Start planning your Everest base camp trek

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Table of Contents

How much does it cost to trek to Everest Base Camp?

You can trek to Mt Everest base camp for as little as $700 if you go solo without a guide. Guided tours that often include return flights to Kathmandu cost around $1000-1300 per person depending on the operator. For a detailed breakdown of costs, see our article on the cost of the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Can you trek to Everest Base Camp independently or without a guide / support?

Yes, but it is only advised for trekkers that have experience of high altitude multi-day trekking, and are comfortable carry 15-20kg a day.

Trekking independently is the cheapest option because you forgo any of the amenities and expertise that is typically offered with a guided trek. You will have to arrange your own domestic flights to and from Lukla airport, and arrange accommodation for each stop in the trek.

If you are comfortable organising the logistics of the trek, then this might be an option for you.

Should I join a guided EBC trek / group?

If this is one of your first high altitude trekking experiences then we recommend using a tour operator and joining a guided group. The typical package will include domestic flights, transport to and from the airport, accommodation for every overnight stop, all permits and passes, porters to carry your luggage and of course the expertise of a guide who will provide you with an insight into the region.

Local tour operators are abundant and often cheaper than western operators, but their level of service will be reflected in their price. Hygiene and ethical standards of some of these operators is also questionable. Prices range from £600 ($750) to £1000 ($1300).

Western tour operators will provide a much more consistent service. Without cutting prices, they offer affordable yet comfortable accommodation and will employ the best guides in the region who will be able to converse in English. Prices range from £1000 ($1300) to £2000 ($2600).

When is the best time to hike to Everest Base Camp?

Contrary to what you might think, the best time to go on the Everest Base Camp trek is not during the height of summer. The spring months of February through May is widely considered the peak season or best time to hike to Everest base camp. This is also the time when the region is at its busiest.

Weather during these months is stable and dry – perfect for trekking and for sightseeing. The lower mountains and foothills are most colourful during this time as well, so you can expect verdant fields and hillsides covered in rhododendrons.

September and October is another popular trekking period on the other side of summer that tends to be a little less busy. Another way to avoid the hustle and bustle of peak season is to try some of the trek variations such as the Gokyo Lakes hike.

Trekking in the winter months (November-January) is still possible, but be prepared for temperatures below freezing. Peak summer is known as monsoon season, characterised by short, sharp downpours. The trails are very wet and trekking during these months is not advised.

Read our detailed article on the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp.

— Update: 23-04-2023 — found an additional article Everest Base Camp Trek – Ultimate Guide For 2023 from the website for the keyword ebc hike.

Trekking to Everest Base Camp is different than other treks around the world. Nowhere else on earth will you experience trekking as you do in Nepal and nowhere quite compares to the majesty of the Himalayas. Villages dot the landscape filled with restaurants, markets, bazaars, and tea houses (mini-hotels) where you can stop for lunch, buy supplies, and have a piece of apple pie while surrounded by the highest mountains in the world.

Every hundred meters or so there is a hotel, restaurant, or cluster of buildings making up a small village. The villages are stunning reminding us of something out of the Swiss Alps on steroids. Well-built lodges and brick homes line the trail with the magnificent setting of the Himalayas draped in the back.

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Trekking to Everest Base Camp

What is it like trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal? The EBC Trek is life-changing, it’s exhilarating, and it is challenging. We share everything you need to know from planning your trek to Everest to packing for your trip. This guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek breaks down each day. So sit back and take a journey with us through Nepal’s legendary Sagarmatha National Park.

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

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Follow the Everest Base Camp Trek Map: click here

On the map, the Everest Base Camp trekking route distances look fairly easy to hike from village to village through the Khumbu Valley. Eight days may seem like it would be more than enough time to cover a mere 63 km (39 miles) one way, (128 km return) but with several sustained days in a row above 4000 meters (13,000 feet), the walk is slow and steady.

It is important not to push too fast to avoid altitude sickness which is a very real possibility. When trekking to Everest base camp, expect to hike anywhere from 7 – 17 km (4.5 – 10 miles) per day with the entire trek taking 12 – 14 days.

Hiring a Guide for the EBC Trek – Mandatory

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Starting April 1, 2023, Nepal has banned solo trekking. Foreigners must hire a guide for treks in high-altitude trekking regions of national parks. According to the Kathmandu Post in March “solo or independent trekkers have to mandatorily hire a guide or a porter before setting off to Nepal’s mountains.” However, after an updated article in the Kathmandu Post, it seems that the Everest Region is an exception. Before booking, we would check with local companies and authorities as rules are constantly changing.

Book Locally

Many people book ahead of time with a tour company located outside of Nepal such as Intrepid Travel or GAdventures, but we hired locally and it saved a lot of money.

Plus, you know your money is going directly to the local economy and you have a more intimate experience by trekking with a local guide. We spent a couple of days in Kathmandu looking for a guide to Everest and found Simrik Real Nepal owned by Kathmandu resident Dipendra Simkhada.

Dipendra planned the entire trip for us, and all we had to do was wait for him to pick us up at our guesthouse in Kathmandu to take us to the airport to board our Tara Air flight to Lukla Airport. Book your Trek to Everest Base Camp with Simrik Real Nepal – A Locally owned and operated tour company, Simrik is located in Kathmandu.

Kathmandu – The Hub of Nepal Treks

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We spent a few days in Kathmandu picking up supplies and doing some sightseeing before trekking to Everest. We suggest not spending too long here as it can be very polluted in Kathmandu and by the time we were ready to trek, I was already quite congested.

Day 1: Fly from Lukla Trek to Pakhding

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Flights to Lukla no longer leave from Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu Airport) in Kathmandu due to congestion. Flights are now out of Ramechap airport which is a 4 1/2 hour drive from Kathmandu. You can book private helicopters from Tribhuvan International Airport.

The flight from Ramechap airport is much shorter than the flight from Tribhuvan International Airport. Flights to Lukla are only 12 minutes so more flights can get through when the weather is clear making flights less likely to be canceled or delayed for too long.

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The flight to Lukla is a scary flight and is considered one of the most dangerous in the world. We flew from Kathmandu but flights now are much shorter from Ramechap. I think I would like it better as we sat at the front of the plane and saw the pilot’s instruments constantly flash “obstacle ahead.” It looked as if we were about to crash into a mountain at any time. Read all about our flight to Lukla and watch the video here

Watch Us Fly to Lukla Airport

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The Lukla airstrip at Lukla Airpot is a short landing strip at only 525 meters (1,729 feet long.) Built on the side of a mountain it is also a very steep grade that is needed to slow the planes down quickly. Needless to say, we held our breath during the landing.

We survived that flight, but it was the flight back to Kathmandu I was nervous about. Taking off on that short of a runway was a hair-raising experience. One false move and we’d drop thousands of feet into the valley below. Lukla Airport is actually called Tenzing Hillary Airport named after the first two men to summit Mount Everest.

Hiking from Lukla to Pakding

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The trek begins officially in Lukla. Lukla is a busy town with plenty of accommodation, shops, and eateries. If you forgot anything for your EBC trek, you can pick up supplies in a pinch. But we suggest purchasing all your gear in Kathmandu. It is much cheaper.

From Lukla, we immediately started our Everest Base Camp hike. After a quick snack and a cup of tea in Lukla, we set off on an easy three-hour trek along trekking trails that were easy to follow weaving through villages, crossing rivers, and stumbling over stony paths.

Entering Sagarmatha National Park

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A permit is needed to hike to Everest Base Camp as it is located in Sagarmatha National Park. We checked in with the national park headquarters and Dipendra took care of everything. He had all our paperwork in order so all we had to do was start walking through the beautiful Khumbu Valley to make our way to Everest base camp.

Sagarmatha National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1976. At 1148 square km (443 square miles) in area, it is one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited.

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We felt giddy stepping through the welcome gates located just outside of Lukla. This was it, we were following in the footsteps of the great adventurers of our time. It was awe-inspiring to hike through the Khumbu region surrounded by the Himalayas.

As we hiked out of Lukla, Dipendra pointed out the surrounding jagged white peaks named Kwangde, Mumbu, and Kishumkongara. At 6000+ meters, (19,000+ feet) these are the “little guys” of the world’s highest mountain range. It wouldn’t be long until we were among the famous 8000-meter (26,000 feet) peaks.

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Our first day was filled with a relaxing walk while learning about the Khumbu region. It was quite early in the day, so we had plenty of time to take our time to learn about the customs of climbing and learn the names of the mountains found in this beautiful region of Nepal.

For the rest of the day, we followed the Dudh Koshi River Valley at a steady but leisurely pace to the village of Pakding. Temperatures were warm and the first day of trekking was comfortable. Lukla to Pakding actually has an elevation loss, so it is a good introduction to hiking through the region as we had a lot of downhill trekking.

After about 5 hours, we came to our first night on the trek where we spent the night in a comfortable teahouse in the village of Phakding.

Our First Night on the EBC Trek

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The accommodation in Pakding was a quaint little hotel/teahouse that looked like a cottage. The wood-burning stove smelled delicious as it warmed the restaurant while they prepared our meals.

Our porter “Sher” carried all our supplies including the sleeping bags that we borrowed from our trekking company. We each rented a sleeping bag that was included in the price of our EBC trek. The beds were comfortable and Dave and I had private rooms. Some tours use dorm rooms but we had private rooms. Toilets were shared, but everything was clean and comfortable. The rooms were clean and we slept like rocks snuggled up in our thick down sleeping bags.

Heated Lodges – Teahouses on the EBC Trek

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During the EBC Trek, you don’t stay in tents. You stay in charming teahouses with cozy beds, wood-burning stoves, and fully stocked restaurants that serve dinner.

The teahouses are a welcoming sight after a long day of trekking helping to make the trek to Everest one of the most memorable experiences of our lives. If you are planning to trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, read on for all the information you’ll need to help you prepare.

The main lodges of each teahouse we stayed in during the first half of our EBC trek were cozy and warm. At the lower elevations, woodstoves burned wood in the dining room and common areas and our rooms were a comfortable temperature with heating as we were wrapped up in our sleeping bags. We ate hearty meals of pasta and meat and enjoyed a relaxing night soaking in the amazing day we just had on the mountain.

  • From Lukla – Elevation 2869 meters (9,350 feet)
  • To Pakding – Elevation 2610 meters ( 8563 Feet)
  • Length – 7.7 km (4.78 miles)
  • Elevation loss – 79 meters (259 feet)
  • Duration – 3 Hours

Day 2 – Pakding to Namche Bazaar

On day two, we checked in at another gate of the Mt. Everest park headquarters to show our documentation. We had to show our passports and give them extra passport photos to go into the log. (So make sure you have extra passport photos with you) Once we signed in, we were officially in the Khumbu region and officially on our way trekking to Everest Base Camp.

We covered a lot of terrain on day two making it the longest day of the Everest Base Camp trek. The trail up the mountains was steep and challenging but it was a memorable day.

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Day two of the EBC trek was a hike of almost 10km (6.2 miles) with an elevation gain of 800 meters (2624 feet). But throughout the hike, there was a lot of elevation loss mixed in so it felt like a lot more.

We would lose elevation as we descended into the valley only to have to climb back up again to a higher elevation. Today was a lot of fun though because we crossed several suspension bridges over Dudh Kosi River Valley.

Suspension Bridges on the way to Everest

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If you have a fear of heights, crossing suspension bridges may not be your favorite moment, but the suspension bridges while trekking to Everest Base Camp are well constructed, made of steel, and in excellent condition.

I was nervous about the suspension bridges. The Lonely Planet Guide said, “Grit your teeth and climb onto a drooping suspension bridge floating at a dizzying height.” That sentence freaked me out.

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I had built the suspension bridges of the EBC trek in my head as something monstrous. But by the time we reached the first bridge, I wondered what all the fuss was about. Once I crossed my first bridge, my confidence was up and I was ready for anything the Everest trek was ready to throw at me.

Donkey Trains

Today we also started to see a lot of donkeys, cows, and goats taking supplies to the villages. Traffic can get very heavy on the Everest Base Camp hike. When animal trains go by, make sure to get out of their way and stay to the side.

They are loaded down with heavy gear and they have a mission to keep on walking until they are done. They can easily nudge you right off the side of a cliff as no matter what is in their way, they just keep walking.

The trail is a highway, but instead of transport trucks or trains carrying cargo, people and farm animals carry everything from lumber and building supplies to food and kitchen appliances.

Safety Tips on the Everest Base Camp Trek for yaks and donkeys

  • Important Tip: When a yak, donkey, or cow train passes you during the EBC trek, be sure to stand on the mountainside of the trail so they can’t push you over the edge!
  • It is better to be squished into a mountainside than to go tumbling over the edge!

Final Stretch to Namche Bazaar

Right after crossing the last bridge, the hardest part of day two of trekking to Everest base camp started The last push of the day consisted of 2-hours straight uphill to Namche Bazar.

We were drenched with sweat but the air was cool. Whenever we stopped for a break, we would get a chill so we just kept on chugging away.

Large tour groups passed us quickly, only to be caught a few minutes later as they rested. We realize that we were the tortoise and they were the hare! Slow and steady is the way to climb at high altitudes and in the end, we made it to Namche Bazaar with plenty of time to spare in the day.

Arrival to Namche Bazaar

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We checked into the security post and cringed when we found out that our lodge was an uphill walk for another 20 minutes. Rest had to wait a bit longer.

When we arrived at our accommodation, we were thrilled to see our porter Sher’s smiling face. He had already checked us in and put our bag in our room. We immediately went for a nap and then did a little walking around town in the evening to do some shopping and grab a bite to eat before turning in for an early night.

There are plenty of shops and restaurants at Namche Bazaar, this town is bustling and we spent two nights of our EBC Trek here which was awesome.

Pakding – Elevation 2610 meters ( 8563 Feet)
Namche Bazaar – 3440 meters (11,286 feet)
Elevation Gain – 830 meters (2723 feet)
Distance – 10km (6.2 Miles)
Duration – 6 hours

Day 3 – Acclimatization Day at Namche Bazaar

We had two glorious days at Namche Bazaar. Dipendra chose great accommodation for us throughout our EBC trek and we had a good rest in this splendid teahouse where we enjoyed delicious pasta, meats, and of course dhal baht. We spent the morning enjoying coffee and doing a bit of shopping.

What to do in Namche Bazaar

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We explored Namche Bazaar and checked out its many shops. The streets are packed with shopping stalls and markets. We searched for gear that we missed getting in Kathmandu and got some great deals. We were surprised the prices weren’t inflated at Namche Bazaar.

We bought some down booties to keep our feet warm at night, a couple of sherpa hats, and a warmer set of gloves. The Everest Bakery was a highlight with delicious apple pie, fresh coffee, and WiFi. We had two pieces each!

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But we took it very easy, making sure to stay hydrated and to eat enough food to stave off altitude sickness. Namche Bazaar is located at a high altitude of 3440 meters (11,286 feet). We already saw a woman suffering from altitude sickness. She was having her blood pressure taken and heart rate monitored and when she got up, she was staggering as she leaned on her guide.

