on some side routes and explore the Ama Dablam Base Camp or the Gokyo Valley. You can also combine your Everest Base Camp Trek with the Three High Passes Trek and cross three major mountain passes in Khumbu – Cho La, Renjo La, and Kongma La. If you are more interested in Sherpa culture, then you can trek to the ancient Sherpa villages of Pangboche, Thame, Phortse, Khumjung, and Kunde.
There are helicopter tours to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar for those who are unable to trek. You can take an aerial tour of EBC and set foot on Kala Patthar for a short while before flying back to Kathmandu. The tour starts and ends in Kathmandu and it takes only a couple of hours to complete.
If you want to save time and energy, you can embark on a heli trek. The helicopter flies you to Namche and you can trek to Everest Base Camp from Namche and return via helicopter from Gorak Shep to Lukla or Kathmandu. Or you take the regular route to Everest Base Camp and skip the return trek by flying to Kathmandu or Lukla from Gorak Shep.
October is a festive month. Dashain, the biggest festival of the Hindus falls during this month. During this festival, the different manifestations of Durga, the 'mother' goddess are worshipped. The festival which lasts for ten days sees people returning to their native villages and celebrating the festival with their families. It's the time of the year when people who live and work away from their homes return to their families to celebrate this joyous occasion. Big cities and towns empty out as people rush to their native villages. Do note during the last five days of the festival most business establishments, government offices, and public transportation services remain shut.
In the Khumbu or Everest Region, sometimes the Mani Rimdu Festival celebrated in Tengboche falls in October.
If you are planning a trek to Everest Base Camp, there can't be a better month than October. During October the monsoon clouds recede and the weather gets dry and warm. The mountains that lay concealed by thick monsoon clouds and fog reappear again in all their snow-covered glory. The only downside is it'll get pretty crowded as there will be much more people on the trail. But then if you love interacting with people you might consider this as an advantage.