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Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 12 Key Things You Need To Know

I seriously underestimated the Everest Base Camp trek difficulty.

I mean, it’s a hike to the base of Mount Everest, not the summit.

This is just one of the reasons why I didn’t think it would be so hard.

Another reason for my overconfidence is that I’d previously summited Mount Kilimanjaro , the highest point in Africa.

Everest Base Camp couldn’t be more difficult, right?

Trekking to Everest Base Camp is tough and will push you to your limits. But it is an achievable goal for most people.

You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete or a high-altitude mountaineer, but you need to be prepared for what’s in store for you during your time in the mountains.

So, for everyone asking how difficult is Everest Base Camp trek, this post has got you covered. I answer all your questions regarding training, altitude sickness, and what you can do to make your trek easier.

How difficult is Everest Base Camp Trek

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12 Things About EBC Trek Difficulty

1. trekking at high altitude.

If there’s one thing that makes the Everest Base Camp trek difficult, it’s the high altitude!

You won’t understand the effects that altitude has on your body until you’re hiking 4,000 m above sea level.

The gradual incline doesn’t feel so gradual, your light backpack doesn’t feel so light, and the nearby resting spot doesn’t feel so close.

Every step is that much harder, and every breath is a struggle.

You won’t be walking fast – because your body physically can’t.

Also, your sleep is disturbed, and you’ll lose your appetite. It’s not fun! (but it’s worth it)

EBC Trek Difficulty

2. Acute Mountain Sickness

After day 1, you’ll soon start to feel the effects of hiking at altitude.

This includes headaches and fatigue and will only make the trek tougher.

AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) is a common occurrence and can be fatal.

If you’re developing a headache, loss of appetite, or other symptoms, make sure you proceed with caution. If it gets worse and your guide is concerned about your safety, turn around immediately.

Tips for beating Altitude sickness

  • The best way to cure AMS is to go down to a lower elevation
  • Drink lots of water
  • Walk slowly (it’s not a race)
  • Stop frequently

Hardest part Everest Base Camp trek

3. Training for Everest Base Camp Trek

I am living proof that you can trek to Everest Base Camp with no training. But I do not recommend it at all!

After backpacking Asia for 4 months, I decided to end my trip with a bucket list activity: Everest Base Camp.

This meant that I’d be spending all my time on the beach in the lead-up to the trek. Not the gym.

Having now been there and done that, I can honestly say that one of the main factors that made my Everest Base Camp trek difficult was not doing enough training.

But, I still made it to the finish line and sumitted Island Peak a few days later.

The trek was extremely tough, but here’s my theory of why I made it.

The slower you walk, the better! Taking frequent stops helps your body adjust to the altitude change. Perhaps not being as prepared or fit as others worked in my favor because I walked at a snail’s pace and stopped every few minutes.

So yes, you can do Everest Base Camp with no training. But everyone’s body is different, and your level of tolerance and strength will be different from mine.

How tough is the EBC trek

Recommended training for EBC

If possible, try to spend as much time at the gym as you can.

Walk on an incline on the treadmill. Build up strength in your legs. Do squats, lots of squats.

Go for long walks or hikes and wear a small day bag with about 5kg in weight. And take the stairs rather than the elevator.

It’s not a sprint, so you don’t need to be super fit and you don’t need to go all out on your training.

But, getting to Everest Base Camp involves long days of trekking, uphill, and downhill climbs, and your legs and knees will take strain.

Higher altitude trekking at EBC

4. Everest Base Camp weather

If you’re looking for the best months to plan your trip, I would recommend pre-monsoon (March, April, May) or post-monsoon (October, November).

You’ll most likely find the trek to be easier during these months as the weather conditions are optimal. But you can still have 4 seasons in one day!

One minute you’re boiling hot, wearing only a T-shirt, and then suddenly, the clouds start rolling in, and you’ll rush to get your warm clothes out and layer up.

Everest Base Camp monsoon season

The monsoon season in Nepal runs from June until August. The trails are still open, but the weather is not ideal.

The winter months of December, January, and February bring with them harsh and freezing cold conditions. This only adds to your Mount Everest Base Camp trek difficulty.

But, for some hikers, the quieter routes and snow-laden mountains make this one of their preferred times to trek to base camp.

Best time to trek Everest Base Camp

5. Pack the right clothes

Speaking of the seasons and how they’ll affect your EBC trek difficulty, make sure you pack correctly.

I rocked up in Kathmandu with no hiking gear except a pair of hiking boots! So, I spent my first 2 days shopping. I bought everything in Thamel and paid a fraction of what you’d pay elsewhere.

Quality-wise, all my gear got me through the 3 weeks of trekking, and most of it is still going strong!

Also, make smart decisions about what and how you pack for Everest Base Camp.

You’re only allowed 10kg of checked-in luggage on the flight to Lukla.

If you don’t have a porter, you’ll need to carry all this gear to EBC, which adds to your trek difficulty.

Here are a few packing tips

  • It’s cold: layer up and bring two pairs of thermal pants and tops.
  • Get the best sleeping bag and include a liner. It’s chilly on the mountain, and you want to get a good night’s rest.
  • Trekking poles really help with all the uphill and downhill climbing.
  • Get a hydration pack so that you’re constantly hydrated.

Everest Base Camp trek packing list

6. Your route & how it affects your Everest Base Camp trek difficulty

Most trekkers choose a 12-day Everest Base Camp trek which allows for 9 days to get to base camp.

Some do it faster, others slower.

At a minimum, you should allow for rest days at 2 stops along the route: Namche Bazaar and Dingboche.

This means you’ll spend an extra night at each of these places.

Acclimatization walks

But the extra night doesn’t mean that you have an “off day”.

During these acclimatization days, it’s important to do a day trek to a higher altitude point before returning to where you’re based.

If you choose not to allocate rest days to their schedule, you may struggle later on and find your Everest Base Camp trek more difficult.

Take a look at my trekking itinerary with the route I chose. It follows the uncrowned trail and has the perfect acclimatization schedule.

How difficult is it to trek to EBC

7. The trekking time to Everest Base Camp

The time on the mountain is one of the biggest factors that contribute to how difficult Everest Base Camp trek is.

The round-trip hike from Lukla to EBC is 130 km. You’ll cover this in 12 days.

On average, you’ll trek 10 km per day, mostly uphill and at high altitudes.

Expect to spend 7 to 10 hours daily on the route. You’re constantly moving and packing, and the days are long and tiring.

Going like this for 12 days, non-stop, will take its toll on you, and the time on the mountain is tough.

Everest Base Camp trekking time

8. the Khumbu Cough

So, you’re walking slowly, one step at a time. You’re following my recommended itinerary. You’ve packed correctly and warmly.

Surely reaching Everest Base Camp can’t be that difficult if you’re this prepared.

Firstly, the Khumbu cough is inevitable. Everyone gets it.

What’s this “Khumbu Cough” you may ask?

Well, due to many factors, including the dust, high altitude, and low humidity, your throat will start to act up. You’ll be coughing non-stop when trekking near the Khumbu Valley on your way to base camp.

You’re not sick, per se, but you’re coughing the entire time!

This just makes breathing harder and adds to your EBC trek difficulty.

To prevent this, I highly recommend wearing a thin buff like this from day one.

I didn’t, and I had a serious case of the Khumbu cough. Gary, on the other hand, wore a buff from the start and wasn’t coughing as much.

Also, drink a cup of ginger and lemon tea every day, stay hydrated, and force yourself to eat even if you don’t feel like it.

AMS and EBC trek difficulty

9. Trek to Everest Base Camp with a tour operator or independently

2023 Update: You can no longer trek to Everest Base Camp independently. You need to have a guide.

But you have the choice of using an independent private guide. Or booking with a larger tour group.

Everyone has their own opinion on this one.

Some people prefer to trek independently and not as part of a tour. Their reasoning is that if you’re in a big tour group, you won’t have the freedom to trek at your own pace.

This may result in you walking faster than you should. Or not being able to stop as frequently as you want to, adding to your Everest Base Camp trek difficulty.

This is why you need to do your research on the trekking company you’re joining.

How many people are in the group? How many guides will there be? What are the reviews saying?

Tour operator in Everest Base Camp trek

Why I chose to Everest Base Camp with a tour

I had 5 people on my tour with Mountain Monarch.

We had two guides who ran the show. One guide at the front with the fast people. And a guide at the back with the slow people – me.

Each and every day, I was the last person to arrive at our tea house, but I never felt rushed or pressured to move faster.

Perhaps if the tour group consisted of 10 people and only two guides, it would have been a different story.

I loved the support, the humor, and the motivation of going with a tour group. As you get closer to Everest Base Camp, you’re going to need all the encouragement you can get.

If you’re traveling in a group of 4 or hiking to Everest Base Camp as a family with your kids, then I recommend a private tour or getting an independent guide.

Everest Base Camp Trek with Mountain Monarch

10. Hardest part of Everest Base Camp trek

From my experience, the hardest part of the Everest Base Camp trek was day 8, when we walked from Dingboche to Lobuche.

It was brutal!

The path starts easy – a short incline out of Dingboche toward Everest Base Camp.

But then, you reach Dukla, and the trail shoots up sharply.

For the next 2 hours, you’re crisscrossing up a steep section to the EBC memorial.

At this high altitude, it’s an excruciatingly difficult section, and I really struggled to move and breathe.

But I made it.

11. Comfort levels

In all fairness, you’re trekking to Everest Base Camp. It’s not a luxurious getaway, and at over 3,500 m, you honestly can’t expect much.

You’ve signed up for the adventure, and this all adds to the experience.

Here’s what you should expect.

Showers and toilets

I never knew how much I would miss feeling clean – until I had my first shower in over 10 days.

10 days of being filthy, stinky, and dirty!

And the toilets – don’t get me started.

As you get closer to Everest Base Camp, the conditions get worse, and your beautiful flushing toilets are replaced with bucket toilets. It’s rough.

Never used a bucket toilet? Well, basically, the toilet is a hole in the ground.

Alongside the toilet is a huge bucket with a smaller one inside. You scoop the water to “flush” the toilet.

The problem is, as you get higher to Gorak Shep, this water is frozen, making the toilets unflushable!

It’s just not very nice, and if you’re not used to roughing it up, you may find this rather unpleasant!

A girl standing outside brushing her teeth

Tea houses on Everest Base Camp

The tea houses are freezing cold. But overall, I was quite impressed by how well-equipped they are.

Most have a fireplace in the communal eating area which is where you’ll spend a lot of your time.

But when it comes to the rooms, some tea houses are more comfortable than others.

None have proper insulation, and this is why having a warm sleeping bag is crucial.

I found the food to be good, with a variety of options to choose from, including pizza, pasta, soups, and curries.

Avoid eating meat after Namche Bazaar, and if you begin to lose your appetite, plain-boiled potatoes are the way to go!

Dal Bhat curry is the local favorite. You’ll often hear the phrase “Dal Bhat Power – 24 hour” , meaning that the curry will keep you going for 24 hours.

The porters swear by this!

A tea house with a fireplace on the everest base camp trek

Internet and Power

When it comes to other luxuries such as the internet, the best service provider is Ncell. Reception is relatively good until Dingboche.

From there, you’re off the grid for a few days.

You can purchase Wi-Fi at the tea houses, but this is expensive and not worth it.

Power is available on the mountain, but you pay per plug point.

I bought this 20000mAh power bank , and it worked like a charm.

bedrooms on Everest Base Camp

12. Altitude sickness medication

Diamox is the most common altitude sickness medication. It prevents and reduces the side effects of high altitude.

And I know the effects of AMS all too well!

When I trekked to Mount Kilimanjaro, I experienced this firsthand.

I was throwing up, I felt nauseous and fatigued, I had a severe headache, and I completely lost my appetite.

My biggest concern with my EBC trek was that I’d go through these moments all over again.

For Kilimanjaro, I was able to fully recover overnight as our camp was at a lower altitude. I could then continue with the trek, but this wasn’t guaranteed for Everest Base Camp.

I was on the fence about taking Diamox, and if you are considering it, you should consult your GP.

Why I chose not to take Altitude medication

If there’s something you can take to make your Everest Base Camp trek easier, would you do it?

After all, the medication can reduce headaches and assist with breathing.

And trust me, breathing is tough on that mountain!

But there are also a few side effects to take into consideration.

These include numbness, a tingling sensation in your hands, feet, and lips, sleeplessness, and vomiting. These are also the symptoms of AMS, so knowing which is which can be hard to distinguish.

You also need to drink a lot more water, you’ll pee more often and will need to get up many times during the night.

I was confident that if I followed the right acclimatization schedule, my body would adjust naturally.

And it did. You just need to give it time.

Yes, there were days when I had a headache and struggled with breathing. But taking a headache tablet, slowing down, and resting often made it easier.

Note: Every time I wasn’t feeling great, I told my guide. If I took a headache tablet, I notified him as well. Don’t try to cover up how you’re feeling, and don’t mask your symptoms.

In the end, taking Diamox is a decision only you can make.

I am not a medical professional, so the above is just my experience and my reason for not taking Diamox.

If you are planning on trekking Everest Base Camp, and you’re worried about AMS, consider taking medication but consult your doctor first.

Does Diamox help with your Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

FAQs about how hard is everest base camp

Can a beginner do everest base camp trek.

Yes, if you haven’t done any multi-day treks before, you can still do the Everest Base Camp trek. But you need to be prepared and know what to expect to ensure you are physically and mentally able to do the hike.

Is the trek to Everest Base Camp hard?

Yes, trekking to Everest Base Camp is hard but achievable if you’re in good physical condition. It’s not a technical hike but instead a long one that takes 12 days to complete. The higher altitudes also add to its difficulty.

How fit do you need to be to trek Everest Base Camp?

You don’t need to be super fit to trek Everest Base Camp. But you need to be able to walk for 7 hours a day for 12 days! I recommend going to the gym regularly and swimming in preparation for the trek.

Is Everest Base Camp dangerous?

The hike to Everest Base Camp is not a dangerous one. But it’s the effects of the high altitude that make it dangerous. This is why it’s so important to have a good trek itinerary that allows for rest days.

Overall thoughts on Everest Base Camp trek difficulty

Phew okay. So I’ve covered all the hard parts of the Everest Base Camp trek, and I may have scared some readers off!

But honestly, it’s not that difficult.

Just follow my tips above, make sure you’re prepared for 12 long days of trekking, and do a bit of exercise to gain strength. You can do it!

Next, read my post about what to pack , and you’ll be ready to go.

Have you thought about trekking to EBC? Do you have any questions about how hard it is? Drop me a message in the comment section below!

Psst… Looking for more adventures to add to your bucket list? Check out my other posts!

  • Ultimate Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary
  • Everest Base Camp and Island Peak Photo Diary

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty - Torn Tackies Travel Blog

Hi, I'm Carryn. I’m an adventure travel blogger trying to figure out my way through life by traveling and exploring. Join me as I share my travel guides and tips for life abroad. Find out more about me here .

The Ultimate Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: How to Get from Lukla to Everest Base Camp

Ultimate guide to white water rafting in bali: telaga waja vs ayung river rafting, 2 thoughts on “everest base camp trek difficulty: 12 key things you need to know”.

So you felt EBC trek was hard, but for me, for example, it has always been very easy. I have been there 5 times, and last time I was already 64 years old, slightly overweight and had artificial hips on both sides. So how is this possible?

It all depends on acclimatisation. I acclimate extremely well (on Aconcagua last year my oxygen saturation levels were 10% better than anybody else’s in the group, and my heart rate never went above 100 bpm). I can walk up the notorious Namche hill 30-50% faster than just about anybody else, without training.

What I am getting at is that a person going there might feel like you did about the difficulty, or get AMS in Dingpoche and have to turn back, or be like me and feel nothing, just a normal hike. So EBC trek difficulty/acclimatisation is a very personal/genetic thing, and one’s assessment of it is never the absolute truth. It might be somewhat true to a large section of trekkers, but there are also those who will wonder what the fuss really was all about, and others at the other end of the spectrum who have to turn back half way because they just do not acclimate almost al all. In my experience about 15% of trekkers can not get much above Dingpoche 4300m

I hiked up to Kilimanjaro in 2008 and did not feel the altitude at all. Slight hint of emerging headache at the summit was all, but nothing on the way up. From our group of 16 two had to turn back, 4 others had serious problems but made it, 6 had slight problems, 4 did not feel the altitude at all. Follows the Gaussian curve quite perfectly.

Hi Petrus. Thanks for your feedback. You’re very lucky that you’re able to acclimatize so quickly. I remember walking to Namche and it was a slow struggle up the mountain. But I agree, people may find the trek easy, and it’s not a reflection on age, weight or fitness levels, but more so on how your body reacts to the altitude. This is something you can’t prepare for. I’m relieved that I was able to make it to Everest Base Camp because my body didn’t like the higher altitudes! All the best for your future hikes

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How To Do The Everest Base Camp Trek In Nepal

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 fun and accomplishment alone, but you also get views of the Himalayas that are out of this world.

This travel 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 USD 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

Mount Everest and other snowy peaks on the EBC Trek in Nepal

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.

Prayer wheels near Lukla on the EBC Trek in Nepal

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.

Ama Dablam mountain and stupa on the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal

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 .

Porter with a huge pack on the EBC trek in Nepal

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

Hikers near Pumori Peak and Kala Patthar on the Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal

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

Ama Dablam and another mountain range on the EBC trek in Nepal

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 in my opinion 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 use it as an extra cover at night.
  • Fleece Sweater: This is the only jacket you’ll need to wear while trekking most days, especially if it’s sunny.
  • 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: 1 liter 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.

Stupa and mountain near Dingboche on the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal

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 .

Stupa and mountains near Namche Bazaar on the EBC Trek in Nepal

The flight to Lukla from Kathmandu is $165 USD 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.

Planes at the Lukla airport on the EBC Trek in Nepal

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. In 2023, they were supposedly introducing a guide requirement for EBC, but so far that has not been enforced at all, thankfully.

With that said, there are some good advantages to hiring a guide, and it’s pretty cheap by Western standards. A porter is only $15 or $20 USD 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.

Hiker at the Tengboche monastery on the EBC Trek in Nepal

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.

Prayer flags with the Ama Dablam mountain on the EBC Trek in Nepal

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.

Mountains and pine trees near Lukla on the EBC Trek in Nepal

Guesthouses

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.

Sleeping bag inside a teahouse on the EBC Trek in Nepal

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.

Mountains near Lukla on the EBC Trek in Nepal

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.

Namche Bazaar houses and mountains on the EBC Trek in Nepal

WiFi / Cell Service

WiFi costs anywhere from $5 to $10 USD 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.

Snowy peak on the EBC Trek in Nepal

Electricity

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 USD 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.

Nepali prayer flags on the EBC Trek in Nepal

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.

Mountains and valley on the EBC Trek in Nepal

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.

Prayer flags with white Nepal mountains in the distance at the EBC trek

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.

Stupa face and mountain near Dingboche on the EBC Trek in Nepal

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.

Porter walking on a steep mountain bridge on the EBC trek in Nepal

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!

Sunrise near Mt Everest as seen from Kala Patthar on the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal

If you’d rather skip the hassle of planning your own EBC Trek, Klook has Everest Base Camp Tours starting as low as $900 USD 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.

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.

Pinterest EBC Trekking Guide

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Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty (What To Expect)

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With more than 30,000 tourists a year, the Everest Base Camp trek (EBC) is the single most popular trek in Nepal .

The name alone conjures visions of soaring peaks and sky-high altitudes, but just how difficult is the Everest Base Camp trek for the average walker?

A few individuals every year will actually stand atop the world’s tallest mountain, however, for most it will be a trek to Base Camp.

With no road in, the only way to see the incredible mountain is by trekking through the Khumbu Valley from Lukla (unless you can afford a helicopter!).

Depending on your operator, the trek usually takes exactly two weeks. This length of time can often be off putting to a novice trekker, especially as much of the trek is at high altitude.

Don’t panic though, the journey is very achievable!

Firstly, it should be noted that the Everest Base Camp trek requires no climbing expertise and there are certainly no technical climbing sections.

With determination and a basic fitness level, you should be able to trek the route. We have seen old and young, overweight and underweight complete the trek – all with a smile on their face!

With that being said, there are certainly some factors that should be considered prior to your trek, such as altitude, length and training that will enable you to better understand what you are getting yourself into before deciding.

EBC Difficulty

everest-base-camp-trek-difficulty-1

Without a doubt the most difficult and underestimated aspect of the EBC trek is the altitude. The high altitude profile of the trek certainly makes the going more difficult.

In fact, if it were not for the altitude, the EBC trek would be very basic indeed.  Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) should not be taken lightly nor underestimated, especially at the altitudes reached on the EBC trek.

The hike begins at Lukla which stands just below 3,000 metres – already high enough to induce altitude sickness. The trek then steadily climbs as the path winds its way up to Base Camp.

The view point from Kala Patthar on your return journey is the highest point standing at 5,554 metres.

The key to high altitude trekking is to go slow.

It is up to you to make sure your tour operator has an itinerary that allows for acclimatization. This means having at least 2 acclimatization days built into the schedule.

These acclimatization days are not wasted as they can be used to explore the area. Your outward journey should be far longer than your return journey because of this. Most operators take 9 days to get to Base Camp and 3 days to return!

Please remember to seek professional medical advice before trekking at these altitudes and research altitude sickness to make yourself fully aware of the symptoms and treatments available.

It is also important to be aware that there is no proven correlation between altitude sickness and fitness levels, gender or age – everyone is potentially at risk.

everest-base-camp-trek-difficulty-2

The trek begins after arriving at Lukla from Kathmandu. Here your 65 km journey to Everest Base Camp begins (130 km round trip). Depending upon your trekking experience, 65 km may or may not be a formidable distance.

In reality, 65 km, even for an inexperienced trekker, is not very far when you realise that the average walking speed of a human is 5 km per hour.

Unless you are trekking unsupported, your gear will be carried for you by a porter or yak, which is a nice bonus!

On a standard 14 day tour itinerary, you’ll be walking for 12 of these days, with an average EBC hike distance each day of roughly 15 km.

Although 15 km a day does not sound like much, the terrain is often rocky, steep and fairly slow going. Depending on when you trek, the paths can also be covered in snow!

Please bare in mind that this is a wilderness trek and the route has no paved sections. Like many mountain treks, the path ascends and descends often and you will need to make sure you rest often enough to prevent over-tiredness.

Many people believe that the EBC trek requires a super high level of fitness. Although a good level of fitness will certainly make the trek more enjoyable, you certainly don’t need to be an olympic athlete.

An EBC trek does tire most people because of the altitude and the hilly nature of the route, however, we believe that with a little basic training, any novice-trekker can tackle the hike.

Some days are certainly easier than others and it is sensible to prepare for the tough days, not the easy ones. Walking for 6 hours a day to EBC will take it out of you if you have minimal fitness.

Therefore, building up your strength before you leave is crucial. We suggest setting yourself an EBC hike training plan roughly 6-8 weeks before your trek.

Your training plan should include the following:

  • Several long hikes/walks a week, building up the distance slowly until 5 hours doesn’t bother you.
  • Strength training at the gym. This should be heavily focused on your legs. Squats are a great option.
  • Aerobic exercise. This is used to build up your endurance for those long days. Good aerobic exercises include jogging, swimming, rowing etc.

We hope this article has given you a good idea as to the Everest Base Camp trek difficulty and the best way to prepare for it. Good Luck!

If you are still unsure if you’re suited for this trek, or if you have any other queries regarding the article, please leave a note below and we’ll respond within 24 hours.

Tags: Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal Trekking, How Difficult is the Everest Base Camp Trek, training for Everest Base Camp, EBC Trek

References:   1. Personal experience, 2. Google Maps

Everest-Base-Camp-Trek-Difficulty

About the author 

Andrew Roux

Andrew is one of the senior writers at Mountain IQ. A native of South Africa, Andrew has hiked and climbed all over the world. His favourite destination is Nepal and his most memorable hike was to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro!

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Can atrial fibrillation patient do Everest base trek?

Hi Vani, unfortunately we are not qualified to answer medical questions. We recommend consulting your doctor.

Hello! Thank you so much for a great website and for sharing all your tips and experiences with us 🙂 Regarding the difficulty, I was wondering if there is any area that could be a bit scary for people afraid to hights (apart from bridges, which could be obviously) ?

Thank you!!

Hi Jennifer, in terms of heights the only sections worth worrying about are the bridges. There are two or three suspension bridges throughout the route.

How much an EBC trekking costs in average?

Hi Carlos, here is a detailed article on the cost of trekking to EBC: https://www.mountainiq.com/everest-base-camp-trek-cost/

If I am considering walking to base camp how uneven or slippery are the walking trails . I broke my leg last year and have plates and screws and wondered if it was doable ?

Hi Nicola, the classic trail to EBC is relatively well-trodden but like any mountain trail there are sections that consist of rough and challenging terrain. If you are comfortable hiking for multiple days in the mountains of your home country then I would say EBC on the classic route should be fine too.

I have done several Himalayan treks and actually climbed two peaks around 18000 ft. But recently I am suffering from osteoporosis of knees. Just the beginning. With weight loss and sufficient physiotherapy of knees will I be able to do this trek. It was in my bucket list but somehow I missed it. Now I am 53. Needs your advice.

How much of the hike to base camp is scramble requiring hands? Are there any class 4 sections?

Hi Marla, there is no scrambling on the classic EBC hike. It’s a straightforward trail!

We work with local guides to offer great value adventures at unbeatable prices.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

The awe-inspiring Everest Base Camp Trek (EBC Trek) invites adventurers to experience stunning Himalayan vistas and the opportunity to stand at the base of the world’s highest peak. It promises breathtaking scenery and an unforgettable trek. But beneath those daunting surfaces lies a difficult trek. This Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty article is related to the challenges of the Everest Base Camp Trek, examining the physical, environmental, and logistical challenges you may encounter. Whether you’re an avid traveler or an avid explorer, understanding these challenges will prepare you to make an informed decision and prepare for an unforgettable experience of the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Physical Fitness Requirements

Undertaking the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek necessitates excellent stamina and strength as participants navigate through steep and uneven paths for 5 to 8 hours daily. These paths may include rocky and snow-covered trails. Cardiovascular endurance becomes essential to manage the energy demands of these long trekking days. Strengthening the legs is crucial for handling the steep ascents and descents.

Engaging in aerobic activities like jogging, cycling, or swimming boosts cardiovascular health, while strength training focuses on the legs, back, and core, equipping the body for the trek’s physical demands. Activities such as yoga or pilates enhance flexibility and balance, lowering the risk of injuries. Prospective trekkers should engage in months of physical preparation, gradually increasing the length of hikes across varying terrains to mimic the EBC trail conditions.

Trekkers at Lukla Airport

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Conquering the Challenge of Altitude

Altitude sickness is a major hurdle on the Everest Base Camp Trek, with elevations reaching beyond 5,500 meters (18,000 feet). Here’s how understanding altitude sickness and proper acclimatization can significantly impact your experience:

The Challenge: Altitude Sickness

Thin air at high altitudes means less oxygen available to your body. This can lead to altitude sickness, causing symptoms like headaches, nausea, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.

The Solution: Acclimatization

The Everest Base Camp Trek itinerary incorporates acclimatization days, particularly at key points like Namche Bazaar and Dingboche. These days, they are designed to help your body adjust to the increasing altitude.

  • Planned Ascents and Descents: You’ll undertake light activities and short climbs during acclimatization days, followed by descents for sleep. This allows your body to adapt gradually.
  • Hydration is Key: Drinking plenty of fluids is crucial to combat dehydration, which can worsen altitude sickness.
  • Medications (Consult a Doctor): Under medical guidance, some trekkers might use medications like Acetazolamide (Diamox) to prevent or lessen altitude sickness symptoms.

Be Alert: It’s important to be aware of the signs of severe altitude illnesses like High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), which require immediate medical attention.

By understanding these challenges and incorporating proper acclimatization strategies, you’ll be better equipped to conquer the difficulty of altitude on the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Everest Base Camp Short Trek

Everest Base Camp Short Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return

Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return

Everest base camp trek difficulty: seasonality matters.

While spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are generally considered the most ideal times for the Everest Base Camp Trek due to stable weather, less rain, and moderate temperatures, each season offers unique challenges and benefits:

  • Spring: Enjoy stunning displays of blooming rhododendrons and potentially clearer skies after winter. However, be prepared for the possibility of unpredictable mountain weather.
  • Autumn: This season boasts clear skies and consistent weather following the monsoon season. But remember, mountain weather can still be surprising.
  • Summer Monsoon (June to August): Heavy rain, slippery trails, and an increased risk of landslides make trekking during the monsoon season difficult.
  • Winter (December to February): While winter offers fewer crowds and the possibility of clear skies, temperatures plummet, and heavy snowfall can block sections of the trail. Only seasoned trekkers equipped for extreme cold, wind, rain, and snow should attempt a winter trek.

Recommended Training and Preparation Plan

The Everest Base Camp Trek is an incredible adventure, but it’s not without its challenges. Here’s how a well-structured training regimen, starting six months ahead, can significantly improve your ability to handle the difficulty of the trek:

Physical Training:

  • Building Stamina is Key: Engage in aerobic activities like running, cycling, and swimming to build endurance for long trekking days on the trail.
  • Strengthen Your Core: Focus on exercises that target your legs, core, and back muscles. This will help you manage the demanding terrain and comfortably carry a backpack.
  • Simulate the Trek Conditions: Undertake practice hikes in varied and challenging environments. This not only strengthens your body but also builds your mental resilience for the actual trek.

Mental Preparation:

  • Know the Path: Research the Everest Base Camp Trek route, familiarizing yourself with the daily challenges and the variations in altitude.
  • Understanding Acclimatization: Plan rest and acclimatization days to allow your body to adjust to the increasing altitude.
  • Altitude Sickness Awareness: Educate yourself on the symptoms and preventive measures for altitude sickness. This is crucial for ensuring your safety during the trek.
  • Set Realistic Goals and Embrace the Challenge: Establish achievable goals and mentally prepare yourself for the physical and mental demands of the trek. This will increase your chances of a successful and fulfilling experience.

By following these tips and starting your training regimen well in advance, you’ll be better equipped to handle the difficulty of the Everest Base Camp Trek and maximize your enjoyment of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Off to EBC - Everest Base Camp Trek in September

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Don’t Underestimate the Distance

The length and duration of the Everest Base Camp Trek can be a significant factor in its difficulty. Here’s what you need to know:

A Multi-Day Commitment

The entire trek, including flights to and from Lukla, typically takes around 15 days. However, the core trekking portion is approximately 12 days. This extended timeframe is essential for managing the challenges of high-altitude trekking.

Importance of Acclimatization

The itinerary is specifically designed to incorporate acclimatization stops throughout the trek. These rest days, strategically placed at key points of increasing altitude, allow your body to adjust to the thinner air gradually. This reduces the risk of altitude sickness and makes the overall journey more enjoyable and manageable.

By understanding the length and the importance of acclimatization built into the Everest Base Camp Trek, you’ll be better prepared to tackle the distance and altitude challenges.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Death and Risk

While news reports from Everest often highlight danger and fatalities, it’s important to understand the distinction between climbing expeditions and trekking.

  • Climbers vs. Trekkers: The reported deaths usually involve climbers attempting the summit, not trekkers on the Everest Base Camp route. These expeditions venture much higher and face significantly more dangers like avalanches, as tragically evidenced by the 2015 disaster at Camp II.
  • The Trek Path: The Everest Base Camp trek path itself is generally considered safe from avalanches.
  • Trekking Mortality Rate: Accurately tracking deaths on the Everest Base Camp Trek is difficult. News sources estimate 3-5 fatalities per year among the roughly 30,000 trekkers. This translates to a mortality rate of around 0.01%, with high-altitude ailments identified as the leading cause.

Focus on Preparation, Minimize Risks

By properly preparing for the trek’s physical challenges and understanding altitude sickness, you can significantly reduce your own risk. This includes building stamina, acclimatizing properly, and being aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Method to Prevent Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Following certain guidelines makes the Everest Base Camp trek less challenging. The primary concern is mountain sickness from high altitudes, which is preventable with adequate acclimatization. The trek benefits from significant medical support, including helicopter evacuation services, which are available promptly for trekkers from around the globe.

Pick the Right Gear

Like any sport requiring appropriate equipment, multi-day trekking on Everest Base Camp demands careful gear selection. Misjudging the trek as a high-mountain climb leads many to overlook the importance of proper outfitting. Trekking during the rainy season without rain protection, for example, can render the experience futile. Preparation is key, involving packing various items for different needs. So that you know, information on packing lists specific to the Everest Base Camp Trek is essential.

  • Ropes for grappling
  • Gore-Tex materials
  • climbing shoes
  • crampons are not necessary for this trek. The trail, being rough, rocky, and strewn with stones

What you need are

  • We recommend hiking boots with high ankles
  • While a sleeping bag is not mandatory, we advise bringing one
  • Down jacket
  • At least one warm sweater for indoor warmth
  • Several pairs of comfortable, dry hiking pants
  • Thick, warm hiking socks
  • A hiking backpack with a minimum capacity of 50 liters plus 10 liters

Consideration for a warm hat or head cover, scarf, sunglasses, lip balm, sun cream, trekking poles, headlamp, windproof gloves, water bottle, water purification drops, camera accessories, first aid kit, etc.

Daily Trekking Distances and Elevations

The daily trek on the Everest Base Camp trail ranges from 5 to 15 kilometers, encountering varying terrains and altitudes. Starting in Lukla, which lies at 2,860 meters, the route passes through significant landmarks like Namche Bazaar at 3,440 meters, Tengboche at 3,860 meters, and Dingboche at 4,410 meters, each presenting distinctive landscapes and tests.

Climbing to Everest Base Camp, the trail reaches its highest point at 5,364 meters, necessitating careful progress and consistent acclimatization to cope with the altitude. The trek’s gradual elevation gain allows for a safe adaptation to the increasing altitude, all while trekkers enjoy the magnificent Himalayan vistas. The planned itinerary ensures a balance between daily exertion and acclimatization needs, enhancing both safety and the trekking experience.

Terrain and Trail Conditions

The trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC) spans a diverse array of terrains, starting with lush forests at lower levels and moving to rocky, barren terrains at higher elevations. Rugged paths and steep inclines, often compounded with snow and ice at the upper altitudes, define the trail. Trekkers traverse dirt trails, stone steps, and scree slopes, facing the complexities of glacial paths and moraines near the base camp.

Good physical fitness and the right footwear become crucial for handling these conditions. Prior terrain practice and gear familiarization, particularly with hiking boots and trekking poles, are vital for acclimating to these varied surfaces. The trail’s diversity highlights the need for thorough preparation to tackle sudden shifts in footing and landscape.

Challenges and Risks of the Trek

High altitude and its physiological impacts stand out as the primary challenges and risks on the EBC trek. Trekkers must acclimate to the reduced oxygen levels to prevent altitude sickness, facing the Himalayas’ unpredictable weather, which can swiftly transition to snowfall or rainstorms, rendering the path slippery and dangerous.

The trek’s lengthy durations of walking in demanding conditions contribute to both physical and mental fatigue. Uneven and rugged terrains increase the injury risk from slips and falls. Trekking alongside experienced guides and within a group enhances safety, offering expert support in emergencies. Risk minimization requires thorough preparation, risk awareness, and a careful approach.

Tips for a Successful and Enjoyable Trek

Here are some strategies for a fulfilling and enjoyable trek:

  • Advance Training and Preparation: Tackling Everest Base Camp’s challenges starts with early training to boost fitness levels. Engage in cardiovascular, strength, and hiking activities to condition your body for the trek’s demands.
  • Smart and Light Packing: Opt for minimalism in packing, carrying only necessities to reduce backpack weight. Include essential trekking gear, comfortable clothing, durable footwear, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a quality sleeping bag.
  • Gradual Pace and Acclimatization: Acclimate to higher elevations by trekking slowly and pacing yourself. Heed your body’s signals, hydrate regularly, and adjust to altitude incrementally.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated, consume plenty of water, and use water purification methods to drink from local sources. Fuel your trek with energy-rich meals, leaning on carbohydrates and proteins, and try local dishes like dal bhat for a nutritious boost.
  • Guidance and Safety Adherence: Employ a seasoned guide for their regional knowledge and trekking expertise. Follow their advice on safety, altitude sickness, and trekking practices to enhance your journey’s safety.
  • Cultural and Environmental Respect: Honor the Sherpa community’s culture and traditions in the Khumbu region. Practice “leave no trace” principles, manage waste responsibly, and protect the environment.
  • Personal Well-being Focus: Prioritize your physical and mental health, using sunscreen and wearing a hat for sun protection. Take breaks for rest and enjoyment, immersing yourself in the majestic views and unique experiences.
  • Balanced Photography and Experience: While capturing memories is important, also engage directly with the surroundings to fully embrace the trek’s beauty. Temporarily set aside technology to connect more deeply with nature.
  • Weather Preparedness: Anticipate and adapt to the Himalayas’ unpredictable weather by carrying suitable clothing layers and rain gear and readying yourself for any climatic shifts.
  • Journey Enjoyment and Achievement Recognition: Relish the trek and the milestones you achieve, treating the expedition as an extraordinary adventure that tests and reveals your capabilities. Appreciate the stunning vistas, fellowship with other trekkers, and the fulfillment of reaching your goal.

The Everest Base Camp trek is an iconic adventure, but it’s important to be aware of the challenges it presents. Here’s a final thought on how to approach this trek:

Preparation is Key

While the Everest Base Camp trek is a well-established route with safety checkpoints, guesthouses with basic amenities, and even occasional WiFi, the key to truly enjoying this challenging trek lies in proper preparation .

By understanding the difficulties beforehand, you can develop a training plan, research acclimatization strategies, and pack appropriately. This will not only boost your confidence but also significantly enhance your experience on the trail.

Embrace the Challenge, Reap the Rewards

Many trekkers successfully conquer Everest Base Camp each year. With the right planning, the challenges you encounter can be transformed into a sense of accomplishment. The breathtaking views and the experience of standing at the base camp of the world’s highest mountain are truly unforgettable.

So, take the time to understand the difficulties of the Everest Base Camp Trek. Equip yourself with the knowledge to navigate them and start a rewarding and joyful expedition.

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Best everest base camp trek itinerary (12 days).

A large, white Buddhist stupa decorated with painted eyes, standing against a mountainous backdrop with snowy peaks under a clear blue sky.

Whether you’re planning on hiking in Nepal with a guide or trekking the Khumbu region independently, this Everest Base Camp trek itinerary should give you a clear idea about what to expect. 

Everest Base Camp has been on my bucket list for 15 years, ever since I learned about the Himlayas at school. 

But I never had a chance to do it until Spring 2024, when my partner’s friends organised a group of us to undertake the hike. 

When I was preparing for the hike, I was full of questions. How much money do I need? Is it safe? How should I train? 

But, above all, what is the standard Everest Base Camp trek itinerary? 

We were provided an itinerary for the trail, but I was craving more details. 

So, when I was doing the trek, I decided to put together our detailed Everest Base Camp itinerary to help any future hikers! 

This is the standard itinerary that’s followed by most tour groups, with a few variations, and my experience and thoughts about it. If you’re hiking independently I have put a few suggested tweaks in that I think could improve the itinerary.

Let’s get into it! 

Everest Base Camp trek itinerary

The typical Everest Base Camp itinerary is as follows:

  • Day 1: Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla; trek to Phakding
  • Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazar
  • Day 3: Acclimatization day in Namche Bazar
  • Day 4: Namche Bazar to Tengbouche
  • Day 5: Tengbouche to Dingboche
  • Day 6: Acclimatization day in Dingboche
  • Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche
  • Day 8: Lobuche to Gorak Shep; visit Everest Base Camp
  • Day 9: Hike to Kala Patthar; return to Gorak Shep; trek down to Pangboche
  • Day 10: Pangboche to Namche Bazar
  • Day 11: Namche Bazar to Lukla
  • Day 12: Flight from Lukla back to Kathmandu

An expansive view of a mountain village with multi-colored buildings spread across a broad valley, surrounded by towering, cloud-capped mountains.

This is the itinerary that most tour companies use, give or take a few stops (for example, some groups hike to Manjo rather than Phakding on the first day, or stay in Periche rather than Pangboche on day 9).

And of course, if you’re trekking independently, yours might look a bit different.

Here’s what to expect on each day!

Day one – Fly to Lukla – hike to Phakding

A woman with long brown hair gazes thoughtfully out the window of an airplane, viewing a hazy sky and distant terrain below.

  • Start Elevation: Lukla – 2,860 meters (9,383 feet)
  • End Elevation: Phakding – 2,610 meters (8,563 feet)
  • Elevation Loss: 250 meters (820 feet)
  • Distance: Approximately 8 km (5 miles)
  • Difficulty: Easy

Your Everest Base Camp hike begins by flying to Lukla airport – often dubbed the “world’s most dangerous airport” ( you can see my thoughts on it here ). 

The timing of your flight can vary greatly – it depends on the weather, which is incredibly temperamental at Lukla (as expected at 2,800 metres altitude) and how many passengers. Flights might depart as early as 6 AM or as late as mid-afternoon. 

Keep in mind, there’s a 50% chance flights could be cancelled due to weather. If this happens, you might need to wait for the next available flight (which could be the next day) or opt for a helicopter ride at an additional cost (we were told that this would be $400 per person, although I have heard of people paying much cheaper). 

Upon arrival in Lukla – elevation 2,860 meters – you’ll feel the anticipation buzzing through the crisp mountain air. 

Compared to other villages along the trail, Lukla is positively cosmopolitan, with a variety of shops and tea houses. 

The trek to Phakding is a gentle introduction to the Himalayan terrain. 

It’s mostly downhill (although there are some ups, too – this is Nepali Flat ) and takes about 3 to 4 hours, covering around 8 kilometres. As you descend to Phakding (2,610 metres), you’ll pass through beautiful landscapes dotted with traditional Sherpa villages and monasteries and walk along the Dudh Koshi River.

The path is well-maintained, with plenty of spots to rest, grab a snack or use the toilet. While the altitude here is significant, it’s generally not high enough to trigger acute mountain sickness, though some of us started feeling the elevation! 

Some hikers continue to Monjo, but whether you’ll be able to do this depends on what time your plane lands. I wouldn’t recommend counting on being able to hike past Phakding.

A pile of Mani stones painted with Buddhist mantras, including a sign that reads "Everest Route Good Luck," set against a mountainous backdrop.

My Suggestions

For a less tiring start to this journey, I’d advise spending the night in Ramechhap or flying to Lukla a day early.

Staying in Kathmandu requires waking up around 2am for the drive to Ramechhap, which can be exhausting even before your trek begins! 

Many tour companies offer accommodation arrangements in these locations – if you’re on a private tour, just ask your organiser before heading out.

Where to stay

We stayed in Trekkers Lodge Phakding , which was cosy and well-appointed – I loved the outdoor sitting area with views of the hills! Rooms were en-suite, with a shower – although the water was freezing cold. 

Day Two –  Phakding to Namche Bazar

A river flows through a mountainous landscape with pine trees, under hazy skies with distant peaks barely visible.

  • Start Elevation: Phakding – 2,610 meters (8,563 feet)
  • End Elevation: Namche Bazar – 3,440 meters (11,286 feet)
  • Elevation Gain: 830 meters (2,723 feet)
  • Distance: Approximately 10-12 km (6-7.5 miles)
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Today is your first full day on the trail! 

Today’s trek from Phakding to Namche Bazar is where the real climbing begins. 

The hike starts with a pleasant walk along the Dudh Koshi River, but don’t be fooled by the easy path – it will get more difficult! You’ll cover approximately 10 to 12 kilometres today, which usually takes about 5 to 7 hours without breaks, depending on your pace.

As you leave Phakding, the trail meanders through magnificent pine forests, crossing and recrossing the river several times on suspension bridges draped with prayer flags that flutter in the wind. I found these bridges to be rather hair-raising, but they are stable! 

The most famous is the Hillary Suspension Bridge , named after the first Westerner to summit Everest (along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay ). 

Elevation gain is a key part of today’s hike, as you ascend from Phakding at 2,610 meters to Namche Bazar at 3,440 meters – this is quite a lot of altitude to gain at once, but unfortunately, there’s not really anywhere else you can stop (as you’ll gain most of this elevation on the steep climb up to Namche!). 

As you approach the village, you might start feeling the altitude – I found the last ascent into Namche particularly challenging. 

Namche Bazar, often considered the gateway to the high Himalayas and the largest town in the Everest region, is a bustling sherpa community that offers a warm welcome to trekkers. Here, you’ll find an array of cafes, bakeries shops and the world’s highest Irish pub !

It’s a cultural hub where trekkers can soak up the local culture and prepare for higher altitudes in the days to come.

Hotel 8848 was a fun tea house with a great atmosphere. I’d definitely recommend staying here, and try the veggie burger in the restaurant – it’s excellent!

Day Three – Acclimatization in Namche Bazar

 female hiker smiling beside an altitude marker sign at 3,775 meters, surrounded by a mountain landscape under a partly cloudy sky.

  • Activities: Hiking uphill and then down for acclimatisation
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Take today to acclimatise and explore the heart of the Khumbu region, Namche Bazar. 

Your body will thank you for allowing it time to adjust to the higher altitude! 

All organised treks will include a day of acclimatisation in Namche , and I’d highly recommend doing the same if you’re hiking independently. 

However, acclimatisation doesn’t mean resting all day! In fact, the best way to acclimatise is to keep active. 

Start your morning with a short hike up about 150 meters to the Sagarmatha National Park Museum .

As it’s just above Namche, this climb not only helps with acclimatisation but you can also catch a glimpse of Mount Everest on a clear day! 

The museum itself is well worth a visit – here, you’ll discover insights into Sherpa people, the history of Everest expeditions and its geography. 

After your museum visit, continue your hike up to the Everest View Hotel.  

Aim to reach early; the views are best in the morning, as afternoons are often cloudy! 

The hotel is apparently the highest luxury hotel in the world and we visited for a cup of tea. It was surprisingly the most underwhelming—and the priciest—tea I had, served DIY style with just a pot of hot water and the raw ingredients. 

Also, note trekkers are expected to use the external bathrooms, so keep some toilet paper handy!

If I did the trek again and it was unlikely that I’d see Everest from the hotel, I’d probably stop a bit before it and return to Namche. The last part of the trail is flat, so you could just hike to 4800 metres and then descend rather than pay for the Khumbu region’s most expensive tea at the hotel! 

After lunching at our tea house, we had the afternoon at leisure. Our tea house (Hotel 8848) had hot showers which was bliss, and I did a bit of last-minute shopping! 

Day Four – ​Namche Bazar to Tengboche

Elevated view of a colorful mountain village nestled in a deep valley, with rugged mountains shrouded in clouds in the distance.

  • Start Elevation: Namche Bazar – 3,440 meters (11,286 feet)
  • End Elevation: Tengboche – 3,860 meters (12,664 feet)
  • Elevation Gain: 420 meters (1,378 feet)
  • Distance: Approximately 9-10 km (5.6-6.2 miles)

First up on day four is a climb out of Namche Bazar, heading up to a path that runs above the town. Then, it’s generally flat for a while, with a few minor uphills and downhills. 

While this is fairly easy, it was here that I started feeling awful – low energy, headachey and a bit sick.

At our tea stop, I started taking Diamox as I thought it might be due to altitude sickness.

We lunched just before the infamous uphill zig-zag path that leads to Tengboche monastery. 

This path is steep and relentless – it took us about two hours to reach the top (elevation: 3,800 metres). 

Here, the air is noticeably thinner. Dominating the landscape is the majestic Tengboche Monastery. 

It’s well worth popping into – with an entry fee of just 300 rupees, it offers not only a moment of spiritual reflection but also a chance to admire its intricate artistry up close. When we visited, we even got a blessing from one of the resident monks!

Inside, the air is heavy with the scent of incense; the walls, stories high, are adorned with ancient thangkas.

However, by the time we reached the top of the zig-zags, we didn’t have the energy for a monastery visit – instead, we popped in on the way back down. 

From Tengbouche Monastery, it was a 45 minute walk to Good Luck Tea House , where we were staying for the night. 

Despite the name, this was not a lucky night for me. My nausea had worsened and I retreated straight up to our room, where I was quickly quite sick! (Luckily, we had an en-suite bathroom, unluckily, the walls were paper-thin). 

I wasn’t sure if this was altitude or food-related, but I thankfully did start feeling a lot better after I was sick. My guide was an angel and brought me dinner and reassured me that I was ok for the moment, and could see how I felt in the morning regarding altitude.  

I had one episode of diarrhoea in the night, but thankfully woke up in the morning feeling fragile, but lots better and able to continue the hike.

Good Luck Tea House was decent, although my memory of being there is marred by feeling awful!

Day Five – Tengbouche to Dingboche 

Two hikers, one male and one female, cross a suspension bridge decorated with prayer flags, surrounded by forested hills and a snowy mountain backdrop

  • Start Elevation:  Tengbouche – 3,800 meters (12,467 feet)
  • End Elevation:  Dingboche – 4,410 meters (14,470 feet)
  • Elevation Gain:  610 meters (2,000 feet)
  • Distance:  Approximately 11 km (6.8 miles)
  • Difficulty:  Moderate

The trek was starting to get harder due to the altitude, but other than that, this hike is a lot more manageable than previous days.

However, as I was still quite fragile, I struggled with the first part of it! 

We weaved out of Tengbouche and through the last of the trees – after our lunch stop, we’d be hiking above the tree line. 

As the trail ascends toward Dingboche, the increase in altitude becomes more apparent, and the air noticeably thinner. 

However, the ascents are nowhere near as severe as the previous days. 

Dingboche, sitting at an altitude of 4,410 meters is a critical acclimatisation stop. It’s very important to take a day to acclimatise here!

We stayed at Good Luck Tea House again – it’s a branch of the same tea house in Tengboche – and had a couple of hours in the afternoon to relax before dinner. I couldn’t face much food – I was scared of being sick again – so I just had a bowl of plain pasta with salt and pepper. 

Day Six: Acclimatization Day in Dingboche

A woman sits on a rocky outcrop, gazing up at the towering, snow-capped mountain in the background, under a clear blue sky

  • Elevation:  Dingboche – 4,410 meters (14,470 feet)
  • Activities:  Short acclimatization hike
  • Total Hiking Time:  Approximately 2 hours
  • Elevation Gain:  300 meters
  • Difficulty:  Easy

Day six on the Everest Base Camp trek is a key acclimatization stop in Dingboche. There are a variety of hikes to do around the village – we opted for a fairly easy but still hilly trek. You can do longer, but for our group, this worked well to acclimatise while still having ample time to rest. 

Above Dingboche, there are three flagpoles, the highest of which is 300 meters above the town. We opted to hike to the highest one. 

 This hike is easier and shorter than the previous acclimatisation day in Namche Bazar, taking about 2 hours in total. 

I was feeling much better today, so felt quite invigorated as we hiked around!

A hikers at a viewpoint with a mountain in the distance and a village sitting before that.

There are lots of photo stops on the way too – the mountain views are stunning – including the famous rock that everyone gets a photo at. Climbing on it isn’t as scary as it looks! 

After returning to Dingboche, you have the rest of the day to relax! 

We decided to visit Cafe 4410, a popular bakery serving hot drinks, cakes and heavier meals. Try one of their luxury hot chocolates! 

We actually ended up in the cafe for hours – the waiter put on the Everest movie, so we watched that and enjoyed being stationary for a bit! 

Day Seven: Dingboche to Lobuche

Two hikers, one male and one female, smile at the camera with trekking poles in hand, backed by partially cloud-covered mountains.

  • Start Elevation:  Dingboche – 4,410 meters (14,470 feet)
  • End Elevation:  Lobuche – 4,900 meters (16,076 feet)
  • Elevation Gain:  490 meters (1,608 feet)
  • Distance:  Approximately 7-8 km (4.3-5 miles)
  • Difficulty:  Moderate to Challenging

You’re going to hike to nearly 5,000 metres today, so buckle up! 

Leaving Dingboche behind, you’ll feel like you’re saying farewell to the vestiges of normality as the landscape transitions into more stark, alpine scenery. 

Today’s route progresses from 4,410 meters in Dingboche to 4,900 meters in Lobuche, navigating through changing terrains and increasing altitudes.

The trek starts gently – it’s more or less flat as it exits Dingboche.

Then, it follows up the valley, gradually gaining elevation slowly. 

We stopped for lunch in Thukla at the Yak Lodge. I’d recommend having the ramen noodles here (simple, but gives you hydration and energy) and avoiding the fried noodles – I had them on the way down and they were awful. 

After Thukla, it’s time to climb up the cliff face! This looks short, but the altitude and steepness mean it’ll take around an hour. 

At the top of the climb, you’ll find a memorial site which honours climbers who have lost their lives trying to summit Everest. 

It was especially poignant for us, as we’d just watched the Everest movie the day before, which focuses on the 1996 disaster .

We saw memorials to Rob Hall and Scott Fisher, who were two of the victims. It’s a harrowing reminder of how dangerous the mountains can be, but don’t worry – the dangers lie after base camp, not before it (take a look at my article about Everest Base Camp safety for more information ). 

A rock cairn topped with colorful prayer flags on a mountain ridge, surrounded by rocky terrain and a faint view of distant mountains.

After passing the smaller Lobuche Base Camp, the trek continues for another 90 minutes to reach the village of Lobuche. 

While the hike is not technically difficult aside from the uphill section, the increasing altitude makes the physical exertion feel more intense, and symptoms of altitude sickness may start to become more noticeable!

Lobuche is known for housing the world’s highest bakery ; it’s not as well stocked as Dingboche, but I was surprised to see it at all!

I can’t recommend our tea house in Loboche (Mother Earth)

It was notably less comfortable compared to previous nights, with no lights in the bedrooms and substandard toilet facilities. It also backed onto the stables, so we could smell animals from the corridor! 

This is partially due to it being such high altitude but our tea house in Gorak Shep, 300 metres higher, was a lot better!

Day Eight – Loboche – Everest Base Camp – Gorak Shep

A person stands in front of the Everest Base Camp welcome sign at 5364 meters elevation, surrounded by rocky terrain and snowy mountain peaks under a clear blue sky

  • Start Elevation: Lobuche – 4,900 meters (16,076 feet)
  • End Elevation at EBC: Everest Base Camp – 5,364 meters (17,598 feet)
  • End Elevation at Gorak Shep: Gorak Shep – 5,164 meters (16,942 feet)
  • Elevation Gain: 464 meters (1,522 feet) to EBC
  • Distance: Approximately 15 km (9.3 miles) total
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Today’s the day! 

We finally reached the base of the highest mountain in the world. 

The morning journey from Lobuche to Gorak Shep had relatively gentle uphills, but at altitudes surpassing 5,000 meters, the air is notably thinner—oxygen levels hover around 55% of what they are at sea level. 

This significant reduction in oxygen can make even slight inclines feel disproportionately challenging!

This was also the only area around Everest Base Camp where I felt like it was too busy. The pathway is narrow here, and lots of hikers were on their way to base camp, so it was quite chaotic at times! 

You will catch your first view of Everest Base Camp (and the Khumbu icefall) here. 

In Gorak Shep, a small settlement at 5,200 meters, we stopped for lunch and a brief rest. As I mentioned, the tea house here was much better than Loboche! 

Then, it was time for the final leg to Everest Base Camp! 

The moon visible in a clear blue sky above the snow-covered summit of a towering mountain.

The trail followed the same pattern as the morning – a net incline of 164 metres, but a lot of downhill and uphill along the route.

After around 2.5 hours, we made it! Everest Base Camp is 5,364 metres high, and it’s where summiteers stay for around two months while preparing to hike to the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point in the world. 

As a tourist, access is restricted to the periphery of the actual campsite, but even from the edges, the sense of adventure and the scale of the expeditions are palpable. 

