Everest Base Camp
2019 saw us plan and successfully execute Everest Base Camp trek in the month of April.
We were a group of 10 colleagues from work with a few couples joining in as well.
Most of us feel that EBC Trek is commercialized and the trek would be very easy.
I would agree with the commercialized part, however I strongly believe the trek is not that easy as perceived.
Preparation for the EBC Trek
Planning for the EBC trek started in 2018, starting with reflecting upon blogs and material available online.
The next step is preparation of an ideal plan to prepare for a 12 day trek to EBC, which is not as easy if not planned well.
Do read my blog post on packing essentials should you be planning this trek!
You should plan to pack as less as possible so that the weight does not become a challenge should you wish to plan this as a solo trek. Decathlon has good range of trek essentials that would come handy to you!
Our preparation routine was as below:
You would need atleast a minimum of three months of intensive preparation and exercises to be sure of completing the trek with confidence.
If you could club any of the above schedules and tweak it into a trek in the Himalayas, you can change the schedule to suit your plan to prepare.
After starting off in Hyderabad in India, We landed for our connection in New Delhi and headed over to Kathmandu.
The journey was smooth with a bit of turbulence as we landed in Kathmandu.
Everest Base Camp Trek: Route
Planning a Solo EBC Trek? Read a detailed travelogue from Outside Material on how to plan!
Starting our Journey – Lukla (Gateway to Everest) from Kathmandu
You can alternatively, explore a trekking from Salleri to Phakding which is unexplored and not preferred by many doing the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Route is Kathmandu – Salleri by road and trekking for two extra days from Salleri – Nunthala – Chutok – Paiya to reach Phakding.
You continue on the regular route from Phakding.
Our experience of EBC Trek:
Kathmandu airport runway was undergoing repairs and we had to travel to Ramechhap to catch our Lukla flight.
The drive is around three hours from Kathmandu, and the divers are experts.
The Kathmandu airport is operational now and this alternative is no more required.Currently no detour or travel to another airport
The flight to Lukla is one of the most adventurous and scariest as the small aero plane.
At times would give you jittery moments when the flight encounters air pockets.
The landing in Lukla is something you should not miss as this is no ordinary airport, it has a cliff at one end of the runway and a valley at the other, precision is something that matters the most here.
The first day of the actual trek sees you land at Lukla, and after you finish your early lunch at Lukla, head on the first part of the trek to Phakding.
Duration ranges between 3.5 to 4.5 hours depending on the speed of your trekking.
If you are heading Solo on this trek, do not forget the permits that you would need to get in Kathmandu and as you start your trek at Lukla which needs to be shown before you enter Sagarmatha National Park at Phakding. The license and permits are essential for you to gain entry.
- The first is obtaining a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System Permit) at Thamel in Kathmandu at the Nepal Tourism Board office. Cost is between $10-$20 depending if you are trekking as a group or solo
- The second permit is at Monjo for the Sagarmatha National Park entry which costs around $30 plus relevant taxes
Ensure you check the websites of Nepal Tourism Board for updates and relevant information and do not fall prey to middle-men.
Day Four saw us head from Phakding to Namche Bazaar, one of the biggest town in the region. You would be astonished to find branded stores in this small town.
Interesting enough, we bumped into a group of mountain cyclists from Sweden who were here on a cycling expedition with their Mountain Bikes.
Second day took a little over six hours of trek with few pit stops at tea shops enroute for morning and evening drinks and lunch enroute.
Five & Six:
The next two nights would be at Namche Bazaar and this is your first destination for acclimatization.
You need to get your body and mind ready to intake the correct amount of oxygen and the strenuous trek in front of you.
Starting a bit late from Namche Bazaar (around 09:00 hrs), you start from Namche Bazaar enroute your next destination – Tengboche.
The trek would take anywhere between 6 to 8 hours depending on your pace, the uphill gets tougher as you get close to Everest Base Camp.
Eight & Nine:
You Start of early the next morning from Tengboche to Dingboche.
Dingboche is your next acclimatization stop where you would be spending the next two days.
Crossing wonderful mountains on your either sides, the trek gets a bit better now that your legs are getting used to the climbs and descends.
Ensure you have proper gear for this trek which would be a deciding factor for easing or making this trek harder.
Do read through my trekking gear post for Himalayan multi-week treks.
You would be heading from Dingboche to Lobuche on day ten which will be your next trek where you would pass through glaciers and will have an opportunity to walk on glacier ice.
Today you start from Lobuche towards Gorak shep, your final stop before Everest Base Camp.
Gorak shep has just very few options and water is a privilege here. You start early in the morning aroun 7Am from Lobuche to reach Gorak shep around 2pm in the afternoon.
Depending on your arrival time, you can visit Everest Base Camp the same day or plan to visit the next morning.
You also have the option to to trek to Kalapathar the next morning to have more better views of Mount Everest.
Twelve to Fourteen:
Twelve to Fourteen sees you head back to Lukla with a stopover for one night at Dingboche and Namche Bazaar.
This is a bit of a comfortable yet tiring journey as you would be ascending all decends on your way towards Everest Base Camp.
Day 14 is when you take back your return flight from Lukla to Kathmandu.
- Ensure you have your Itinerary planned in advance
- Please carry re-usable water bottle with filter and avoid purchase of bottled water
- Include a Thermostat water bottle to carry your hot water as it gets cold the higher you trek
- Take Fast n Up or its equivalent for energy and stay hydrated during your trek while energy levels
- Pack Chocolates (Snickers / Protein / Energy bars) in good numbers (you will thank me later for this)
- Solar Panel and power banks for charging (you will get decent charging at hotels but that would be charged and it would take longer times to charge
- Ensure you have sufficient and timely meals and do not miss even one meal, this is to ensure you are not impacted with high-altitude sickness/ AMS
- Always stay close to your Sherpa / Trek Guide / Porter who are locals and will keep monitoring you, your speed and activeness.
- Should you have any feeling, immediately speak to them
- Avoid any medicines unless absolutely necessary (let your body adapt naturally to the environments it is getting into)
- Have atleast a couple of buffer days taking weather into consideration in the mountains
- Carry knee-caps and ankle bands should you need to use them on climbs
In our trek, we had one colleague who got hit by AMS and had to be flown from Lobuche to Lukla due to drop in oxygen levels.
This could occur if you do not follow a steady pace and if you skip your meals and never ignore any kind of dizziness and mild headache.
Before concluding, we planned our trek through a Indian vendor with strong presence across India and Nepal.
If you have time, I would recommend you to reach out to local sherpa community and plan your trek with them.
This ensures they get benefitted with the amount you pay directly to them.
I am sharing the coordinates of the Trek guides who ensured we had best of this trek, should you plan, do reach out:
Have similar stories? Do share your experiences in the comments section!!
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