Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty, Route & Preparation
Everest Base Camp Trek (EBC trek) is a 130 km (Lukla to Kala Patthar) long trek that takes you to the world’s tallest mountain Mt Everest (8,848m). The trip seems pretty long. However, if you are on an escorted trek, you will only be walking for 10 - 17 days (depending on how many places you want to cover and how many days you put aside for acclimatization) every day. You’ll cover at least 15 km up and down the trails of Everest Base Camp.
That being said the 15km walk will not be like a normal morning walk, mostly on off-beaten roads with differently-sized pebbles and stones. You will be hiking on pretty rocky and sometimes icy terrain (depending on the month of the year and altitude), which is sure to slow down your pace. You’ll experience how your body will react at different altitudes. When you gradually hike upwards and gain altitude, you can feel a decrease in oxygen level compared to Kathmandu. If you do not take precautions, you might even suffer from altitude sickness. Those who do not want to risk altitude sickness or physical exhaustion can choose Everest View Trek.
Luckily, if you’re planning an adventurous EBC trek with Discovery World Trekking, we provide different Everest Base Camp tour packages via different routes. This will allow you to choose the best package that takes you to Mount Everest Base Camp. Apart from packages like Everest Base Camp 14 days, 12, and 10 days Discovery World Trekking offers awesome packages like Everest Base Camp Trek with Gokyo Lake, Everest high two-pass, Everest high three passes, and many more. You can even customize your Everest trek exactly the way you like via our trip planner (if you want to join a group or a private trek, we have everything covered!).
Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty
First things first, the Everest Base Camp Trek (EBC Trek) is challenging. The trail will take you up to 5,364m/17,598ft. The altitude is by far the most challenging aspect of the trek and makes it more difficult than any other average trek of the same length. Acute Mountain Sickness and other altitude-related illnesses are very common at the sort of altitudes encountered on the trek, but if you have done the necessary preparation, the Everest base camp trekking can be a life-changing experience.
The trek starts after the scenic mountain flight to Lukla, which stands at just below 3,000m, and you’ll hike all the way up to Everest Base Camp at around 5,400m and finally up to Kala Patthar at 5,550m. At the highest point, Kala Pathar, you will be at just over 5,600m – a height that allows you to experience breathtaking views of the whole region. All of the Everest treks are day treks. However, you need to wake up early to enjoy the sunrise views from Kala Patthar.
The trails on the way will be full of suspension bridges, monasteries, peaks, rivers, and lots of snow, depending on which month you’re traveling. Another reason that makes EBC challenging is it’s a pretty long trek. You’ll hike for almost 10-12 days. Generally, people with very little experience join for 14 days (or more) of Everest treks to have enough time for acclimatization and experienced professional trekkers go for 12 days or less (which is pretty difficult for an average person). Hiking for 10/14 days can be tough, but it’s all worth it. If you want, you can ask for a tailormade trip with your trek company. Many trekkers use the Everest Base Camp trek as preparation for peak climbing in Nepal.
Everest Base Camp Weather Conditions
The weather at Everest Base Camp can vary greatly depending on the season. The best time to visit Everest Base Camp is during the spring and fall, the peak trekking seasons. During these seasons, the weather is relatively stable, and the skies are generally clear. However, even during these times, temperatures can be cold, especially at night, and there can be sudden snowfall or rainstorms.
In the spring, from March to May, the temperatures at Everest Base Camp are relatively mild, with daytime temperatures averaging around 10°C (50°F) and nighttime temperatures dropping below freezing. This season is known for its clear skies and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. However, the weather can still become more unpredictable, and there may be snowfall or rainstorms.
In the fall, from September to November, the temperatures at Everest Base Camp are similar to those in the spring. However, this season is known for its stable weather, clear skies, and relatively dry conditions. The fall is also the busiest time of year for trekking, so the trails and accommodations can be crowded.
The summer months from June to August are the monsoon season in Nepal. Though it does not rain in EBC, the lower trek regions receive heavy rain, making the trails wet and slippery. Trekking during the monsoon season is tough due to the risk of landslides and avalanches.