You can catch a view of Everest from the base camp, and of course take photos with the signature rock. Although, since 2024, there’s been a sign over part of it, so photos are more limited these days! 

We stayed at Buddha Lodge , which, while basic, was remarkably better than Mother Earth in Loboche. For such high altitude, I was impressed with their food offerings. Try the hash brown!

Day Nine: Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar – Pangboche

A smiling woman wearing winter clothing stands before a rugged mountain landscape covered in snow, with the sun rising behind the peaks.

  • Start Elevation:  Gorak Shep – 5,164 meters (16,942 feet)
  • Highest Point: Kala Patthar – 5,545 meters (18,192 feet) – this is the highest altitude that you’ll go on the trek
  • End Elevation:  Pangboche – 3,985 meters (13,074 feet)
  • Distance:  Approximately 15-16 km (9-10 miles)
  • Difficulty:  Challenging due to altitude and initial ascent, then easier descent

The best view of Everest isn’t actually from Everest Base Camp!

If you can handle even higher elevations, I’d recommend a pre-dawn hike from Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar. 

This is just a steep climb from Gorak Shep, and while the full ascent to Kala Patthar’s peak is popular, a partial hike still offers incredible views of Everest and the surrounding peaks, some of which mark the border between Nepal and Tibet.

Not many of us in our group opted to do this trek, but I’d highly recommend it if you can get out of bed (we left at 5am). I found standing underneath the world’s highest mountains as the sun came up to be absolutely enchanting. 

The trail then leads down! We retraced our steps, back to Loboche and then further downhill. The first hour was still up and down, which was tough, but then it swiftly got easier. 

We were originally aiming for Periche on this day, which sits just below Dingboche, but ultimately decided to descend further to Pangboche, as we had daylight and knew that we’d feel better the further we descended. 

The trail was mostly downhill, and was very easy for the most part. 

We stayed at Buddha Lodge and Restaurant , which was quite cosy – we were the only people there!

Day Ten: Pangboche – Namche Bazar

A large, white Buddhist stupa decorated with painted eyes, standing against a mountainous backdrop with snowy peaks under a clear blue sky.

  • Start Elevation:  Pangboche – 3,985 meters (13,074 feet)
  • End Elevation:  Namche Bazar – 3,440 meters (11,286 feet)
  • Distance:  Approximately 14-15 km (8.7-9.3 miles)
  • Difficulty:  Moderate

Continuing the descent, the path from Pangboche to Namche Bazar winds through beautiful Himalayan forests (the trees are back!) and traditional Sherpa villages. 

Don’t forget to visit Tengboche Monastery on the way back if you didn’t while ascending. 

The trek is mostly downhill, although just as the trail was up and down on the way up, it’s down and up on the way back! There is a particularly hilly section midway through the day.

Once you arrive in Namche, you’ll feel like you’re in the land of mod cons!

We had our first shower in a week and then went to the Irish pub for an alcoholic drink. The Irish pub also serves excellent pizza, easily the best thing I ate all week! 

We stayed at Hotel 8848 again.

Day Eleven: Namche Bazar to Lukla

A scenic view of a rushing river through a lush valley with mountain ranges in the background, dotted with rhododendrons in bloom.

  • Start Elevation:  Namche Bazar – 3,440 meters (11,286 feet)
  • End Elevation:  Lukla – 2,860 meters (9,383 feet)
  • Distance:  Approximately 18-19 km (11-12 miles)
  • Difficulty:  Challenging due to the afternoon uphill section

It’s the final day of trekking!

The first descent is easy (I do recommend hiking poles, they’ll make this part of the trek much easier), but once we were down in the valley, we then had to climb uphill.

It wasn’t as hard as climbing at high altitudes, but on the last day of the trek, the very last thing I wanted to do was go uphill some more!

However, Lukla is a welcome respite from the trekking; here, you can purchase Everest souvenirs (although you can also get these in Kathmandu) and relax at one of the tea houses. We stayed at The Nest. 

We stayed at The Nest , which is where we had lunch on the first day. We had en-suite bathrooms with showers, which could be made hot (for free!) but the beds were incredibly hard here. But, it was our last day in tea houses before we flew back to Kathmandu!

Day Eleven: Flight back to Ramechhap

Close-up of an airport runway with bold white numerical markings '12' and '24', framed by mountainous scenery and a clear blue sky.

Another 18 minute flight beckons on this day, but while it’s a very short time in the air, you could end up waiting a while for it!

For us, it wasn’t too bad. We stayed at The Nest (which is right by the airport) until it was time to check in, and then had around a 45 minute wait in the airport before we boarded. 

Then, our van was waiting for us to take us back to Kathmandu! 

If you have an international flight out of Nepal, I’d recommend leaving a couple of days before it, just in case the weather doesn’t play ball and you end up stuck in Lukla! 

How many days do I need for the Everest Base Camp trek? 

A trail winds along a mountainside with sparse vegetation and hikers walking in the distance, under a partly cloudy sky

Most Everest Base Camp itineraries are 12 days long (not including days in Kathmandu). This is because most tourists only have two weeks off work, and it lets them fit it into their holiday time. 

It’s possible to do it quicker, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have experience at similar altitudes. Acclimatisation is all-important on this hike! If you really need a day less, you could fit the descent into two days rather than three. 

Plus, if you’re hiking independently and are able to, I’d recommend taking longer on the hike. Allowing an extra day for acclimatisation in Namche Bazar and stopping more on the way from Namche to base camp could help you avoid feeling unwell. 

Having extra days to play with also helps in case of bad weather and flight cancellations. 

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

A panoramic view of the Everest Base Camp area showing rocky terrain, snow, and part of a glacial area under a clear blue sky.

The best times to hike Everest Base Camp are during the pre-monsoon spring months of March, April and May, and the post-monsoon autumn months of October and November.

Spring (March, April and May):

Spring is a popular time as the weather is generally stable and relatively warm. Of course, it’ll be much colder in March than May! 

Additionally, as it’s pre-monsoon, the likelihood of rain is lower so typically the trails are dry and safer for trekking.

It’s also when most summit attempts leave from Base Camp, so you’ll see most of the activity at the actual camp at this time (usually from mid-April through May). At other times of year (including March), base camp will be a lot quieter. 

Autumn (October and November):

The Autumn season is another prime trekking time, with clear skies and temperate weather.

The air after the monsoon is fresh and clear, offering some of the best views of Everest and the surrounding Himalayas. 

Plus, the trails aren’t as crowded as they are in the spring months – but you won’t see anywhere near the amount of activity at base camp. 

Off-Peak Seasons

Trekking is possible year-round, but most hikers don’t attempt it in the monsoon season (June to early September) or winter. 

In the monsoon season, trails can be slippery, mountain views obscured and there’s a much higher chance of landslides. 

In the winter season, temperatures are freezing, with lots of snow and the chance of some passes being closed. 

Do you need a guide to hike Everest Base Camp? 

A woman wearing a cap and sunglasses stands smiling at the camera, with a backdrop of rugged, snow-covered mountains

In the Everest region, unlike other areas in Nepal, hiring a guide is not mandatory. However, I couldn’t imagine doing the hike without a guide. 

Our guide helped us manage health concerns like altitude sickness, trekking permits, ensured safe navigation on the trail (ours helped us deal with the many oxen that we had to share the trail with!), facilitated interactions with local communities, and handled logistics such as accommodations and flights. 

Their knowledge and skills in addressing sudden medical issues or route changes are invaluable. Plus, hiring guides (and porters!) helps the local economy. 

I’d also recommend hiring a porter for this reason; while it feels lazy not carrying your gear, porters are accustomed to the altitude and carrying heavy loads (although not too heavy! Ours could carry a maximum of 30kg, split between two people). Hiring them gives them work, which isn’t always easy to find in the remote Himalayas. 

Are you ready to hike Everest Base Camp? 

There’s no experience in the world quite like hiking to Everest Base Camp, seeing the world’s highest mountains and fathoming what an undertaking summitting Everest is. While it was tough, I’d recommend it to anyone who feels able to. You’ll quite literally feel like you’re on top of the world! 

I have lots of blog posts and YouTube videos to come, and I’ve already been posting on TikTok and Instagram , so hopefully I’ll be covering all bases regarding the EBC trek. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on social media and I’ll try my best to answer you! 

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The Hiking Adventure

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Trekking Everest Base Camp

CAMPING TIPS & TRICKS , Hiking / Camping / Tour Companies , TRAVEL

Snow-covered rocky terrain leading to Everest Base Camp with mountain peaks in the background.

At 8,848 meters, 29,029 feet above sea level, Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, towering over the surrounding peaks in the Himalayas mountain range on the border between Nepal and Tibet.

Even if you’re not a diehard mountaineer, you can still explore this beautiful region of Nepal with a trek to Everest base camp (EBC).

Not only will you get lifelong bragging rights for completing the trek to base camp, but it’s also a beautiful trek in its own right. Amazing vista can be seen passing through the Sagarmatha National Park and the awe-inspiring Himalayas .

Although the trek takes about two weeks, it’s surprisingly accessible and has been completed by many first-time trekkers.

Everest Base Camp: A Brief Overview

Since the first successful summit in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the imposing peak has attracted decades of adrenaline-seekers wishing to add their name to the list of successful summiteers. A good portion of these climbers never returned .

Despite the intimidating statistics, the sister trek through the picturesque Khumbu Valley to the base camp used by professional mountaineers is an attainable goal for many people.

A hiker in a red jacket triumphantly raises their arms atop a large rock, with the majestic snow-covered Himalayan mountains and a clear blue sky in the background.

Located at an altitude of 5,361 meters, 17,590 feet above sea level, you don’t need fancy equipment or mountaineering skills to reach EBC. Certainly, it takes just a positive attitude and a reasonable level of fitness.

There’s a sense of camaraderie and a tangible buzz in the air as the adrenaline of the would-be Everest summiteers infects everybody around them.

The scenery at these altitudes is breathtaking and varied, ranging from rhododendrons and pine fields to rivers; suspension bridges strung with prayer flags; glaciers, lakes, valleys, high mountain passes, and finally, the spectacular Himalayan mountain peaks!

A weathered yellow sign reading "WAY TO MT. EVEREST B.C." with a blurry snow-capped mountain peak in the background.

The Sagarmatha National Park is home to rare animal species such as snow leopards and red pandas – though it’s very unlikely you’ll encounter them. You’ll frequently have to step aside (to the uphill side!) as you encounter yaks on the trail.

Whether you choose to follow the traditional EBC route or one of the alternative trails, it’s guaranteed to be an experience you’ll never forget.

In contrast to most multi-day treks where you’d be camping in a tent, trekkers to base camp stay in cozy tea houses. You can find several available in a range of budgets, which function as both hotels and restaurants.

The trek is dotted with Buddhist monasteries and tiny villages almost all the way up. The relaxed pace of the trek allows plenty of time for you to explore the villages and get to know the local Sherpa culture.

Mt. Everest is increasingly covered in garbage left behind by the hordes of people who have set out to conquer its lofty heights. When you go, please respect the environment and do your best to minimize waste.

The most popular time of year to do the Everest base camp trek is between February and May – the pre-monsoon season.

Majestic snow-covered peaks under a fiery orange sunset sky in the Himalayas.

During these spring months, the weather is typically warm and dry and the mountains will be ablaze with colorful rhododendrons.

This is also peak season and while you’re unlikely to have the trails to yourself, you’ll enjoy a buzzing atmosphere at the tea houses on the way. This is also when most Everest climbers make their summit attempts.

The summer months bring the monsoon rains, resulting in slippery trails and a heightened risk of landslides. If that doesn’t deter you, the leeches and foggy weather might! It’s not recommended to attempt the trek in the summer.

It can also be difficult to fly into Lukla during the monsoon. Indeed, this is a good time to pick the Jiri trek over the classic EBC trek.

A unique airstrip with white runway markings labeled "24" in a remote mountainous area, surrounded by small buildings and green landscape.

If you want fewer crowds, try going in September or October, the post-monsoon months, when you have the highest chance of clear skies, although temperatures are slightly colder.

You can even do the trek in the winter but be prepared for sub-zero temperatures most days and lots of snow.

Whenever you go, make sure you pack for unpredictable weather in case a snowstorm takes you by surprise.

Trekkers interested in the local culture might want to plan their trip dates around traditional holidays with celebrations in Kathmandu, such as Holi (February/March) or Indra Jatra (September).

Another thing to consider when planning your trip is flight prices, which can vary considerably. Check flights before booking as this might have a huge impact on when you want to go.

Lastly, be aware that it might be harder to find tour operators who provide treks in off-season months. Also, some of the paths might be closed.

Conversely, if you want a stab at actually sleeping in Everest Base Camp, then late spring is your best option. It will be rare to find tour operators who might be able to wrangle this.

Everest Base Camp Packing list

If this is your first multi-day trek, don’t forget to budget for all the equipment you’ll have to take with you.

A serene village nestled in the Himalayas, with traditional houses perched on a hillside and a sharp mountain peak in the background under a hazy sky.

You can choose between renting or buying your gear. Hikers who plan on doing more multi-day treks might want to invest in their own equipment.

If you’re doing a two-week trek, it makes more sense to rent your sleeping bag and down jacket. For trekkers who plan on trekking for a whole month, it makes more financial sense to buy.

The neighborhood of Thamel in Kathmandu offers plenty of options for buying and renting. However, the products on offer may be of questionable quality.

Further on, Namche Bazaar is a last-resort option if you find you’ve forgotten to pack any essentials. If you keep your receipts, then talk it over with the shop when buying. Some shops will buy your gear back from you, at the end of your trek, for a reduced price.

Almost everything available for sale along the trek has been carried up the mountain, either by yaks or people. This means things get more expensive the higher you go.

Pack strategically. This means bringing the items you can’t live without while avoiding overloading your backpack. Whether you hire a porter or decide to go solo, somebody will be lugging your things up the mountain. Indeed, think twice before including unnecessary items like an extra book or five spare shirts!

Aim to pack around 10kg if you’re carrying everything yourself, and 20-25kg if you’re getting help from a porter. Don’t forget that your water adds extra weight. Try packing your bag with full water bottles, to get a more accurate idea of how much you can bring.

This list is aimed at trekkers who will be sleeping in tea houses every night. Be aware that if you don’t book early enough, the tea houses may be sold out in high season.

If you think you might end up having to camp, Then you’ll need more supplies not covered on this list, such as a winter insulated tent , sleeping pad , etc.

What to Wear

The clothes you pack will depend on which season you’re visiting in. Make sure you have enough clothing to keep warm, especially in the evenings.

A lone trekker, laden with a heavy backpack, walks towards a towering, snow-covered mountain peak under a clear blue sky.

Layers are crucial, as temperatures and weather conditions will change drastically between day and night and as you ascend and descend in altitude.

Tea houses often only heat the common areas, and then only in the evenings, so bring warm clothes for lounging around at night.

The higher you get, the less likely you are to have power in your tea house, or only for a few hours as they’re run off solar power.

Base layers: Your base layer should be comfortable and moisture-wicking. Stay away from cotton; go for merino wool or synthetics .

Pack a long-sleeved shirt (avoid short sleeves as you’re more likely to get sunburnt) and long underwear, if only for the cold evenings.

Fleece mid-layer: You’ll probably be putting this on and taking it off with every mountain pass. Indeed, try to find one that will fit easily into your day pack.

Outer layer: Get a down jacket with a good warmth-to-weight ratio, as you’ll be carrying it much of the time.

Waterproof windbreaker and pants.

Hiking pants: Well-insulated trekking pants , or trekking pants that can turn into shorts. 

Waterproof hiking boots. We can’t stress enough how important it is to break your hiking boots in properly before your trek.

Don’t forget to bring a pair of comfortable sneakers or sandals for the evenings and for bathroom runs.

Socks: Woollen hiking socks are worth the investment – bring a few pairs that can handle very cold temperatures for the higher altitudes, and look for flat seams and padded spots to reduce blisters.

Sock liners and Vaseline are two other good ways to prevent blisters . You should also bring a pair of warm socks for base camp.

Gaiters: These will be especially useful during the rainier months.

Gloves : Pack a thin pair of “inner” gloves and a very warm pair of outer gloves. There will be at least one or two days where your fingers will freeze otherwise – for example, the day you summit Kala Patthar.

Scarf/balaclava/buff: The trail to EBC gets infamously dusty, provoking the “ Khumbu cough ” that plagues many hikers. A buff or something similar will keep you warm as well as provide you with a layer to breathe through to minimize the amount of dust in your lungs.

Beanie and sun hat , preferably with neck cover, to protect against the sun .

Underwear and sports bras: You’ll probably be reusing these, so get good-quality, non-cotton ones.

Accessories

Drinking water: Most tour operators provide purified water. Avoid bottled water, as this is expensive on top of being an environmental disaster.

 Two porters carrying oversized white loads on their backs along a narrow mountain trail in the Himalayas.

We recommend bringing two big reusable water bottles (or a water bladder for drinking on the go). Tablets take a while to work and it’s nice to have one water bottle ready to drink while the other one is getting purified.

You can also fill a bottle with hot water and sleep with it in your sleeping bag if you’re cold during the night. If you’re purifying your own water, bring water purification tablets , LifeStraw , or a Steri-pen. But remember, these need charging, and charging on the trail costs money.

You may wish to add flavor enhancers to your water. Unfortunately, at Gorak Shep the water is very mineralized so you’ll need to buy bottled water.

Showering: Whether or not you shower is up to you. Expect to pay around $5 for a hot shower. Some people rely on wet or backpacking body wipes , especially since wet hair is no fun in negative temperatures!

Sunglasses: The combination of snow and altitude is brutal on your eyes, so invest in good polarized sunglasses with wraparound arms.

Sleeping bag : The teahouses will provide blankets and pillows but you’ll want your own sleeping bag and pillowcase.

Find a mummy sleeping bag rated to -20° C – or colder, depending on the season. Consider bringing a silk liner , especially if you’re renting your sleeping bag.

Toiletries: Sunscreen , SPF chapstick (this is better than lip balm as there’s no need to smear it on with your grubby fingers), quick-drying towel, tissue, baby wipes, period supplies, compressed toilet paper tablets or biodegradable toilet paper (remove cardboard and keep in ziptop bag), hand sanitizer, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.

Always bring toilet paper with you. Most bathrooms are squat toilets and are located only in villages.

Tip : wet wipes are more expensive than toilet paper on the trail, so if you have to choose, stock up on wet wipes and buy toilet paper when you run out.

Shewee: Ladies, you’ll be glad not to have to pull your pants down in the freezing high-altitude weather. If you need to pee, then I recommend using a portable pee device, like PeeBuddy Reusable Female Urination Device . You stand and use the portable pee funnel, so you don’t need to squat.

If you get your period on the trail and you’re not comfortable with using the DivaCup, another good option is to keep used pads/tampons in a ziptop bag and dispose of them in the next garbage can.

Personal first-aid kit: Bring diarrhea meds, altitude meds, antibiotics, ibuprofen, paracetamol, aspirin, bandaids, blister plasters, tape/trekker’s wool, Vaseline, cough drops (to beat the Khumbu cough), cold medicine, rehydration salts.

Tour operators should provide the rest. Don’t forget to get your travel vaccines before you go.

TSA approved padlock for your luggage.

Backpack: What you pack your gear in will depend on whether you’re using porters. Most porters prefer you to pack your things in a soft-sided duffel bag. Check with the tour operator in case they provide these for you.

If you have a porter, then you’ll only need a daypack for yourself. If you’re not hiring a porter, then bring a collapsible daypack anyway in addition to your backpack. This is so you can leave your big backpack in the tea house during the one-day acclimatization hikes.

A hiker in a red jacket stands triumphantly with trekking poles on a rocky Himalayan summit, surrounded by prayer flags and snow-capped peaks under a bright sun.

Try to get a backpack with straps for hiking poles and zippers to open it from the sides. Not to mention, you won’t have to dig everything out of your bag whenever you want to access something.

Dry bag or plastic cover for your backpack and daypack to prevent water ingress.

Hiking poles : These are a must! All the treks listed here will take you uphill, downhill, uphill and downhill again. Hiking poles will save your knees, and they’ll come in handy on slippery trails during the wet season.

Headlamp or flashlight : You’ll be glad to have this in the evenings after the power goes out, and during early-morning or late-night hikes. Remember to bring extra batteries.

Trekking map: If you’re going independently, a good trekking guidebook is essential – Lonely Planet is highly recommended.

Ziptop bags: These always come in handy for protecting electronics, etc.

Camera or GoPro with memory card and extra batteries.

Money: There are ATMs at select points such as Lukla and Namche Bazaar. But these have low daily withdrawal limits and high commission fees. What’s more, they have been known to take money out of your account without actually dispensing it to you.

Since currency exchange rates on the trail are sky-high, it’s best to bring a stash of local rupees with you. You’ll need rupees to pay for meals, showers, tips, etc.

Wi-Fi: A good option for staying connected is to buy a local sim card. It will give you data to about 4000m altitudes, and sometimes in EBC itself.

You can also check Everest Link for Wi-Fi data packages. The connection is supposedly available in most teahouses along the way, but it can be slow and unreliable so don’t depend on it too much.

Top Tip : Beware of phone updates. These will eat through your Wi-Fi and data limits before you realize what just happened!

A hiker in a red jacket and sunglasses stands on a rock, looking out over a vast glacier and snow-capped mountains under a bright blue sky.

Entertainment: EBC treks usually only schedule a few hours of hiking a day, to allow you time to acclimatize. Bring books, a Kindle , cards or other games for the many hours of downtime. Certainly, bring a journal so you can remember this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Solar charger: Many teahouses offer power points where you can charge your devices for a nominal fee. Also, don’t forget to bring an adapter. It’s a good idea to bring your own solar-powered charger and extra batteries to minimize costs.

Tip : Keep batteries, base layers , and anything else you don’t want freezing in your sleeping bag with you overnight. Keep your phone in flight mode to save power.

Important documents: Bring printouts of your travel insurance information. And make sure one of your travel buddies knows what to do and whom to contact in case of an emergency.

Bring your passport, visas, money, etc. – I always keep these documents in a zip-top bag.

Trekking solo? Bring a safety whistle , compass , pocket knife , & duct tape, especially on the less-crowded trails

High-calorie snacks: These will make a huge difference to your experience. Snacks are exceedingly expensive on the trail, and they provide welcome calories on tough trekking days.

You’ll have to decide how many you want to bring and which ones you want to buy along the trail.

Cloth bags : Many trekkers use these to separate dirty laundry and organize different outfits.

Earplugs: You’ll be glad for these when the tea houses are alive with the sound of Khumbu coughs.

A Note on Trekking Insurance

Be very careful when purchasing travel insurance, because regular policies usually stop covering you once you ascend higher than 3,000m/9,840ft.

An ancient stone pathway leading up a mountain, with a large rock featuring brightly colored Tibetan prayer inscriptions beside the trail.

At these altitudes, you have a higher chance of getting Acute Mountain Sickness. Also, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have to be airlifted out to a hospital for injuries . To clarify, injuries like a pulled muscle or twisted ankle at sea level can be more serious at higher altitudes.

Because of these higher costs and risks , insurance companies will charge you a premium for high-altitude trekking insurance.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of insurance companies that offer travel insurance specifically tailored to Everest Base Camp trekkers.

When purchasing a policy, make sure you’re covered for trekking up to altitudes of 6,000m/19,685ft. In addition, ensure it has search and rescue costs, preferably by helicopter.

Don’t forget to check if you’re covered for different travel-related illnesses (and make sure you get your vaccinations before going!).

It’s also nice to have compensation for delayed or canceled flights and repatriation in case of death (hopefully you won’t be needing this one).

Check the clause about lost, stolen or damaged luggage to see if it will cover most of the cost of your hiking gear.

Lobuche village, small village in Everest base camp trekking route surrounded by Himalaya mountains range, Nepal, Asia.

If you’re traveling in winter or shoulder season, then check for trip cancelation insurance. This is to ensure you’re covered if your trek is canceled due to weather.

You’ll likely have other considerations depending on your personal situation. Don’t just take our advice for it – remember to do your research, ask questions and read the fine print of your travel insurance policy before you purchase.

I always keep my travel insurance information handy while on the trek. Additionally, I pass it along to someone else in my group. This is so they know whom to contact in case of an emergency.

Some travel insurance providers require you to confirm with them before ordering a helicopter. Check out this option on getting trekking travel insurance for more information.

How to Avoid Altitude Sickness

Most tour operators organize a relaxed trekking schedule and follow the mantra “climb high, sleep low”. In essence, this is to avoid the risk of altitude sickness.

A group of hikers ascending a rocky mountain trail amidst snowy peaks under a clear blue sky.

Take it slow – once you finish hiking for the day you’ll have a lot of dead hours in the teahouse. For this reason there’s really no point in racing there.

It’s important to respect the acclimatization days. The acclimatization hikes are designed to help you adjust to tomorrow’s altitude.

Try to drink 3-4 liters of water a day, as dehydration will make the altitude sickness way worse. It also goes without saying that you shouldn’t drink caffeine or alcohol or smoke during your trek.

If you can, then cut out these vices about a week before you start hiking. So that you won’t suffer from withdrawal headaches.

Many people swear by Diamox as a preventative drug against AMS. It’s your choice whether to take this or not. I personally found the tingling fingers and toes to be very off-putting, but it probably helped me acclimatize.

Altitude sickness is unpredictable and doesn’t discriminate based on fitness or age. Listen to your body and descend immediately if you think you have signs of Acute Mountain Sickness.

Check out our article on altitude sickness for a more detailed overview.

Choosing a Tour Operator

Every year there are rumors that the Nepali government will make it compulsory to go with a guide.. But so far, it’s still possible to undertake the trek to EBC on your own.

A horizontal image of monasteries in a Nepalese village surrounded by snow capped peaks and alpine vegetation.

Unless you’re going in high season, you’ll can drop in at tea houses and get a bed without a reservation.

Independent trekkers can choose whether to hike all by themselves. While others choose between ring a porter, a guide, or a guide and a porter. A guide will speak some English and can help with booking accommodation. However, a porter probably won’t speak English and will only carry your bag.

You can also hire one person who acts as a guide and a porter. Another upside to hiring a guide is that you’ll be providing someone with a job. And in turn, you’ll get to immerse yourself in the Nepali culture.

Alternately, you can opt to join a guided trek with a tour operator. While this is pricier, it’s a good choice for people who have never done such a long, high-altitude trek before.

A horizontal image of yaks carrying loads in a valley in Nepal with mountains in the background.

Tour operators typically arrange flights, airport transfers, accommodation, visas and permits, porters and guides. Western tour operators will usually charge more, but provide a more trustworthy service. You can expect to pay about twice as much for a Western tour operator.

Check to see if your tour operator is registered with the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN). TAAN regulates trekking agencies in Nepal to ensure fair treatment of employees, respect for local communities and preservation of the environment.

The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project mission is to improve the working conditions of porters. They advocate for fair treatment and wages, lend free mountaineering clothing, and encourage them to work for only ethical companies. Through providing education and training opportunities, guides and porters have received classes on porters rights, Leave No Trace and are certified in First Aid.

Please make every effort to ensure the porters and guides are dressed properly, stay within the weight limit including their own luggage. Also, ensure they have adequate sleeping arrangements and insurance and are paid a fair wage.

It’s better to go with companies that employ their porters and guides full-time instead of freelance because there’s a better chance the company is providing them with benefits, sick days and health insurance.

Tipping is always a tricky subject and suggested rates will depend on whom you ask. Aim for around 15 percent of salary (if you’re traveling in a group, this number refers to the total pooled tip) per porter and/or guide, and adjust accordingly.

The classic Everest Base Camp trek winds through the Khumbu valley; once reaching Everest Base Camp, you’ll retrace your steps back down to Lukla for the return flight to Kathmandu.

A trekker with a backpack ascends a rocky slope in the Himalayas, with a towering snow-covered peak in the clear blue background.

If you’re interested in escaping the crowds or doing circular routes that don’t involve retracing your steps, there’s a variety of alternate routes to choose from.