Her Everest base camp trek had already come to an abrupt end. It reminded us to relax because the days ahead were going to be tough. So we went back to our teahouse to relax and prepare for the rest of our journey

The Acclimatization Hike for EBC Trek

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Most high-altitude treks have at least one acclimation day. The Everest Base Camp trek is no exception. An acclimatization day consists of hiking to a higher altitude and then coming back down to sleep at a lower elevation. It gives your body a chance to adjust to the altitude but you don’t stay for long.

As you will be constantly gaining altitude on the Everest Trek, it is good to have at least one day to climb higher and sleep lower to help prevent altitude sickness.

Our acclimation hike took us to the Everest View Hotel. With an elevation gain of only 400 meters, it wasn’t too much higher than our hotel in Namche Bazaar, but it is enough to help acclimate to the high altitudes. Everest View Hotel offers amazing views of Mount Everest (hence the name). Plus it holds the Guinness book of world records as the highest hotel in the world.

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It is not an easy day off though. Just walking through town takes your breath away. As we made our way up the steps, I wondered if I should have just stayed in bed and skipped the viewpoint to relax. When we started the climb I was breathing heavily just walking up a few flights of steps. We hadn’t even left Namche Bazaar and I was pooped!

Once we got on the trail, things became easier. The steep grade gave way to a sloping trail and I started to feel better. After one and a half hours of climbing, we reached what has to be the world’s highest airstrip at 3700 meters (12,139 feet). We arrive just in time to see a small plane take off.

First Views of Mt. Everest

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It was here that we got to see our first breathtaking views of Mt. Everest and the surrounding mountains. We hiked a bit farther and there it was, standing quietly behind the other highest peaks of the earth. 

Lhotse, Changri, Ama Dablam, and Nuptse surround the mighty Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak. At 8414m (27,604 feet), 6027m (19,773 feet), and 7861m (25,790 feet) they are the little sisters of this sacred mountain. Mount Everest stands at 8848 meters (27,716 feet).

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The deep Khumbu valley views were magnificent. The river wove far below, carving through the panorama of the white mountain tops. We walked a narrow trail snaking along the side of a steep mountain and suddenly realize “this trek has become real.” We were high in the Himalayas and one false move could mean catastrophe falling into the abyss below.

The sky was a deep blue and the white summits reached toward the billowing clouds. The view was so awe-inspiring it brought me to tears. Everything was so crisp and clear. During the EBC trek, you feel as if you could reach out and touch heaven.

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The clouds rolled in quickly so it was time to go. The weather conditions change quickly on the Everest base camp hike, so it is good to have the experience of a guide leading us through all terrain and conditions. We went back to Namche Bazaar to relax and gain strength for the rest of the trek.

Namche Bazaar – Elevation – 3440 meters. (11246 feet)
Everest View Hotel – 3880 meters (12,730 ft.)
Elevation – Bounce of 440 meters (1443 feet)
Duration – 3 hours return
Elevation Gain – 0 km

Day 4 – Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

We awoke earlier than usual on Day 4. Two large group treks (Intrepid Travel and G Adventures) had checked into our lodge and we didn’t want to have to compete for service or breakfast. We also didn’t want to have to wait in line for the bathroom.

Lodges become more and more sparse as you go higher on the Everest Base Camp Trek and fewer toilets are shared between more people. Up until now, we hadn’t encountered crowds of people. It had been pretty quiet on the mountain and we liked it that way.

Luckily, we were a day ahead of the other tours. They had to stay in Namche Bazaar for another day to acclimate to the high altitudes, So we moved on to enjoy our EBC Trek free from crowds of people – for now.

Tenzing Norgay Memorial Stupa

During day 4 of the EBC trek, we hiked along trails clinging to the side of the mountain. The narrow trekking trails along this route were a little scary. They wound along the edge of the cliff with nothing but a sheer drop to the abyss into the Khumbu Valley. But we kept our wits about us putting one foot ahead of the other until we reached the Sherpa Monument.

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Tenzing Norgay Sherpa monument was erected by the Norgay family. It is a stupa honoring Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and all the Sherpas that risked their lives to help climbers reach the summit of Mt. Everest.

All treks pass this monument and it is an important stop on the journey to pay respect to the famous Sherpa of the Everest region. In case you don’t know, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa was the first man to summit Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary.

What is a Sherpa?

Sherpas are the unsung heroes of Mt. Everest. They do all of the hard work and technical work on the mountain. They carry the heavy loads, set the ladders and ropes to cross the Hillary Step and Khumbu Icefield for mountain climbers, and they take care of setting up camp while climbers and trekkers catch their breath and try to survive life on the world’s highest peak.

Difference Between a Sherpa and a Porter

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Sherpas and porters are very different from one another. We learned that a Sherpa is actually the name of an ethnic group from Tibet. The original mountaineers hired Sherpas as their guides in the Himalayas and the world has now adopted the name for porters in the Everest region. If you aren’t born into the Sherpa ethnic group, you cannot be called a Sherpa. Porters are porters and Sherpas are Sherpas.

We were told that some porters, especially commercial porters carry up to 60kg (150 pounds) of supplies and gear to businesses located along the EBC trek. That is a lot of weight and we were very surprised. When climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, porters had a mandatory weight limit of 35kg. (77 pounds).

Dipendra told us that they get paid per kilo so some people push it too far. The Nepalese are a strong bunch but this is a lot to carry at such a high altitude no matter what shape you are in.

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We kept our pack as light as possible at around 22kg (48 pounds) for Sher and we even felt bad about that! We have heard there is a 30kg (66lb) limit for Everest, but judging by what we saw other porters carrying on the Everest Base Camp hike, people were pushing it well beyond that.

Approaching Tengboche

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The final push of our EBC Trek day 4 was to Tengboche Monastery. It was a tough yet steady 2-hour steep climb. We are now gaining altitude climbing above the tree line. We put our heads down and huffed and puffed our way up. We didn’t stop for any photos or videos and were surprised to cut the climb down to just one and a half hours.

We reached the prayer wheels of Tengboche Monastery just in time for light snow to start falling. We made it into our camp at Tengboche by 1:30 pm and had the entire afternoon to ourselves at 3900 meters (12795 feet). This is an excellent place on the Everest Base Camp hike to have some extra time to relax as there are a few special things to see and do.

Tengboche Monastery

We warmed our feet with our new down booties that we bought at Namche Bazaar and changed into some dryer clothes before heading off to see the monks chant at Tengboche Monastery. Our guide Dipendra told us that this is the most important monastery in the region. All climbers summiting the mountains stop at this monastery to be blessed by the monks.

We were allowed to watch the ceremony and to take in the warmth and blessings from the monks. It is a sacred place and all climbers and trekkers stop here before continuing up the mountains.

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The footprints of Lama Pagna Dorje from the 16th century are embedded in solid stone in front of the monastery.  A place where he mediated and raced through the Himalayas riding the wind with his mind.

Apparently, he sat on this stone for so long, his feet left their mark. He spent years traveling the world through the power of his mind and we believe the story. Especially after our yoga experience in Goa India. He predicted that a monastery would be built here and surprise surprise…here it is.

The View from Tengboche Monastery

The view is magnificent from Tengboche Monastery. The valley is wide and opens up to massive rolling hills giving way to the highest peaks on earth. Plus it has a clear view of Mt. Everest and the surrounding mountains.

We were told that Sir Edmund Hillary came back to survey the peak of Mount Everest from this spot because the view is so clear of the mountain and we can understand why.

Accommodation – Basic Tea Houses at Higher Altitude

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At this high elevation of the EBC trek, accommodation became very basic and rustic. We felt like true adventurers as we sat by the fire warming our feet and bonding with our fellow trekkers over our shared experience by candlelight.

There were 10 of us staying in this teahouse. All are sharing electricity to charge our camera batteries. Meals were now vegetarian and wood stoves were heated by yak dung. At this high altitude, meat cannot be transported fast enough to stay fresh and regular wood is scarce, so yak dung it is.

When we went to bed, our room was freezing. Rooms are not heated at higher elevations. We had our own room, but I sometimes wonder if sleeping in a dorm would have helped with more body heat. The temperature easily dipped down to -10 Celcius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) and our plywood walls didn’t offer a lot of comforts.

We tossed and turned all night long trying to keep our noses warm in our sleeping bags wearing our down jackets, thick socks, and thermal mid-layers.

It was so cold the scoop bucket for the shared squat toilet froze over forming a patch of ice to form on the floor. It was a slippery trip to the outhouse. Sadly, we always have to pee a lot during the night when sleeping at high altitudes so we visited that toilet a lot.

Hot Tip: Pay for hots showers at lower elevations You won’t regret it! We realized that we should have paid the 250 Rupees for the hot showers offered at the accommodation in Namche Bazaar. Now that the weather was so cold there was no way we could face a bucket bath in a freezing shed. Dave and I set a new record in these mountains of Nepal, 9 days without a shower!

Namche Bazaar – Elevation – 3440 meters. (11246 feet) above sea level
Tengboche – 3860 meters (12664 feet)
Elevation Gain – 420 meters (1378 feet)
Distance – 9.3 km (5.77 miles)
Duration – 3 hours (without stopping) 5 hours for photos, lunch and rest.

Day 5 – Tengboche to Dingboche

Day 5 of the EBC Trek was freezing! We had an early wake-up call and morning came too quickly on the Tengboche leg of the EBC Trek. But, we awoke to a winter wonderland of fresh snow at the Tengboche Monastery and clear views of Lhotse peak.

The snow from the night before made for more incredible views on the hiking trails. As we started out from the lodge, the sky was crisp and clear, showing Mount Everest in all its glory. It was stunning, and in between gasping for air, we admired the view.

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Today we walked to higher altitudes and saw our first trains of wooly yaks. Yaks cannot survive at low altitudes because it is too warm for them, so you don’t see yaks on the Everest Base Camp hike until at least 3000 meters. (9800 feet) They are beautiful.

Yaks on the Trek to Everest Base Camp

Woolly yak trains were more frequent and by day five of the EBC Trek, we had our system perfected to give them the right of way without letting them nudge us off the mountain.

As we said earlier, it is important to give yaks space. They will run you right off the mountain if you are in their way. Be sure to stand on the mountainside as they pass so you don’t get knocked over the edge. The yaks of the Everest Base Camp trek, have only one thing on their mind. To get to their destination.

On this day, signs of expeditions going up to summit Everest started to go by as large groups of yaks carried giant loads of climbing gear. It is exciting to think that we were walking the same route as so many great mountain climbers, like Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.

The Trek from Tengboche is breathtaking

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I conquered what little fear of heights I had left this day. Some of the narrow paths on the route dropped sharply into the deep valley below. Soon we found ourselves walking along the ledge not thinking at all about the dangers below. We hiked for a couple of hours before stopping for tea at a restaurant in Pangboche.


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Nepal Woman

There are shops, teahouses, and restaurants along the route so we could buy lunch along the way and one of the more popular stops is in the village of Pangboche. After a tea stop in Pangboche, we met a sweet lady that walked with us all the way to the village of Dingboche. Her name was Yangshou and she waited for us as we struggled up hills and crossed the suspension bridge over the Imja Khola River.  

Her cute laugh and quiet prayers helped to pass the time. She stopped to talk to everyone on the trail while we plugged along. She’d fall far behind when she chatted with friends, only to quickly catch us and then scoot by us with ease. She must have enjoyed our company because we really slowed her down. “Yangzhou, we will always remember your smiling face!

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We spent the night in the village of Dingboche and wished that we had another night here. It is from here that you will see beautiful views of Island Peak and Lhotse, but it is also a good spot for another acclimatization day.

Tengboche – 3860 meters (12664 feet) above sea level
Dingboche – Elevation – 4410 meters. (14468 feet)
Elevation Gain – 550 meters (1804 feet)
Distance – 10.8 km (6.71 miles)
Duration – 3 hours (without stopping) 5 hours for photos, lunch, and rest.

Day 6 – Second Acclimatization Day at Dingboche

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This is a day that most people spend acclimating to the high altitude. We did not do this day, but you should! So we are including it in the guide because it is a very important day when trekking to Everest Base Camp. If we were smarter, we would have spent 2 nights in the village of Dingboche where we would spend a day hiking up to Nagurjun Hill.

This is the best place for climbers looking to summit Everest, Ama Dablam (6812m), Lobuche peak (6,119 m), or Island Peak to do their acclimatization day. Dingboche is a small village in the Khumbu region with only a few guest houses, so it is a good time to relax, replenish and rejuvenate for the next push.

If we had brought our Lonely Planet Trekking in the Nepal Himalayas (which we forgot in Kathmandu and kicked ourselves about it every day) we would have realized that we should have taken an extra day to acclimate in Dingboche.

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Dipendra was flexible so he would have easily added another day onto our trek, we just didn’t know any better to ask about it. Lucky for us, we felt strong, but other groups were complaining of headaches and dizziness.

Read more  9 Best Refreshing Hikes in Olympia WA for Nature Lovers

In the end, we wish we spent the extra day here. Some people even spend two days here climbing to the surrounding peaks. We did suffer after reaching base camp and I believe that is because we didn’t spend time acclimatizing here.

Had we stayed, we would have done some light hikes to gain altitude and then come back down to rest at a lower elevation. Many people who are set to climb Island Peak or Kala Patthar stay here for a few days to get some practice climbs in.

Dingboche – Elevation – 4410 meters. (14468 feet) above sea level
Nangkartshang Peak  – Altitude – 5050 meters (16568 feet)
Climb– 640 meters (2099 feet)
Distance – 10.8 km (6.71 miles)
Duration – 4 hours
Elevation Gain – 0

Day 7 – Dingboche to Lobuche

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We walked with fellow trekkers we met at our guesthouse Martin and Richard from Slovakia during the morning hours. They carried their own packs and after watching them struggle, we were happy we hired a porter. (note: Starting in April 2023, you can no longer trek independently in Nepal) They were really starting to feel the altitude and we eventually left them behind.

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We enjoyed our day taking photos of the stunning clear views of the Everest region. It may be a little colder trekking in Nepal at this time of year (Early March), but the skies are clear and blue. When we came across a small cluster of houses, we felt like we had entered the Kingdom of Middle Earth. Little Hobbit houses lined a valley with giant peaks looming overhead.

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We had a front-row seat to some of the most breathtaking views on earth. An entire panorama of the mountains standing proudly overhead, reaching up to the deepest blue sky that I have ever witnessed. The scene took our breath away. The mountains looked more imposing with each corner we turned and we could not believe that we were fulfilling our dream of hiking to Everest.

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We had to knock on the door to see if Bilbo Baggins happened to be in. Sadly, he wasn’t home. I ended up singing Leonard Nimoy’s Ballad of Bilbo Baggins for the rest of the day. A bad idea since I only know a few words.

Weather Conditions

The wind picked up and we put on our outer layers for the first time. We were thankful to have them as we staggered through the high gusts. Weather varies greatly in the Everest Region and before you know it you can have inclement weather so be prepared with your layers. The sun can be shining one minute and then wind and clouds roll in the next.

After lunch, we faced quite the scramble up a steep hill littered with boulders. It looked like a tough climb, but we moved with ease and quickly made it to the top. Where we found our strength, I do not know.

Sherpa Monuments

At the top of the hill is a very moving sight. Several monuments and stupas are erected, honoring Sherpas and climbers that have lost their lives on Everest. The most notable of these is Babu Chiri Sherpa.