The winter months from December to February are the coldest time of year at Everest Base Camp, with daytime temperatures often below freezing and nighttime temperatures dropping to -20°C (-4°F) or lower. The skies are generally clear, but there is a higher risk of snowfall and storms.
Everest Base Camp Route- Itinerary
Everest Base Camp is at a very high altitude, which makes the journey quite interesting. The height gain from Lukla to Everest Base Camp is about 2,500m. Locals navigate easily as they’re very used to the terrain. It can be very challenging for anyone traveling for the first time, So we recommend planning with a travel agency so that your trip from the first to the last day will be well organized and healthy. Mainly there are three ways to reach the Everest region, one via Jiri (and following the classic route used by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilliary), the other via Salleri/Phaplu, and last but not least via Luka (the most popular). While every route has its own perks, the Lukla route stands out because it shortens the trek by almost 4-5 days, unlike Jiri or Phaplu. EBC itself is a very long trek, making it longer doesn’t seem a nice idea which is why Lukla is the most preferred route.
Following a breathtaking 45 minutes flight from Kathmandu, Your journey will reach the starting point of Everest Base Camp - Lukla(2,840m) (Gateway to Everest Base Camp). Then you will walk towards Phakding (2,610m) through several Sherpa villages and farmlands. The next day you will start after crossing the long suspension bridge over fast-flowing white rivers to Namche Bazar (3,440m). Wandering up and down the hills of Sagarmatha National Park through rhododendron and alpine forests, you’ll trek to Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, and finally, reach your destination- Everest Base Camp (5,364m/17,598ft). When the first ray of sunlight slowly kisses the snow-capped peaks the next morning, you’ll be there holding a cup of coffee while being surrounded by the Everest panorama.
Watch the video above to see what it takes to reach Everest base camp and why EBC is once in a lifetime experience journey. Your eyes will be glimpsing the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Icefall, the marvelous panoramic view of Mt. Everest, and everything you can wish for around the world's highest peak. Spend 14 days hiking around villages, exploring remote monastic caves, and acclimatizing the body to the higher elevation. See the magical Khumbu Icefall and its towering seracs from a distance. Again, we hike (5,550m/18,208ft) to Kala Pattar for unobstructed breathtaking views of Everest Peak. You will then return home to tell tales of our legendary classic venture.
Earlier, we talked about different options. Here are all the thrilling trekking routes for trekkers looking for greater challenges –
1. 12 days Everest Base Camp Trek
2. 15 Days Everest Base Camp with Gokyo Lake Trekking,
3. 14 days Everest Base Camp Trek,
4. 17 Days Everest High Pass Trek,
5. Everest Base Camp Trekking.
How to Prepare for Everest Base Camp Physically?
Check out the video above to get an idea about trails, you can see it's a short clip filmed near Namche Bazaar. Realistically, You definitely don’t have to do 200 push up or hire a personal trainer or quit your day job to get fit for the trek. Working out sometime in the gym and going for long walks will help prepare you well for the classical hike up to Everest Base Camp.
We advise you to jog for 2-3 hours for a few days before joining the trek so that your body gets used to the trekking environment. Start around 2-3 weeks before you arrive in Nepal and build up the time and distance slowly so that by the end, your body is comfortable with trekking for 6 hours a day. For a better experience, go for a one-day trek near your home.
If you work out in the gym, focus on increasing the strength of your legs. While you’ll not carry your bags around (Porters will), you still have to carry your own weight at such a high elevation. Squats are a great exercise as you will be utilizing your quads a lot on the trek.
Finally, any aerobic workout such as jogging, sprinting, and swimming will help your endurance and increase the ability of your body to circulate oxygen, which becomes harder at higher altitudes. In a nutshell, Everest Base Camp is a challenging yet thrilling trek that requires some level of fitness, acclimatization is compulsory, and if we take care of those things, EBC can be conquered by pretty much everyone.