You can also opt to tack small detours onto your classic EBC trek. This is especially doable if you’re traveling independently or in a small group.

You shouldn’t have any trouble booking your trek, even on the classic EBC trek.

Classic Everest Base Camp trek

The classic Everest Base Camp trek takes about 14 days, including time in Kathmandu before and after.

From Kathmandu, you’ll fly into Lukla Airport (2,860m/9,383ft) with its famously short runway – try to sit on the left side of the plane so you can catch your first views of Mt. Everest.

It’s a good idea to leave yourself a few buffer days, as Lukla flights are often delayed due to weather. Flights should be included in your tour price; otherwise they’re about USD 300, plus USD 100 for your guide’s ticket.

From the airport, you’ll trek to Phakding for the night.

The next day you’ll set out from Phakding and follow the Dudh Koshi River, crossing suspension bridges and pine forests until you reach the Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft), in the Sagarmatha National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site .

Namche Bazaar is the region’s principal trading point, so use this opportunity to stock up on supplies you might have forgotten. If you’re there on Saturday, then don’t miss the market. From here you can also catch a peak of Everest.

You’ll take a day to acclimatize in Namche Bazaar – you can make the most of the Wi-Fi, stock up on any supplies you forgot, check out the Sherpa museum or just tool around the village.

The day after you’ll follow the former Tibet-Nepal trading route via Thame to Tengboche. These villages are known for legendary views, where you can visit one of the region’s biggest monasteries .

Next you’ll hike through Phangboche to Pheriche while admiring the views of Ama Dablam. You might be interested to know that Pheriche is where the Himalayan Rescue Association makes its base – but hopefully you won’t need to use this information! 

Most people stay in Pheriche for a day to acclimatize and visit local attractions like the Imja Lake or Dingboche village, which boasts views of Lhotse and Island Peak.

Now that you’re rested, you’ll be ready to tackle the trek to Lobuche, which features a 600m/1,969ft elevation gain. You’ll skirt the perilous Khumbu Glacier and witness the many memorials to sherpas and climbers who perished in their attempt to climb Everest.

From Lobuche you’ll set out towards Gorak Shep, which is the world’s highest permanently inhabited village.

Finally, it’s time to push on through the moraine towards Everest Base Camp! Since actual summiteers of Everest have priority, don’t expect to spend too long there or even be allowed inside the base camp itself.

But don’t worry, the adrenaline-filled atmosphere extends all the way down to the trekker stop point! From here you’ll go back down to Gorak Shep for the night.

You can’t actually see the peak of Mt. Everest from Everest Base Camp, so the next day you’ll make a steep ascent up to the summit of Kala Patthar (5545m/ 18,192ft) to catch amazing views of Everest, Nuptse (7,861m/25,791ft) and Lhotse (8,516m/27,940ft).

Most groups try to do this at sunset on the same day as they reach EBC, or at sunrise the next morning, when Mt. Everest sometimes turns pink in the early-morning light.

Forging on ahead, you’ll descend to Dingboche or Pheriche, and from there past Tengboche and back to Namche Bazaar the next day. Keep an eye out for the massive fields of wild rhododendrons if you’re visiting in the spring!

Your last day of trekking will take you back to Lukla, where you’ll spend the night before catching the flight to Kathmandu.

  • Pros : Comparatively gentle altitude profile, can be done independently
  • Cons : Have to retrace steps on the way down, can be crowded
  • Length : ~130km (12-14 days)
  • Highest point : Kala Patthar (5545m/ 18,192ft)

Gokyo Lakes Trek 

The Gokyo Lakes Trek is popular for its beautiful glacial lakes , nestled in the quiet Gokyo valley.

Like the classic Everest Base Camp trek, the Gokyo Lakes trek starts at Lukla, breaking off towards the northwest at the Namche Bazaar.

This trek is considered slightly more challenging than the classic EBC trek, with steeper ascents and more time spent at high altitudes.

It takes 2-3 days longer, detouring around some of the most crowded sections of the classic base camp trek but still finishing at Everest Base Camp.

You’ll see glacial lakes and summit Gokyo Ri (5,357m/17,575ft) where you’ll earn views of Everest, Lhotse and Cho Oyu (8,201m/26,906ft).

Fly into Kathmandu, spend a few days acclimatizing and then take another flight to Lukla. The next day, you’ll trek down through the Dudh Koshi Valley to Phakding past several Buddhist sites.

Hiking through pine forests and along the Dudh Koshi River, you’ll cross several suspension bridges including the Hillary Suspension Bridge. After entering the Sagarmatha National Park, you’ll continue hiking until the Namche Bazaar.

You’ll then separate from the classic EBC trek and head northwest towards Dole along the Dudh Koshi valley. You’ll get some of the first views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam today.

The next day brings a steep climb towards Machhermo, which is populated with yaks in the summer.

Allow yourself a day to acclimatize and enjoy views of Ngozumpa Glacier (the biggest glacier in the Himalayas). Once you’ve enjoyed the glacier, trek to the Gokyo lakes and you’ll eventually reach Gokyo village. If you are tired by now, you’re in luck because this is where you’ll bed down for the night.

This is another popular time to take an acclimatization rest day and explore the surrounding lakes, or summit Gokyo Ri, which stands almost 5,500m/18,045ft above sea level.

Stop to take in the stunning views of Everest, Lhotse and Cho Oyu, then continue back down to the Ngozumpa glacier and on into Dragnag.

The next day is a tough one. You’ll traverse Cho La, one of the “Three Passes” (5,420m/17,782ft), cross a glacier and then spend the night in Zonglha. 

Joining up with the classic EBC trek, you’ll stop for a moment of reflection at the memorials to sherpas and climbers who perished in their attempts to climb Everest, and then continue on to Lobuche for the night.

From Lobuche, you’ll skirt the Khumbu glacier, hiking up past Gorak Shep and finally you’ll reach Everest Base Camp! Enjoy it while it lasts, because the priority at EBC is the Everest summiteers, especially in the spring months.

You’ll hike back down to Gorak Shep alongside views of the Khumbu icefall . Part of the highest glacier on Earth, the icefall’s deadly crevasses, unstable seracs and unpredictable avalanches have taken dozens of lives.

The next day you’ll hike up Kala Patthar, with more views of Everest and the neighboring mountain peaks, and then down to Dingboche along the classic EBC route.

It’s time to return to Namche Bazaar. The day after you’ll hike back to Lukla through the Dudh Koshi valley, and then fly into Kathmandu.

Because the trek is longer, expect to pay more than you would for the classic EBC trek. Trekkers are advised not to attempt this trek independently, due to the increased difficulty and the fact that there are fewer people on the routes.

Like the classic EBC trek, the best time to go is during spring or fall. Because the trek isn’t as popular, you shouldn’t have to worry about crowds for most of the way, so feel free to go during peak season.

  • Pros : Fewer crowds, more challenging, more sights, get to summit a peak, see the world’s highest freshwater lake system, prettier landscapes than classic trek, circular route so no need to retrace steps
  • Cons : More expensive than classic EBC trek
  • Length : ~220km/136 miles (16-17 days, including a few days in Kathmandu before and after)
  • Highest point : Kala Patthar (5545m/18,192ft)

Jiri to Everest Base Camp 

This old-school route mirrors the route taken by the first Everest summiteers in the 1950’s, starting with an 8-hour bus ride from Kathmandu to Jiri instead of flying into Lukla.

From Jiri, you’ll pass through the towns of Sete, Junbesi and Numtala in the Solu Khumbu region.

After reaching Lukla, you’ll join up with the classic EBC trek, passing through Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Pheriche and Gorak Shep.

In total, the Jiri route takes about 5-6 days longer than the classic route.

Jiri route trekkers will have the chance to spend a lot more time with the locals. You’ll also spend more time at low altitudes – the route starts at just 1,800m/5,905ft above sea level – meaning landscapes will forests and streams with actual running water.

Much of the trek is off the beaten path, with fewer crowds than the EBC classic trek.

Tool around Kathmandu for a day and then take an 8-hour (190km/118 mile) bus ride, following the Sun Koshi River to Jiri and then Shivalaya.

The next day, you’ll cross a suspension bridge over the river and then explore several tea houses. Go through the Deorali Pass, taking a moment to check out the prayer flags and decorated walls, and then head down to Bhandar for the night.

From Bhandar, you’ll walk through fields and forests before embarking on a steep descent t

owards the village of Kenja. Uphill again, you’ll traverse the Lamjura Pass and arrive at the town of Sete.

The next day, you’ll return to the Lamjura Pass and pass through magnificent fields of pine trees, magnolia and rhododendrons. Without a doubt, you’ll appreciate the stunning mountain views. Next,hike down the other side and you’ll arrive at the town of Junbesi.

Back into the forest, you’ll see Mt. Everest for the first time. You’ll then cross the Ringmo Khola suspension bridge and arrive at the village of Ringmo with its gorgeous Tibetan architecture. Another forest and you’ll be at Nunthala.

In the morning, you’ll head out towards the Dudh Koshi River, crossing another impressive suspension bridge on your way to Bupsa.

The next few days will take you to higher altitudes as you pass through forests with monkeys and several small villages.

Arriving in Lukla, you’ll join up with the classic EBC trek. After reaching Everest Base Camp, you’ll summit Kala Patthar for the obligatory views of Mt. Everest at dawn and then return through Gorak Shep, Namche Bazaar and finally Lukla, for your flight back to Kathmandu.

Like the classic Everest trek, the Jiri route is best undertaken in spring or fall. Caution: some parts of the Jiri trek may be closed in the winter, so we don’t recommend going during this season.

The Jiri route is only slightly more difficult than the classic Everest Base Camp route, due to its longer duration.

The average day of hiking comprises 5-6 hours, covering about 15km/9 miles. On the bright side, due to the more gradual ascent compared with the classic trek, you’re less likely to get altitude sickness.

  • Pros : More authentic, less touristy, chance to see Solo Khumbu landscapes (terraced farmland, forests, Dudh Koshi river, sherpas), gradual acclimatization
  • Cons : 8-hour bus ride (but scenic!)
  • Length : ~250km/155 miles (22 days, of which 18 days of trekking)
  • Highest point : Kala Patthar (5,545m/ 18,192ft)

Three Passes Trek 

As you might infer from the name, the Three Passes trek takes you across three high mountain passes (all higher than 5,000m/16,400ft). Thus, making it more difficult than the classic EBC trek.

After reaching Namche Bazaar, the Three Passes trek splits off from the classic trek. This takes you towards Thame and the Nangpa Valley. The trek takes around 19 days in total, of which 14-15 will be spent trekking. Getting a guide is highly recommended.

After flying into Lukla from Kathmandu, you’ll work your way down to Phakding.

The next day will take you across several suspension bridges on the way to Namche Bazaar. You’ll be there for a day of acclimatizing. After which you’ll split off from the classic EBC route and head to Thame.

Crossing the Bhote Koshi river, you’ll reach Lumde and catch your first good views of the mountain peaks. The next day, you’ll tackle the first pass.

The Renjo La (5,360m/17,585ft) lies near the Dudh Koshi valley and will reward you with views of Everest. Then you’ll pass the Gokyo lakes and the village of Gokyo, where you’ll summit Gokyo Ri and catch sight of Cho Oyu.

After spending some time acclimatizing in Gokyo, you’ll walk across the Ngozumpa Glacier. This is Nepal’s largest glacier, and you’ll then spend the night in Dragnag.

The next day is notorious. You’ll traverse the next pass, Cho La (5,420m/17,782 ft), which has a glacier and prayer flags at the top. On the other side of the pass lies Zonglha.

Joining back up with the base camp trek, you’ll visit Lobuche and Gorak Shep and take in views of the Khumbu Glacier, Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse.

You’ll explore Everest Base Camp and summit Kala Patthar before retracing your steps back through Gorak Shep and Lobuche.

The trek keeps on going, past the Kongma La pass (5,535m/18,159ft), down into the Chukkung valley and up to the summit of Chukking Ri (5,550m/18,209ft) with more mountain views.

You’ll trek through Dingboche, with its views over the Khumbu Valley. Eventually, you hike down through the rhododendron fields and the village of Khumjung, ending back at the Namche Bazaar.

From here you’ll cross the Dudh Koshi, following the classic EBC route back down to Lukla.

This trek can also be done backwards; it’s up to you whether you want to head clockwise or counter-clockwise after the Namche Bazaar.

Many people recommend doing the trek counter-clockwise to avoid crossing the difficult Renjo La Pass right off the bat.

You’re best off doing this trek with a tour operator, as it’s quite off the beaten path.

  • Pros : See a little bit of everything, uncrowded trails, challenging elevation profile
  • Cons : Riskier terrain than classic EBC trail, long stretches with no facilities
  • Length : ~21 days (150km/90 miles)
  • Highest point : Chukking Ri (5,550m/18,209ft)

Island Peak (Imja Tse)

Experienced trekkers who wish to try their hand at mountaineering might be interested in summiting Island Peak (6,189 m/20,305 ft).

A horizontal image of two climbers on the side of Island Peak mountain.

To master the glaciers and icy headwall during the ascent of these peaks, you’ll need to use crampons, an ice ax and potentially a ladder and ropes to cross the crevasses, depending on the weather.

Tour operators claim you can learn these skills on the fly, but it’s better to have some prior mountaineering experience before you tackle these routes, which are significantly more challenging.

That being said, Island Peak is a relatively “easy” climb as far as climbs go, so it’s a good option if you’re looking to expand your repertoire. 

Since a detailed itinerary of Island Peak is outside the scope of this article, be aware that the general packing list doesn’t include the specialized mountaineering equipment you need for this trek.

Likewise, ascending Island Peak takes you above 6,000m and will probably not be covered by standard travel insurance providers, so check with your local mountaineering association for options.

Practical Information

What will I eat? How much will the trip cost? These are the questions most frequently asked.

As a general rule, the tea house lodgings themselves are very, very cheap with the condition that you eat dinner and breakfast in the same lodge.

This is where your costs will really add up – food is very expensive – so check with your tour operator when booking to see if meals are included.

Food on the trek is repetitive but nourishing. The meals are carb-heavy – think pasta dishes, dahl baht or “sherpa stew” with veggies and noodles.

What other trek offers the convenience of stopping in at a tea house or bakery for a hot lunch or freshly baked pastry? Just be prepared for stretches where you won’t see a tea house for several hours.

Hot drinks are readily available, and a popular treat is a deep-fried Mars bar. Don’t leave without trying one!

Most people recommend going vegetarian during the trek. Sagarmatha National Park has a no-kill policy so all meat has to be carried up by porters or yaks and is never very fresh, so there’s a real risk of getting sick.

Much of the garbage that’s disposed of in the villages ends up getting burned on-site, which really makes you consider the impact of your waste.

Before wantonly throwing plastic into the garbage cans, try to reduce what you use and pack out as much as you can.

The budget for your trip will vary widely depending on whether you’re trekking independently or going with a tour operator.

If you are booking with a tour operator, the flight price and permit prices should be included – usually you’ll have to pay for your guide’s flight as well.

Tour prices run from about USD 1000 to 3000 depending whether you go local or get a Western tour operator.

Budget around USD 400 for the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla Airport, including your guide’s ticket. If you go independently, consider getting help from a local agency for buying your flight tickets.

Flights have a way of being overbooked and you’re more likely to get on the plane if a local agent is vouching for you. On this note, factor in a few buffer days for your flight from Lukla back to Kathmandu, in case of weather or overbooking delays. 

Nationals of all countries except India will need a visa to enter Nepal, which costs USD 25 for 15 days, USD 40 for 30 days and USD 100 for 90 days.

You’re best off getting the 30-day visa even if your trek is only scheduled to take two weeks, as weather and other factors might extend the trip unexpectedly. For the most part, you can get your visa when you land in Nepal.

It used to be mandatory to purchase a Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card, but the laws on this are constantly changing and there is a new local tax being charged, so check before you go unless your tour operator is arranging paperwork for you.

You will need a Sagarmatha National Park entry permit, which you can get ahead of time or at Monjo, when entering the park.

The price of the permits will normally be included in the trip price if going with a tour operator. Bring several passport photos for the permits.

All Set: Are You Ready?

The name “Everest” may sound intimidating, but this is actually one of the more approachable multi-day treks out there.

A hiker with a backpack stands on a cliff edge, overlooking a sea of clouds with rugged Himalayan peaks in the background under a clear blue sky.

If you have a reasonable fitness level and are comfortable walking uphill for several hours a day carrying a heavy backpack, then you should be able to complete the trek. The key is to go slowly to avoid altitude sickness.

You don’t need special mountaineering know-how or an incredible level of fitness. The hike to EBC is a relaxed one, as hikes go.

The pace is slow, to allow you the time to acclimatize, so you’ll have plenty of free hours to peruse the village cafés, tuck into a slice of apple pie and snuggle up with a good book or make friends over a game of cards back at the teahouse.

That being said, of course it’s a good idea to prepare for the trek by hitting the gym in the months prior to your departure, and plenty of practice hikes starting two months before you go.

Don’t forget to practice hiking with a heavy backpack on! Check out this article for more tips on preparing for an uphill hike .

In total, the trek is around 130km/81 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of 2,685m/8,809ft between Lukla (2,860 m) and Kala Patthar (5,545 m).

It’s usually done in just under two weeks, including rest days for acclimatization. The outward leg will take longer and you can expect to trek 5-6 hours per trekking day, covering an average of 15km/9 miles.

The hike from EBC back to Lukla will go much faster since you’ll already be acclimatized.

Plenty of people with no prior trekking experience manage to complete the EBC trek and you can too! Like any non-technical trek at altitude , the key is a proper pace, a decent level of fitness and most of all, a good attitude!

Have you been trekking in Nepal? Let us know about it in the comments section below!

Disclaimer : This post is for information only and is not intended to replace the advice of an experienced guide. Always do your research and check with local weather stations, etc. before attempting to undertake treks in the wild. Distances are approximate and routes may vary depending on your tour operator.

Photos via Depositphotos.

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Everest Base Camp Trek: The Ultimate Guide

Jackson Groves

Posted on Last updated: August 10, 2023

Categories NEPAL , HIKING

Everest Base Camp Trek: The Ultimate Guide

Mt. Everest is the highest mountain in the world and trekking to the base camp is no easy feat either. It’s a journey through some of the most spectacular mountain views but also through a number of beautiful villages along the way. The Everest Base Camp Trek takes anywhere from 9 to 15 days depending on your route and itinerary but also how well you acclimatize.

everest base camp trek difficulty

In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about the logistics of the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek but I will also share with you my experience on each day of the trek. A short journal entry with a vlog from my experiences from each day will give you an idea of what to expect and you can see how the journey went for me. After sharing my experience, I will then include all of the information you need to know in this complete guide about trekking to Everest Base Camp.

BEST TREKKING COMPANY IN NEPAL

a person standing on top of a mountain

Interested in trekking in Nepal or doing the Everest Base Camp Trek? I recommend booking your trek with Himalayan Masters , which is the company I use for all of my treks in Nepal. Use my code  JACKSON5  when you book to receive a 5% DISCOUNT .

Table of Contents

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK DETAILS

  • Distance : 120 km round-trip from Lukla to Base Camp and back to Lukla (You will fly to Lukla from Kathmandu)
  • Days required : 12 -14 days
  • Total Incline : (Undulation) – 6015 m
  • Total Decline :(Undulation) – 5821 m
  • The highest point on the trek : 5640 m/18 500 ft, this is actually at Kala Patthar, which you will hike to in the morning after reaching Everest Base Camp. This is where you get the best views of Mount Everest.
  • Difficulty : It’s hard for an average hiker but the altitude is definitely more difficult to manage than the distance with several rest days and acclimatization days.
  • Permits : Your tour operator will take care of these but in case you do the trek independently it’s good to know that you will pay a Local Government fee and Sagarmatha National Park permit, which totaled together cost about $40-$50
  • Cost per day : This will depend on your tour price and whether you do the trek with a group, a porter, a guide, or independently. Somewhere between USD $40 (without flights) $60 per person per day with all meals, transport, and guides included.
  • Guide : It isn’t required but highly recommended. You can do the Everest Base Camp Trek in a few different ways such as by yourself with no guide, with an experienced guide or in a group with a guide.
  • Accommodation : Guest Houses, also known as Tea Houses along the way where you will sleep in a comfortable bed and have access to showers (extra charge) and restaurant facilities. Very comfortable accommodation and great after a long day of hiking.

everest base camp trek difficulty

TRY THE 3 BEST TREKS IN NEPAL

a person standing on top of a mountain

Manaslu Circuit : My personal favorite 2-week trek through Tibetan villages and stunning scenery. Less crowded and more authentic.

Annapurna Circuit : The most beautiful & scenic 2-week trek in Nepal although can be crowded at times.

Everest Base Camp Trek : The most iconic 2-week route reaching the famous (EBC) Everest Base Camp at 5,300m.

BOOKING A GUIDE FOR THE EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK

The Everest Base Camp Trek doesn’t require a guide but it’s great to have a guide managing the logistics such as directions, tea-houses, distances, medical issues, and the overall organization. I’d say 90% of trekkers go with a guide. I highly recommend booking with Himalayan Masters which is one of the top trekking companies when it comes to the Everest Base Camp Trek. I’ve trekked many different routes in Nepal with them and I’m a big fan of their attention to detail.

The trek costs around $1500 USD with Himalayan Masters as of 2022 and includes all transfers, accommodation, meals, drinks, permits, and even the hotel stay before and after the trek at a high-quality hotel. I honestly had a great time on this trek and I can wholeheartedly recommend Himalayan Masters.

You can use my discount code ‘ JACKSON5 ‘ for 5% off the total price of your trek with Himalayan Masters which is a pretty handy saving.

Email: [email protected]

everest base camp trek difficulty

TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY IN KATHMANDU

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  • Ultimate Luxury: The Dwarika’s Hotel – Luxury, Spa-service, Pool
  • Best Value : Aloft Kathmandu Thamel – Swimming Pool, Gym & Great Restuarant
  • Budget Choice: Hotel Jampa is easily the top cheap hotel in Kathmandu

MY EXPERIENCE ON THE EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK

I’d like to share with you my experience and photos from my two weeks of trekking to Everest Base Camp. I hope you enjoy recounting the journey as much as I did.

Day One, Two & Three: Kathmandu to Lukla to Phak Ding to Namche

Day one began with an incredible flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Unfortunately for me, I had come down with food poisoning the night before the trek so it was a rough start for me but I decided to battle on. The flight gives you incredible views of the Himalayas before you touch down at Lukla Airport, one of the most famous and scariest airports in the world. The landing strip is on a downwards slope and gives passengers a heart-in-mouth moment on take-off and landing.

After landing, we had a quick coffee and look around Lukla before making the short and relatively flat trek through the villages and forest to reach Phak Ding. Day one is a short trek but you have made your way up pretty high even just by landing at Lukla Airport so it is not a bad idea to take the first day easy, given that your biggest battle on this trek will be the altitude, not the distance or speed.

Day Two for me was actually a day of recovery in Phak Ding where I spent the entire day sick in the guesthouse. There is usually one day scheduled on your itinerary for sickness or rest day so I had used mine early!

Day three was a tough day as I was still recovering but we made the climb up to Namche, which is a winding climb through the forest and out above the tree line. Namche  Bazaar is located at an altitude of 3450m inside the Sagarmatha national park, a UNESCO world heritage site and it is actually known as the last frontier for trekkers and climbers before the trek to Everest Base Camp starts to get serious.

everest base camp trek difficulty

Day Four & Five: Namche to Tengboche to Dingboche

Day four is a big day of climbing. Namche Bazaar is 3,440 meters and Tengboche is 3,860 meters but the constant undulation on the trail means you will climb almost 900 meters of incline throughout the day.

The day begins by following the valley wall as you get some great views of the Everest mountain range out in front. The path then heads down into the valley floor as you lose a lot of elevation. However, you will then cross over the river and gain all the elevation back as you approach Tengboche where you will stay for the night.

Expect to have views of the mighty mountain Ama Dablam as well as Lhotse, Nupste, and even the peak of Mount Everest. Interestingly this will be one of the best views you have of Mount Everest until you reach Kala Patthar in a few days’ time.

everest base camp trek difficulty

On day five of the Everest Base Camp trek, you say goodbye to the village of Tengboche and head towards Dingboche. It is a stunninng day as you voyage through the valley as the glacier river flows down below while snow-capped peaks loom in the distance. Along the trek, you will stop for tea in the village of Pangboche with lots of views of Ama Dablam mountain .

The elevation gain on day five is 700 meters and the entire journey will take about 5-6 hours at a moderate pace. Dingboche is 4,400 meters above sea level so it’s common to start to have a couple of symptoms of altitude sickness at this stage of the trek.

When you leave Tengboche, you begin a descent into the beautiful forest and can enjoy the shade as you pass through the village of Deboche. After you pass through Deboche, the trail gains some elevation and you will cross a suspension bridge, which guides you to the left side of the valley. Ama Dablam is still in view as you navigate the steep sections of the incline.

everest base camp trek difficulty

Day Six & Seven: Chuukhung Ri Acclimitization and Dingboche to Lobuche

Day six was an acclimatization day up to Chukhung Ri viewpoint, which was actually one of my favorite days. Because we would stay a second night in Dingboche, we left our bags in the tea house and did the climb up and down Chukhung Ri to help our bodies adjust to the altitude. The idea is to hike high and sleep low, which helps the body adapt.

Chukhung Ri is actually at 5500 meters, which is more than 1000 meters above Dingboche. This is a steep climb and you don’t need to go all the way to the summit. However, with spectacular views, isolation from other hikers, and a good chance to help your body adapt to the altitude, it’s a great day excursion with incredible scenery.

everest base camp trek difficulty

On day seven of the Everest Base Camp trek, we hiked from Dingboche to Lobuche, which is actually the second-highest village on the entire trail. Today is also the first time we will see the Khumba Glacier, which is one of the highlights of the trip.

The total elevation change for day seven is 500 meters in altitude but you will climb 600m in total for the day taking into account a few downhill sections on the trail. It’s a shorter day taking just four hours to reach Lobuche from Dingboche.

everest base camp trek difficulty

Day Eight: Lobuche to Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp

On day eight of the Everest Base Camp trek, it is finally time to reach Everest Base Camp. From Lobuche your first trek to Gorak Shep, which is the highest village you sleep at throughout the trek.

Gorak Shep is a small village, and it’s the closest to Everest Base Camp is also the closest village to Everest Base Camp. Basically, you will trek to Gorak Shep, have an early lunch, and drop off your bag before doing the round-trip trek to explore Everest Base Camp. Then you will return to Gorak Shep where you will stay the night before heading to the nearby Kala Patthar in the morning.

The journey from Lobuche to Gorak Shep is along a rocky path, which slowly gains elevation as you walk next to the Khumbu Glacier. From Gorak Shep to Base camp, you will reach an altitude of 5,364m, which won’t be the highest on the trek as you will go higher the next morning at Kala Patthar.

When you leave Gorak Shep you walk next to the Khumbu Glacier with the Everest Mountain Range looming behind. The glacier is covered in dust and rocks due to the sediments, which have been falling from the surrounding peaks over the last years.

The trail continues alongside the glacier until you reach Everest Base Camp. It’s interesting because you actually can’t see Mount Everest from the base camp, which surprised me but the surrounding peaks are still very impressive and dramatic. Depending on if you come during the climbing season or off-season will alter how the base camp looks. I visited in the low season so there were no tents set up and it was pretty barren.

The trail continues past some Sherpa prayer flags as the rocky terrain leads you towards the famous Everest Base Camp rock, which is covered in hundreds of prayer flags. We’ve made it!

everest base camp trek difficulty

Day Nine: Kala Patthar

The highlight of the Everest Base Camp trek was the climb up to Kalapathar (also spelled out as Kala Patthar). It’s a 5,540-meter peak, which looms over the small village of Gorak Shep where you have just spent the night. It’s worth the freezing wake-up call in the morning as it is one of the best spots in Sagarmatha National Park to take in the views of Mount Everest.