Babu Chiri Sherpa was the former world record holder of the fastest ascent of Everest, the most number of ascents up the mountain, and the quickest back-to-back summits of 2 in less than 2 weeks. He tragically lost his life on his 11th attempt when he fell into a crevasse.

It was a moving experience and a strong reminder to not take things lightly on Everest, even if you are only trekking to Everest Base Camp. It is still a serious trek.

Dingboche – Elevation – 4410 meters. (14468 feet) above sea level
Lobuche  – Altitude – 4940 meters (16207 feet)
Elevation Gain – 530 meters (1738 feet)
Distance – 17.6 km (10.9 miles)
Duration – 4 to 5 hours

Day 8 – Morning – Lobuche to Gorak Shep

Day 8 on the Everest Base Camp Trek takes you to 5000 meters (16404 feet). How did we feel at 5000 meters? Terrible. Before entering Nepal, I had been suffering for a few weeks in India. The pollution of Kathmandu didn’t help and my congestion was worse when I started the climb. I thought it would clear up in the fresh air, but it intensified with each increase in altitude.

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Every morning my cough got worse and my nose was stuffed up to the point of being unbearable. Today, I felt the effects of the congestion and couldn’t catch my breath. It didn’t help that we had gone into such a high altitude. The air is thin and cold.

Dave suffered his first symptoms of altitude sickness when reaching 5000 meters as well. He had a slight case of diarrhea and wasn’t happy about having to wait for the toilet in the teahouses. I think many people were suffering from the same symptoms.

Our was a slow climb to Gorak Shep. We stopped regularly to catch our breath and today we took more breaks than usual. Luckily it was only a couple of hundred meters in elevation gain so we made it to our guest house in Gorek Shep by 12:30.

Lobuche  – Altitude – 4940 meters (16207 feet) above sea level
Gorak Shep – 5164 meters (16942 feet) above sea level
Elevation Gain – 224 meters (734 feet)
Distance – 4.3 (2.6 miles)
Duration – 4 Hours

Day 8 – Afternoon: Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp

We took a break at Gorek Shep before making out way to Everest Base Camp. We sat in the sun marveling at the fact that we made it this far. After eating a hearty lunch of vegetarian Sherpa stew (Dal Bhat) on the terrace, (yes, we ate outside in the warm sun above 5100 meters) we set out for Everest Base Camp. The sun was shining brightly and it was quite pleasant outside so we were very excited.

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We were lucky and had clear skies. Up until today, the clouds had rolled in by early afternoon every day. Today the sun shone and the skies were blue until sunset. So, it was our perfect morning to make the push.

The trek to Base Camp from Gorak Shep is an easy one. It’s two hours of walking with only a small elevation gain, and we made it with ease. That break for lunch really helped our spirits.

Reaching Everest Base Camp

People can summit Mount Everest from Tibet, but the main Everest Base Camp expedition route is in Nepal, and it is busy when the season is in full swing. Even those climbing to the peak of Mt Everest hike the route we took along the Everest Base Camp trek.

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We arrived just a week or two before the season, so it was still quiet on the mountain. In fact, we were the only people at Base Camp that afternoon. We saw another group coming down on our way up, but once there we had it all to ourselves. It was thrilling.

To reach Everest base camp, you will hike out from nearby Gorak Shep and then hike back the same day to spend the night in the village. You do not spend the night at base camp.

Khumbu Glacier

The Khumbu Glacier is the first thing to come into view, and it is unbelievable to think that we are actually standing there. The Khumbu Glacier is the largest glacier in all of Nepal and is famous for the Khumbu Icefall. This treacherous sheet of ice is the most dangerous obstacle that climbers face when summiting Everest.

We witnessed an avalanche that reminded us just how precarious the climb to Mount Everest is. It is an intimidating sight and I cannot imagine having the courage to cross that field of ice. Climbers walk across ladders that shift and move as the ice is alive and constantly settling. It has taken many lives, and we were happy to look at it from afar.

With an elevation of 7600 meters at its source, the Khumbu Glacier is the highest glacier in the world and the Khumbu Icefall is one of the most dangerous portions of the climb to the summit of the world’s highest peak. We were happy to look at it from afar.

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Everest Base Camp’s elevation is 5,364m (17,598 feet) so you will feel the high altitude. But, if you have taken your time you should feel pretty good. We had been at this elevation now for a while and stayed hydrated, so we could enjoy the experience.

We stood at a rock covered with prayer flags announcing that yes, we had made it to Mount Everest Base Camp at 5364 meters. We stayed for almost an hour taking videos, celebrating, and snapping photos. If you can bear it, don’t rush the experience, take it in and enjoy every minute. This will be the only time you’ll see it.

Trekking to Everest may be more exciting later in the season when Everest expeditions are there, but we really liked having base camp to ourselves. There wasn’t a soul on the mountain except for the three of us. We stayed for almost an hour taking videos, celebrating, snapping photos, and marveling at the massive Khumbu Glacier. Can it really be true that we are here? It felt like a dream.

We finished our climb about two weeks before the high season began and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We stood at a rock covered with prayer flags announcing that yes, we had made it to Everest Base Camp.

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I need a rest!

When it’s high season, base camp is filled with expeditions and tents spanning the valley. We only saw one expedition so far. They may have been here to climb Island Peak as base camp is also a place to acclimate for that peak.

We started to make our way back to Gorak Shep from Everest Base Camp at about 3:30 pm. Even though it was an easy trek back, there are narrow paths atop high ledges and it just so happens that while we were walking back, an ice bridge broke off after I stepped on it leaving Dave with a sticky situation of having to take one giant leap over a gorge. We made it back to Gorak Shep safely but it was a reminder just how dangerous the Himalayas can be.

Back to Gorak Shep

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By the time we made it back to Gorak Shep, the excitement of reaching Everest base camp had worn off. We had reached our final destination Base Camp, but there was still a lot more trekking to go.

We were happy to have seen it, but we were exhausted. We felt the same when we climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. The thrill of reaching your destination is over and there is nothing more to look forward to, but there are still so many days to go.

That night I had serious sinus congestion and felt like I was suffocating in my freezing bed. It was quite scary to already be short of breath because of the altitude and then be completely congested. I really was terrified. Our guide Dipendra brought me hot tea all night and I slathered myself in Vicks Vaporub but nothing helped me to breathe easier.

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I was afraid as we had the Gokyo Lake trek ahead through the Cho La Pass. We were also planning to trek up to Kala Pattar for the best views of Everest in the morning. I hope I could make it but I was also dreading the day ahead. I barely slept a wink but I finally drifted into a not-so-peaceful slumber.

Gorak Shep – 5164 meters (16942 feet) above sea level
Everest Base Camp Elevation – 5,364m (17,598 feet) above sea level
Elevation Gain – 200 meters (656 feet)
Distance – 3.5 km one way (2.1 miles)
Duration – Three Hours Round Trip

Alternative Gokyo Lake Via Cho La Pass

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The next morning after a terrible night, we gave up our plans of climbing Kala Patthar and then on to the Gokyo Lakes and Cho La Pass trek. Even though I wasn’t feeling dizzy, nauseous, or lightheaded anymore, the sinus congestion was really getting to me. At altitude a cold can turn serious quickly, you just can’t take a chance when altitude is involved.

But, if we were going to trek on, this would be the next stop. It is supposed to be beautiful and if you are feeling up to it, we highly recommend it. This makes the trek much more interesting as you get to take a different way back to Lukla.

Cho La Pass: Altitude 5420 meters (17,782 feet)
Gokyo Ri:
5357 Meters (17,575 feet)
Gokyo Lakes:
4,700–5,000 m (15,400–16,400 ft)

Day 9 – The Descent and Kala Patthar

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A view of Everest

Kala Patthar is a hill above Gorak Shep that offers the best views of Everest and is a must-stop on anyone’s Everest Base Camp trekking route. We had planned to climb to the summit of Kala Patthar, but my congestion was so bad, that we decided it was safer to get to a lower elevation quickly.

Kala Patthar is a quick two-hour trek to add to your descent back to Lukla. It is a good option if you are feeling up for it as it gives a great view of Mt. Everest. Make sure to start early morning before dawn as there is still a long day of trekking after summiting Kala Pattar. Plan on another five or six hours to your next overnight stop at Pheriche.

Kala Patthar to Pheriche – Afternoon

By the time you reach your accommodation at Periche, you should be feeling a lot better. Dave and I find that we are fine in the 4000-meter ranges of altitude and experience very few symptoms of altitude sickness. It is at 5000 meters and above that, we start to feel our symptoms. Periche is a much more manageable 4371 meters.

Kala Pattar: 5643 metres
Pheriche: 4371 Meters
Altitude Loss: 1272

Days 10 to 11 – The Descent from Everest Base Camp

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A sunny day on the way to Base Camp.

It took us two days more to trek back from Everest Base Camp to our final destination on the EBC Trek. I started feeling better on the second day as the dryness of the Everest base camp disappeared. My sinuses cleared and soon I was breathing easily. I started to feel guilty about turning around, but in hindsight, I know it was the right choice. You never want to take a chance with altitude sickness.

Even though we were heading down, there is still a lot of altitude gain as the EBC trek doesn’t continuously go downhill. I was feeling really fatigued and we still had a tough couple of days ahead of us. But knowing there was light at the end of the tunnel made everything easier.

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It takes a lot of mental stamina to climb back down as the euphoria of reaching the Everest base camp has worn off, but we made the most of it, by chatting with other trekkers and getting to know our guides better.

During our decent we could actually take our time to smell the roses or should I say enjoy the trekking trail that ran through the stunning rhododendron forest.

Rhododendrons are beautiful flowering plants that bloom in different shades of pink, red, white, and purple. The rhododendron forest is particularly prominent in the areas of Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, and Dingboche which we really didn’t notice until we made our way down the mountains.

We followed the route we came up with, but it was much faster and we stayed in different villages. The beauty of booking organized trips with a local guide is that our guide Dipendra knew the routes like the back of his hand, so he could change accommodations easily to suit our speed.

Day 12 – Lukla

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We were back in Lukla early on day 12 of our EBC Trek and had an evening booked in a guest house here to catch the first flight from Lukla back to Kathmandu in the morning. As much as we loved our trip to Everest, we were excited to be moving on to explore more of Nepal.

The accommodation was pleasant with a lovely restaurant, hot shower, and warm and cozy beds. It was a great way to end the trip.

Day 13 – Return To Kathmandu Flight from Lukla Airport

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It is very important to give yourself an extra cushion when booking your return flight not only home from Kathmandu but from Lukla. We stayed overnight in Lukla on the final night of our trek and booked a flight to Kathmandu for first thing the next morning.

It is not uncommon for flights to be canceled or delayed flying out of Lukla Airport. Weather conditions change quickly. So give a bit of a cushion when booking your flight home from Nepal after you’ve finished your trek to Everest Base Camp. Many a traveler has missed their connecting flights home from Kathmandu because of delays in Lukla. It is safer to plan to spend a night or two in Kathmandu after your trek.

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We were delayed an entire day. Even though we were booked on the first flight from Lukla, the weather made us wait until near sunset. We were the first (and only) flight out that day, so everyone else who was waiting for their flights all day was stuck another night.

It was a bumpy flight back to Kathmandu and we almost wished that we didn’t make it on the flight. The turbulence was so bad, I was sure we were going to drop out of the sky.

Everyone on the flight was silent as we were tossed about dropping huge amounts of elevation at a time. But we landed and we have never been so happy to arrive in Kathmandu. We kissed the ground, thankful to have trekked to Everest Base Camp, but vowed to never do it again.

Accommodation – Tea Houses on Everest Base Camp

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The main lodges of each teahouse we stayed in during the first half of our trip were cozy and warm. At the lower elevations, woodstoves burned wood in the dining room and common areas and our rooms were a comfortable temperature as we were wrapped up in our sleeping bags.

But as we ventured higher, the stoves were less abundant and instead of wood, they burned yak dung. You heard me, Yak Dung. Wood can’t burn in thin air, so they use yak dung to heat the teahouses at high elevations. Rooms are not heated so when we went to our rooms, we had to wear hats, thick socks, puffy coats, and long johns.

There were charging stations at the accommodation for electronics and we paid by the hour for electricity.

  • We highly recommend taking a portable USB charger to charge your own electronics.
  • We also used a solar USB charger that recharged during the day as we hiked.

Meals on Everest Base Camp

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Because we booked an all-inclusive Everest Base Camp trek with Simrik Real Nepal tour company, all meals and snacks were included with our accommodation. Each evening, hearty meals were served that included pasta, rice, or Dal Bhat. Dal Bhat is the staple food of Nepal consisting of lentils, vegetables, steamed rice, and curry.

For the first few days, meat was served at meals, but as you climb higher, meals turned to vegetarian as it is more difficult to get the meat up the mountains.

Prayer Flags and Prayer Wheels – EBC Trek Etiquette

We saw many prayer wheels, prayer flags, and prayer rocks (mani stones) all along the trail to Everest. Everest is a sacred mountain and these monuments help give luck to the climbers on the mountain. There are customs to be followed when approaching prayer rocks or prayer wheels.

How to properly trek around prayer Wheels and Prayer Rocks

  • When approaching a prayer rock, it is important to walk to the left of the prayer rocks (mani stones) in a clockwise direction. The stone on the right means you are on the “right hand of God.”
  • When using prayer wheels, you walk along and spin them to ask for blessings for the climb ahead.
  • Sherpas and locals spin prayer wheels saying the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” giving blessings to the climb ahead.
  • The prayer flags have prayers and mantras written on them which are believed to carry messages of positivity and to spread goodwill and compassion they are carried by the wind.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness is a very real possibility on the EBC Trek. On average 3-5 people die each year doing the trek to Everest base camp. Make sure to keep an eye out for signs of Acute Mountain Sickness. Acute Mountain Sickness is life-threatening and early symptoms include nausea, headache, and vomiting. It can lead to death. The Best way to alleviate symptoms is to go down to a lower elevation.

If you start to feel dizzy, have a pounding headache, or if you start to vomit go down to a lower altitude as quickly as possible. Take your time climbing, stay hydrated, and listen to your body.

Drink plenty of fluids, try to eat, and rest regularly. It is better to walk slowly and steadily rather than rushing at high altitudes. And when you get to your accommodations each day, relax as much as possible.

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It can be dangerous trekking to Everest Base Camp from falling off the mountain to succumbing to altitude sickness. Some people have simply disappeared. Hiring a guide is a good option (and now the only option) for safety and it is very important to look for signals of altitude-related sickness.

But the Everest basecamp trek isn’t nearly as dangerous as climbing to the summit of Mt Everest. In 2019, 11 people died while trying to summit Mount Everest.

The village of Lukla is located at a high elevation so you will feel the effects of the thin air as soon as you land. The elevation of Lukla, Nepal is 2869 meters (9,350 feet). We were short of breath and already feeling fatigued upon landing. So instead of immediately starting our trek, we had a hot breakfast at one of the many restaurants in Lukla.

