The Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal is one of the most famous treks amongst adventure seekers and nature lovers worldwide. The beauty of the Himalayas, the unique Sherpa culture of the Khumbu region and spectacular views of Ama Dablam (6812 m), Nuptse (7861 m), Lobuche East (6119 m), Lobuche West (4940 m) and other peaks on the way to the foot of Mount Everest (8848 m) leave impressions that last for a lifetime.
Visitors have several options to reach their goals, according to their schedule and requirements. For an extended trek as an alternative to the classic route, the EBC trek can be combined with a trek to Gokyo Lakes and the summit of Gokyo Ri where quieter trails and breathtaking sceneries await. Guests with a tighter timeframe can combine their trek to EBC with a helicopter tour.
The adventure begins with a domestic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. From there, trekkers usually start with a 3 to 4 hours walk through beautiful mountain sceneries along the mighty Dudh Koshi River. Phakding, which sits at an altitude of around 2600 meters, offers accommodation for a first overnight stay.
After a night in Phakding, the trail leads to Namche Bazar (around 3400 m). On the way through the magnificent scenery of the Sagarmatha National Park (a UNESCO world heritage site), there is a chance to catch the first glimpse of Mount Everest. Namche Bazaar invites for a stroll along the ancient trade route that connects Nepal with Tibet. With plenty of hotels, shops, restaurants, and stunning views, Namche Bazaar is the most famous stop for acclimatizing before adventurers continue to higher altitudes. The historic trading town offers great opportunities to exchange with locals and fellow trekkers, discover regional delicacies like homemade yak cheese and butter, and get to know the unique Sherpa culture.
Heading to Tengboche at around 3900 meters, nature lovers can discover more of the varied flora and fauna of the area. With a bit of luck, they may even encounter a tahr (wild goat native to the Himalayas). Tengboche is not only famous for its panoramic views of Ama Dablam, Mount Everest, and Lhotse, but also for its monastery – the largest gompa in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The colorful Mani Rimdu Festival is celebrated once a year in autumn with dancing, singing, and mask performance. It’s a special time for locals and visitors alike and should not be missed by guests who are in the area at that time.
On the journey further up passing Dingboche, Lobuche, and Gorakshep, breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks await around every corner, while small and large gompas invite to immerse in the beautiful Nepalese culture. At Everest Base Camp (5400 meters), hikers can either venture on a last short hike to Kala Patthar (around 2 hours one-way) for a panoramic view of Mount Everest at sunrise, or they can visit Everest Base Camp at the foot of the mountain.
The Everest Base Camp trek is considered to be a moderate trek. Even though the trails are technically not too demanding, they can be steep, rocky, snowy… hence, tiring. Therefore, it is necessary to build strong stamina in preparation for the trek, be in good health, and take precautions to reduce the risk of altitude sickness. As the elevation gradually increases during the journey, the air gets thinner and physical activity becomes more challenging. It is very important to drink a lot of water (but avoid alcohol and coffee), find a comfortable walking pace, not start out too fast and make sure to eat healthy food like Dal Bhat and Garlic soup. An experienced, professional guide can give good advice and support along the way.
While it is not mandatory to hire a guide to trek to EBC, it is highly recommended. A local agent can assist visitors in planning their holiday and take care of all the logistics, paperwork, permits, local flights, etc. That way, guests can focus on their holiday and leave the organization to an expert. A knowledgeable guide does not only provide guidance but also shares insights about the country’s beautiful culture and does everything to keep his or her guests safe along the way.