It’s only a 3-kilometer round-trip trek from Gorak Shep with 300 meters of incline but at such high altitude, it can be quite difficult. I suggest starting 1.5-2 hours before sunrise so you are at the summit when the morning glow begins. After enjoying the sunrise with epic views of the cloud-filled valley and Mount Everest, we began the trek back down to Lukla.

It would take us another two days to reach Lukla, which is less than normal but going down is much easier.

everest base camp trek difficulty

Day Ten & Eleven: Heading back down

Heading back down is now at the pace of your choosing. We were keen to get back to Kathmandu so we took just two days to head back down the mountain. With altitude sickness no longer an issue, you can really make some good time.

If you are ahead of schedule you can keep going to the next village as there are no pre-made bookings. Heading down is a great feeling as you have accomplished reaching the base camp and you can now just breathe in the mountain air and enjoy the descent.

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

In this section of the blog post, I will share with you the logistics and everything you need to know about trekking to Everest Base Camp.

HOW TO TREK TO EVEREST BASE CAMP

You have a few different options depending on your experience and requirements:

  • Book a package through an agency to join a tour group
  • Do the trek independently (not with an agency) but still hire a guide and/or porter
  • Do the Everest Base Camp Trek entirely independently

If you are alone and don’t want to do the trek independently then it is a great idea to join a group. There are lots of free time and chill moments at the teahouses to play cards and chat with your group.

Doing it entirely independently means you are in charge of all the logistics and it can be quite stressful if you aren’t experienced at managing all flights, maps, costs, negotiations, food, language barriers, first-aid and more.

BOOKING AN EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK IN ADVANCE

These are the most popular routes and are organized by the top tour companies who have a global reputation.

The Everest Base Camp Trek doesn’t require a guide but it’s great to have a guide managing the logistics such as directions, tea-houses, distances, medical issues, and the overall organization. I’d say 90% of trekkers go with a guide.

I highly recommend booking with Himalayan Masters which is one of the top trekking companies when it comes to the Everest Base Camp Trek. I’ve trekked many different routes in Nepal with them and I’m a big fan of their attention to detail.

everest base camp trek difficulty

CHOOSING THE RIGHT TOUR AND A GUIDE

Trekking to Everest Base Camp can be done without a guide although I suggest hiring one. Here are 3 reasons why:

  • Directions : The route isn’t incredibly hard to follow but there are many twists and turns I would have missed had I not had a guide. The route is available on many maps and map applications but it isn’t a clear trail throughout and some previous experience following a trail in a foreign country would be necessary.
  • A guide is relatively cheap to hire : Included in your trekking package will be a qualified guide. However, in your package is also meals, accommodation, flights, etc. The guide him or herself will only cost $10-15 per day.
  • When things go wrong : My guide helped me through food poisoning, altitude sickness and was as much a nurse as a guide. I rarely get sick at normal heights but altitude sickness is uncontrollable. I am pretty fit and it still smashed me hard. You can go it alone and be fine but it’s comforting to have a guide there when you come into trouble, especially with altitude sickness. My guide had seen it all before so his calm made me feel better about feeling sick for four days straight.

If you think you will get a guide like the majority of people on the Everest Base Camp, you have a lot of options and things to consider. Pictured below is my guide, Lapsang, who was a legend and someone who became a good friend. When I left Nepal he waited at the bus stop for two hours with me and gave me a Nepali scarf as a gift.

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I suggest going with a small group of friends. We saw a few big groups and it looked like a Contiki tour compared to the experience I had with just myself and my guide. Only get a porter if you really need it. You should be able to carry your bag for 4-5 hours of trekking each day.

My guide, Lapsang Tamang, had done the trek multiple times as a porter and now many times a guide. He said he has lost count but somewhere over 20 times, he has been hiking the Everest Base Camp Trek. The best thing to do is to contact my guide and arrange to meet him first in Kathmandu so you can chat and decide if you want to go ahead. You will be together for 12 days after all!

You can directly contact my guide Lapsang by emailing him here: [email protected]

Lapsang is an awesome guy and I had too many chai tea hangouts with him before and after the trip. Lapsang and I became friends during the trip and afterward, we went bungee jumping, cooked Dal Bhat at his apartment, and visited Swayambunath Temple.

everest base camp trek difficulty

EVEREST BASE CAMP PACKING LIST

I had no winter clothes or even trekking shoes before getting to Kathmandu and bought it all for under $200 brand new (Likely fake North Face). But just as a guide you can get all the gear new for under $200. Bargaining/second hand etc. may help you get it a bit cheaper but this was one time I didn’t want to be so tight with money then freeze my ass off later on top of a mountain.

Keep in mind you won’t be doing any washing. Clothes that dry quickly and are lightweight are key. I showered once… Here is a list of what I took:

  • 2 pairs of pants that rip off into shorts ($15 each in Kathmandu) (Super Safari style but actually handy in this situation.)
  • 2 long sleeve quick-dry material shirts ($10 each in Kathmandu)
  • 5 Pairs of Thermal North Face socks ($2-3 per pair in Kathmandu)
  • 1 Fleece pants and sweater. ($25 for top and bottom in Kathmandu)
  • 1 Thermal Lycra long sleeve and pants ($20 in Kathmandu)
  • 5-6 pairs of quick-dry underwear
  • 1 huge waterproof down jacket (Rented for $1 a day in Kathmandu)
  • Beanie ($1 in Kathmandu)
  • Neck Buff ($2 in Kathmandu)
  • Gloves ($5 in Kathmandu)
  • Water Purification pills and 1L bottle
  • Camera gear and electronics (Not necessary but up to you. Obviously I carried a lot)

All of this should fit into a backpack no bigger than 50L and be less than 15kg. I used my 60L backpacking bag because I didn’t want to buy a new bag for a two-week trek. It worked out fine and weighed about 13kg including all of my lenses, chargers, and power banks.

What are my favorite pieces of trekking gear?

There are six pieces of gear that I simply never forget when I go trekking. These are five items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my trekking essentials.

  • Arcteryx BETA AR Rain Jacket : This is my go-to rain jacket. It’s super light, folds down into a tiny ball, and protects brilliantly in a storm. This one never leaves my backpack.
  • Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots : For the best ankle support, waterproofing, and durable exterior I’m a fan of tough but light hiking boots like these Salomons for my adventures.
  • Black Diamond Head Torch : I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve arrived back from a hike unexpectedly late. I always keep this lightweight but strong headtorch in my bag for the unexpected.
  • Darn Tough Socks : These are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever worn and last for years. They also have a lifetime warranty and you just send them in with a hole and they replace it no questions asked.
  • Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack : I’ve never had a more comfortable 65L pack than this one. I got it in the Navy Blue and have trekked with it through many a mountain.
  • Bl ack Diamond Trekking Poles : They might feel weird at first, but on a long trek with incline and decline you’ll begin to love these.
  • Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle : I’ve used this for three years. It filters your water with one press and you can drink directly from it. Never buy a plastic water bottle again!

everest base camp trek difficulty

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK COST

I paid $900 USD for my package all the way back in 2016 but you can expect to pay anywhere from $1400 to $2500 these days.

What’s included in the package for trekking to Everest Base Camp:

  • Taxi from Thamel to Kathmandu Airport
  • Flights from Kathmandu Airport to Lukla Airport
  • Flights from Lukla Airport to Kathmandu Airport (Regular price $320 round trip)
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the guesthouses you are staying at. I could pick anything on the menu, which had western options or Nepali options. You can eat pancakes, pizza, and burgers or you can go for the 24-hr Nepali Power Dal Bhat. I could also choose any hot drink with each meal.
  • Your guide throughout the trip.

What’s not included:

  • Water. You can buy bottled water like me if you are playing it safe. It is $1 per bottle at a lower elevation and $3 per bottle at the highest elevation. Or lots of people use purification tablets and they seemed to be fine.
  • Electricity

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EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK: WIFI/ELECTRICITY AVAILABILITY.

Wifi: Costs anywhere from $3 to $10 to use wifi at the guesthouses. Buy a Ncell Sim before you go. Ncell works at 50% of the guesthouses. Electricity:  You will have to pay anywhere from $2 at low elevation to $8 at high elevation to charge your power banks, cameras, and phones. The key is to get a fat power bank. Pay to charge that then charge everything from your power bank. My power bank lets me charge my phone and four camera batteries before it would be done.

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EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK: BEST TIME OF YEAR

This is an interesting question. Do you want snow, reliable weather or to get away from crazy crowds?

February to May – Peak season, clear bright days, very busy trails, lots of people attempting Everest ascent June to August – Monsoon season, no crowds and empty guesthouses September to October – Most stable and clear weather, trails are quite busy November to January – Coldest period, can reach -25, some routes closed

I trekked in the first week of June and was lucky to escape the rain. I didn’t get wet once. Normally it rained in the afternoon or at night if at all but we trekked in the morning and usually only heard the rain as we slept. The trails were open and some days we didn’t even see anyone.

My guide showed me a photo of Namche on a busy morning and I couldn’t believe it. The path looked like the start of a marathon. After seeing that I was so glad to have gone in the off-season.

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EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK TEMPERATURE

During June when I trekked it was sunny in the days and I actually wore shorts every day. However as I mentioned above about when the best time to be trekking to Everest Base Camp is, it can get very cold at high elevations during November to January (-20 to-30)

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EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK DIFFICULTY

Trekking to Everest Base Camp takes some serious effort. But do you need to be in great shape to complete the journey? The simple answer is NO.

You can go at a slow pace, your own pace, and still make it to Everest Base Camp. In fact, going slow will help you to acclimatize better. I am all about speed but this is not a race. Some days we only trekked for just over three hours but we gained 500m in altitude so we rested for a day and then went again in the morning.

Having said all of that you should be able to walk 10-15 km in a day. Be able to walk up intense inclines for at least an hour. Be able to carry a bag while doing all of this unless you plan to hire a porter.

It’s hard to measure if you are ready. It isn’t like a marathon or anything else you have ever done most probably. I didn’t train at all and was fine. I’m in pretty good shape and played sport my whole life. There were people on the trail who were overweight and going incredibly slow but they were right there with us at base camp to celebrate the achievement.

EVEREST BASE CAMP ALTITUDE

The base camp is 17,600 ft or 5,380m. However, you will probably also trek to Kala Patthar, which looks over the base camp. Kala Patthara is 5,644m high.

everest base camp trek difficulty

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK DISTANCE

The distance from Lukla the first town to Everest Base Camp is 38.58 miles or 62 kilometers. Most people take 8-9 days trekking to Everest Base Camp and 3-4 days trekking back to Lukla. It took 8 days to trek to Base camp and two days to trek out.

EVEREST BASE CAMP ITINERARY

Your itinerary will vary depending on your speed and your guide. However, most people follow a somewhat similar trail and timeline. This was my timeline. Note that I spent one extra day in Phak Ding due to sickness. Most people spend that extra day in Namche.

  • Day 1.  Kathmandu flight to Lukla Lukla to Phak Ding (3-4 hrs)
  • Day 2. Phak Ding rest day (sickness)
  • Day 3.  Phak Ding to Namche (5 hrs)
  • Day 4.  Namche to Tenboche (4 hrs)
  • Day 5.  Tenboche to Dinboche (3 hrs)
  • Day 6.  Dinboche to Chukhung Ri (2.5 hrs) Chukhung Ri back to Dinboche (1.5 hrs) (Acclimatization day)
  • Day 7.  Dinboche to Lobuche (3 hrs)
  • Day 8.  Lobuche to Gorak Shep (2 hrs) Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp (1.5 hrs) Everest Base Camp to Gorak Shep (1.5 hrs)
  • Day 9.  Gorak Shep to Kala Patthara (2 hrs) Kala Patthara to Gorak Shep (1 hr) Gorak Shep to Tenboche (7hrs)
  • Day 10.  Tenboche to Lukla (8 hrs)

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I hope you enjoyed my guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek and you have a great adventure.

HAVE YOU READ MY OTHER NEPAL BLOGS?

I’ve been lucky enough to have many awesome adventures in Nepal, which you can check out below where I’ve listed some of my favorite blog poss from Nepal.

  • The Most Iconic route: Everest Base Camp Trek
  • The Most Scenic Route: Annapurna Circuit Trek
  • My Favorite Trek in Nepal: Manaslu Circuit Trek
  • An Easy Nepal Trek: Langtang Valley Trek
  • A great beginner peak: Island Peak Climb (6,165m)
  • My Favorite Climb in Nepal: Climbing Ama Dablam (6,812m)
  • My first 8000er: Climbing Manaslu (8,163m)
  • My toughest climb in Nepal: Climbing Makalu (8,463m)
  • Where to stay: 16 Best Places to Stay in Kathmandu

a group of people sitting on top of a snow covered mountain

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Sunday 17th of September 2023

So much informative articles which helps people to trek Everest Base Camp Trek

Inge Winkler

Saturday 3rd of June 2023

Hello, thank you for posting all the great infos, this will be very helpful for us. Could you please update me if the requirement of a Professional Guide is in place now or is there a way around it. Thank you so much in advance. Happy Trails, Inge

Sunday 18th of June 2023

I believe you need a guide now to trek anything above 3000m

Monday 21st of November 2022

Thanks for sharing such an adventurous trip experience with us. I read your blog. It feels like I was personally enjoying this trip.

Friday 12th of August 2022

Hi Jackson,

This was a helpful and informative guide. Kudos!

I had a small suggestion: You could have a small sections box right in the beginning and link each sub-section directly to the relevant content below, for ease of navigation!

Ganesh

The Reality of Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Ganesh adhikari.

  • Last Updated on Dec 22, 2023

Many trekkers underestimate the Everest Base Camp trek difficulty, thinking it's just a hike to the base camp of Mount Everest, not the summit. Well, this hike can be quite brutal if you are not well prepared and understand the challenges this world-renowned adventure poses. 

As we have used the word adventure, do note that trekking to Everest Base Camp is not a luxury trip, even if you stay overnight in luxurious lodges along the trail. You have signed up for an adventurous journey, and you will get it. 

The Everest base camp trek will test your endurance and patience. You will be pushing your limits and making new boundaries. With that being said, the Everest Base Camp trek is also not the toughest one in Nepal. The right balance of knowledge and preparation will help you complete this trek smoothly, even if you are a beginner trekker. 

In this blog, we will talk about the reality of Everest Base Camp trek difficulty. How difficult is it, who can do it, safety tips, etc. You will get all the answers.

Table of Contents

The challenges of the everest base camp trek.

The Everest Base Camp trek is hard in different ways for different people. Even though this trek is recommended to beginner trekkers, the journey can be quite arduous for some of them. Your fitness, understanding of the region and its limitations, knowledge about high altitude, supporting team, preparation, etc, determine how difficult the Everest Base Camp trek will be for you.

This trek does not require any technical expertise. It is a long hiking adventure with a rising altitude every day. Basic fitness is needed for the Everest Base Camp trek, as you will be trekking for 6 hours a day at a minimum. It is better not to rush while ascending. Have ample acclimatization days in your itinerary and maintain daily elevation gain under 500 meters as well.

The Everest Base Camp trekking route is rugged and steep in some places. The trail starts through lush rhododendron and magnolia forests and ascends to boulder fields and glacier moraines. Until you reach Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar, it is mostly uphill walking with a few descents. You will follow uneven cliff sides as well and walk along glaciers.

Distance and daily walking Hours

The Everest Base Camp trek distance is 130 kilometers. Each side is 65 kilometers. You will trek 9 to 11 kilometers daily on average. Some days include long distances up to 15 kilometers. Likewise, the daily walking hours during the Everest Base Camp trekking is 6 hours on average. 

The longest days are when you trek from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche, Dingboche to Lobuche, Lobuche to Everest Base Camp via Gorak Shep, Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar to Pheriche, Phercihe to Namche Bazaar, and Namche Bazaar to Lukla.

High Altitude

The high altitude is one of the most significant Everest Base Camp trek challenges. This is what adds more difficulty to trekking in the upper part of the trail. The Everest base camp trek starts from Lukla at 2,845 meters (9,334 ft). From Kathmandu (1,400 m/4,600 ft), you will gain 1,455 meters (4,774 ft) in just 30 minutes of flight. 

It is a drastic elevation change and may trigger altitude sickness , so trekkers descend to Phakding village 2,610 meters (8,563 ft) to spend the night. From Lukla to Everest Base Camp (5,364 m/17,600 ft), you will gain 2,519 meters (8,264 ft) in total. Kala Patthar (5,545 m/18,192 ft) is the highest point of the trek.

As you can see, the variation in elevation is quite drastic in a short period and exposes you to decreasing levels of oxygen as you ascend, which makes trekking more demanding. You will get tired quickly and may also suffer from altitude sickness if you are not careful. Altitude sickness is a common thing during the EBC trek.

Most of the Everest Base Camp trek packages include two acclimatization days in the itinerary, which helps to adjust to elevation and avoid altitude sickness. It's better if you do not compromise on acclimatization days during Everest Base Camp trekking. Be careful of the symptoms and inform your guide if you feel discomfort during the trek. 

  • Unpredictable weather

The Khumbu region, also known as the Everest region, is famous for its unpredictable and challenging weather conditions. Even during the peak trekking seasons, the clear skies can suddenly give way to rain, strong winds, or snowfall. This unpredictability requires a proper Everest Base Camp trek plan and backup. 

Likewise, as you gain elevation, you can feel the daytime warm, whereas mornings and nights are relatively cold. You have to prepare for all kinds of weather and temperatures. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the two primary seasons for this trek. 

Winter (December to February) and summer/monsoon (June to August) are off time. The offseason has the worst weather conditions. You cannot predict anything. The Lukla flight is mostly delayed or canceled too. Therefore, very few trekkers trek to Everest base camp in winter and summer/monsoon.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Limited tourist Facilities

The Everest region is famous, especially the Everest Base Camp trail, but this doesn't mean it is not a remote area. Compared to other trekking routes, the Everest Base Camp trail does have better accommodations and facilities, but at the end of the day, the region also has many limitations. 

The trail offers lodges and tea houses accommodation. They are simple, with limited services like beds, shared washrooms, and communal dining areas. There is no heating system, so you have to carry a sleeping bag and every essential toiletry, including toilet paper, hand soap, etc. 

Charging, WiFi, hot showers, etc, all require an additional few bucks, which is not covered in the Everest Base Camp package cost unless it is a luxury package. The limited tourist facilities along the Everest Base Camp trail demand you to be flexible and adjust.

Compared to Lukla and Namche Bazaar, the upper part of the trail has fewer services. And everything will cost you additional money.

Khumbu Cough

Khumbu Cough is a term used to describe a persistent and often irritating cough that some trekkers experience during the Everest Base Camp trek and other high-altitude treks in the Khumbu region of Nepal. As you ascend to higher altitudes, the air becomes increasingly dry and thin. At elevations above 13,000 feet (4,000 meters), the humidity levels drop significantly. 

This dryness can irritate the respiratory passages and lead to coughing. Moreover, the cold air further dries out the respiratory tract, making it more susceptible to irritation. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma or bronchitis, are more prone to experiencing Khumbu Cough.

Trekking during the peak season

The Everest Base Camp trek is very famous. In the peak trekking seasons, you'll be sharing the trails with a significant number of other trekkers, climbers, and support staff. This can result in congested paths and, at times, slow progress, especially in narrow sections. 

Likewise, tea houses and lodges along the trail can get fully booked, and securing a room can be challenging. Sometimes trekkers, especially solo trekkers, have to share a room or sleep in common areas when accommodations are scarce.

Trekking during the off-season

Winter treks to Everest Base Camp bring freezing temperatures, especially at higher altitudes. Sub-zero temperatures can make hiking and overnight stays in lodges exceptionally cold and uncomfortable. Likewise, snowfall is common during winter months, and trails are covered with snow and ice. 

This increases the risk of slips and falls, making certain sections of the trek more treacherous. Likewise, summer/monsoon makes the trail equally challenging with heavy rainfall, bugs, slippery trails, and landslide risks. The views get obstructed in both seasons. Many lodges along the trail are closed during the offseason due to the extreme weather conditions and lack of trekkers.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Everest Base Camp Trek Route Difficulty Overview

Below is our popular 14-day Everest Base Camp trek itinerary. We have made a daily route overview for you. You can learn how much you are going to ascend or descend each day, along with the difficulty level of trekking from one particular village to another.

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400 m/4,600 ft)

Day 02: Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airport (2,846 m/9,337 ft) and trek to Phakding (2,610 m/8,563 ft)

  • Trek distance : 6.2 km/3.8 miles
  • Duration : 30 minutes flight & 4 hours trek
  • Elevation difference : 1,445 m/4,740 ft ascend & 196 m/643 ft descend
  • Difficulty : Easy

Day 03: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,290 ft)

  • Trek distance : 7.4 km/4.6 miles
  • Duration : 6 hours
  • Elevation difference : 789 m/2,589 ft ascend 
  • Difficulty : Strenuous

Day 04: Acclimatization in Namche Bazaar: hike to Syangboche Airstrip (3,748 m/12,297 ft) and Everest View Hotel (3,962 m/13,000 ft)

  • Duration : 4-5 hours
  • Elevation difference : 350 m/1,148 ft ascend 
  • Difficulty : Medium

Day 05: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche Monastery (3,860 m/12,660 ft)

  • Trek distance : 9.2 km/5.7 miles
  • Duration :  5 hours
  • Elevation difference : 430 m/1,410 ft ascend 
  • Difficulty : Easy/medium

Day 06: Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche (4,410 m/14,470 ft)

  • Trek distance : 12 km/7.45 miles
  • Duration : 5 hours
  • Elevation difference : 490 m/1,608 ft ascend 
  • Difficulty : Hard

Day 07: Acclimatization in Dingboche; hike to Nagarjuna Hill (5,100 m/16,732 ft)

  • Duration : 4-5 hours 
  • Elevation difference : 740 m/2,427 ft ascend 

Day 08: Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche (4,940 m/16,210 ft)

  • Trek distance : 8.5 km/5.2 miles
  • Duration : 5-6 hours
  • Elevation difference : 580 m/1,903 ft ascend 

Day 09: Trek from Lobuche to Everest Base Camp (5,364 m/17,598 ft) via Gorak Shep (5,164 m/16,942 ft) and back to Gorak Shep for a night's stay

  • Trek distance : 15 km/9.32 miles
  • Duration : 8 hours
  • Elevation difference : 424 m/1,391 ft ascend & 200 m/656 ft descend

Day 10: Hike to Kala Patthar (5,545 m/18,192 ft) early in the morning and trek down to Pheriche (4,371 m/14,340 ft)

  • Trek distance : 9.6 km/6 miles
  • Elevation difference : 381 m/1,250 ft ascend & 793 m/2,601 ft descend

Day 11: Trek from Pheriche to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,290 ft)

  • Trek distance : 17.7 km/10.9 miles
  • Duration : 6-7 hours
  • Elevation difference : 931 m/3,054 ft descend 

Day 12: Trek Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2,846 m/9,337 ft) via Phakding (2,610 m/8,563 ft)

  • Trek distance : 16.7 km/10 miles
  • Elevation difference : 595 m/1,952 descend

Day 13: Morning flight back to Kathmandu (1,400 m/4,600 ft) from Lukla airport & farewell dinner in the late evening

  • Duration : 35 minutes flight
  • Elevation difference : 1,446 m/4,744 ft descend 

Day 14: Final departure

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Physical and Mental Challenges of the Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest Base Camp trek is a demanding journey that presents trekkers with a combination of physical and mental challenges. High altitude, long trekking days, and steep ascents and descents, including rocky trails, put a strain on the body. 

Not only that, you will be dealing with a bad network, no connection to the outside world, limited modern facilities, etc. Both physical and mental challenges are much more than you may think during the Everest Base Camp trekking.

Below are the physical and mental challenges you'll encounter on this iconic trek:

  • High altitude
  • Long hours of walking
  • Strenuous ascents and descents
  • Cold weather
  • Physical fatigue
  • Limited resources
  • Poor network connection
  • Dealing with discomfort
  • Fear and anxiety

Proper preparation and training

The Everest Base Camp trek does not demand superhuman fitness, but a good level of physical preparedness is essential. Trekkers should be able to walk 5-7 hours a day on varied terrain while carrying a backpack. Cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, and strength are crucial for the trek. You do not need to hire a personal trainer or leave your daily work to prepare for the trek. Regular exercises and a fitness training routine will be enough.

You can do the following things to train for Everest Base Camp trekking:

  • Cardiovascular training : Do regular aerobic exercises, such as cycling, running, hiking, swimming, etc. These activities will help you improve your cardiovascular fitness and build stamina and endurance. 
  • Strength training : You have to make your legs and core strong, as these parts of the body are heavily engaged during the EBC trek. You can go to the gym or do these home strength training- lunges, squats, step-ups, planks, etc. 
  • Hiking practice : If possible, go on hikes as much as you can. Walk for long hours and carry a backpack with a 5 kg load on you to mimic the trekking conditions.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Guided vs solo Everest Base Camp trekking

Trekking with a guide or solo, both options have their own set of pros and cons.

Guided Everest Base Camp Trekking:

One of the most significant advantages of guided trekking is logistics support. You do not have to worry about booking accommodation, meals, permits, transportation, etc. The trekking company like us will do all the leg work for you. Trekking with a guide, you will have a native by your side who will make the journey seamless and immersive for you. 

He will provide valuable insights into the culture and environment. Likewise, guides are trained to recognize and respond to altitude-related illnesses and other potential risks. They can ensure your trek is safe and enjoyable. The guide will also help you interact with local communities, helping you gain a deeper understanding of the Sherpa culture and traditions.

Solo Everest Base Camp Trekking:

Solo trekking provides you the freedom to set your own pace, choose your itinerary, and make spontaneous changes along the way. However, solo trekkers may lack insights into the local culture, history, and geography, which can enrich the experience. Similarly, communication barriers with villagers can be challenging without knowledge of the Nepali language.

Likewise, solo trekkers are responsible for their safety and may not have the expertise to recognize and respond to altitude-related illnesses or other hazards. Planning, and organizing permits, accommodations, and transportation can be time-consuming and challenging.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Choose the right Tour Trekking Company

Picking the right 'Tour trekking company' is important. Talk to the company, ask about their experience, values, and goals, and see how much they contribute to the local economy and sustainable travel. Trekking to Everest Base Camp with the right company will not only make the journey safe and hassle-free for you but also help the locals along the trail and the environment. 

We, Ace Vision Treks & Tours , are one of the old ex-guided trekking companies in Nepal with a huge customer satisfaction rate. Our experienced guides and staff are experts in the field. With many years of experience in the Everest region, they know the trails, the culture, and the best ways to ensure your safety and enjoyment. 

Safety is our top priority. Our guides are trained in first aid and altitude sickness prevention. They closely monitor your health throughout the trek. Likewise, with us, you don't have to worry about permits, accommodations, transportation, or meal arrangements. We take care of all the logistics so you can enjoy the journey. 

We also offer flexible itineraries to suit your preferences and schedules. Whether you want a classic 12-day trek or a longer, more leisurely journey, we can customize your trek to meet your needs. Our trips are eco-friendly, and we work closely with the locals along the trail. 

We make sure our EBC trek does not harm the fragile ecosystem of the Everest region . And to mention, we have the best Everest Base Camp trek cost in the market with top-notch service.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Safety Precautions for EBC Trek

  • Start your trek with a good level of physical fitness. Engage in cardio and strength training exercises to prepare your body for the difficulties of high-altitude trekking.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the trek to prevent dehydration, which will help avoid altitude sickness. Aim for at least 2 liters of water daily.
  • Maintain a balanced diet with sufficient calories to fuel your trek. Include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in your meals. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption.
  • Dress in layers to stay warm, especially during cold nights. Proper clothing and gear, including a warm sleeping bag and insulated jacket, are essential.
  • The sun's rays are stronger at higher altitudes. Use sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from sunburn and snow blindness.
  • Stick to established trekking routes and trails. 
  • Listen to your body and be aware of your physical and mental state. Don't push yourself too hard or ignore signs of distress.
  • Carry ample cash to use during the trek. There is an ATM lounge in Namche Bazaar. 
  • Trekking with a guide is much more beneficial than trekking alone in every way. 
  • Research the EBC trail and pack accordingly. Keep your expectations low, and do not look for the internet all the time. Enjoy your time in nature.