Travel Insurance for Everest Trek

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We always travel with travel insurance on our travels, but hiking to Everest Base Camp will not be covered by regular insurance providers. It is highly recommended to get supplemental comprehensive travel insurance that offers trip cancellation insurance, and medical evacuation insurance.

Medjet is a good option for medical evacuation insurance and is a good addition to your regular travel insurance. There is a very real possibility of altitude sickness and we knew of two people that needed helicopter rescues during our trek.

World Nomads offers specific Everest Base Camp Insurance. You can check them out to get a quote. I would suggest a combination of World Nomads travel insurance and Medjet medical evacuation insurance. Regardless of what travel insurance you choose, be sure to call them directly to ask for specific advice about trekking to Everest Base Camp.

For a trip like Everest Base Camp, you will want to make sure to have trip interruption and trip cancellation insurance as well as lost luggage. This is a trip of a lifetime, so make sure you have a backup plan.

Can you Trek Independently to Everest Base Camp?

Starting April 1, 2023, Nepal has banned solo trekking. Foreigners must hire a guide for treks in high-altitude trekking regions of national parks. According to the Kathmandu Post in March, “solo or independent trekkers have to mandatorily hire a guide or a porter before setting off to Nepal’s mountains.” However, after an updated article in the Kathmandu Post, it seems that the Everest Region is an exception. Before booking, we would check with local companies and authorities as rules are constantly changing.

Regardless, we loved hiring a local guide to make oure experience richer, to support the local economy and to feel safer hi

  • Our all-inclusive Everest Base Camp Trek through the Simrik Real Nepal included return flights from Lukla, food, lodging, guiding, and all permits and paperwork.
  • We didn’t have to search for accommodation at the end of each day of trekking
  • We had English-speaking guides and a porter.
  • We had our own room, but you can also share rooms on the EBC Trek
  • We never worried about the cost of meals. They were all prepaid.
  • And our guide (Dipendra) and porter were part of the package for the trip.

Costs for Everest Base Camp Trek

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Prices can vary greatly for trekking to Everest Base Camp. You can contact Simrik Real Nepal for up to date prices.

  • Booking with an international agency can cost from $1800 – $5000 USD
  • Booking with a local agency and be anywhere from $1400 – $2500

When is the Best time to Trek to Base Camp?

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The high season for treks is April to May and October to November. We climbed in early March and felt that it was the perfect time of the year. The weather was beautiful, the skies were clear and the official climbing season hadn’t picked up yet. So we had a lot of the mountain to ourselves. We had heard stories of how busy the trail is, but at this time of year, it was quite deserted.

But a week and a half after our trek started as we made our way back to Lukla, it was already busier. We saw a lot of parties climbing up and the trail was getting congested. I can only imagine how packed the trails are during the high season.

What to Pack For Your Everest Base Camp Trek

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Layering is extremely important when trekking to Everest Base Camp. This is a quick guide for clothing but we wrote a complete packing guide for base camp here.

Make sure to have a day pack to carry the important items and layers that you will need for your day of trekking for the entire trek. Your porter will carry everything else.

  • 2 quick drying long sleeved base layer shirts
  • 2 trekking shirts short sleeve
  • 2 Thermal Base Layer – 2 leggings/2shirts
  • 2 liner socks
  • 3 pairs of woolen blend trekking socks
  • 2 pairs of trekking pants with zip-off bottoms
  • 2 fleece sweaters – one lightweight, one heavier
  • Outer windproof jacket and pants
  • 2 water bottles to fill regularly
  • Steripen or Lifestraw – this is great for purifying water
  • Portable USB Charger
  • Basic First Aid Kit – A first aid kit is important to have but your guide, they will have one as well.
  • Warm sleeping bag. If you don’t have a sleeping bag rated to below zero, we recommend renting one from your guding company.

Treats and Medication

  • Tang – I was glad we packed Tang for our water. It made it taste better, keeping us well-hydrated. We didn’t really want to drink just water, but the Tang (which we bought in Kathmandu) was actually delicious. Gatorade or another electrolyte-replenishing drink is a great idea.
  • Diamox – (You can buy this in Kathmandu without a prescription) I highly recommend using Diamox tablets for altitude sickness as well. We met so many people suffering from headaches, dizziness, and fatigue and they weren’t taking anything. We’ve always used Diamox when climbing to altitude and it has worked beautifully for us.
  • Chocolate – When we were feeling ill, we were happy to have chocolate to eat. It was the only thing that we could eat at times.

How to Get Fresh Water on An Everest Trek

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We recommend two refillable water bottles per person that can be refilled along the way. You can fill up anywhere for free along the Everest Base Camp route, but make sure you have a SteriPen or some other form of water purification with you. We love the SteriPen for purifying water, see our review here.

You can also use the LifeStraw or water purification tablets, but once we discovered the SteriPen, we never went back. See our complete Packing a Travel First Aid Kit here

Do You Need Climbing Experience for Everest Base Camp Trek?

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There is no need for any technical climbing experience to make it to Everest Base Camp. If you are relatively fit, it is very doable. But it is a full two weeks at a sustained altitude of over 4000 meters.

We didn’t train for our Everest Base Camp Trek but we had been to altitude before and had spent a lot of time backpacking leading up to the months prior. It’s good to know how your body reacts to altitude. We suggested doing a couple of treks above 3000 meters (9000 feet) to see how your body reacts.

Hot Tips for Trekking to EBC

  • Keep your camera batteries close to your body when not in use. The cold and altitude really eat up battery life, so you will want to keep them warm for as long as you can.
  • Bring USD, ATM Fees are high and you are limited to the amounts you can take out of the ATM, so have ISD to exchange instead.
  • Pack handi wipes and Gold Bond Powder – it’s a lifesaver when you can’t get hot showers.
  • See our Full list of Everest Base Camp Tips here.

How to Get to Everest Base Camp

There are daily flights to Kathmandu International Airport from international hubs around the world.

Flights to Lukla no longer leave from Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu Airport) in Kathmandu due to congestion. Flights are now out of Ramechap airport which is a 4 1/2 hour drive from Kathmandu. You can book private helicopters from Tribhuvan International Airport.

The flight from Ramechap airport is much shorter than the flight from Tribhuvan International Airport. Flights to Lukla are only 12 minutes so more flights can get through when the weather is clear making flights less likely to be canceled or delayed for too long.

Where to Book Your Everest Base Camp Trek

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We booked our trek in Kathmandu with Local Guide Dipendra of Simrik Real Nepal.  If you are looking for a local guide he is an excellent choice with nearly 20 years of experience in the mighty Himalayas.

Prices for the Everest base camp trek cost can vary depending on where you book. Group tours booked in North America will charge more. Ranging from $1500 – $5000 USD

You can save a lot of money by booking a local guide as you will cut out the middleman prices. Having a local guide let us know our money was going directly to the Nepal economy. Check with Simrik Real Nepal for current prices.

How Much to Tip Guides and Porters for an EBC Trek

Guides and porters in Nepal do not make a lot of money and rely on tipping. When we take tours of any kind, we (ourselves) tip 15% – 20% but that is a part of our culture in North America, we are quite large tippers and realize that others are not comfortable with that. We’ve done a lot of research and gone by what our tour companies have suggested on other tips, what we feel is a fair tip and what the average is across the internet.

For tipping in Nepal we have broken down the cost for a guide and porter.

Guide – Tipping – 10% – 15% of the total cost of the trip. We find this the easiest to figure out. If you paid $2000 for your trek, the lead guide should receive $200 – $300

Guide per day – Some suggest $10 – $15 per day per person for guides – For a 14 day trek that means you would tip your guide $140 – $210.

Porters per day – $5 – $10 per day per person for porters. – $70 – $140 for your porter.

We like to start at 15% of the total cost of our trips to give to the guides and then pay the porters a daily fee of $10.

If you can afford to trek to Everest Base Camp, you should be able to tip your guides and porters who have worked so hard accordingly.

Daily Life in the Everest Region of Nepal

While trekking to Everest we passed through many picturesque villages. The people are friendly and life goes on as it would in any community in Nepal. People do well in the Khumbu Region and they respect the tours passing through because the tourists are what keep them going. 

There is electricity from the water that they harness from the Imja Khola River and Dudh Kosi River; two rivers that run through the trek. They also have solar power for electricity as well. There are schools, fresh running water, televisions, a health clinic, and bars.

That is not to say that life is all roses. It is a remote region of Nepal and it is difficult to get any supplies in. Food and equipment need to be carried into villages on foot. Porters carry heavy loads on their backs and women and children also do the heavy lifting. Everything needs to be carted in by hand or by animals. Check out our tips for climbing to Base Camp

Frequently Asked Questions

And that is a day-by-day breakdown of our experience on the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek. If you plan ahead and understand what to expect on the EBC Trek, you will be sure to have an amazing journey.

It’s an experience we’ll never forget and highly recommend it to everyone. The Himalayan Mountains are the most beautiful and spiritual place on earth and this trip will change your life.

  • Flight to Lukla
  • Packing list for Everest Base Camp
  • Remarkable Everest Base Camp Trek in Photos
  • 30 Tips for Trekking to Everest Base Camp
  • Nepal Travel Guide
  • Top 6 Places to visit in Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Where to Eat in Kathmandu – Eight Great Spots to Indulge After Your Trek
  • The Ultimate Travel Songs Playlist to Inspire Wanderlust

Dal Bhat photograph courtesy of Wikimedia – I don’t know why we never took a photo of our Dal Bhat. We ate it nearly every day while trekking to Everest Base Camp. You’ll either learn to love it or despise it.

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— Update: 24-04-2023 — found an additional article An Everest Base Camp Trek Overview & Guide from the website for the keyword ebc hike.

The Mount Everest Base Camp trek is undoubtedly one of the most popular multi day treks in the world.

The 11 day hike takes you from the mountainside village of Lukla to Everest Base Camp and back, as you take in some of the most scenic landscapes that the Himalayas have to offer.

This guide will go over everything (yes, literally everything) you will need to know about the Everest Base Camp trek experience, how to prepare for it, and what to expect along the way.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through the links provided, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting the work I put into TripTins!

1) Everest Base Camp Trek Introduction

The Everest Base Camp trek (also known as the EBC trek), is an 11 day out and back route that makes its way through Sagarmatha National Park of the Himalayas, where you will experience first-hand some of the best trekking that the world has to offer.

You will begin the trek in the village of Lukla at an elevation of 9,318 feet / 2,840 meters. Over the course of the first 8 days, you will slowly make your way further into the national park as you hike during the day and sleep in local villages at night.

Sometime on day 8 you will reach your final destination of Mount Everest Base Camp at an elevation of 17,598 feet / 5,364 meters.

Here is where the top climbers from around the world begin their ascent up the tallest mountain in the world – Mount Everest (29,029 feet / 8,848 meters).

On the final three days of the trek, you will retrace your route back down towards Lukla. Since this will be mostly downhill and you won’t need to spend time acclimatizing (more on that later), you will be able to complete the return journey in less than half the time.

To give you a high-level overview, here is a day by day breakdown of the Everest Base Camp trek, which I will dive further into throughout the guide.

Day 1: Fly to Lukla | Hike to Phakding
Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar
Day 3: Acclimatization Day | Hotel Everest View
Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche
Day 5: Tengoche to Dingboche
Day 6: Acclimatization Day | Nangkartshang Peak
Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche
Day 8: Lobuche to Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp to Gorak Shep
Day 9: Kalapattar Trek | Gorak Shep to Pheriche
Day 10: Pheriche to Namche Bazaar
Day 11: Namche Bazaar to Lukla
Day 12: Morning flight to Kathmandu

→ There are alternative villages to stay in during the trek, which could alter the route slightly. The above route is a pretty standard trek over the 11 days.

This is not just a simple trek though, which is why I wanted to lay out a complete and helpful guide to better prepare you for the experience, and answer any and all questions you may have about the route.

The remainder of this guide will do just that, so read on for everything you need to know about the Everest Base Camp trek.

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2) EBC Distance, Elevation Gain & Duration

I thought it may be helpful to first breakdown the stats of the Everest Base Camp trek.

Yes, it is an 11 day trek and yes, you do hike from 9,318 feet to 17,598 feet in elevation, but there is SO much more behind those numbers. Let’s dive into distance, elevation gain, and duration:


You will see a few different numbers thrown around here but I calculated the entire 11 day trek at 62 miles / 123 kilometers long.

That averages out to 7 miles / 11 kilometers per day, with the shortest days being in the 3 mile / 5 km range and the longest days around 12 miles / 19 km in length.

These numbers do include several additional highly recommended add-ons to the trek:

1) Day 3 round trip acclimatization hike up to the Hotel Everest View (from Namche Bazaar)

2) Day 6 round trip acclimatization hike up to Nangkartshang Peak (from Dingboche)

3) Day 9 round trip hike up to Kalapathar (from Gorak Shep)

Elevation Gain

For me, elevation gain is the most important number to look at when figuring out the difficulty of a hike.

A hike could be 20 miles long, but if it is all flat, then that can be a pretty easy trail to walk. On the other hand, there could be a hike at just 5 miles long, but it gains 5,000+ feet of elevation. A hike like that is going to be much tougher for most people.

During the Everest Base Camp trek, the total elevation gain is not just calculated as the difference in elevation between Everest Base Camp and Lukla (8,280 feet by the way), rather it is calculated by understanding the exact elevation profile of the entire journey.

Throughout a day’s hike, you may go down, go up, go down again, and then go up again. By adding up all of these inclines is how you will get to that true total elevation gain number.

With that said, the total elevation gain during the 11 day trek (including those three additional side hikes mentioned above), comes out to +24,000 feet / +7,300 meters.

Read more  Everest Base Camp Trek – Ultimate Guide For 2023

You read that right, the actual elevation gain is nearly 3 times the number calculated by just looking at the difference between Lukla and EBC.

Below is a helpful Everest Base Camp elevation profile that shows the ups and downs that you will encounter during the trek. Note that the charts does not include the 3 additional hikes from above.

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So, now that you understand the distances and elevation gains, how does that determine how much time you will actually spend trekking on a daily basis?

Well, on average you will be hiking around 5-6 hours per day. The shortest days will be around 3 hours long while the longest days can reach up to 8 hours on the trail.

This is not necessarily because the distances are so long, but it is more so the slow pace that you will be required to trek at due to the high altitude of the hike.

On the way up, on average, you should expect to hike around 1 mile (0.6 km) per hour. Yes, it does seem quite slow but when dealing with the incline and lower oxygen levels, that is where the average will be.

Of course, if you are an above average trekker, you can shave plenty of time off of those numbers. But either way, I would advise to go slower rather than faster due to the high altitude.

The chart below breaks down the day by day data behind distance, elevation gain, and duration throughout the entirety of the trek.

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3) EBC Trekking Map

It may also be helpful to get a sense of what the Everest Base Camp layout looks like.

Below is a map with the various villages that you will be staying overnight in throughout the duration of the trail.

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4) When is the Best Time to Trek to Everest Base Camp?

Now that you have a better background on the Everest Base Camp trek, your next step is to figure out exactly when to head out on your own.

Well, there are really only two main seasons that you will want to complete the trek – in the Spring from mid-March to May or in the Fall from mid-September to November/beginning of December.

Outside of these months the weather is either going to be too rainy, cloudy, cold or snowy, and it just would not make for optimal trekking conditions.

