September rings in the autumn season, the most popular trekking season in Nepal. Everest Base Camp Trek in September promises pleasant weather and crystal-clear views of the mountains. It is also the time when locals celebrate some important festivals. After months of inactivity, the trail is abuzz with trekkers, and local shops and teahouses start doing good business again. If you are planning an Everest base Camp Trek in September, here are some pros and cons that you should consider.
Most Popular Trips to Everest Base Camp 2023/024
Pros of trekking to EBC in September
- The weather gets pleasant with the end of the rainy season. But be prepared for some precipitation or rainfall in the first half of September.
- The sky remains cloudless for the most part of the day which means you can enjoy clear views of the mountains
- All the lodges and teahouses remain open
- Opportunity to meet trekkers from different parts of the world
- Fewer chances of flight cancellation due to bad weather
- Lukla flights operate from Kathmandu airport
Weather in September
September brings in balmy weather and clear skies, which makes trekking in the mountains a pleasant experience. It's neither too hot nor too cold in September. However, sometimes the monsoon season may linger for a while and it's usual to receive a bit of rainfall in the first half of September. So be prepared and carry your rain gear.
The average temperatures recorded in Lukla during the month of September are a maximum of 21°C and a minimum of 10°C. In Namche, the maximum average temperature is 17°C and the minimum is 6°C.
At Gorak Shep, the highest overnight stop at 5164 meters, the maximum temperature will be 8°C and the minimum -2°C.
All the teahouses and lodges in the Everest Region open up for business by September. It will be easier to get accommodation at all the stops en route as all the local business owners return to the Khumbu Region at the start of the tourist)season. Unlike in summer or monsoon season and winter, all the teahouses receive guests.
Irrespective of the season you plan your trek, an Everest Base Camp Trek should be regarded as a risky high-altitude trekking adventure. The elevation gains while trekking will make you breathless and if not properly acclimatized, symptoms of AMS (acute mountain sickness) is sure hit you.
The symptoms of altitude sickness should be taken seriously. If one suffers from AMS, steps should be taken to relieve the symptoms immediately by sleeping at a lower altitude and taking Diamox. If the symptoms worsen, then the person should be evacuated by helicopter to a medical facility in Kathmandu. The symptoms if ignored, can turn fatal. There have been instances of trekkers losing their lives after they decided to push on in spite of suffering from AMS.
Proper acclimatization is very important to ward off AMS. To let your body acclimatize properly, you need to spend at least two days acclimatizing. The lack of oxygen will make your body feel uncomfortable and tired. Breathlessness, headache, nausea, and dry cough are some of the common ailments trekkers suffer from as they walk closer to EBC. Try to keep yourself warm and hydrated by drinking lots of ginger tea, garlic soup, and warm water.
While buying your travel insurance, make sure that it covers accidents, illnesses, and rescue and evacuation above 5000 meters.
What to pack?
- A large duffel bag or rucksack to carry your clothes and other items and a small daypack to carry your camera, cash, and important documents. Both should have rainproof covers.
- Sturdy hiking boots with excellent grip
- Trekking poles
- Rain gear (raincoat or umbrella)
Clothing: Enough change of clothes to last you throughout your trek. Carry clothes that are light and sweat-absorbent. While the days are warm, the nights can be chilly with temperatures dipping below zero. Beyond Namche, it will get cold and icy, especially during the night. Therefore carry enough warm clothes (down jacket, warm hat, gloves, base layers, buff, trekking pants with insulation, etc.).
Accessories and Toiletries: Must-haves are goggles with UV shield, sunscreen lotion, moisturizer, towel(lodges do not provide towels), shampoo, soap, toilet paper roll, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, lip balm, etc.
A power bank to charge your phone and other devices is a must. If you want to record your journey, carry extra batteries for your camera. Another essential item is a head torch.
Do not forget to carry Diamox, paracetamol, diarrhea medicine, throat lozenges, band-aid strips, pain relieving balm and other prescribed medicines with you.
Since card payment is not accepted at most of the teahouses and shops en route, you should carry enough local currency. Remember food items cost more in the mountains than in the cities.
The trek to Gokyo Lakes can be an enriching experience. The Gokyo Lakes are the world's largest freshwater lake system in the world. Surrounded by glaciers and jagged peaks, Gokyo is worth a visit when you are in the Everest Region.
You can cross the 3 High Passes in the Himalayas – Cho La, Renjo La, and Kongma La. These are challenging mountain passes, and crossing them seems like a mini mountaineering expedition.
You can also take a detour to Ama Dablam Base Camp and savor views of the majestic Ama Dablam, the most beautiful mountain in Khumbu.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp via the rarely explored Hinku and Hongku Valley and the Makalu Barun National Park can be a thrilling adventure. This route, generally used by Mera Peak expedition groups, is filled with amazing glaciers, ice lakes, and a challenging crossing of a high mountain pass known as the Amphu Labtsa Pass.
If you are pressed for time you can take a heli tour to Everest Base Camp. It takes less than half a day to fly to Everest Base Camp, explore the viewpoint of Kala Patthar, and return to Kathmandu.
You can also shorten your trek to EBC by booking a heli trek. You can either fly to Namche via helicopter and begin your trek from there or take the regular trail to Everest Base Camp from Lukla and return via helicopter.
Indra Jatra one of the biggest street festivals in Kathmandu valley is celebrated in September. The festival, which lasts for eight days, is an important festival for Newars living in Kathmandu. During the eight days, people throng to the Basantapur Durbar Square to worship deities, watch masked dances, and take part in the boisterous chariot-pulling festival where the wooden chariots of Kumari, the Living Goddess, and other Hindu deities are pulled by devotees to different Newari toles(localities). Lakheys or masked dancers accompanied by traditional musicians perform in the street.
The festival also honors Indra, the lord of heaven, and Bhairav, a manifestation of Lord Shiva. Huge masks of Bhairav which are otherwise kept hidden throughout the year, are displayed during Indra Jatra. The masks of Akash Bhairav and Swet Bhairav attract a lot of devotees. The mask of Swet Bhairav which is displayed in front Hanuman Dhoka Palace attracts a lot of young men as on some days local liquor is dispensed from its mouth.
Sometimes Dashain the biggest festival of the Hindus is also celebrated in September. Since Hindu and Buddhist festivals are observed according to the lunar calendar, the dates vary each year.
September is the start of the busy autumn season. However, the trail will be less crowded if you plan your Everest Base Camp Trek in the first few weeks of the month. Though warm and pleasant, you can expect some rainfall and thundershowers in September.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp in September gives you some of the best views of the mountains from the trail. The trail is filled with people and villagers who have migrated to the lower towns and cities and returned to their mountain homes. The atmosphere on the trail is livelier and cheerful, and it's a joy to walk in the crisp mountain air.