Overall, the Everest Base Camp trek is a moderate-challenging journey. The trail gets a bit difficult above Dingboche village. Your preparation and knowledge determine whether this trek is going to be moderate or challenging for you. If you follow our suggestions and prepare accordingly, we guarantee you a smooth Everest Base Camp trekking experience. 

If you have any questions regarding the Everest base camp trek difficulty, feel free to get in touch with us at  [email protected] or [email protected] . Our team will help you.

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Ganesh Adhikari

Ganesh is an adventure outdoor enthusiast originally from Gorkha, Nepal. I hiked Everest, Annapurna, Langtang, and Manaslu region and the most famous teahouse trekking in Nepal.  Besides Hiking, I provide online travel packages for travelers to value their time with family and friends. As well, I always provide updated travel information about the Himalayas! what's Going on? let's keep and touch with me for an unforgettable travel experience in a lifetime. I organize private tours for hikers per your interest and time frame.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty (For 2023)

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Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty (For 2023)

Table of Contents

The most difficult routes in the world lead to the most beautiful destination. And this stands absolutely true for the brave soul dreaming of a trek to the Everest Base Camp. Tourists often ask us “Is Everest base camp difficulty that high?”. And the answer is “NO”. We have seen tourists underestimating Everest’s difficulty and then returning back within a few days of the trek.

We have also seen tourists thinking it’s impossible and fearing the journey even before it starts. And trust us, both these extremes aren’t true. Trekking in the rough mountain terrain of the Himalayas is obviously challenging, however, it’s neither impossible nor deadly.

So, if you have ever dreamed of standing before the world’s tallest mountain and screaming “I love my life” out of your soul, read this article to the end and you shall know how to make your dream come true. Everest base camp difficulty level is “Moderate”. It’s a non-technical, high-altitude trek for non-climbers.

How Long Is The Everest Base Camp Trek?

Everest base camp trek is not something you plan about for a day and get started immediately. People plan it for months, even years, preparing themselves financially and physically. The   Everest base camp trek   time from Kathmandu is about 10 to 15 days. Depending on your speed and health, it might take a shorter or longer time.

Experienced climbers go for a short Everest base camp trek which is usually 9 to 10 days. However, we don’t recommend such a short Everest trek for newbies and less experienced trekkers. For people with average fitness and slow speed, Himalayan masters have designed 12 days Everest base camp trek Itinerary with 2 rest days in the mountains.

You can add a few more days if you wish to stay longer and experience the local culture. The longer you stay, the more your hike to Everest base camp difficulty will lower. This explanation is only valid when you fly from   Kathmandu   to Lukla and then start the trek. There’s another less preferred route that completely skips the flight and you shall be trekking for the entire time.

For that, you should first drive to Jiri (about 8 hrs ride from Kathmandu) and then trek from the village called Bhandara. On this route, you will be staying in villages such as Sete, Jun Beshi, Nunthala, Bhuspa, and Surkhe before finally joining the Everest base camp route at Phakding. Clearly, this route adds six more days to your Everest base camp route.

How Hard Is It To Trek Everest Base Camp?

how hard is it to trek everest base camp

If you decide to walk back via the same route, it’s 4 to 5 more days. So, trekking to the Everest base camp from Jiri takes about 22 to 23 days. Even from Namche, there are many different routes for trekking to the Everest base camp. Some travellers prefer the off-beaten route of the   Gokyo Lake Trek   and the Everest three-pass trek before getting to the Everest base camp.

Adding these new destinations makes your trip 20 to 25 days long. Although the trek alone is 12 days long, your Nepal journey will be a bit longer. Firstly, you must fly from your home country to   Nepal   and then let your body recover from jet lag.

Give yourself 2-3 days for trek preparation, packing, and shopping. Also, a day or two to explore the beautiful city of Kathmandu is worth it. Adding all that, you can estimate the Everest base camp trek duration to be about 20 days long and arrange your time accordingly.

Don’t rush. Since Everest base camp is once in a lifetime kinda journey, make sure you savour everything Mother Nature has to offer. If possible, take a month’s leave and visit different places in Nepal. Stay for a couple of days in Namche, Tengboche, and even   Gorakshep . Hike other hills, interact with the locals and stay as long as you can. Even when you plan a month-long journey, each day of your Everest base camp trek will be interesting.

Everest Base Camp Trek Distance

The classic EBC route has the Everest base camp trek distance of about 130km for the round trip to and from Lukla. 130kms in the mountain terrain is long, but since the Itinerary is about 15 days long, it will be about 15kms walks per day. Considering that an average human will be walking at a speed of 5km/hour, it’s not a big deal.

Distance-wise, Everest base camp difficulty is low. If the road was paved and levelled, walking 15 km in a day would have been a piece of cake. However, hiking upwards and downwards in the sub-tropical forest for 15 km does make you tired.

Tips Before Everest Base Camp Trek

Start the trek quite early in the morning. Morning is filled with great energy and the weather is also calm. Also, it will give you a long time for the trek, so you don’t have to rush in the evening. We recommend waking before 6 am every day and starting the hike at least at 8 am. The earlier you start, the better. In the daytime, the sun makes it hard to walk.

Next, walking slowly is the key. The Everest base camp trek Itinerary by Himalayan masters has about 5-6 hours of walking each day. However, you have an entire day to reach your destination. And even If you didn’t reach the place that has been recommended, you can find hotels on Everest throughout the route. So, don’t push yourself too hard. Breathe the fresh air, rest whenever you want, and walk slowly.

The tourist just doesn’t realize how dangerous altitude can be. Everest base camp altitude lies at 5264meters above sea level. Similarly, we hike up to Kalapatthar which is itself a very important peak that lies at 5,500 meters in height. Here is the list of different places on the Everest base camp trek and their altitude.

  • Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft
  • Lukla- 2,860 m/ 9,334ft
  • Phakding – 2652 m / 8700 ft
  • Namche Bazaar – 3440 m / 11286 ft
  • Tengboche – 3870 m / 12696 ft
  • Dingboche – 4360 m / 14304 ft – 5 to 6 hrs
  • Lobuche – 4940m / 16207 ft
  • Gorakshep – 5368m / 17611 ft
  • Everest base camp- 5,364m/ 17,598 ft
  • Kalapatthar height- 5,644.5 m/ 18,519 ft
  • Pheriche – 5545m / 18192 ft

As you can see, we will be walking beyond 4,000 meters on most days and that’s when you start to feel the effect of the weather; a real Everest base camp difficulty. At this height, the level of oxygen in the air falls to almost half, and the air pressure is also low. This can lead to the development of altitude sickness on Everest which includes symptoms such as:

  • Feeling sick
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath

In extreme cases, there might be symptoms of loss of coordination, hallucinations, tightness in the chest, cough, and the skin starting to get blue. Although this does sound scary, it’s a rear case and you will be safe while travelling with the expert guides at Himalayan Masters.

Tips To Overcome From Altitude Sickness:

  • Do not cover more than 1000 meters in a single day
  • Stop for rest after every 300 to 500 meters you climb during the trek
  • Walk slowly and stop for rest whenever needed
  • Include acclimatization day in your Itinerary (Namche and Dingboche are great places for acclimatization as per the Himalayan master’s Everest base camp trek Itinerary)
  • Keep yourself hydrated with 3-4 litres of water (have lukewarm water if possible)
  • Avoid smoking and all kinds of alcoholic drink that makes you dehydrated
  • Eat high-calorie food during the trek and keep your Immunity power boosted

But these are only the prevention method.

What Should You Do When You Actually Catch Altitude Sickness On Everest?

  • Once you start feeling sick, stop the trek immediately and do not climb any further. If needed, you can walk down to the lower altitude and rest there for a few days.
  • Give bottled oxygen if needed in emergency cases
  • Carry medicines such as acetazolamide to treat high-altitude sickness. You can have ibuprofen and paracetamol if you experience most kinds of headaches and promethazine can be used for nausea
  • Even after all this preparation, if things does outside of control, the team arranges a helicopter rescue for you.

Weather And Climate During Everest Base Camp Trek

weather and climate during everest base camp trek

Another big bar of Everest base camp difficulty is its weather and climate. Without a doubt, the Himalayas of Nepal are freezing cold throughout the year. Everest base camp is covered in snow almost year-round. However, the entire Khumbu area is mostly warm and stable during Autumn and Spring.

Winter on Everest is very cold and the region beyond Dingboche is always covered in a thick layer of snow. With the daytime temperature of about -5 to -3 degrees Celsius and the night temperature dropping to -15 degrees Celsius, it’s the hardest month for the trek.

The summer trek in June and July is also a bit challenging. The monsoon arriving from the Bay of Bengal makes the trail slippery. While the daytime is warm and you can trek with little clothes on, the leeches and mosquitos along the trail can increase Everest base camp difficulty.

Autumn and Spring have Everest base camp temperatures of 5 to 15 degrees Celsius and the night is also above freezing point. The chances of snowfall and rainfall are also very low, making it the easiest time for the Everest base camp trek.

Tips To Avoid From Bad Weather

  • As far as possible, aim for Autumn and Spring trek only
  • While trekking in winter, carry trek boots that help to walk in the snow and also crampons. Do not travel Solo without a guide in winter and a sleeping bag is compulsory. You must be guided by an expert for the winter trek.
  • While trekking in summer, keep your Itinerary very flexible and travel only on non-rainy days. Also, make sure you have mosquito and leach repellents
  • Pack enough warm clothes, slippers, and waterproof bag cover/ trousers in all seasons.

If you have been living in luxury all your life, you cannot start to imagine how remote these mountain landscapes can be. During the trek, you will obviously miss your warm bed, flushing washroom, and cell reception. These 12 days will be quite sweaty, dirty, and stinky. Remoteness is the major Everest base camp difficulty.

The Himalayas of Nepal has a very difficult landscape, making it impossible to build physical infrastructure. There’s no roadway getting to the   Everest region . The nearest airport is Lukla Airport and everything beyond that is carried in a mule or by a porter. This means, getting even the basic facility is a blessing.

Thankfully, the Everest base camp trek is Nepal’s most popular and busiest trail for almost a century. So, everything needed for the comfortable stay of the tourist has been available. Even then, coping with such remoteness can be tough.

Accommodation:   Basic tea house accommodation is available on the Everest base camp route. Hotels in Namche are quite luxurious, otherwise, you will be staying in a small local guest house. Read about the details in our article here.

Food:   Thankfully, food is not something you need to worry about during this trek. All national and international cuisine is available for the trekkers. Read the full article here.

Shopping:   The last shops you find during the Everest base camp trek is in Lukla and Namche. Even at these places, there are no branded clothes and personal items you can buy. Beyond that, you will not be able to buy any personal items. So, everything needed for 12 day Everest base camp trek should be carried from Kathmandu itself. The last ATM is available in Namche only.

Other:   Thankfully, electricity, hot shower, and Wi-Fi in the Everest base camp trek is easily available and it’s not a big deal now.

Which Route Is Best For Everest Base Camp?

everest base camp trek route

Your Everest route determines the Everest base camp difficulty one faces during the trek. The 12 days classic Everest base camp route via Lukla, Namche, Lobuche, and Gorakshep is the easiest one. Another route via Bandara to Phakding to Everest base camp (skipping the Lukla flight) is long and difficult. Similarly, the Gokyo Valley trek and Everest three-pass trek are highly channelling.

If you are a newbie, go from the classic Everest base camp route as mentioned here in the Everest base camp map. Another route is recommended only for experienced trekkers and climbers.

Do not travel on a new route, Solo. There’s the risk of theft, robbery, and wild-animal attacks. A solo trek to Everest is only recommended from the standard EBC route.

Weight Of Your Bag

Since the Everest region is mostly remote, there are many things you need to carry for your 12 days Everest Base Camp trek. The bag is mostly filled with clothes including a sleeping bag. Some even prefer to carry their own sleeping mat. Then your personal care items, some food, water, and gadgets make it quite heavy. The trekking bag usually gets about 15kg. Walking with such a weighty bag is not easy as the trail is quite uneven; a big issue of Everest base camp difficulty.

So make sure that your bag is packed wisely to lower Mount Everest’s difficulty. Carry everything you need but be picky. Since there’s no shop beyond Lukla, you must be very careful. We suggest that you consult your guide to Lukla before buying things for your Everest Base Camp trek. The detailed article about things to pack for the Everest Base Camps trek is here.

Next, it’s always wise to hire a personal porter. For people asking, “How difficult is Everest base camp”, our best tip is to go with a proper team and it’s not that difficult. The porters in Nepal are available at minimum rates and help you carry all your bag packs. A porter carries the bag of two people (about 15kgs), really helping you cope with Mount Everest’s difficulty.

Financial Difficulties During Everest Trek

Nepal’s among the cheapest country in the world for travelling- a major hub for backpackers. Even then, Everest base camp trek costs can be quite high. Although the trip cost of the Everest base camp trek is about $1000 to $2000 (quite affordable), the plane ticket to Nepal makes the journey quite expensive.

The cost of food, hotel, guide, porter, permit and shopping for Everest base camp all add to make it quite expensive. You must have all this cash before the trip- might be a big Mount Everest difficulty for students and bag packers. Thankfully, Himalayan Masters are offering the cheapest Everest base camp trek package that includes everything you need during this journey.

Ways To Overcome Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Training before ebc trek.

Before you book your trek, make sure you spend some time in the gym to focus on strength training for your legs. Running and cardio are also great to prepare your body. However, we recommend squats that utilize your quads.

If you plan to carry your backpack, we also recommend some exercises for the shoulder. For altitude sickness prevention, aerobic exercises such as jogging, sprinting and swimming are very useful. These exercises help your body circulate oxygen and lower Mount Everest’s difficulty.

Learning Before EBC Trek

This is a life-saving tip for independent trekkers. If you think you can travel without a guide and Everest trek package, you must learn some Nepali words before the trip.

“Namaste”= Nepali greetings, 

“Yeha room xa?”= do you have rooms here?

“Kati paisa para”= how much does it cost?

“Malai madat Taiyo”= I need help, etc. 

Learn more of these words from Google before the trip

Also, do some research about the local routes, culture, hotels, and food. Since you must book your hotel in advance in the peak season, there’s a lot of research you have to do. Learning more about the place means lower Everest base camp trek difficulty.

Packing List For Everest Base Camp Trek

Firstly, you must pack light and yet have every essential you need. The remote villages of Everest don’t have shops for your personal essentials. Next, you should be prepared for all kinds of weather at a higher altitude. Other than being comfortable, your clothes should be waterproof/ windproof. You should be warm and dressed in layers. You can read our other article to get the full packing list. Or, consult with your guide for final shopping once you arrive in Nepal.

About Insurance

Even after all this preparation and doing everything by the rules, you might have to face some unexpected consequences. And that’s when your travel insurance will be useful. For eg, you might lose your bag on the way, or have to cancel the trip due to bad weather. Worst, you might get extremely sick and need helicopter rescue. That’s why it’s compulsory to have travel insurance covering high-altitude trek costs before booking our Everest trek.

Travel With A Guide And Travel Package

travel with guide with travel package for everest base camp trek

Although experienced trekkers prefer to travel independently, we always recommend taking the Everest base camp trek package for your tours to Nepal. Since the Himalayan master’s package comes with an experienced guide, porters, the best hotels, good food, and permits, the trek becomes very easy.

Once you book the package, you can enjoy the tour without any tension. Having a guide means lowering Everest base camp trek difficulty to a great extent. Independent trekkers have to go through a lot of research and pre-preparation.

Even then, there might be some unexpected problems in the remote Himalayas. So, it’s always better to travel with a trekking package to Everest or at least hire a guide. The cost of a guide to Everest is not even that high and the comfort brought by the guide is worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. how difficult is it to climb mount everest.

Considering that Everest is the world’s tallest mountain, it’s obviously very technical and hard. Climbing Mount Everest needs years of training and awesome mountain climbing skills. So, if you as “How hard is it the climb Everest”, the answer shall be, very hard. However, the trek to the Everest base camp is non-technical and a great way to feel the beauty of Everest from a close distance.

2. How popular is the Everest base camp trek?

It’s impossible to believe that almost 45,000 trekkers successfully hike to the Everest base camp and back each year. Sagarmatha national park recorded over 45,000 foreigners per year in 2018 and that’s a considerable number. Not all of these trekkers are professional mountain climbers nor they are experienced hikers.

In over a decade of service,   Himalayan masters   have helped people of all ages, shapes, and sizes successfully make it to the top of Everest and back. Everest base camp difficulty obviously pushes you to your limits, however, it’s an achievable goal for anyone.

3. What are other challenges that I might face along the way?

Firstly, you might imagine standing at Everest base camp alone. However, in peak season, it’s quite crowded and noisy with people from all around the world. So, that’s something you should consider. Next, the flight to Lukla might get cancelled due to bad weather and you might have to wait for days.

While trekking Solo, those thick forests, unknown landscapes, and huge mountains might be very scary. So we always recommend travelling with a guide. The accommodation is not exactly luxurious and the food might sometimes taste bad.

Conclusion,

Great determination, the right guidance from experts, and a bit of preparation are all you need to tick Everest base camp off of your bucket list. If you follow these tips properly, it’s not that difficult.

Hope our simple tricks and tips about Everest base camp difficulty here turn around to be helpful for your trek. Anything else you want to know? Make sure you fill out our booking form here or leave a comment below.

Recommended Reading:   Guide On Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

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7 Important Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty Facts & 25 Tips for Making the Trek Easier

The Everest Base Camp Trek is arguably one of the most beautiful, rewarding multi-day treks on the planet.  Unfortunately, the austerity, remoteness, and unpredictable weather of the Himalayas makes most people question Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty and whether they can complete it. 

I’ll put your worries aside now – can do it, and you should do it.  With the right preparation and planning, the EBC trek and seeing Mount Everest with your own eyes is an achievable and enjoyable experience.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty & Tips | ABrotherAbroad.com | Altitude, Distance, Food, Water, Infrastructure, Weather, Flights

Read on to learn the 7 aspects that determine how difficult the Everest Base Camp trek is for you, 23 tips for making the trek easy, and 5 common myths about the trek that you should definitely not let stop you.

Welcome to the Everest Base Camp Trek

everest base camp trek difficulty

Contents of this Article on the Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

How difficult is the everest base camp trek.

  • Altitude & Altitude Sickness
  • Length of the Trek (81 miles / 130km)
  • Duration of the Trek (10-14 Days)

Poor Infrastructure on the Everest Base Camp Trek: Lodging, Showering, and Connectivity

  • Flights from Kathmandu are frequently delayed or canceled due to weather

Weather at high altitudes can be unpredictable and brutal

Food on the everest trek can be a risk, causing diarrhea or worse.

  • 5 Misconceptions about the Everest Base Camp Trek
  • 29 Tips for Making the EBC Trek Easy and Enjoyable

The Everest Base Camp is undoubtedly strenuous, requiring trekkers to walk 130km / 81 miles during 10-14 days and ascend over 8,000 feet. But strenuous does not mean impossible.  The Everest Base Camp Trek is achievable for most healthy individuals, requiring only preparation, patience, and the willingness to just keep walking.

The most difficult aspects of the Everest Base Camp trek are caused by altitude and distance.  Fortunately for trekkers, the answer to this problem is to move slowly and prepare properly.  Read on for a more detailed review of what makes the Everest Base Camp Trek difficult and how you (or anyone) can complete it by implementing a few good tips.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty & Tips | ABrotherAbroad.com | Altitude, Distance, Food, Water, Infrastructure, Weather, Flights

7 Important Aspects of Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Below you’ll discover the five elements that affect how difficult the Everest Base Camp Trek will be for you.  Thankfully, each one of these can be overcome with patience, planning, and preparation so continue reading for 30 tips on how to overcome these difficulties and make your trek as easy as cake and just as enjoyable.

Here we’ll review how the following elements factor into Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty:

  • Altitude and Altitude Sickness Risk
  • Length of the Trek: 81 miles / 130 kilometers
  • Duration of the trek: 10 to 14 days

Altitude & Altitude Sickness Risk

Altitude is undoubtedly the biggest factor in Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty and risk, due to lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes.

At higher elevations, the density of air is much lower, meaning that in every breath you take at altitude there is much less oxygen in that breath.  At 11,000 ft., each breath of air only has 65% of the oxygen that same breath would have at sea level. 

This means that you must breathe more to get the amount of oxygen your body is used to having for normal activities.  The result is that when you arrive at altitude even small tasks like walking (or trekking) will leave you feeling winded.  This isn’t a major issue, as the body will eventually “acclimatize”, adjusting to the lower oxygen levels and air pressure, as long as you walk and ascend slowly.

When climbers and trekkers ignore this feeling of windedness and other symptoms, they risk altitude sickness . Altitude sickness occurs when climbers ascend too quickly, not giving the body time to adjust to the altitude, and can ultimately lead to cerebral or pulmonary edema. Above 8,000 feet elevation, altitude sickness becomes a risk   

How to overcome the issue of altitude and risk of altitude sickness:

  • Walk slowly
  • Ascend no more than 1,000 feet (~300 meters) per day
  • Allow time for acclimatization: Take a rest day for every 3,000 feet (915 meters) of ascent
  • Follow a good Everest Base Camp Trek itinerary that plans out distances, altitudes, and days

The body is a unique and well-designed machine.  If you stay hydrated, ascend slowly, and monitor symptoms of altitude sickness, such as tiredness, dizziness, headaches, etc. then your body will adapt to the altitude.

Length of the Trek: 81 Miles/130 km round trip

Though the trek is considerably long, by chopping the trek into bit sized chunks over 10-14 days, the distances become very much manageable.  Most days will only consist of 6km-10km according to this Everest Base Camp Itinerary and the longest day of 12.5km is on “flat” ground for the final trek from Gorek Shep to Everest Base Camp, after you’re already acclimatized and fit.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty & Tips | ABrotherAbroad.com | Altitude, Distance, Food, Water, Infrastructure, Weather, Flights

How to Overcome the Difficulty of Distance on the Everest Base Camp Trek:

  • Walk plenty before the Everest trek to ensure your feet and legs are condition to the walking
  • Walk slower than you normally hike, to conserve energy and stave off altitude sickness
  • Start early, so you can take your time
  • Consider hiring a porter to carry your bags and make the distance more enjoyable
  • Use a good itinerary, that chops up the distance just right

Duration of the Trek: 10-14 Days of Walking

Whether its boredom you’re worried about or the day to day wear and tear on your body that has you concerned, 14 days of trekking can be a long time.  Ensure that you stay in tip top shape during the walk, and maintain your sanity and level of enjoyment

How to overcome the difficulty of time on the trek

  • Bring a good book for entertainment in the evenings
  • Consider joining a small group trek with travelers that you might have enjoyed the company of in Kathmandu. Having a good group can make the days fly by pleasantly instead of dragging on in silence
  • Stretch every night to help your body recover quickly from the day’s walk
  • Prepare with cardio workouts, strength training, and walking/running up to 12 km minimum

The facilities and the teahouses along the trek route will undoubtedly not be as swanky as in Kathmandu.  Heat will be turned off at night, electricity will be expensive, and a warm shower will be an expensive rarity above Namche Bazaar.  All of this, compounded with long walks at high altitude can be a bit demoralizing…if you let it.  So, don’t.  Instead, stay positive, embrace every moment of the experience, and prepare properly by packing the right things before the trip using our Everest Base Camp Packing List .

How to overcome the difficulty of poor/lacking infrastructure on the trek

  • Embrace and enjoy the experience
  • Bring a portable charger
  • Pack the appropriate gear to stay warm and comfy through by following our Everest Base Camp Packing List
  • Bring your favorite junk food (especially chocolate) to keep your spirits up on the trek

Flights from Kathmandu to Lukla are frequently delayed or canceled due to weather

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty & Tips | ABrotherAbroad.com | Altitude, Distance, Food, Water, Infrastructure, Weather, Flights

For countless reasons, flights from Kathmand to Lukla Airport (at the start of the Everest Trek) are bumped or cancelled frequently, weather due to weather, logistics, or just natural Nepali chaos.  You can change this risk, but you can mitigate it.  Purchase your flight as early as possible, online, and go for the first flight of the day.  If flights are bumped, the first flight becomes the second and so on, meaning you will still have more to get out than you would have if you were to book a later flight

How to overcome the difficulty of flight delays and cancellations

  • Book the first flight of the day
  • Book online
  • Book as early as possible

At high altitude weather patterns can be unpredictable and when the weather comes it is much more harsh than on sea level.  Simple rainstorms can sweep through with the cold and quickly turn into snow.  As trekkers, our best tool is proper planning and packing the gear necessary to stay dry, warm, and comfortable regardless of the weather and plan to trek during what has historically been the best season.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty & Tips | ABrotherAbroad.com | Altitude, Distance, Food, Water, Infrastructure, Weather, Flights

Overcome the difficulties of weather by

  • Coming during the right season
  • Packing the right gear
  • Leaving early to give plenty of time for delays

Coming during the right season:

The first week of October is the best time to come, just after monsoon season ends.  The weather will be at its warmest, the rains will have cleared the dust away making Everest views crystal clear, and trekker hordes will be at their smallest.

Packing the right gear:

Use our Everest Base Camp Packing List to ensure you’re bringing all of the essentials.  As a mental check, ensure that you have everything to keep yourself dry and warm if you’re caught in the rain and the gear to keep yourself warm through the inevitably cold nights.  Even during “summer” Everest Base Camp temperatures will dip below freezing at night

Leaving early to give plenty of time for weather delays on the hike

If you leave early on your day’s hike, you can always stop and take cover if a storm hits, without worry of being caught outside after dark.  Alternatively, if you’re in a built up area like Namche Bazar and bad weather is approaching you can spare a day to wait out the weather…if you’ve planned in extra time

When hiking the Everest Base Camp Trek, eating the wrong food is one thing that can sneak up on you and ruin your hike.  Not only will your stomach be dealing with new bacteria and food handling in Nepal (compared to your home) the lack of consistent refrigeration, due to intermittent electricity, make eating meat a bit of a risk.  Additionally, your body have difficulties digesting meat the higher you go in altitude.  A simple key to overcoming these food hurdles is by eating vegetarian and only eating cooked items.

Here are some useful practices for overcoming the health difficulties of food on the Everest Trek:

Do not eat the yak! 

Eat only vegetarian

  • Stick to Dahl Baht

Carry and use water purification tablets

  • Visit the CDC Travel website to understand what food you can and cannot eat in Nepal

As exotic and interesting as it sounds, the yak  meat in the yak steak or yak chili has had spotty refrigeration to frequent power outages and there is no way to know how long it has sat unrefrigerated.  Personally, I made the mistake of eating yak the last night of the trek and ended up throwing up all night and then hiking from Namche Bazar to Lukla Airport with horrible diarrhea . Mind you, I’ve only gotten sick traveling twice in 50+ countries…so be smart, and don’t eat the yak. 

By sticking to breads and cooked grains and vegetables you eliminate most of the risk of getting sick on the EBC trek.  Stay away from raw vegetables that may have been washed in unpurified water.

Stick to Dahl Bhat

Dal Bhat is a soup made with rice and lentils.  It is the cheapest food available on the trek and oddly the healthiest.  Rice and lentils mixed together create complete protein (amino acid profile), are easy to digest, and contains tons of energy (carbohydrates) to fuel you the next day.  Additionally, Dahl Bhat is bottomless on the trek, so if you order one plate, its all you can eat.

Read on for more info…

Drinking the right water and Staying Hydrated

Water is essential to life and health, and this doesn’t change on the Everest Base Camp Trek.  Unfortunately, at high altitude your body loses water more quickly than at sea level through sweat and exhalation.  Counter this by continually sipping water.  For a low activity day 2 liters for the average woman and 3 liters for the average man is the minimum.  If you feel headaches coming on, drink more water.  If you’re not sweating, drink more water.