The Spring time period is a great season to go since that is when mountaineers will actually be attempting to climb Mount Everest itself.

They usually make their way on the same EBC route as normal trekkers do in mid/late March and then summit Everest in mid/late May. So, you may see climbers on the trail with you and you are likely to see an active base camp when you arrive there on day 8.

The weather also begins to warm up during this time period, as the snow tapers off from the winter and visibility is decent as well.

This is the more comfortable time of year to trek from a temperature perspective but you will have cloudier days and less visibility compared to the late Fall.

After the Spring trekking period ends, the rain then begins as it drenches the region during the Summer.

Starting in mid-September, the weather begins to improve and trekkers once again begin to flock to the region.

October and November are both great months to visit when it comes to visibility, with less clouds, and little to no rain.

As you move farther along into the Fall, it does get colder but it is arguably the best time of year to visit when it comes to visibility.

Once December rolls around, you will still have some people on the trail but the temperatures will drop significantly, snowfall will arrive, and many teahouses will close down for the Winter.

The most popular months (according to 2018/2019 data from the Sagarmatha National Park entry point office) are going to be April (12,386 visitors) and October (12,452 visitors), followed by November (8,869 visitors) and March (5,598 visitors).

At the end of the day, I wanted my experience to be all about the enjoying the landscape every day as much as possible.

That landed me with a mid-November trek, when visitors began to taper off but visibility was at an all-time high.

» Learn more in the article I wrote that dives deeper into why I choose a November EBC trek

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5) What is Acclimatization

I have mentioned it several times already, so it is time to talk about what acclimatization actually is.

For most people out there, to be 10,000+ feet above sea level is not what the body is used to on a day to day basis. The higher you ascend, the less oxygen there will be in the atmosphere.

This means that your body will need to adapt itself slowly over time to operate efficiently at these higher altitudes.

At Lukla for example, the starting point of the trek, oxygen saturation levels are already at just 73% of normal levels, while at Everest Base Camp, oxygen saturation drops to 50%!

Going up in elevation too quickly can result in altitude sickness (dizziness, headaches, nausea) and potentially even more dangerous complications like cerebral and pulmonary edema.

To help prevent altitude sickness on the Everest Base Camp trek, it is common that acclimatization begins around 11,500-foot mark. Since Namche Bazaar (arrive on day 2) is just below that altitude, most people spend 2 or even 3 nights in the village to get their body better prepared for the rest of the journey.

Essentially the two main rules here to follow include:

» You should increase your altitude by no more than 1,000-1,600 feet / 300-500 meters per day (most days are just within this level)

» For every 3,000 feet / 915 meters of altitude gained, you should take a day off from going upwards (this will occur by days 2 and 5 of the trek, which is why days 3 and 6 are acclimatization days)

One way to help acclimatize in a more efficient way is to take part of acclimatization hikes during your “days off”.

Essentially, this means hiking up to a higher altitude so your body gets accustomed to the lower oxygen saturation, and then heading back down to sleep at a lower elevation to rest and recover.

So on day 3 for example, it is popular to head from Namche Bazaar (11,286 feet / 3,440 meters) to Hotel Everest View (12,730 feet / 3,880 meters), and then back to Namche.

On day 6, a similar hike is recommended by heading up from Dingboche (14,469 feet / 4,410 meters) to Nangkartshang Peak (16,677 feet / 5,083 feet) and back down.

While these hikes are by no means easy to do, they offer both 1) a safe way to better acclimatize yourself for the remainder of the journey and 2) incredible views of the surrounding Himalayan landscape that you certainly do not want to miss out on.

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6) Altitude Sickness

Going off of acclimatization, it is important to also talk about the side of effects of altitude sickness and what it does to the body.

Even the most well-built athletes can experience altitude sickness on a trek like this. If your body is not used to these high altitudes, you must take it slowly and give it time to get accustomed.

Altitude sickness (or Acute Mountain Sickness – AMS) can come with a variety of symptoms, with the main ones including headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, insomnia, and lack of appetite.

These can start out pretty mild but if you continue along without letting your body recover, then the symptoms can continue to get more severe.

At the onset of any of these mild symptoms, it is important to just take 1-2 days to rest and not continue along the route.

If the symptoms completely disappear and you are back at full strength you should be able to continue. If they don’t improve though or begin to get worse, then it is time to head down to a lower altitude.

You should never continue upwards unless you are symptom free!

The higher you get, the higher the chance you have for worsening symptoms, which can get quite severe.

Two extremely dangerous forms of altitude sickness include high altitude cerebral edema and high-altitude pulmonary edema (HACE and HAPE).

HACE is when your brain begins to swell with fluids and HAPE is when your lungs begin to swell with fluid.

Symptoms for HACE and HAPE can include loss of coordination, memory issues, chest tightness, severe cough, among several other troubling signs.

If any of these begin to happen, you must descend immediately or even opt for a helicopter rescue back to Kathmandu.

These are potentially deadly symptoms to have so do be aware of how your body feels throughout the trek.

Besides for acclimatization to help prevent altitude sickness, many trekkers opt to take Diamox medication during the climb up.

Diamox helps prevent altitude sickness – it does not cure altitude sickness. So, if your doctor recommends it and you don’t have any side effects, you can take Diamox for the EBC trek (starting 1-2 days before the trek begins).

EBC Tip – take a dose or two of Diamox before heading out to Nepal under normal conditions to see if you have any of the more severe side effects from the medication (vomiting, drowsiness, blurred vision). From there you will know if it is safe for you to take on the trail itself.

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7) Everest Base Camp Trek Cost

The cost of the Everest Base Camp trek will fully depend on what type of experience you are looking for. I like to break it down into three main options: Fully Guided Trek, Independent Trek, or an Independent Trek with a Guide / Porter Guide / Porter.

Fully Guided Trek

These are your most high end trekking experiences to choose from. You can either join a larger group or opt for a private trekking tour, where everything from beginning to end will be taken care of for you.

There will be no worrying where to go or what to do. At every step of the way you will have English speaking locals and potentially Westerners, guiding you all along the way.

These treks can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $4,000+ depending on group vs. private and local vs. Western tours. They usually include the following but that can differ from tour to tour:

› Transportation to and from Kathmandu Airport

› Accommodation in Kathmandu before and after the trek

› Day tour in Kathmandu before or after the trek

› Flights to Lukla

› Trekking Permits

› English speaking guides

› Porters to carry your bags

› Teahouse accommodation and food

These types of treks can be booked with local Kathmandu tour agencies (on the lower end of the price scale) or with Western companies like REI, National Geographic, etc. (on the high end of the scale).

Independent / Do It Yourself

Instead of opting for the all-inclusive type tours, you can also just complete the trek on your own and care take of any logistics yourself. The main cost considerations to take in account for the 11 day trek include:

Teahouse Accommodation: $5 per night | $55 total

Food & Drinks: $7 per meal / 3 meals per day | $231 total

Trekking Permits: $17 (Khumbu Permit) + $25 (Sagarmatha Permit) | $42 total

Lukla Round Trip Flight: $360 total

Total Cost: ~$690 per person

The total for a DIY trip from a basic standpoint can come out to just around $690. So if you are on a budget then this is a great experience to take part of that keeps costs low.

This is assuming you come prepared with things like a power bank and water sterilizer, and don’t spend money on things like hot showers. More on all of that soon.

Guide / Porter Guide / Porter

Now, if you want a mix between a guided tour and a DIY option you can also opt to have a local guide, porter guide, or porter along with you on the trek. You still will have someone to guide you along the trail, but the price point will be lower than an all inclusive option.

In addition to the $690 above for the DIY option, you will want to add $30, $20 or $15 per day depending on which option you go with. The bolded number is the total cost including the $690.

Local Guide (+$30 per day / $1,020 total): these will be English speaking locals who will walk alongside you for the duration of the trail. They will not carry your bags, but they will be able to answer your questions and teach you more about the region along the way.

Porter Guide (+$20 per day / $910 total): a porter guide is a mix between a guide and a porter. They do not speak great English – just enough to get by, but they will carry your bag throughout the duration of the trail.

Porter (+$15 per day / $855 total): porters will simply carry your bag for you during the trek. They speak little to no English and will not understand questions you may try to ask them.

A few things to note when hiring these locals for your trek:

» I would advise at least a 20%+ tip if you hire a local during your trip. This can be added to the daily prices above depending on how much you decide on.

» You can get connected with these locals by a Kathmandu tour operator or you could meet one in Lukla or Namche Bazaar.

» Many Kathmandu tour operators will give you the option to have a more all-inclusive price (includes accommodation and food), or just an option with the guide/porter guide/porter.

» You can also hire both a porter and a guide if you want to have your bags carried for you and have an English speaking local alongside you during the trek.

So, to wrap up you are looking at the following estimated breakdown:

Independent DIY: $690

Independent w/ Porter: $855

Independent w/ Porter Guide: $910

Independent w/ Guide: $1,020

All Inclusive Tour: $1,200+

→ To learn more, take a look at the Everest Base Camp Trek Cost breakdown that goes into detail about the above costs as well as additional costs to consider when in Nepal

Since we just got off the topic of costs, we might as well jump into the main considerations to expect along the trail. The following several sections will breakdown the main costs to consider along the way.

8) Trekking Permit

To take part of the Everest Base Camp trek you will need to purchase two trekking permits.

Both of these permits will be purchased on the trail itself. There is no need to purchase any sort of permit prior to Lukla.

Be sure to keep your permits in a safe spot as there are checkpoint spots during the trail, where you must show your permits – both at the start and end of the trek.

1) The Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality Permit costs Rs 2000 / $17 USD and will be purchased on your first day on the trail just as you are leaving Lukla.

2) The Sagarmatha National Park Permit costs Rs 3000 / $25 USD and will be purchased on your second day on the trail between Phakding and Namche Bazaar.

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9) Teahouse Accommodation

During the duration of the trek, you will be sleeping in teahouse accommodations in the various villages.

These teahouses offer basic accommodation options that cost around $5 per night (Rs 500). The only place where prices were a couple dollars more was in Lobuche (night 7).

Note: these prices are based on the fact that you eat your meals in the teahouse. If you decide to not eat your meals in the teahouse, then they will charge you extra.

While some teahouses may be slightly nicer than others, I found for the most part that they offered very similar services and amenities.

You will have a small room with 1-2 beds (some places may offer 3+ bed option too), with a thin mattress, some hooks to hang clothes on, and a garbage basket. Besides that you won’t find much else in them.

The main hangout spot in these teahouses will be the common dining room area. Here is where all meals will be served and also where you will find the most important part of the teahouse – the fireplace.

In the early mornings and in the evenings, they will have the fire going to help warm you up as you eat your meals (and maybe as you play some card games after dinner).

On each floor of the teahouse you will find several restrooms. These may be just western toilets, just squat toilets, or a mixture of both. Outside of the restroom area, there will be 1-2 sinks to wash your hands in.

Below are some shots I took from the various teahouses I stayed in throughout the trek.

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10) Food on the Trek

The great thing about teahouses is that they offer 3 meals a day with a whole variety of food options. I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of food that I got to choose from on a daily basis and how good it all tasted. Some of the classic options include:

Breakfast: different style of eggs, French toast, pancakes, porridge and toasts

Lunch/Dinner: Soups, Noodles, Potatoes, Momos (dumplings), Pizza, Rice, Spring Rolls, Steak, Burgers and of course the famous Dal Bhat.

→ Dal Bhat by the way is a local dish comprising of rice, veggies, and lentils. You can get a free refill on it as well making it a favorite among trekkers.

→ You will also find plenty of drinks to choose from included a wide variety of tea, soft drinks, beer, and water.

Water is one of the most important parts of an Everest Base Camp trek.

You will want to make sure you stay well hydrated throughout the trek, especially due to the high elevations. While you can purchase water throughout the trek for $2-$4 per bottle, I would highly recommend bringing along a SteriPEN UV Water Purifier.

Bringing along a purifier will allow you to fill up a water bottle using water from the teahouse (tap or kitchen) and then sterilize it using the pen.

So, instead of spending money every day on water, you simply can invest in a purifier and fill up for free all along the trail.

I would usually get a tea and a main course dish, which would come out to around $5-$9 (Rs 600 – Rs 1000) depending on meal.

Sometimes it was a bit more, sometimes a bit less. Below are a couple menus pics that you can browse through to get a better idea on prices as well as some photos of dishes I tried on the trail.

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11) Showering / Hygiene

If you didn’t realize before, I never mentioned showers when I spoke about teahouses. That is because teahouses don’t have (free) public showers available.

Many, but not all teahouses will have one or two hot showers (from solar power) that cost around $5 – $10 or so depending on where on the trail you are.

So, if you want to stay clean all throughout the duration of the trek, you will want to add an additional $70 or so to your budget.

While hot showers are great, it is also important to note that some showers may not be hot per se, but more so warm showers. You should also be prepared to be quite cold right after the shower, as you will be then exposed to some frigid temperatures once done.

And lastly, the hot showers won’t always be available as they are based on solar energy. If there isn’t enough juice to keep the teahouse running then showering may not be a possibility.

» A quick drying towel is a must (I have been using the Rainleaf Microfiber Towel during my travels). No other towels will stand a chance of drying at those low temperatures.

» Shower / wash up right when you get to the teahouse. As the day goes on, it just gets colder and you will feel less and less inclined to get wet.

If you are wondering how to stay clean without showering then here are some helpful tips:

» Bring along body deodorizing wipes (Alcala Bamboo Deodorizing Body Wipes recommended), that remove all the dirt and sweat from your skin, leaving you feeling much more refreshed after a day of hiking.

» You can use the sink water (can purify it with your water sterilizer if you would like) to wash your face.

» Some teahouses offer the chance to purchase a “warm water washing bowl” for $2-$3, that can be used to wash your face and other parts of your body.

12) WiFi / Cell Coverage

Staying connected is something many people think about when heading out on long treks like this one. To help solve that, there is an Everest WiFi system in place that many teahouses are a part of.

This WiFi system is called Everestlink, and all you need to do is connect to the teahouse WiFi, input your username and password from the receipt, and you should be good to go. It worked surprisingly well on the trail and was great to use to get weather updates and connect with family.

Prices can fluctuate a bit for the WiFi, but expect around $6 for 1 GB, $20 for 10 GB, and $25 for 20 GB.

You can buy these directly at teahouses along the trail. By inputting the username and password each time, the network will be able to track how much data you are using.

You can also get connected by purchasing an Ncell SIM card in Kathmandu prior to heading to Lukla. I paid $10 or so for one at the airport, and had great service up until the Tengboche / Pangboche area. Once past there though, I barely got any service at all.

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13) Charging Electronics

Another thing that I did not mention you will find in your teahouse rooms are outlets. That is because outlets are not offered in teahouse rooms.

If you want to charge your electronics, you must give them to the teahouse, who will then charge your devices for you (and charge you a price for doing so).

This will also vary based on where you are on the trail but expect to pay around $4 for a phone charge, $6 for a camera charge, and $8 for a power bank charge.

Charging your electronics daily can certainly add up in cost depending on what you bring along on the trail. Due to this, I would highly recommend purchasing a power bank solar charger prior to heading out on your trip.