Water is accessible on the trek, via teahouse and restaurants faucets but you won’t be able to drink it without purifying it.  Be sure to bring plenty of water purification tablets – enough for 4 liters a day for the duration of the trek.  Steri-pens do work if the water isn’t cloudy but beware that filters, such as the lifestraw are insufficient.  For a list of portable water filters and purifiers that do work, read or list of the 4 best portable water purifiers , and our review on the Lifestraw Go and facts travelers should know before using it.

Overcome the health difficulties of water on the Everest Trek by:

  • Drinking at least 2-3 liters of water per day
  • Bring plenty of water purification tablets – easily purchased in Kathmandu pharmacies
  • Understand the limitations of your water filtration device if you’re bringing your own
  • Visit the CDC website to understand why you can’t drink the water in Nepal , and if your water filter will work.

Now that you know what makes the Everest Base Camp Trek challenging, you may be reconsidering your goal of climbing to the top of Kala Pattar to see Mount Everest for yourself.  Don’t reconsider.  Just go!

Most of the reasons people decide not to take on the Everest Base Camp Trek aren’t significant enough to even think about deterring you from your dream of checking off a bucketlist item.  Regardless of what you’ve heard, you should absolutely go (as long as your doctor approves).  Read on for the biggest misconceptions about the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Misconceptions about the Everest Base Camp Trek

  • You have to be extremely fit – you don’t
  • The trek is extremely costly – it’s not
  • Planning and logistics for the trek are difficult – I planned nothing
  • You have to bring everything – nothing can be bought in Kathmandu or on the trek – Kathmand has everything you could imagine, and for cheap
  • You will be alone –  you’re never truly alone when traveling

Myth 1: You have to be extremely fit to trek to Everest

Reality: You don’t

The most important thing on the Everest Trek is to keep walking, and walk slowly.  If you can do this at sea level, you can do it in the Himalayas.  Yes, you will notice it will be more difficult to breathe, but the hike is still very much doable.  I saw kids as young as 12, the elderly, and even overweight people on various stretches of the trek.

I do recommend getting fit before, by hiking or rucking , or even by doing some of these Crossfit travel workouts , to strengthen your legs, condition them for walking, and improve your cardio.  The more you prepare, the more enjoyable the trek will be.

Myth 2: The trek is extremely costly

Reality: It’s not.  $1,000 for a solo trekker is easily possible

The Everest Base Camp Trek cost is remarkably cheap, given the experience you’re receiving in return for your money.  A solo trekker taking 12 days can easily complete the trek for less than $1,000.  $1,000 and a bit of walking is a cheap price for seeing the highest point on earth.

Myth 3: Planning and logistics for the trek are difficult

Reality: I planned nearly nothing before the trek

I flew to Nepal from Myanmar with only a flight to Lukla airport from Kathmandu booked the day prior. I didn’t reserve a single tea house and didn’t purchase any permits before entering the park. Simply showing up in Kathmand, buying a new rain jacket and renting a sleeping bag, flying to Lukla, and just walking sufficed.  If you’re a poor planner but adapt easily, you’ll be fine. But…I highly recommend planning.

Myth 4: You have to bring everything – nothing can be bought in Kathmandu or on the trek

Reality: Kathmand has everything you could imagine, and for cheap

Kathmandu is a mecca for knockoff outdoor gear that will last for at least one trek, after which you can donate it to the local porters.  Sleeping bags and camping/cooking equipment can be rented very cheaply

I absolutely recommend bringing your own boots, high quality, from home, and well broken in.   Boots are the one thing you do not want to be second rate or risk have failing on the trek.

For a list of what else to absolutely bring and where to acquire equipment in Kathmandu, check out our Everest Base Camp Packing List .

Myth 5: You will be alone if you go solo, making the trek dangerous

Reality: Solitude is easy to find on the trek, but you’re never truly alone when traveling through the Himalyas

The EBC trek is a well trafficked hike.  Though you can hike ahead easily and be alone, like I was hiking with horses for hours, there is always someone behind you, be it another trekker, a guide, or a porter.

25 Tips to Make the Everest Base Camp Trek Easier and Safer

These 25 straightforward tips will help you plan better and more efficiently, stay safer on the trek, and stay comfy along the way…

Everest Base Camp Trek Tips

  • Walk slowly to stay comfortable and avoid altitude sickness
  • Don’t ascend more the 1000 Feet / 300 meters per day and rest 1 day for every 3000 meters
  • Carry Diamox (altitude sickness medication) for altitude sickness and over the counter headache meds the discomfort of acclimatizing
  • Drink plenty of water – at least 3 liters per day
  • Bring plenty of water purification tablets – enough for 4 liters a day for the entire trek, at least
  • Bring a portable battery charger – or 2 if you’re carrying extra electronics.  Phone charging is paid by the hour on the trek
  • Get a local SIM card to stay connected.  Cell data coverage is reliable up to Pheriche and Dingboche
  • Buy your flights online and well in advance via Yeti air, Tara air, Goma air, or Simrik Air
  • Buy the first flight of the day, to allow room for delays
  • Don’t shy away from using a guide or porter to make the experience more enjoyable
  • Pick the right gear for the Everest trek to 1) Stay dry, 2) stay warm, and 3) Stay comfortable
  • Plan on not showering for most of the trek.  Namche Bazar is the only practical place to shower
  • Use trekking poles to move quickly and save your knees
  • Don’t eat meat.  Go vegetarian for the trek to avoid getting sick
  • Do eat the Dahl Baht and garlic soup with ginger tea to stay healthy and acclimatize quickly
  • Be the first to arrive into the next village to get the best accommodations
  • Don’t drink alcohol on the way up due to altitude sickness risk.  Intoxication masks altitude sickness symptoms
  • Get travel insurance that covers high altitude trekking and helicopter evacuations
  • Bring your own treats (chocolate & junk food), its pricey and stale on the trek
  • Ensure you have a reliable, tested Everest trek itinerary
  • Walk, ruck, or hike to train before the trek
  • Do plenty of cardio training before the trek
  • Do plenty of strength training before the trek
  • Do the trek at the beginning of the season in October (second best option is May)
  • Manage your Everest Base Camp Trek costs by going solo, sticking to “dal baht”, booking your flight in advance, and bringing a portable charger
  • Just do it.  Whatever it takes, whatever happens, you won’t regret it

A Great, Amateur Everest Trek documentary, to get you in the mood

Frequently asked questions on the everest base camp trek.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty & Tips | ABrotherAbroad.com | Altitude, Distance, Food, Water, Infrastructure, Weather, Flights

  • Is the Everest Base Camp Trek worth it?

Absolutely.  The trek itself is serene and the panoramic view of the Himalayas from Kala Patthar is something no camera can capture

  • Is the Everest Base Camp Trek dangerous?

The biggest risk on the Everest Base Camp Trek is altitude sickness, which can be managed by walking slowly, carrying Diamox (just in case), and purchasing travel insurance to cover emergency evacuations

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

This depends on how you travel, whether you use a guide or porter, and what kind of accommodations you pick but the Everest Base Camp Trek Cost can be as little as $1,000

  • How long does it take to get to Everest Base Camp?

This depends on your fitness level and how acclimatized you are to altitude, but on average the Everest Base Camp Trek takes 10-14 days.  This itinerary of the Everest Trek , with days and distances, is a good place to start with planning

  • What are the elevation gains like on the Everest Base Camp Trek?

The highest single day of hiking has an elevation gain of 784meters/+2,583 feet

  • How far is the walk to Everest Base Camp?

130 kilometers / 81 Miles round trip

  • Do I need to book tours or teahouses in advance on the Everest Base Camp Trek?

Beyond Namche Bazar, only guides and porters can book teahouses.  To get the best teahouse, simply arrive first.

  • What gear is needed for the Everest Base Camp Trek?

The essentials will be a good backpack, comfortable boots that are broken in, clothing layers to stay warm and dry in temperatures as low as freezing, and water purification tablets.  Beyond that, portable chargers, chocolate and candy, and a local SIM card are extremely useful.  Ensure that your gear in total weighs less than 10kg.

Consult our full Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List for full info on what to take on the trek

  • Is Lukla airport dangerous?

Lukla airport is more difficult to take off and land from than most airports due to length and topography. However the odds of a crash are low because pilots are specially trained and certified to fly on short takeoff and landing airports and specifically Lukla airport.

For more information read this article: “ Why is Lukla considered the most dangerous airport in the world? ”

  • What is the highest point on the Everest Base Camp Trek?

The viewpoint on Kala Patthar, which is one of two places to see Mount Everest on the trek, is the highest point on the trek at 5,545 m (18,192 ft)

  • How fit do I have to be for the trek?

If you can hike for 5 hours, you’re fit enough for the trek (just confirm with your doctor)

  • When is the best time to do the Everest Base Camp Trek?

Early October, just at the end of the monsoon season.  The weather is at its warmest.  The sky is at its clearest. The crowds are at their smallest.

  • How do I find a porter or guide?

The best, most cost effective way is to stay at a well rated guesthouse for trekkers.  Most guesthouses in Kathmandu catering to trekkers are run by former Trek guides.  These guides will either have a reputable company that can provide the service for a good price or will be able to connect you with a guide/porter that they approve of.

  • What vaccinations do I need for Nepal, the Himalayas, and Everest Base Camp?

Consult the CDC travel webpage for medicines and vaccinations recommended for Nepal for the latest government recommendations, and speak with your Physician.

At the time of writing, the CDC recommends the following vaccinations:

  • Most Travelers: Hepatitis A and Typhoid
  • Some Travelers: Hepatitis B , Japanese Encephalitis , Malaria , Rabies , Yellow Fever
  • Can I eat the food on the Everest Base Camp Trek?

Yes, but stick to vegetarian food and cooked vegetables.  Don’t eat meat for the duration of the trek to avoid food poisoning.  Don’t drink alcohol on the ascent as intoxication masks the warning signs and symptoms of altitude sickness

  • Can I drink the water on the Everest Base Camp Trek? How to I get water on the Trek?

Water can be attained from several faucets, on the trek route or in restaurants and guesthouses but be sure to purify all water before drinking, ideally using water purification tablets purchased in Kathmandu. 

If you opt to use a water filter, such as a Lifestraw, know its limitations and suitability for Nepali drinking water before.  You may still need to use purification tablets with the water filter to ensure the water is suitable to drink.

Learn more by reading our list of best portable water filters for travelers .

  • What Everest Base Camp Tours are recommended

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty & Tips | ABrotherAbroad.com | Altitude, Distance, Food, Water, Infrastructure, Weather, Flights

Other great content to help you complete the Everest Base Camp Trek

  • A Simple Everest Base Camp Trek Cost Guide: $1000 for a View of Everest
  • The Perfect Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary
  • The Only Everest Base Camp Packing List You Need
  • Why is Lukla Aiport the Most Dangerous Airport in the World?
  • The Dangers of the Everest Trek
  • The Everest Experience: A Story of Trekking to the Tallest Mountain on Earth

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carlos is a nomad, slow traveler, and writer dedicated to helping others live abroad and travel better by using his 7+ years of experience living abroad and background as a management consultant and financial advisor to help other nomad and expats plot better paths for an international lifestyle. Click here to learn more about Carlos's story.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty and Hardships – How Hard Can it Be?

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The Everest Base Camp Trek or EBC Trek in Nepal. What Difficulties with trekkers face? How difficult is the trek or hike, and what hidden difficulties exist besides the altitude and distance walked?

Everest Base Camp view of Everest

“We got back from Everest yesterday. It’s been an amazing 3 weeks, (yes, 21 days, not 14) and it’s been tough, so, a few things you need to know about difficulty levels on the Everest Base Camp Trek (EBC) both for your entertainment and general information, and to help you decide if this Himalayan hike is for you.

There are hardships, problems, and pitfalls on the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Hopefully, we can help you get yourself to Everest with some first-hand experiences and tips, but what were the hard parts?

Did taking the kids add to the problems?

What’s it really like up there? We’ll tell you all that we can.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulties Trekkers Face

I’ve been accused of complaining – that’s not what I’m doing here at all. I’m telling it like it is.

This post isn’t about how I’ve wanted to get myself to Everest Base Camp for the last 20 years, nor how amazing these 3 weeks have been.

It’s not about my happy tears when Everest came into view above Namche nor about those that came when I first saw the Khumbu Ice Fall or the memorials to those who died and to the great heroes of Himalayan climbing.

Take a look at our short video below, then read on.

No, there will be more on that. I can and will write dozens more posts on the trek, the route, the towns and villages and most importantly, how to arrange your own trek.

Don’t go with a tour group, that’s our most important tip.

Today’s post is just about the difficulties and hardships of trekking to Everest Base Camp. They are worth it a million times over but I need to get them down before they evaporate from my mind forever, as they will.

I will remember these 3 weeks as a fantastic experience, a privilege and a challenge enjoyed by few. It was stunning up there.

Everest Base Camp Difficulty

We trekked to Everest Base Camp without a guide or porter, we don’t think they’re necessary after trekking in Nepal a few times,  but you may prefer to take one.

Self-guided trekking is very easy and the trails are usually obvious.

Snow can make them disappear as we found when trekking independently in the Annapurna region.

We do no training for any trek, we are plenty fit enough to walk and we think training is unnecessary.

My husband is super fit, I maintain moderate fitness for a 50 year old woman. My kids do not train and do not take part in any sports.

Scott Fischer Died on Everest. His Memorial on the Everest Base Camp Route, betweek Dingboche and Lobuche Nepal

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulties

These are the difficulties you will face on the Everest Base Camp Trek.

  • Altitude and lack of oxygen make everything difficult.
  • The distance to walk – it isn’t very far, but there are steep ascents and descents.
  • Fear of heights, crossing very high suspension bridges.
  • Poor accommodation, few showers, little heat.
  • Limited food.
  • Dangers from yaks and donkey convoys.
  • Mud and rock slides.
  • Issues with charging electronic devices, little wi-fi
  • Frequent flight cancellations.
  • Sickness and injuries.
  • Scams and expenses
  • Unpredictable weather and extreme cold

Read more about all of these EBC difficulties, in detail, below.

First, a quick overview of what walking to Everest Base Camp actually involves. The journey to Everest base camp is a walk or hike. It is not a climb.

There are no ropes involved, no climbing, just a slow, steady hike at high altitude.

The distance you cover every day isn’t that huge, or doesn’t have to be.

What makes this hike difficult is the lack of oxygen, the weather, and the basic lodging conditions.

This trek is also difficult to fit into most people’s lives, it takes 2-3 weeks to complete this trek, and not many of us have the free time available. As digital nomads, we do.

Is the Everest Base Camp trek dangerous? Yes, somewhat. You could become very sick up there. You could encounter rock or mudslides or be pushed off the path by yak or mule trains.

There are very few precipitous drops and the paths are mostly quite wide.

There are risks in everything, but we happily took our kids up there, that tells you how dangerous we think it is.

You cannot drive to Base Camp. Past Lukla, there are no roads. People do take helicopters up there and there are scenic flights.

There is a bus from Kathmandu to Phaplu. From there you have to walk 3 or 4 days to meet the main Everest Base Camp trail just past Lukla.

We’ve walked that route twice.

The flight from Kathmandu to Everest terminates at Lukla. Lukla airport , with its short sloping runway, is the gateway airport for Mount Everest.

We choose to carry our own packs, we don’t use porters and we don’t need a guide. I don’t really see why anyone would need a guide, on this trek it’s easy enough to just follow the path.

Carrying your own gear obviously makes the trek somewhat harder, but our packs don’t bother us much, we’re very used to carrying them. We also never get blisters because our boots fit and are broken in.

Now let’s get into the difficulties.

There is Very Little WiFi, Phone Connection or Power on the EBC Trek.

Porter on the Everest Base Camp Trek crossing bridge

To you this may sound heavenly, 2-3 weeks of no email or social media, but for me (and the kids) it’s tough.

I work online, I have to be online and I think we set out with false expectations of connectivity based on others’ experiences.

We had local N Cell SIM cards and these worked well in Namche, partially in Lukla and there was a pitiful signal briefly in Gorak Shep. Mostly there was nothing.

The Everest Link WiFi is expensive and we couldn’t justify the cost but you should be able to find this in lodges in most towns and villages.

There is free WiFi in guest houses (lodges / tea houses) and bakeries ( Namche) rarely, there is paid wi-fi more often, but every wi-fi connection we tried had upload limits and I was unable to back up photos.

It’s pretty amazing that there is any connection up there and I was very grateful to connect at all, but working from the EBC hike was impossible. My idea of use-able internet and a non-professional user’s idea are probably very different.

Finding a power supply was also hard, lodge owners charge you to plug-in per hour or per full charge and with 4 of us at ever-increasing altitudes, it would have been massively expensive.

Our solar charger was our best friend but didn’t completely allow us to stay charged. One solar charger between 4 wasn’t enough, but for solo or couple trekkers it should be fine.

The solar power pack weighed half a Kg, so we didn’t want to buy two and add to the weight we were carrying. (See the solar power pack we use here, it was good)

At the end of the day it was nice at times to have no connection. It forced us to play Monopoly Deal for hours or just to go to bed early. As always, no WiFi is better than bad WiFi.

You Will Smell Like a Yak’s Armpit

Yak on the Everest Base Camp Trek.. Difficulties and Dangers

We planned for a 2 week trek, not expecting to have to walk up from Phaplu rather than fly to Lukla and not expecting to have to take extra rest days to recover from sickness. We ended up trekking for 3 weeks.

I had a system of wearing old clothes until they were dirty or no longer needed, then leaving them behind, it worked great, other than in the last week!

We all wore the same clothes for at least a week before we flew out, day and night.

Socks and shoes were the major stink offenders so we all bought a few new pairs of socks in Namche and dealt with toxic smelling feet using expensive wet wipes. But still, we stank.

For the record, socks were a reasonable $3 a pair in Namche and wet wipes $6 a pack so factor in buying more items on the trail to your Nepal trek packing list .

To say we smelled like a yak’s armpit is probably offensive to yaks.

Yes, some lodges have hot gas showers, which you pay for. Chef had one shower between Phaplu and Namche, the rest of us didn’t have one in 3 weeks.

The main issue was, we only took one full-sized travel towel which we were then unable to wash and dry.  I won’t use a towel after somebody else has used it without washing it. Chef continued to use it to wash his feet when he could. His feet remained the most toxic despite receiving most attention.

We should have taken one towel each, but then you’re adding to weight. We also should have washed the towel in Dingboche where we had access to water in a non-disgusting sink and somewhere to dry wet clothes.

We did wash several pairs of socks here and they almost dried in the sun in 24 hours. We strapped them to the outside of our packs the next day to finish drying.

We wrongly assumed we’d be able to do more hand washing in Namche on the way down, but unfortunately, we couldn’t.

On the way up we paid to get laundry done in Namche, it cost $16 for about 1 Kg of laundry. In Kathmandu , for comparison, laundry costs under $1 per Kg.

The lodge we ended up using in Namche had no shower at all and a bathroom I avoided like the plague –  I even took my toothbrush to the bakery in the mornings to avoid using that bathroom. Namche was full and we were sick, so we just carried on stinking.

Sickness (giardia) also takes its toll on your usable wardrobe.  Being fully prepared is a hard act to pull off when balancing quantities of clothing against the weight of your pack.

This would still not tempt us to take a porter, we like to carry our own gear and see it as part of the challenge.

Flights in and Out of Lukla are Often Cancelled, Ours Were

Helicopter at Lukla Airport Nepal

We had a bad feeling about our flights before we even got to the airport.

As we were arriving in peak season, October, blue skies were expected but huge volumes of trekkers heading to the Everest region meant we could only get 10.30 am flights on Tara airlines.

10.30 am is a late flight, you need to book the earliest one you can to stand the best chance of flying and that’s usually 6 am.

Tara are good, they have a lot of planes and prices are lower than new-kid airline Summit, but the monsoon lingered this year and most flights had been cancelled for the last 6 days when we arrived at Kathmandu Tribhuvan airport.

There was no way we were flying to Lukla on that day.

If your plane is cancelled you go to the back of the queue and with 6 days of cancelled flights it was looking like we may be waiting a week to fly into Lukla.

Cash flowed from tourists’ wallets as the helicopter touts did the rounds of the airports waiting area. Choppers fly when planes don’t and prices were shooting up, we heard $2400-$2800 per chopper for 6 people with minimal luggage. Tourists with limited time and big dreams were snapping up those chopper places.

For 1 person it’s not such a huge cost, but for a family of 4 a helicopter was unaffordable so we, along with 12 new friends, decided to fly to Phaplu and walk up rather than sit in Kathmandu airport for a week.

We’re still in touch with some of the intrepid dozen and had fun walking with them for the first few days.

Phaplu to Lukla hike Nepal

We 4 had walked down from Lukla to Phaplu 2 years previously and really didn’t want to do it again, it wasn’t great, but needs must.

Actually, this time around the Phaplu-Lukla walk was much more enjoyable due to drier trails, but still, it’s a tough hike with a lot of climbs and descents.

Don’t ever think these treks are gradual climbs, you’re forever dropping down into valleys to cross rivers before tackling the next peak.

Flying out of Lukla was also troublesome and Summit passengers were having a lot more problems than Tara or Yeti coming back although we did, eventually fly out on Summit.

Summit planes are slightly bigger and newer. We ran into an old friend, Sherpa Nema, who facilitated our escape from Lukla.

Some people, again, had been waiting 4 days to get out.

Altitude Sickness, Viruses, Blisters and Giardia

Garlic soup Everest Base Camp Trek

We had no real problems with altitude but a lot of people do and end up being choppered out.

The best way to avoid life threatening altitude sickness is to trek independently so as to allow yourself extra acclimatisation days and shorter ascents if needed.

I say no problems but you still feel the effects of altitude acutely, breathing is hard and I found my sleep was disturbed by having to take deep breaths often. The tingling extremities of hypoxia came and went, Diamox seemed to neither increase nor decrease the frequency of this sensation. None of us escaped these milder symptoms, but we had no altitude effects that made us think we should go down urgently and no altitude headaches.

Boo and I took Diamox as a preventative from Namche up, D and Chef chose not to. You can buy Diamox in pharmacies in Kathmandu for just a couple of dollars. We had no side effects.

They say to drink 4 L of fluid each day at altitude. I doubt very much that we got close to that. Four litres is a huge volume but we sank as much black tea and soup as possible to keep topped up and took slugs of water as needed while trekking.

We had 3 wide-mouthed 1 L Nalgene bottles between the 4 of us and 1 camel-back type system. We only needed 2 bottles as it was generally easy to refill bottles at every lodge or lunch stop. We used chlorine-based water purification tablets with no problems.

The health problems we had started at Lobuche, one stop from Base Camp, where I went down hard with a fever and cold symptoms. This virus spread to Boo, then Chef, then D over the coming days. Pack plenty of paracetamol, once the fevers started we ripped through our stash. Almost everyone up there got sick.

D also got hit by giardia, easy to spot with its characteristic eggy burps. Most cases of giardia don’t require treatment but I thought about buying him a 1 dose antibiotic in Namche. It was available, but almost out of date and didn’t look too trustworthy, so we adopted a watch and wait policy.

I checked all this with a doctor friend, she confirmed everything we were doing was fine.

He got better in a couple of days.

At one point we had a bathroom emergency above Dingboche, there was a toilet, but a roll of paper was $4.

At Gorak Shep that was also the price of 1 L of bottled water.

This was the only time we had to buy water in plastic, everywhere else we just used tap water with purification tablets but at Gorak Shep- no tap water.

A flask of boiled water would have cost around $10 up there.

You always need to carry your own toilet paper and soap. It’s very rarely provided.

As D got sick we tried the activated charcoal capsules I’d packed, they seemed to help. We’re new fans of this product that we’d heard so much about from friends. I had nausea in Lukla, the charcoal seemed to take it away. Maybe it was coincidence, but it seemed to work.

None of us ever get blisters because we don’t wear two pairs of socks and only buy boots or shoes that fit. I like to wear thin socks. More on that in this trekking gear page .

You actually don’t need boots either, not if there’s no snow.

There are Too Many Trekkers Up There

As I said before, October is peak time. We were shocked by how many people were up there, having only trekked in Nepal in winter the last couple of times.

Of course, we’re part of the problem, we were there too, we have no right to the mountain although some we met had a seriously entitled attitude.

It always seems to be older folks (in tour groups usually) with inconsiderate manners and entitlement issues.

At some points, the Everest Base Camp trail was clogged solidly with trekkers plodding onwards.

Sometimes you can overtake, sometimes you’re stuck behind them.

Most of these trekkers were in large tour groups, adding guides and multiple porters with ridiculous amounts of baggage to the congestion.

Base Camp itself was a mosh pit of people scrabbling for photos.

You’ll notice that our photos were taken a little away from the main pile of ice and prayer flags that mark the spot.

Again, some of the tour groups were being unpleasant, even aggressive as they rushed to get their trophy photo.

Whole towns were booked out with not a bed to be found and lodges and guides wielded their power by tapping into wallets.

Avoid the lodges the tour groups are using wherever possible.

I wouldn’t trek in October again, we’ve had much better experiences trekking in February and March and actually missed the snow. We had no snow on the trails at all and temperatures hardly got below zero, but we did have stunning blue skies and mostly clear days.

That is what brings the trekkers in October.

For the record, contrary to the information in a recent Facebook meme, THERE IS NO LITTER UP THERE AT ALL.

These stupid, sensationalist memes that people spread with no knowledge of facts are deeply annoying. I saw one woman drop one sweet wrapper in 3 weeks.

There are actually frequent bins and recycling bins, never full or overflowing.

Prices are High, It’s Expensive, There are Scams

As I said above, lodges being oversubscribed pushed prices up.

In Deboche we were royally scammed by a guide/lodge owner and had to pay $10 per room. That probably sounds cheap to you but the deal always was that rooms are free, you just pay for food.

Most places charge $2 per room, Lobuche had a fixed $7 rate.

There’s too much to tell here and the room prices story and system is complex, but we wised up after a few days and made a point of staying in the towns the tour groups skip.

Rooms suddenly became free again and lodge owners were really pleased to see us. We were happy to give them our cash for a better experience.

On the trek in from Phaplu to Lukla, before we joined the main EBC trail, we had none of these problems. Rooms were free or cheap, food was better and more abundant.

Once we joined the EBC tourist trail, food prices almost doubled.

Accommodation Isn’t Luxury

Accommodation on the Everest Base Camp Trek Tea House

Accommodation is very basic, cold and variably clean. I’m totally cool with that, this is my third high Himalayan trek, but if you’re new to this you need to know what to expect.

Rooms generally have 2 single beds, wooden cots with thin foam padding. A sheet, pillow and pillowcase and some sort of blanket or duvet are always provided. Don’t expect them to be washed between customers.

We saw a few rooms for 3, but never one for 4 other than the guides’ and porters’ dorms.

Most trekkers bring sleeping bags, I just had a fleece liner and was, more or less, warm enough without a bag.

You will need to wear most of your clothes in bed, a dry change of clothes is warmest but not always possible. A warm hat to wear in bed is essential.

Renting a sleeping bag in Kathmandu was 80 Rs / day at High Himal in Thamel ( less expensive than Shona’s) that’s under $20 for 3 weeks hire, but a bag is 1.5 Kg and I didn’t want to carry it. I was happy with my choice to not take a sleeping bag.

We’ve spent 2 winters in rural Romania at far lower temperatures and only ever used a regular duvet, so I was confident that I wouldn’t need a sleeping bag for the Everest trek.

Also, 2 years previously, we’d trekked to Namche and beyond without sleeping bags, in winter. It was fine and we had -10 C in Namche at that time of year. 

I’m glad the children had bags, but I was fine without. If you want more info on Nepal with kids , it’s here.

Rooms are usually hard-board cubicles with no sound or heat insulation. You can get rooms with attached basic bathrooms, but usually you’ll be sharing a toilet cubicle which may be squat or western.

They’re not terribly clean.

Toilet paper needs to go in the bin and you’ll be flushing or washing down with a barrel and scoop.

There will be no heating, or, in winter or at high altitudes, there will be a yak dung stove in the lodge’s dining room.