My recommended solar charger is this Anker 20,000mAh Solar Power Bank

I had the charger fully charged and ready to go prior to the trek and it lasted me the entire trail without needing to recharge it or pay extra for charging any of my devices.

Two helpful tips about bringing along a solar charger – 1) be sure to hook it onto your backpack during the day using a carabiner so it can charge while you are trekking. 2) Once you get to the teahouse, leave the charger in the sun to continue its charge.

Note: you may find that your teahouse in Namche Bazaar offers free charging which can be great to help your electronics recharge for no cost on days 2,3, and 10 of the trail.

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14) Lukla Flights

The most expensive part of the Everest Base Camp trek is most likely going to be the flights to/from Lukla.

It is pretty standard that the main airlines who run the Kathmandu to Lukla route (Tara Air / Yeti Airlines, Summit Air and Sita Air), charge $180 each way, or $360 total.

Important Note: Flights sometimes only depart from Ramechhap, a 5-6 hour drive from Kathmandu. Be sure to check the latest flight schedules to better understand if Kathmandu offers departures during your trip.

If you are trekking during high season, I highly recommend booking your flights as soon as you know your dates. These are very small planes with only 15 or so available seats, so availability can be at a minimum here.

Another important note to point out is that these flights do get cancelled often. If the weather conditions are not perfect, the flights will not take off due to the dangerous landscape of the Lukla Airport.

For this reason, it is always good to leave some additional buffer days at the beginning and end of your trek in the chance that your flight does get cancelled.

Below are some helpful tips to know about the Kathmandu to Lukla flight:

↔ The flight lasts just about 30 minutes from take off to landing, covering 85 miles / 136 km.

↔ Be sure to sit at a window seat on the left side of the plane from Kathmandu to Lukla and the right side of the plane from Lukla to Kathmandu.

Also depending on aircraft, be sure to avoid the middle of the plane, where the wings can block some of your view. Note that you cannot book a seat beforehand – it is just first come first serve.

↔ The weight restriction is 15 kg / 33 lb (10 kg of check in / 5 kg of carry on) to bring onto the aircraft. You will need to pay some hefty fees per kilo if you go over the restrictions.

↔ Take the earliest flight of the day you can find. This will give you the best chance of not having your flight be cancelled by weather.

Note 1: You can also opt for a helicopter ride in one or both directions. These run around $500 per person each way. By opting for a helicopter, you will not need to worry as much about your flight being cancelled due to the weather.

Note 2: You can avoid the helicopters and flights altogether by adding several more days of hiking. You can do so by taking an 8 hour bus to either Jiri or Salleri followed by a 4+ day trek to Lukla.

» Learn plenty more about it all in the Kathmandu to Lukla Flight Overview on the site

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15) Travel Insurance

In a situation where you get altitude sickness and need to be medically evacuated, you sure don’t want to be stuck with a $2,500+ bill.

Instead, all you need to do is purchase travel insurance that covers you up to 20,000 feet in elevation.

That’s right, you will need to make sure that your specific travel insurance covers “extreme / high altitudes”. Be sure to check beforehand when purchasing insurance because many options do not cover these types of activities.

16) Everest Base Camp Packing List

To have a successful Everest Base Camp trek, you will need to come prepared with the right gear.

Remember, this is an 11 day trek and it will very likely include some cold conditions along the way. By utilizing the packing list below, you should be in great shape with all necessary gear and other essentials.

The Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List I put together goes into detail about everything to bring along and will explain more thoroughly why certain items are recommended.

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Here are a few additional tips when it comes to the packing list:

» All of your clothing should be made of moisture wicking materials such as Dri FIT, polyester, or wool. These types of materials do not trap moisture and instead keep you dry and comfortable as you are hiking the trails.

» Be sure to keep your electronics in your sleeping bag at night. If you did not know, leaving electronics out in the cold kills their batteries much faster than normal.

If you keep all your electronics / batteries in your sleeping bag at night, you have a better chance to preserve those much needed charges during the duration of the hike.

» You can rent a down jacket and sleeping bag in Kathmandu if you do not want to bring those two larger items with you from abroad.

If you are missing any other items, you should also be able to find most of them in Kathmandu before you head off to Lukla.

» Bring along more cash than you will need.

Cash is king on the EBC trek and you will need to pay for all your food, accommodations, tips, and other purchases with local Nepalese Rupees (you may be able to pay with USD for permits but rupees will be needed otherwise). Be sure to bring enough cash (and then some) from Kathmandu.

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17) The Everest Base Camp Trek 

Now that you have a ton of background on the trek and how to best prepare for it, let’s talk a bit about the trek itself.

There are 11 days of beautiful trekking that awaits you, and below are some tips followed by a breakout of those 11 days along with some data, short descriptions, and images of the trail.

Hiking Tips & Notes

» If you are trekking during high season and are not taking part of an all inclusive tour, then be sure to get an early start to your days.

Teahouses in smaller villages like Lobuche and Gorak Shep can run out of space. It is common for people to sleep in the dining area during high season because of this, so starting your day early can better guarantee that you get a room.

» If you are hiring a porter or guide, they can also help out by calling teahouses ahead of time to reserve a spot for you.

» There are a ton of animals making their way on the trail in both directions – yaks, horses, donkeys, etc. You not only will need to watch out for them as you are trekking but you also will need to watch out for all their bodily waste.

» The terrain on the trail will be a mix of stone, dirt, rocks, and sand so be prepared for a bit of everything during your time on the trek.

You will have some easy flat sections combined with some more technical inclines and declines. Each day will offer something new.

Below are the day by day stats and info for the EBC trek. I won’t go into so much detail here because I have already put together separate guides for each and every day of the trail.

You can click on those links as you are reading through if you would like to learn more about a certain day and what to expect out there.

Everest Base Camp Trek Day 1: Lukla to Phakding

Duration: 3 Hours

Distance: 5.1 miles / 8.2 km

Starting Elevation: 9,318 ft / 2,840 m

Ending Elevation: 8,563 ft / 2,610 m

True Elevation Gain: 909 ft / 277 m

Net Elevation Gain: -755 ft / -230 m

Learn More → Lukla to Phakding Day 1

After flying in from Kathmandu, you will arrive in the mountainside town of Lukla. Once landed you can have a small breakfast, and then begin your Mount Everest Base Camp Trek!

The first day of trekking is a relatively easy one. You will start in Lukla, make your way through town, get the first of your two permits and be on your way to Phakding from there.

This will actually be a net loss elevation day as Phakding is lower than Lukla, however you will have some inclines sprawled throughout as well.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazaar

Duration: 7 Hours

Distance: 6.8 miles / 10.9 km

Starting Elevation: 8,563 ft / 2,610 m

Ending Elevation: 11,286 ft / 3,440 m

True Elevation Gain: 3,986 ft / 1,125 m

Net Elevation Gain: 2,723 ft / 830 m

Learn More → Phakding to Namche Bazaar Day 2

Day 2 will bring you from Phakding to Namche Bazaar and is one of the most demanding on the trek from an elevation gain perspective.

You will pass by several small villages throughout the journey as you make your way across suspension bridges and along the river as you inch closer to Namche.

Along the way you will need to purchase the second of the two permits as you officially enter Sagarmatha National Park. Towards the end of the trek, you will also get your first glimpse of Mount Everest (on a clear day that is).

After a long day of hiking, you will arrive in the largest and most eventful village of the trek – Namche Bazaar.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 3: Namche Bazaar Acclimatization Hike – Everest Hotel View

Duration: 3 Hours

Distance: 3.4 miles / 5.4 km

Starting Elevation: 11,286 ft / 3,440 m

Ending Elevation: 12,730 ft / 3,880 m

True Elevation Gain: 1,444 f / 440 m

Net Elevation Gain: 1,444 f / 440 m

Learn More → Namche Bazaar Acclimatization Day 3

If you remember from earlier on in this guide, day 3 is going to be an acclimatization day. So, you can leave your bags behind in the teahouse and just bring along a daypack as you head up to Hotel Everest View.

This hotel is located up in the mountain above Namche, and it makes for the perfect hike to get your body acclimatized to the altitude. Once you reach the hotel, you can head on back to the outdoor deck, have some food/drinks and enjoy the view of the Everest Mountain Range.

Note: I would also recommend a visit to the Sagarmatha National Park Museum, which you can visit before (potentially for sunrise) or after the trek up to the hotel.

From the museum you will get a great view of the valley with Everest and the surrounding mountains out in the distance.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

Duration: 5 Hours

Distance: 6.0 miles / 9.6 km

Starting Elevation: 11,286 ft / 3,440 m

Ending Elevation: 12,664 ft / 3,860 m

True Elevation Gain: 2,881 ft / 878 m

Net Elevation Gain: 1,378 ft / 420 m

Learn More → Namche Bazaar to Tengboche Day 4

After spending two nights in Namche, it is off to the village of Tengboche. This is another one of those days where looking at just the net elevation gain between the two villages is a bit misleading.

Although the two are just 1,800 feet / 550 meters apart in elevation, you will actually be gaining closer to 2,300 feet / 700 meters of elevation. This is because there are some longer up and down sections during this portion of trail.

While you will begin the hike along the valley wall with the river down below and Everest out in the distance alongside Nuptse and Lhotse (and Ama Dablam off to the side), the trail will then head downwards closer to the river.

After that it is back up towards Tengboche as you zig zag your way along the terrain.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche

Duration: 6 Hours

Distance: 6.5 miles / 10.5 km

Starting Elevation: 12,664 ft / 3,860 m

Ending Elevation: 14,469 ft / 4,410 m

True Elevation Gain: 2,287 ft / 697 m

Net Elevation Gain: 1,805 ft / 550 m

Learn More → Tengboche to Dingboche Day 5

Before heading out to Dingboche, be sure to check out the Tengboche Monastery in the village (either in the afternoon of day 4 or the morning of day 5).

After leaving Tengboche it is a scenic hike mostly done on the valley wall, as you continuously head higher up the valley.

Ama Dablam will be getting closer and closer on your right hand side, and you will pass through the village of Pangboche along the way.

Continue to follow the etched pathway in the mountainside before crossing over the river and then up to Dingboche to end your day.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 6: Dingboche Acclimatization Hike – Nangkartshang Peak

Duration: 5 Hours

Distance: 3.2 miles / 5.1 km

Starting Elevation: 14,469 ft / 4,410 m

Ending Elevation: 16,677 ft / 5,083 m

True Elevation Gain: 2,208 ft / 673 m

Net Elevation Gain: 2,208 ft / 673 m

Learn More → Dingboche Acclimatization Day 6

Similar to day 3 of the trek, day 6 will be your second acclimatization day to take part of. This time you will get the chance to hike up Nangkartshang Peak, the mountain that sits right behind Dingboche village.

It is no easy climb to the top as you make your way up 2,208 ft / 673 m, but the views along the way and at the summit are some of the best you will get on the trail.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche

Duration: 5 Hours

Distance: 4.9 miles / 7.9 km

Starting Elevation: 14,469 ft / 4,410 m

Ending Elevation: 16,109 ft / 4,910 m

True Elevation Gain: 2,008 ft / 612 m

Net Elevation Gain: 1,640 ft / 500 m

Learn More → Dingboche to Lobuche Day 7

Now that you are better acclimatized to the altitude, you will continue the trek up the valley to the village of Lobuche.

Today is a relatively easy day as you won’t be dealing with much steep/technical terrain, as you hike alongside the mountainside towards the Khumbu glacier out in front of you.

During the trek, you will pass by the small village of Thukla before climbing the Thukla pass (the toughest section of today’s climb), and then walking alongside the Khumbu glacier to Lobuche.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 8: Lobuche to Gorak Shep + Everest Base Camp

Duration: 7 Hours

Distance: 7.3 miles / 11.7 km

Starting Elevation: 16,109 ft / 4,910 m (Pheriche)

EBC Elevation: 17,598 ft / 5,364 m

Ending Elevation: 16,814 ft / 5,125 m (Gorak Shep)

True Elevation Gain: 1,647 ft / 502 m

Net Elevation Gain: 1,489 ft / 454 m (Lobuche to EBC)

Learn More → Lobuche to Gorak Shep & Gorak Shep to EBC Day 8

Day 8 is a big one on the Everest Base Camp trek as you will be heading to the highest village of the trek – Gorak Shep, followed by an afternoon of visiting Everest Base Camp itself.

You will begin the day early leaving Lobuche and hiking the 3 hour trail alongside the Khumbu glacier towards Gorak Shep.

Once you arrive in Gorak Shep, you can head to your teahouse, drop off your bags, have some lunch, and then begin the second part of the day.

Once you are all set, it is time to set off for Everest Base Camp. This 4 hour round trip hike, will take you from Gorak Shep, right alongside the Khumbu Glacier and ultimately to the final destination of Everest Base Camp.

At Everest Base Camp, you can enjoy the views of the Khumbu icefall that sits below Mount Everest alongside the surrounding mountains and landscape. You will be able to see just the tip of Everest from base camp, as you sit back and take in the views.

Once done, it is just right back to Gorak Shep, where you will spend the night before heading back towards Lukla on day 9.

Hiking Tip: If it is a clear day in the afternoon of day 8 I would recommend switching Everest Base Camp to day 9 and Kala Patthar to day 8 for sunset.

The clouds usually build up as the day goes on which can ruin sunsets over Everest, and is why most people just opt for Kala Patthar on the morning of day 9. If it does happen to be clear though in the afternoon of day 8, then I would opt for the switch.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 9: Kala Patthar + Gorak Shep to Pheriche

Duration: 8 Hours

Distance: 9.4 miles / 15.2 km

Starting Elevation: 16,814 ft / 5,125 m (Gorak Shep)

Kala Patthar Elevation: 18,176 ft / 5,540 m

Ending Elevation: 13,911 ft / 4,240 m (Pheriche)

True Elevation Gain: 1,480 ft / 451 m

Net Elevation Gain: -2,903 ft / -885 m (Gorak Shep to Pheriche)

Learn More → Kalapathar Trek & Gorak to Pheriche Day 9

Before heading back towards Lukla, you will have the chance to climb to the highest point of the Everest Base Camp trek – Kala Patthar. At 18,176 ft / 5,540 m, it not only is the highest point of the trek, but it also offers the best views of Mount Everest.

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If you didn’t head there for sunset on day 8, you can opt for a sunrise or early morning trek on day 9 to the summit. Throughout the climb up, the views will just get better and better until you reach the peak.

From there you will have a good chunk of Everest out in front of you with the icefall, glacier, lakes, and surrounding mountains completing the landscape.

Once complete with your time up on Kala Patthar, it is back to Gorak Shep, where you will pack up and begin the trek back. The rest of the day will be spent heading from Gorak Shep to Pheriche as you retrace your route through the Khumbu.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 10: Pheriche to Namche Bazaar

Duration: 6 Hours

Distance: 12.1 miles / 19.5 km

Starting Elevation: 13,911 ft / 4,240 m

Ending Elevation: 11,286 ft / 3,440 m

True Elevation Gain: 2,234 ft / 681 m

Net Elevation Gain: -2,625 ft / -800 m

Learn More → Pheriche to Namche Bazaar Day 10

Day 10 will have you continuing that route back to Lukla as you make the long 12.1 miles / 19.5 km trek from Pheriche to Namche Bazaar. Most of the day will be similar to days 4 & 5 as you just head in the opposite direction.

While this is a day where you will be losing a lot of elevation, there will still be some strenuous uphill sections throughout the trek. At day’s end though you will be right back in Namche Bazaar, where you will spend the night.

Tip: if you did not visit the Sagarmatha National Park Museum above the village earlier on in your trek, I would recommend heading there when you arrive in Namche on day 10 or on day 11.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Day 11: Namche Bazaar to Lukla

Duration: 7 Hours

Distance: 11.9 miles / 19.1 km

Starting Elevation: 11,286 ft / 3,440 m

Ending Elevation: 9,318 ft / 2,840 m

True Elevation Gain: 2,904 ft / 885 m

Net Elevation Gain: -1,968 ft / -600 m

Learn More → Namche Bazaar to Lukla Day 11

The final day of the Everest Base Camp trek takes you from Namche Bazaar back down to Lukla. This will be the same route as days 1 and 2 as you retrace your steps and make your way to the starting point of the trail.

Along the way you will pass by that first initial viewpoint area (day 2), where you can get a final glimpse of Mount Everest before losing a good amount of elevation towards Phakding. There will be plenty of suspension bridges, river views, and small villages to enjoy along the way.

Once you arrive in Phakding, you can take a nice break before finishing up the last portion of trail towards Lukla. This final section from Phakding to Lukla will be an uphill climb as you complete 11 days of trekking the Himalayas.

After arriving back in Lukla on day 11, it is just one more overnight in a teahouse before catching your flight back to Kathmandu on day 12.

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18) Additions to the Trek

While the Everest Base Camp trek is the fan favorite here, there are many other additions that can be added to your time on the trail if you would like to spend even more time exploring the Himalayas. Below are a few of those options:

Three Passes Trek

The Three Passes trek is a longer 16+ day journey that takes you up and down three strenuous mountain passes as you make more of a loop around the region.

There will be plenty of overlap with the normal EBC route, but you will also get to enjoy highlights such as Chhukung Ri, Kongma La Pass, Cho La Pass, Renjo La Pass, Gokyo Lakes, and Gokyo Ri.

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Gokyo Lakes

Another option here is to just add in the Gokyo Lakes on top of Everest Base Camp.

This can be done in a few ways but one of the most popular choices is to visit EBC, then head towards the Cho La Pass to Gokyo, and then back to Namche, which can be done via the Renjo La Pass if you choose.

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Island Peak

For the more intense climbers, there is an option to climb up Island Peak (20,305 ft / 6,189 meters) from the village of Chhukung.

While it is a high climb, it is not the most technical one, and could be a great option for those that want to finally cross the 20,000 feet / 6,000 meter threshold.


You also have the chance to avoid the flights to and from Kathmandu. Instead of flying in, you could take an 8 hour bus ride to either Jiri or Salleri.

From these two towns you are looking at a 4+ day route that takes you up to (or down from) Lukla as you explore a much less frequented region of the Himalayas.

19) Everest FAQs

By now you should be a full-on expert about the EBC trek. But I thought it may also be helpful to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the trek in general (many of which can be found somewhere in the guide).

How Long Does It Take to Trek to Everest Base Camp?

11 days is the standard amount of time for the Everest Base Camp trek (as this guide has laid out).

However, you can extend the trek by a couple days if you would like to better acclimatize on the way up by spending 3 nights in Namche instead of 2. You can also add a day on the way down to better spread out some of the longer hiking days.

How Hard is it to Trek to Everest Base Camp?

It really depends on your hiking experience and your general fitness. For some people, this can be a walk in the park.

For others, it can be extremely difficult and an unattainable goal. In general, this is considered a more difficult trek than other multi day hiking routes you may have come across.

This is mostly due to the fact that you are not only hiking 5+ hours and gaining a couple thousand feet of elevation per day, but you also are doing it all above 10,000+ feet of altitude.

How Fit Do I Have to be to Trek to Everest Base Camp?

As just mentioned above, you do need to be relatively fit and have some solid hiking experience to complete the trek to Everest Base Camp.

It is not only about spending so much time on your feet each day, but it is also the large amount of elevation gain and loss that you will come across throughout the entirety of the trek.

I would be sure to spend time training, whether that be at the gym on a stairmaster or out in your local mountains.

Is the Trek to Everest Base Camp Dangerous?

From a terrain standpoint, the Everest Base Camp trek is no more dangerous than any other hike around. However, from an altitude standpoint, the trek can be quite dangerous for those who do not acclimatize well.

During my time on the trail I came across several groups of people, who had fellow hikers evacuated out by helicopter to Kathmandu or by foot down to Lukla.

You may be as fit as can be, but if your body does not react well to the altitude then you will be putting yourself in more danger.

When is the Best Time to Trek to Everest Base Camp?

In my eyes, November is the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp. This is mainly due to two reasons – the weather and the crowds.

In order to truly enjoy the Himalayan landscape, you will want the weather to be as clear as possible. You will also want to enjoy a less crowded trail and not worry about teahouses filling up.

A trek in November works for both these reasons and I would highly recommend heading there during that time. If that doesn’t work for you then a Spring visit would be my next recommendation.

Is Everest Base Camp Worth It?

The trek to Everest Base Camp is 100% worth the effort. From the natural beauty of the Himalayas to sleeping at local teahouses, the EBC trek offers it all and more.

Not only that but you also get to hike near the highest mountain in the world! No other trek can offer such an opportunity.

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I hope this guide has given you a good sense of how to prepare for the experience and what to expect on the Everest Base Camp trek.

If you have any questions/comments about any of the above feel free to write them in below. I am happy to help out with any and all questions regarding the EBC trek.

All the guides linked throughout the article can be found on the Nepal itineraries and guides page up on the site.

Have fun out there and safe travels!

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— Update: 25-04-2023 — found an additional article Mount Everest Base Camp Trek – Complete EBC Trekking Guide from the website for the keyword ebc hike.

The Mount Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal is one of the world’s best bucket list hikes. In less than 2 weeks, you can trek to the foot of Mt Everest and other snowy peaks in the Himalayan mountains.

The good news is that it’s not a super difficult hike, and you don’t need a big budget to do it. The EBC trek is worth it for the accomplishment alone, but you also get views of the Himalayas that are out of this world.

This guide will explain how you can do the Mt Everest Base Camp hike independently (with or without a tour guide), along with a recommended packing list and everything else you need to know before you go!

Best Everest Base Camp Tours

First of all, if you’d rather skip the hassle of planning your own EBC Trek, Klook has Everest Base Camp Tours starting as low as $900 for a full 12-day trek.

You may be able to find something cheaper than this once you land in Kathmandu, but booking online with a vetted tour company has some big advantages, and the reviews on their website are very positive.

We’ve used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great! Highly recommended.

Book Now: Everest Base Camp Tours

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When To Do The EBC Trek

The Mt Everest region has 4 different trekking seasons:

  • March – May: High season. Best weather, with stable temperatures and bright sunny days, but the trails can get crowded. During these months you may share the EBC trail with pro climbers on the way to go summit Everest.
  • June – August: Monsoon season. There’s a lot more rain during these months, and the trails are mostly empty.
  • September – October: Clear days and busy trails. This is one of the most popular trekking seasons.
  • November – February: Coldest season, but the weather is stable and dry. The trails are mostly clear.

I trekked in early February, and even though it was nice having the trail mostly to myself, the cold in the evenings and mornings was straight up misery.

My home state of Missouri can get very cold in the winter, but the cold has just never been my thing. If I could go back and change it, I would definitely do my Everest Base Camp hike later in the season.

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Everest Base Camp Weather

Temperatures on the Mt Everest Base Camp Trek can range from 5 C (40 F) to 20 C (70 F) depending on month, and as low as -30 C (-22 F) at night during the winter months.

If you trek during the warmer months (Mar-May and Sep-Oct), the cold is not a big problem and shouldn’t be hard to cope with. Winter is a different story. Your snot will freeze in your nose at Gorak Shep.

Sunshine is key for winter trekking in Nepal, and thankfully you should have lots of sun in most months outside of the monsoon season. On my February hike, I often found myself shedding all my layers while trekking because I was heating up in the sun.

If you do your Everest Base Camp hike during the winter, the biggest issue is staying warm in the evenings and at night. For this, you’ll definitely want a top quality down jacket and sleeping bag.

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All About Everest Base Camp Trekking

My Everest Base Camp Itinerary

  • Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla to Benkar.
  • Day 2: Benkar to Namche Bazaar.
  • Day 3: Namche Acclimatization Day.
  • Day 4: Namche to Deboche.
  • Day 5: Deboche to Pangboche.
  • Day 6: Pangboche to Dingboche.
  • Day 7: Dingboche Acclimatization Day.
  • Day 8: Dingboche to Thukla.
  • Day 9: Thukla to Gorak Shep.
  • Day 10: Everest Base Camp.
  • Day 11: Kala Patthar to Gorak Shep to Pheriche.
  • Day 12: Pheriche to Namche.
  • Day 13: Namche to Lukla.

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If you ever need motivation to keep going on the Everest Base Camp hike, just look at how much the porters are carrying!

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Mount Pumori as seen from the Kala Patthar viewpoint, just a short distance from Mt Everest Base Camp.

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Ama Dablam, one of my favorite mountains on the Mt Everest Base Camp Trek.


EBC Trek Packing List / Gear

This isn’t a complete list of everything to bring on a Mt Everest Base Camp Trek, and you may have to change things up a little depending on what month you go, but these are just some of the basics.

You can find most of this gear in Kathmandu, but IMO you’ll get higher quality and a wider selection if you order online.

  • Beanie: I only wore this at night, but it definitely helped keep my ears warm.
  • Down Jacket: Bring the biggest, warmest DJ possible. This is your most important piece of gear. You can even use it as an extra cover at night.
  • Fleece Sweater: This is the only jacket you’ll need to wear while trekking most days.
  • Shirts: Something comfy with quick dry material.
  • Trekking Pants: Something lightweight and breathable.
  • Thermal Underwear: May not be needed if you trek in the warmer months.
  • Gloves: I only wore these at night, but they definitely helped keep my hands warm.
  • Socks: Merino wool is best for staying warm and stopping moisture.
  • Headlight: Smart to have at least a small one, just in case.
  • Tumbler: 1L water bottle to refill daily on the trek.
  • Sunblock: It’s easy to sunburn at high altitudes. A small bottle is plenty.
  • Sunglasses: Good for snow. May not be necessary unless you plan to hike a mountain pass like Cho La.
  • Hat: I wore old faithful throughout the hike.
  • Watch: An altimeter watch would be fun to play with here.
  • Camera: Duh. You can’t do the Mt Everest Base Camp Trek without taking lots of pictures.
  • Power Bank: Bring a big power bank and you might only need to recharge it once on the whole trek.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Cost

For a 13 day trek, I paid about $21 USD per day for food, drinks, and room. Porter/guide was an extra $25 per day, although it’s not a requirement. Flights to Lukla were $330 return, but again not a requirement if you hike in.

You can read the sections below for more info on the daily trekking costs and what you get for your money. It’s not a very expensive trek, all things considered!

Keep in mind, these numbers are from 2020. They’ll go up a little over time. Exchange rates may also vary, so check the latest rates.

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The flight to Lukla from Kathmandu is $165 each way. You can shop for flights to Lukla at Skyscanner.

If your budget is tight or you have extra time, you can skip this flight by hiking from Jiri to Lukla rather than flying. It only adds a couple days to the itinerary.

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Guide / Porter / Solo

You can do the EBC trek with a guide, porter, OR independently (solo).

A guide will show you the way to Mt Everest Base Camp and help with lodging, navigation, advice, taking pictures for you, etc. A porter-guide will do these same things and also carry a 20 kg (45 lb) pack for you.

A porter or guide is NOT a requirement to do this hike, especially if you go in the warmer months when you may not need as much gear. With that said, there are some good advantages to it.

It’s also pretty cheap by Western standards. A porter is only $15 or $20 per day, and a porter-guide is $25 per day. A popular arrangement is to hire one porter for two hikers, splitting the cost and still making things easier for both of you.

In the end, this all depends on your budget and hiking preferences.

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Hiking Fees

If you’re hiking EBC independently, you’ll need to be aware of two fees you have to pay near the start of the trek.

There’s a local government tax that they’ve now started collecting in Lukla. This one is currently 2,000 Rupees ($17 USD).

There’s also an Everest park fee/ticket you have to pay at the Sagarmatha National Park entrance just beyond the small village of Monjo, Nepal. This one is currently 3,500 Rupees ($30 USD).

No TIMS card is needed anymore for independent hikers. That fee has been retired for the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek.

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Accommodation & Amenities

Throughout the Everest Base Camp hike, you’ll stay and sleep at small guesthouses along the way, called teahouses.

This is where you get your meals and drinks for the trek, along with the occasional amenities like showers, charging, or WiFi. The teahouses start out decent, but quickly get more shabby as you go further up the trail.

You have to pay for everything you use, of course, and the prices get quite high as you go, because everything has to be hauled up on the backs of the poor porters.

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The teahouses on the EBC trek are cold and dingy, with drop toilets and cracks in the walls. Don’t expect luxury.

Most rooms are free as long as you buy your meals there (the meals are how they make their money). If you stay at a lodge and don’t eat there, you’ll be expected to pay for the room.

In some cases, I was charged 500 Rupees for a room on top of my meal costs. I’m not sure why some teahouses do this and others don’t, but I never paid more than 500 Rupees for a room, and most were free with the meals.

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Food & Drink

I’m happy to report that the food and drinks on the Everest Base Camp hike are top notch, especially after you’ve worked up an appetite trekking.

You have western food choices, or the standard local staples like veggie fried rice, steamed momos (dumplings), and mushroom soup. Everything was hot and fresh. Meal prices for these ranged from 250 to 750 Rupees depending on altitude. Not too bad.

For drinks I tried hot chocolate, lemon/apple/mint tea, and occasionally bottled water for my tumbler. These ranged from 100 to 400 Rupees. If you want to avoid plastic bottles, there’s usually boiled water available and this is safe to drink too.

Getting enough water on the trek is never a problem. Just fill up a 1 liter tumbler in the morning, and this will last you until evening, especially since you’re likely to pass more tea houses along the trail as you’re hiking throughout the day.

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Showers are only available at a few lodges, depending on the season and how high up you are, and they cost 600 to 1200 Rupees. In the winter, water higher up will be frozen most of the time.

I never had a shower on my February EBC trek, and that seems to be the norm (although I got one or two opportunities in Namche). Yes, it’s gross. I could smell myself by trek’s end, and it wasn’t pretty.

But aside from the fact that I hate to fork out money for something as basic as a shower, I also never really got close to other people for very long on the trek, so I didn’t feel too guilty about it.

Most days were cold enough that the thought of stripping down for a shower was not really appealing, either. Your best bet is baby wipes and deodorant.

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WiFi / Cell Service

WiFi costs anywhere from $5 to $10 per day if you buy it from the teahouses.

Alternatively, you can buy a 10 GB/30 Day Everest Link WiFi card in Namche Bazaar and use this for the entire EBC trek. During my Mount Everest Base Camp Trek the WiFi was down across the whole region, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to use either of these options.

I bought an Ncell local SIM card in the Kathmandu airport and had 3G service for half the days of the Everest Base Camp hike. Coverage is still improving in the area, so if you need to stay connected I’d definitely bring a local SIM.

Ebc hike


All of the teahouses on the way to Mt Everest Base Camp sell outlet charging for electronics, and the prices range from $2 to $10 for a full charge, depending on how far up the trail you are.

The key is to bring a big power bank and then use this to charge all of your other electronics (phone, camera, etc). I did this and only paid once to recharge my power bank on the whole trek.

Ebc hike

How Much Cash To Bring

Everything you buy during the Everest Base Camp hike (meals, WiFi, charging, etc) will have to be paid for with cash. Credit cards won’t work. There are no ATMs outside of Lukla and Namche Bazaar (Days 1-4), and even the ATMs there are not reliable.

What this means is that you’ll have to withdraw enough cash (Nepalese Rupees) at an ATM in Kathmandu to cover your entire trek. The ATM fees will bite you, and I hate to carry large amounts of cash, but it’s not really avoidable here.

All up, I spent about $20 USD (2,400 Rupees) per day on the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek, and never spent more than $25 USD in a single day. With that said, I didn’t splurge on WiFi, showers, charging, or alcohol. The only things I bought were the bare necessities: room, food, and drinks.

If you hire a porter/guide, you don’t need to factor that into your daily cash carry. That’s paid before the trek starts. But do reserve a little cash for a decent tip.

Ebc hike

Ebc hike

Mount Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

I’m not going to lie, this is a difficult trek. And if you do it in the winter like I did, it’s even harder. With that said, if you are in decent shape, determined, and obey the guidelines for altitude sickness prevention (more on that below), then you’ll have no problem reaching base camp.

There is a lot of elevation gain and loss on this hike. At times near Lukla, the constant ups and downs will make you feel like you’re hiking a roller coaster, but the trail is never too steep or dangerous. After Namche, it’s mostly a slow uphill plod.

This trek has been completed by old seasoned hikers in their 70s, and young kids in their pre-teens. It’s also been flunked by healthy 20-30 somethings who try to push through it quickly without enough acclimatization to altitude.

Patience and discipline are key for trekking to Everest Base Camp. Slow and steady wins the race here.

Ebc hike

Trekking Distance

The one way trekking distance from Lukla to Mt Everest Base Camp is about 65 kilometers (40 miles).

That means the total roundtrip distance of an EBC Trek is about 130 kilometers, even if you don’t do any of the detours.

Don’t let that scare you off. It’s a lot of hiking, but every step is worth it.

Ebc hike

Ebc hike

Altitude Sickness

By far your biggest danger on the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek is altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

No one is immune to this, and it doesn’t matter how fit you are. If you gain altitude too fast, you can get sick and in some cases even die. Plenty of people have died from AMS on the EBC Trek.

The problem is that overzealous hikers push the envelope on this hike all the time, and a lot of them end up needing a very expensive helicopter evacuation to lower ground.

The best way to avoid altitude sickness is to go slow. At altitudes above 3,000 meters (10,000 feet), don’t increase your sleeping elevation by more than 300-500 meters (1,000-1,500 feet) per night.

Every 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) you should also spend a second night at the same elevation. If you get a bad headache, dizziness, or nausea, descend to a lower altitude until you feel better. As long as you follow these general guidelines, you shouldn’t have any issues.

You can take Diamox (acetazolamide) on the trek for extra AMS prevention. This medication can be found in Kathmandu or Namche. I bought mine in Namche and it seemed to help my headache and slight foggy feeling. I didn’t have any side effects aside from the usual tingling toes/fingers.

Ebc hike

Everest Base Camp Altitude

The Mount Everest Base Camp altitude is 5,364 meters (17,598 feet). At this elevation, there is 50% of the oxygen at sea level.

However, most treks also go to Kala Patthar, a viewpoint even higher than base camp where you can get the best views of Mount Everest.

The elevation at Kala Patthar is 5,644 meters (18,519 feet). From there, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible panorama of Mount Everest and other icy peaks like Pumori, Lhotse, and Nuptse.

Happy travels!

Ebc hike

Ebc hike

Ebc hike

Ebc hike

Best Everest Base Camp Tours

If you’d rather skip the hassle of planning your own EBC Trek, Klook has Everest Base Camp Tours starting as low as $900 for a full 12-day trek.

You may be able to find something cheaper than this once you land in Kathmandu, but booking online with a vetted tour company has some big advantages, and the reviews on their website are very positive for this Mt Everest Base Camp tour.

We’ve used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great! Highly recommended.

Book Now: Everest Base Camp Tours

More Nepal Travel Tips

Hopefully you were helped by this guide for the Everest Base Camp Trek. Let me know in the comments below if I can help answer any questions.

Don’t forget to check out my complete Nepal Travel Guide with tips, info, photos & more!

— Update: 30-04-2023 — found an additional article 10 essential things to know before hiking the Everest Base Camp Trail in Nepal from the website for the keyword ebc hike.

Planning on trekking the EBC soon? The Himalayas are no joke—make sure you come prepared. This guest post from Lotte of Phenomenal Globe has all the advice and things to know before hiking the Everest Base Camp Trail in Nepal. 

Hiking the Everest Base Camp trail in Nepal is a dream of many travelers, and a once in a lifetime experience. While definitely not an off-the-beaten path trail for Nepal, the amount of people visiting EBC each year is nothing compared to overrun cities like Amsterdam, Paris, or Venice.

Crowds or no crowds, the Himalayan scenery is breathtaking, and this is the closest you can get to the tallest peak in the world, 8,849 meter (29,000 ft) Mount Everest… unless you plan on scaling Everest, which isn’t necessarily you should aspire to.

Before you set out on the EBC trek, read this post to prepare yourself! From planning your Everest Base Camp budget and itinerary, to deciding what to pack for the EBC trek, planning is key when it comes to staying safe while hiking the Everest Base Camp Trail in Nepal.

  1. Altitude sickness is a real risk
  2. Take your time while trekking
  3. It’s best to start your trek in Jiri
  4. Hiring a local guide is helpful
  5. Pack a filter bottle or Steripen
  6. Staying hydrated is essential
  7. Bring an e-reader or book
  8. A properly fitted backpack is a must
  9. Buy some of your hiking gear in Kathmandu
  10. Enjoy it!

1. Altitude sickness is a real risk of the Everest Base Camp Trail. Educate yourself.

Hiking the EBC is a physical challenge. Every year, people get very sick (and even die) because they don’t listen to their bodies or they take (unnecessary) risks. Read up on altitude sickness and its symptoms so you know how to recognize them.

Altitude sickness occurs when you travel to a high altitude too quickly. As you ascend, oxygen levels decrease and it takes time for your body to adjust. If you ascend too quickly, your body can’t hope with these lower levels of oxygen and you can experience symptoms such as dizziness, headache, shortness of breath and nausea. It can happen to anyone above 2,000 meters, and is not necessarily related to how fit or unfit someone is.

Read: That time I almost died from altitude sickness in Tajikistan

Altitude sickness comes in several forms, and the worst are very serious conditions. If left untreated you can die.

However, don’t let the possibility of altitude sickness deter you from hiking the EBC trail! You can minimize the risk of altitude sickness by taking several measures; continue on to the next few points to find out how.

2. Take your time while trekking the EBC

The best way to avoid altitude sickness—and make the most of hiking the EBC trail—is to take your time. Give your body time to get used to the altitude, and your mind time to process the spectacular surroundings.

Let’s be honest: you will probably only trek to Everest Base Camp once in your life, so why not give yourself plenty of time to soak it all in?

Follow the recommendations when it comes to acclimatization days, drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol, and consider starting your hike in Jiri for optimal acclimatization.

Read: How to get trekking permits in Kathmandu

3. It’s best to start your EBC trek in Jiri

Most people fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and start trekking the EBC trail there. However, before the landing strip at Lukla was built, all EBC hikers and climbers (including the famous Edmund Hillary) started their adventure in Jiri.

The small mountain village can be reached by bus from Kathmandu, eliminating the need to fly. From Jiri, it takes six days to hike to Cheplung, where you’ll join the ‘regular’ EBC trail.

Aside from the fact it’s more responsible to avoid flights where possible—climate change is wreaking havoc in the Himalayas already—there are many more reasons why starting your Base Camp hike in Jiri is a good idea:

  • Starting in Jiri gives your body more time to acclimatize. Jiri is located “only” 1,995 meters (6,545 feet) above sea level, whereas Lukla is at 2,860 meters (9,383 feet). By starting from Jiri, you will ascend at a much slower pace, thereby reducing the risk of altitude sickness.
  • The trail from Jiri to Cheplung sees only a fraction of the people who hike the EBC trail. You’ll have beautiful green mountain landscapes virtually to yourself!
  • This area of Nepal was badly affected by the earthquake that occurred in April 2015. Many houses are still in ruin. If there was ever a place in Nepal to spend your money, it’s there. By eating and staying at one of the small lodges along the Jiri – Cheplung trail you can generate a bit of income for people who have had a very tough few years.

4. Hiring a guide isn’t necessary, but it helps the local economy

I’ll be honest: when it comes to directions, you don’t need a guide when hiking the EBC trail.

If you prepare well, buy the Nepal hiking Lonely Planet, a detailed hiking map in Kathmandu, and download a map you can use offline (for example from it’s virtually impossible to get lost. The trail is generally either well-marked or glaringly obvious. Often, there’s only one track you can follow. Most of the time there are other hikers on the trail as well.

That being said, there are definitely advantages to hiring a local guide. For starters, it’s a good way to support the local economy. What’s more, guides are generally very knowledgeable about the area as they often grew up in the mountains. They can tell you many interesting things about the Himalayas as well as explain customs and culture in Nepal.

Furthermore, they know every lodge and every lodge owner along the Everest Base Camp trek. Guides often call ahead to make reservations; you’ll never have to worry about not having a place to sleep. Also, while they aren’t medics, guides recognize altitude sickness symptoms immediately and know exactly what to do. 

Guides can be hired through trekking companies, or through people you meet once on the ground. The best guides are usually booked well in advance, so if you want the cream of the crop, do some research and hire a guide through an accredited trekking agency in advance. Guides cost around US$25-50 per day, porters a bit less.

5. Bring a water filter bottle or SteriPen to avoid plastic waste

When hiking EBC, you will need a way to clean your water as (obviously) you want to avoid having to buy single use plastic water bottles on the track. In fact, as of January 2020, bottled water is no longer available in the Everest region. Excellent news for our plastic-filled planet!

A much more sustainable alternative is carrying a water filter bottle. There are several brands; Lifestraw is a well-known one and I have used their water filter bottle for several years. These types of bottles typically filter out 99,99% of bacteria. You can buy Lifestraw filter bottles here.

Alternatively, you can use a SteriPen which uses short wave germicidal UV light to purify water. If you decide to bring a SteriPen, be sure to bring along rechargeable batteries to use it throughout your entire hike. You can also buy water purification tablets, though I personally very much dislike the taste of water treated with these tablets.

Read: 10+ items I use and recommend for backpackers

6. Make sure to stay hydrated while trekking

The higher you get on the EBC trek, the more strain it puts on your body. Higher altitudes mean lower oxygen levels, and this has an impact on your metabolism and other processes in your body. It may shock you, but to minimize the chance of getting altitude sickness you will need to drink at least 3 liters of water each day.

That’s why you need a way to carry at least 2 liters of water per person. This water doesn’t have to be cleaned yet; you can do that along the way. Fill up a 2-liter hydration bladder each morning, but don’t drink from this directly. Instead, put the water from your hydration bladder into your water filter bottle (or any bottle if using the SteriPen) to purify it.

Alternatively, if traveling with several people, you can bring a larger camping water filter that uses gravity to filter out bacteria. The Platypus GravityWorks is fast, easy to use, and packs down small. Invest in a Platypus filter here.

It’s easy to lose track of the amount of water you drink during a day, so I recommend making a note in your phone every time you finish your bottle. It sounds silly, but it really helped us drink the recommended amount each day.

7. Bring an e-reader or book when packing for the EBC

You may have bought a local SIM card in Kathmandu, but forget about going online while trekking the EBC trail. You will not have signal for the majority of the trail.

Reception is either very bad or nonexistent. Truth be told, it’s better that way. Remember those days before smartphones were a thing? No? You are either too young or too used to being online all the time.

Well, not on the EBC trail! Enjoy being offline, marvel at the mountain views, and bring an e-reader so you can immerse yourself in a good book after you’ve arrived at your lodge for the day.

8. Get a properly fitted backpack

If you start the EBC trail from Lukla, you will be hiking for at least 12 days. When you start your EBC trek in Jiri (which, again, I highly recommend) add another six to seven days. That’s almost three weeks of hiking! Add to this the fact that you will have to carry all your gear, and it becomes clear you need a proper backpack.

My husband did the track with a not-so-great backpack and has a permanent injury in his shoulder as a result. Avoid buying a backpack online if possible—go to a proper outdoor store in person, and let the staff help you to find the perfect backpack for your body type. Once you’ve bought a good backpack, stuff it with approximately 10 kg of gear, which is the amount I carried after agonizing over every single item I put in my bag. Don’t over pack—every extra kilo will feel like it weighs three times as much while you’re trekking.

Go on a few practice hikes with your 10 kg backpack so you get used to carrying this weight. That will make it a lot easier once you are on the EBC trail, where factors like altitude and oxygen levels come into play.

9. Buy some of your hiking gear in Kathmandu

If you don’t have all the necessary gear yet, consider buying the remainder of essential EBC items in Kathmandu to support local shops. There are a lot of knock off brands, but I was surprised by the quality of (most of the) gear we bought here. For example, I bought a down jacket (a fake North Face) which I have worn a lot in the past three years. It’s still doing an excellent job of keeping me warm.

Also, when you return from the EBC trail and you have gear you no longer need, consider donating it. Many small guesthouses collect items like warm sweaters, sleeping bags, hats and gloves to send to people who need them in other parts of Nepal.

Read: Cafes with fast wifi in Kathmandu

10. Enjoy the Everest Base Camp trek!

Last, but certainly not least, enjoy every single second of hiking the EBC trail! It will probably be one of the most challenging travels you do in your life, but also one of the most amazing experiences you’ll ever have.

There are very few places in the world where the landscape isn’t marred by manmade structures like electricity poles, roads, dams, factories, and so on. The Himalayas, while not completely untouched, are still wild, rugged, and majestic. Walking through the mountains will make you feel very small and you will come to appreciate the power of nature.

I will never forget standing at misty Lamjura La pass, surrounded by clouds and feeling like I was the only person in the world (in a non-creepy way😉). Admiring views over the snowy peaks in the valley near Dughla. Listening to the monks chant in Tengboche Monastery, watching the donkeys and yaks carry their loads from Nunthala to Namche Bazaar like they’ve done for centuries.

Hiking the Everest Base Camp trail is guaranteed something you will remember for the rest of your life!

Have more tips for multi-day hikers? Do share in the comments!