I love these simple lodges (sometimes called tea houses) and the kids find them cosy. They’re fun and authentic, but I can’t imagine my mother staying in one.

Food and Nutrition Aren’t the Best

We ate a lot of potatoes. Breakfast lunch and dinner, fried potatoes with a tiny amount of added onion, capsicum or cabbage. Top it with an egg for protein.

At Gorak Shep fried potatoes with veg and egg was $8 a plate.

Other than potatoes there are fried noodles, dal baht, momos, Tibetan bread and maybe pasta with tomato sauce.

There are plenty of soups but they’re not usually substantial enough for hungry trekkers. I would have garlic soup often, Chef and the boys would go for the biggest, cheapest thing they could find.

Dal Baht is delicious and one of my favourite meals in the world. It’s a good bet if you’re starving because top ups come free but in very touristy lodges portions became small and top ups disappeared. $8 was the highest price we saw for dal baht. In Kathmandu we pay under $3.

Before anyone goes stamping their feet and complaining about rip off prices, remember that everything you eat up here has to be carried up, often for days. Everything just costs more the further you get from transportation and at Gorak Shep we were maybe 8 days from a road.

So filling up on carbs was easy, but protein and veg weren’t a big feature. Dal baht has a very tiny amount of lentils in the dal soup and mostly consists of rice and potatoes.

Over 3 weeks the restricted diet starts to be tough and I lost my appetite completely from time to time. Be sure to take your usual vitamin and mineral tablets, you’ll need them. We all lost a lot of weight, a stone each, possibly more.

Taking the Kids to EBC – Not Difficult

11 ways everest base camp is difficult

D, at 14 and a head taller than me raced ahead hardly noticing his pack.  Little Boo and I trailed behind. He has short legs, I’m 52 and not very fit. Sometimes he had to hand his pack, just 2 or 3 Kg, over to his dad.

They were great and did incredibly well, so taking the kids to Everest Base Camp was no difficulty at all.

They both loved meeting people and chatting as we walked, D more so, Boo is still shy until he gets to know people.

They were a dream to trek with but they’ve had plenty of experience in walking, packing, travel, thinking for themselves and just being resilient, sensible and adaptable.

I wouldn’t take kids below about 10 years old. I’d have to be very sure that any child wouldn’t be a danger to themselves or others.

You need to keep a very watchful eye on kids up there and keep them ultra close.

At one point we passed a school group accompanied by teachers and porters, 16-17-yearolds. They didn’t have a clue what they were doing and almost bowled Boo and I off some steps walking 4 abreast and chatting between themselves.

No way, on this Earth, would I allow my kids to go on an Everest Base Camp trek in a school group such as that. It’s dangerous up there.

One girl was trailing behind complaining of sore legs already, after less than half a day walking.

It’s a big responsibility taking kids on such a long hike, where safety is an issue, at altitude.

D wanted to complete the trek for the bragging rights, Boo wasn’t so keen on this adventure but before we left Kathmandu he told me that he planned to be really good at it. He was, he was amazing.

He has grit and determination and broke into a run to be the first of us back into Lukla.

I’m very proud of them both. Yes, there was bribery and rewards, they both got $10 to spend on sweets last night, well deserved, and new computer games were part of our deal.

They’re proud of themselves and successfully completing such a major challenge can only be good for their self-esteem.

Walking Difficulty of the Everest Base Camp Trek Itself

Everest Base Camp Trek Lobuche to Dingboche

This is what people ask first, how hard is the walk?

I’ve put this towards the end because really, the difficulty of the walk is unimportant. The whole package is a challenge, all the factors above and more. The walk, well, most people can walk. We walked with people in their 60s and 70s, I am in my 50s, most people should be able to do this trek and high fitness isn’t really required

If you’re slow, go slow, that’s fine. Let the hares race on. It’s cool to be the tortoise and you’ll likely acclimatise better.

This is why I say to not go with a tour group, you need to go at your own pace.

Yes, it’s a tough walk. Every day you will gain altitude and lose it again as you drop to a river crossing. Then you’ll face a steep uphill section to get back to where you were previously. This is no gradual ascent.

Above Lukla the trails are pretty good and well maintained but you’ll still find rough, rocky and treacherous areas. Below Lukla, on the way to Phaplu, trails are bad and damaged by heavy donkey traffic.

The distance from Lukla to Everest Base Camp is under 60 Km, not far. The major difficulty lies in the altitude.

For me even turning over in bed made me breathless once we were high, so every uphill step made me pause. I aimed to never increase my heart rate because recovery with insufficient oxygen took too long. Slowly slowly, one step at a time.

We hardly noticed our packs after the first day or two, I was carrying around 12 Kg and was very glad that I’d invested in this good, new, trekking pack. It made all the difference. Chef carried between 15 and 20 Kg.

Accommodation on the Everest Base Camp Trek Tea House

The hardest parts are obviously the up and down bits, flat parts do exist and they are easy. Some people find downhill harder, it’s tough on knees, others, like me, struggle with uphill section.

The longest, hardest, uphill sections are the climbs to Namche and to Tengboche, both took us around 2 hours. Coming down those hills takes under half that time.

One of the hardest parts for me was the walk from Gorak Shep to Base Camp. You can see Base Camp in the distance, it looks like it’s 10 minutes away, but the walk along the moraine of the Khumbu glacier took us 3 hours there, 2 hours back.

The path dips, weaves and climbs and at above 5,000 m altitude effects are brutal.

Because the Everest trek is a there and back rout (unlike the Annapurna Circuit, for instance, which is a loop) coming back down gets pretty boring as there is little else to see.

You can take different routes, go to Gokyo Lakes, Kumjung etc, but we weren’t prepared to take kids over the Cho La pass even in summer ( our guide friend said this was a very bad idea too) and by the time we got to the Gokyo turn-off near Namche we’d all had enough.

We stuck with just the EBC plus the Phaplu walk-in.

Would I do it again? No. I’ve done it, I have no need to go back. this was also our second time as far as Tengboche, we took the kids for a walk up here when they were younger.

Would I do more high altitude trekking? Yes, of course, but not right now. I need time to recover and use good wi-fi before even thinking about any more hiking.

Did I love it up there? So much.

It’s Scary on the EBC Trek

This is just me, I’m a wimp and terrified of my own shadow sometimes.

I really don’t like heights and there are a lot to deal with.

Once you’re over the hurdle of the flights on tiny planes and Lukla’s short, uphill, landing strip, there are paths with precipitous drops, landslides and of course, the bridges.

The bridge above (see video, top) is just below Namche and I find it terrifying. It amazes me that so many people walk across it with no apparent fear at all.

It scares me and is a major issue.

My desire to be up in the mountains is stronger than my fear though, so I just have to woman-up and deal with it. I get there.

Tengboche Monastery on the Everest Base Camp Hike

So yes, it was hard. I don’t think any sane person would expect it not to be.

Tackling hundreds of feet of uphill and downhill on rocky terrain would present most people with difficulty at sea level.

The lack of oxygen at over 5000m, oxygen here is is at around 50% of normal levels, is something you feel on top of that.

I’m missing the mountains already despite being back in wonderful Kathmandu with more weeks of exploring ahead of us. It’s always hard to leave the villages, people and views of the Khumbu. A little video on some of the sticky, scary, annoying and hard parts on the Everest Base Camp Trek is at the very top of the page . Want to read more about Nepal? We cover Kathmandu, Chitwan, Lumbini, Bhaktapur and more on this site, look in the related posts below.

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Rest stop on the bus rom Phaplu to Kathmandu

Alyson Long

Best places to visit in sri lanka, romanian christmas traditions | christmas in romania, 38 thoughts on “everest base camp trek difficulty and hardships – how hard can it be”.

Hello! Thanks for your article, very interesting read! Can I ask how you felt after the trek? Still sick? Tired? Lots of muscle pain? I ask because we would love to do this trek for our honeymoon but I’d also love to plan a few relaxing days in a nice hotel after the trek. Just wondering if we will likely just be super tired after the trek and spending money on a nice hotel for after is a bit pointless… thanks!

After the trek? Thrilled, elated, thinner, top of the world! Only sick because I had flu up there, by the time we got back it was gone. And no, never tired, I don’t find exercise tiring, the opposite. The lack of oxygen saps it out of you, but one you’re back in a good oxygen supply you usually feel great. I had no muscle pain at all. Walking is gentle exercise. You may feel it in your thighs after the days with the 2 big hills, or if you’re totally not used to using your leg muscles. But after the full trek you should be completely fine. You’ll be wanting a big meal and some wine, we always crave steak after a trek. Or buff, if that’s all that’s available. Good luck! But the stuff you usually do on honeymoon… not up there. No way.

This brought back such incredible memories!!!

I did the extended trek from Jiri to EBC and back to Lukla in March 2019, 270km of every conceivable emotion!

It was the greatest experience of my life, there’s not a week that goes by where I don’t think about it and wish that I was back on those amazing trails 🙂

I think once you’ve been, you always want to be there. We should be there now, doing the Mustang trek. Would have been our 4th big trek in Nepal. Maybe next year.

Wow! I would love to experience this trek but I am not very sure about it. I get dizzy soon as I travel towards high altitude. Is there any way that I can indulge in this activity or any other treks that would work as an alternative for this?

A low altitude 3 week trek? How about the Camino in Spain?

It takes minimum 12 days from Lukla to Lukla to complete Everest Base Camp Trek. Many people may think why 12 days it can even complete in 9 or 10 days! Yes, you can complete it in 9 or 10 days but it is lethal for your health. There’s a high chance to get AMS (acute mountain sickness) during a short Everest Base Camp Trek. So always go for a 12 days trek and do 2 nights of acclimatisation at Namche Bazaar and Dingboche.

I would argue that 12 days is too short too. Particularly if you have no flexibility to add a day or two for sickness.

Great Content. You have mentioned almost every possible difficulties of Everest Base Camp Trek. Thank you. It will be the perfect guide for the trekkers and the reference blog for the content writers, Thank you for the blog.

This article on EBC is very interesting and helpful. I appreciate the detail and explaining the reality of the trek, lodging and food. Two of us will travel there in September/October. Would you recommend buying plane tickets from Kathmandu to Lukla when we arrive in Kathmandu? We will hike independently and have a flexible schedule. Also, we use a Steri-pen for purifying water. Is the tap water clear or does it have particles? If it is cloudy then we would need another purifying method.

Hi Terri. Is Kathmandu airport handling the Lukla flights again? This year and last year they’ve been going from an alternate airport ( info is in our Kathmandu – Lukla flight post I believe). Sorry, I’m not on top of this, which I should be as we’re hoping to trek again this autumn, Mustang. If you are on a tight schedule get your flights booked ASAP and make sure you get the very early morning flight. Those have the most chance of taking off. Flight cancellations due to cloud are a major problem with days-long delays. Or be prepared to drop a few extra thousand on a helicopter, or spend a few extra days hiking up to Lukla. Best of luck! Oh … no, I don’t recall cloudy tap water, you can get water from streams too if you’re going to self-purify. At the final stop, there was no tap water or boiled available, we had to buy bottled. You may find a way around this but we didn’t.

I will check your other post for the flights. Thank you for the information.

How did you find the bedbug situation? I’m Nepal generally, as well as the houses along trekking routes? Thank you. We really love your blog. It’s inspirational on a daily basis and aspiration for life. Thank you again:)

We have never encountered bed bugs in Nepal. In the last 8 years, there have only been 2 bed bug incidents, one in Australia, one in Sri Lanka.

I’d actually tell people to take longer. 12 is a bare minimum.

Thanks for amazing post. May I know where is the station to take the bus/jeep to Phuplu/Salleri from Kathmandu?

Many thanks.

I know when we came back from Phaplu on the bus we arrived to a bus stop on top of a hill near Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, just past it as you drive towards Thamel on a very busy main road. I don’t know the name sorry. I’m trying to find it on Google Maps but we’re drawing a blank. And since Google no longer gives you exact match answers I can’t even Google for the correct bus stop. Sorry, we tried! Best of luck Johnny. I’m sure your guest house owner or a local agent will be able to tell you in Kathmandu.

With regards to the temperature on October in this EBC hike. Do we really need a thermal base layer(top and bottom) for the hike?

If you find our post for trekking gear for Nepal, we talk about this at length. Obviously it depends on you, your comfort levels and the weather, you could get unlucky. But I’ve never, in my life, owned thermals or merino base layers for trekking or skiing, nor for living in Romania at -25C with no heating. But have a look at that post, we chat about it more. I didn’t even take a sleeping bag but I’m slightly nuts.

Did you happen to look into starting the trek from Kharikhola instead of Phaplu? I think it saves 1-2 days now that the road goes past Salleri/Phaplu…

We’ve been to Kharikola. Walked through there twice, stayed there once on the Phaplu – EBC trek. It’s one of my favourite places, such a beautiful fertile valley and has decent guest houses, between Phaplu and Kharikola it was basic. But there’s Kharikola town and Kharikola valley. Things start getting a bit touristy from Kharikola, but nothing like everything above Lukla. From Kharikola there is that very steep hill up to Bhupsa, that was quite a climb! I really liked Bhupsa too. This is all from memory and I’m not 100% sure of names and facts here. So from Phaplu airport there is a dirt track, some might call it a road. You can get jeeps from the airport – it’s not cheap, up to Ringmu. We walked and slept in Ringmu that night. Very basic, free accomodation just pay for food. From Ringmu you go up again, there’s a stupa and a gateway, then you descend into the Kharikola valley, it’s high. We got to that high point in the morning, before lunch time. The dirt track does go up to this high point, we crossed it several times as we walked. big trucks use it, it’s an ecological disaster zone of deforestation and soil erosion. My husband is saying there may be a road around that big hill, rather than the one that goes up to Ringmu and the top of the hill, but we don’t know for sure. We’ve not seen a road beyond there, just walking trails. If they’ve extended the road into Kharikola town they’ve worked fast! It wasn’t there when we were there last October. It would be tragic to spoil that valley like that, it’s a lost paradise. The trail below Lukla gets pretty unpleasant in places, wet, stinking, slippery, eroded and packed with donkey trains, it stinks sometimes, you’re paddling through donkey effluent. But it’s a beautiful part of the world. Well worth seeing. You’ll notice the huge change when you get on the trekking super highway above Lukla. I still love it, It’s still stunning to me but some people do whine about it being too touristy up there. Just don’t stay in the towns the tour groups and organised treks stay in and it’s much nicer, but once you’re up near the top that option ceases to exist. Enjoy!

100%, it is necessary to carry oxygen cylinder during Everest Base Camp trek. We saw many trekkers chopper rescued during the trek. AMS(acute mountain sickness) is very common in this trek so it is advisable to go with proper trekking agency who has oxygen cylinder and proper ground handling capacity. You must not take chance with your health. Everyday in peak season more than 100 people get helicopter rescued from trekking zone, you can see it by yourself once you are in the zone. So don’t take any chance with your health and go with a proper agency who is best in ground handling.

This is a sales pitch from a trekking agency and is absolute rubbish. Yes, loads of people are helicoptered out every day. This is because they are unlucky with altitude, get sick, injure themselves or choose to leave by chopper. It’s sometimes because they go too fast with tours or groups with no chance of proper acclimatisation. Also because of huge numbers on the trek and cancelled flights, people are starting higher. We saw people starting their trek above Namche. Go slow, go at your own pace, allow more time, don’t be an idiot and listen to your body. Any difficulty – go down fast. That’s something you can’t do with a group. Agencies and guides are sometimes there simply to rip people off. We were massively ripped off by a guide ” helping” us to find a lodge. We also have a good friend who is a guide. An agency we once dealt with in Kathmandu also ripped us off on flight prices, pocketing our cash. The guides and chopper companies may be in alliance and money changes hands if a trekker can be choppered out, corruption has been widely reported recently. People are also lazy and time poor. They prefer to leave by chopper than to walk out. So thanks for your spam comment, it allowed me to highlight the possible rip offs in the region. I’ve heard talk of deliberate food poisoning too, from a local Nepali man, he suspected he was deliberately made ill on the trek. Who knows? But frightening people into thinking they need to carry oxygen and be with a paid minder just in case – isn’t cool. Even the agency we used in Kathmandu for Tibet told us one of their guides was ripping off clients over chopper prices, risking his job to make extra cash, we heard many things, first hand from local people and have experienced many things. For the record, if you decide to take oxygen, I believe you can buy it.

Even more they should require the records to prove that you could not really manage the pneumoniae by your self.

Sorry? You lost me.

It my pleasure to know details information about flight ticket, trekking gear,accommodation,food,weather,guide,potter.It makes very easy to plan my next my Everest Base Camp trek. Thanks for sharing such a great post.

You’re welcome. We have a general Nepal trekking post going out in the next few days too.

You and your family amaze me! Although any climb of this sort is not on my bucket list, I appreciate all the information. The “armchair experience” will do nicely on this one. So happy that you and your family made it back safely and in good health. Thanks for sharing with us!

Just a walk Susan! Thanks.

So fun to read. We are currently resting in Kathmandu, after coming overland from Beijing -Lhasa-EBC north side-KTM. No walking though, we decided on this route with our young teenagers. Hubby & I did the EBC trail 17 yrs ago. KTM is so much busier now. Not many people on the Tibet side. I am glad to find your blog as we just started our round the world adventure a few months ago. Namaste.

We’re heading to Tibet in 2-3 weeks LOL. In Chitwan now.We did Annapurna 20 years ago, I don’t see huge changes in Kathmandu, it’s almost entirely as I remember it, but it’s very seasonal, this is peak time now and just a few weeks ago it was quiet. How did you manage with the altitude in Tibet?

Loved this. A totally honest and frank account of the EBC trek. I’ve read so much about this trek but mostly about the route, distances etc. rather than what its actually like to do the trek. Thank you for the honesty.

I could add so much more, but I was trying to focus on that word ” dificulty”. When we’re back in the world of good internet- the internet sucks in Kathmandu too – I will publish lots more posts with more information on trekking to Base Camp. And thanks. This one had to come first.

I also need to tell you about the costs involved with this trek, it’s incredibly expensive for a family.

I look forward to hearing more. Would be really interested in hearing costs for a family (there’s five of us!)

I am also very modest when it comes to accommodation. I need a place to sleep and to take a shower, and I need it to clean. Don’t need new stuff or luxury items. Traveling is about the experience, culture, food, people, not about the material.

Yep, dead right.

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How Difficult Is The Everest Base Camp Trek?  

As daunting as the name may sound, the Everest Base Camp Trek is not a difficult most the trek one can undertake.

While only a few brave (and crazy) men and women will summit Everest each year, around 30,000 people will make the trek through the Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp to catch a glimpse of tallest mountain in the world.

People of all ages, shapes and sizes have completed the trek over the years – with a little bit of preparation and determination you will find that almost anyone can conquer the trek and tick it off their bucket list.

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The Everest Base Camp Trek requires no technical expertise or mountaineering skills as it is basically a long hike at altitude.

Generally, the most off-putting aspect of the trek is its duration – around 12 days (14 if your include a pre and post night stay in Kathmandu).

The reason for this is because most of the trekking is at a slow pace and days for acclimatization have to be factored in – the trek would be much harder if you tried to complete it in under 12 days!

Despite being non-technical and entirely achievable for anyone with some basic fitness, there are still some considerations that need to be taken into account before you set out on your own Everest Base Camp Trek.

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Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

At 130km (round trip) the trek seems quite long , but if you consider that on a typical guided trek you will only be walking for 9 out of the 12 days, you’ll see that you will be covering about 15km per day.

If you keep in mind that the average walking pace is about 5km/hour the figure doesn’t seem all that high!

That being said, the 15km per day will not be on a paved path that is flat. Rather you will be trekking on quite rocky and sometimes snowy terrain ( depending on season and altitude) that is sure to slow down your pace.

When you combine the terrain with the fact that you are generally hiking upwards, gaining altitude, you can see how the trek becomes a bit tougher.

Luckily, most tour operators will use porters or mules to carry your bags so you just have to focus on getting yourself up the trail!

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Altitude is by far the most challenging aspect of the trek and is what makes it more difficult than your average trek of the same length.

Acute Mountain Sickness and other altitude related illnesses are a serious risk at the sort of altitudes encountered on the trek.

The trek starts after the gut-wrenching flight to Lukla , which stands at just below 3,000m and then makes its way up to Everest Base Camp at around 5,400m. At the highest point, Kala Pathar, you will be at just over 5,500m – a height that allows to you experience breathtaking views of the whole region.

how-difficult-is-the-everest-base-camp-trek-1

Most guided tours will have 2 days factored in to allow for acclimatization. These days allow your body to get used to the higher than normal altitude but also provide an opportunity to explore some of the surrounding areas while not trekking.

As a result of the acclimatization days and the slow approach to increases in altitude, the outward leg of the trek should take 9 days while the inward leg should take only 3 days.

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Be sure to read up a bit on the symptoms of altitude sickness and on proper acclimatization techniques before embarking on the trek. We advise seeking the advice of your doctor as high altitudes can sometimes bring underlying illnesses to the fore.

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While you don’t need to hire a personal trainer or quit your day job to get fit for the trek, some time spent in the gym and some longer hikes will definitely help prepare you for the hilly trek up to Everest Base Camp.

We recommend doing a few 4-6 hour treks at home so that your body gets used to that sort of duration of workout. Start around 6-8 weeks before you leave and build up the time and distance slowly so that by the end of it your body is comfortable with trekking for a solid 6 hours.

Spend some time in the gym focussing on strength training for your legs. While you may not be carrying your bags around (unless you are trekking unsupported), you still have to carry yourself! Squats are a great exercise as you will be utilising your quads a lot on the trek.

Finally, some aerobic exercise 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.

Find a detailed EBC training programme here .

The aim of this article was to give you an idea of how difficult the Everest Base Camp Trek is, and you should see that the trek is a very attainable achievement.

Put in a little bit of training and determination on the trek and you will be set for the trek of your lifetime!

Tags: Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty, How Difficult Is The Everest Base Camp Trek

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Mark Whitman

Hi, I'm Mark! Welcome to EBC Trek Guide - the Web's No.1 Trekking Guide to Everest Base Camp. I have trekked all over Nepal, but the Everest region remains my favourite. I hope you find all the answers you are looking for on this site. If you have any questions don't hesitate to drop a comment below! Happy Trekking!

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Hi Mark, You are definitely a man of experience by what I have just read. I would really appreciate some advice from you. You may think I am mad… I have never done anything like this in my life. I will be 60 next September I have always tried to keep fit and active, I have participated in things like Zumba, aerobics, boot camp etc. .over the years but in boot camp I am one of the slower ones. I have knowledge of people who have done so many different challenges and would love to challenge myself . I do understand that if I were able to do this challenge I would definitely have to put a lot more training in. I would love to have advice on how to achieve this please ?? Thank you Debbie

Hi Debbie, you sound like just the type of person that can do the EBC trek. The challenge is a big one but with the right training and determination I remain convinced that almost anyone can trek to EBC. Here is some useful training information to get you started: https://ebctrekguide.com/best-training-program-everest-base-camp-trek . Getting into the right frame of mind for EBC is equally important. It is a long expedition – the cold nights, relatively basic food and accomodation and high altitude – take it’s toll on the body and one’s mental state. Having a strong mind can get you through tough times – and it will get tough. All the best!

Hi Planning to trek base camp in 2019,May. How to train myself for the trek. what kind of gym exercises are helpful

Check this article out: https://ebctrekguide.com/best-training-program-everest-base-camp-trek

I think Everest is always cold what season or month you advice us to go there ?

The main trekking seasons are March-May and September-November. June-August is the monsoon season, and December-February is winter. You can trek in winter but conditions are much colder than the two main seasons. More information can be found here: https://ebctrekguide.com/best-time-to-trek-to-everest-base-camp

Hi. I am interested in trekking with my 17-year old daughter in November 2019. We have never trekked before, however I’ve completed 7 marathons (5 BQ) and run average 5 miles a Day regularly. My daughter does sports at school and played mud-field striker for our local travel soccer team. We are not completely out of shape, per se, but we are not trekkers or mountaineers (yet). I read some articles which made me think EBC could be an option as a graduation gift for my daughter. However, I also read Ian Taylor’s advice on EBC which basically makes me think this is not for us, at least this year. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you gave recommendations for trekking companies (if you think it’s feasible), thank you.

Hi Aimee, you and your daughter both sound more than fit enough to complete the EBC trek. I’m not sure what Ian may have said to make you second guess your ability, but ultimately, if you are able to hike for 4-6 hours a day for 12 days then you can definitely do EBC. Here’s some useful advice on training: https://ebctrekguide.com/best-training-program-everest-base-camp-trek

Not quite an accurate assessment of the trek as far as I’m concerned. Granted I am 50 yrs old, but nonetheless, I am in reasonable condition. I have also just complited Kilimanjaro, and found both to be tough, or at least, not easy! As you have discribed. Perhaps I will experience another level of easy or tough when I complete Mt Elbrus, but up to now, I have to stay with the opinion that EBC and Kili (summit night at least) are tough. I’m sure your reply will be informative, and perhaps give me a different perspective and idea of what a difficult hike is! All the best, thanks

I completed this trek in October 2019. This is a far more difficult trek than organizations make it out to be. I’ve seen numerous people break down and lots taking helicopters down. While it is not easy, it’s not impossible. The organization you choose and the guide you will have will play a big role in your succes, but if you do not become physically prepared and complete some hikes beforehand, this is going to be very hard.

I enjoyed reading your experiences about trekking to the Mt. Everest Base Camp. I have also been to Mt. Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side. I did it by driving to the base camp( a bit less strenuous than yours). I started driving from Kumming In the Yunan Province in China and slowly going into Tibet and slowly acclimatising myself in the process.

Hi Aimee, Not sure we ever spoke. There is no one size that fits all for trekking to Everest Base Camp. That is why we do not have specific training plans. I have climbed Everest to the top and led over 35 treks to Everest and always happy to chat. There is very specific training required for this trek which a lot of people are not doing. Acclimatization is also being over looked by a lot of people.

Hi Mark, Very interesting and informative read. I am planning to do the EBC solo or with my father in mid March 2021 (corona permitting travel!) We have done several long distance hikes, my father doing Annapurna trek last year. I think we should do it without a guide and he thinks we need one. My question is; do we need a guide to go ahead and book tea houses or will they have availability in Mid March? In terms of altitude sickness; I don’t think it is the role of the guide to ‘keep an eye on you’, rather you make the call if it’s too severe and turn around. Basically I’m trying to convince my Dad that a guide can support with carrying loads but we are very used to carrying a large 50L bag for a few weeks trekking (GR10; Alps Haute Route etc.)

Thanks in advance for your advice! Howard

Hi Howard, if you guys are comfortable carrying your packs and experienced hikers, then I don’t think using a guide is necessary. Way-finding on the EBC route is easy. In terms of accommodation, you should be fine, although you might not get your pick of the best teahouses / rooms etc. And may need to split into different rooms, although this is unlikely. All the best!

Good input to the beginners. I will try base camp next year in April but from China side as there are less people. Looking forward to it. Could you please share what gears needed for the journey?

I have already started prep. training and go for 10km walk, gym training 3-4 times per week and swimming once per week. Thanks Shahid Ikram

Hi Shahid, Sounds great – good luck with your preparations. Here is a complete packing list: https://ebctrekguide.com/everest-base-camp-trek-packing-list

Hi 🙂 Have just read the article and find it very useful. I am now 50 and have started hiking in the mountains of Egypt a year ago. I am far from being fit and have a good overweight, but thus didn't stop me from summiting Mt. Catherine, the highest mountain in Egypt. I have Everest base camp in my bucket list and after reading your article I believe that it is doable. Thanks again! Eman

Great, good luck Eman!

Thanks a lot, was very helpful. Have a great trek ahead😁

I'm a fit 69 year old in good health and did 1/2 the Annapurna Circuit in 2015. I long have wanted to hike to EBC and regret I succumbed to my hiking partner's preference to do another trek in 2015. What are your thoughts about someone my age doing the EBC in the next 12-18 months? Any feedback you can share will be very much appreciated.

Hi Dan, totally doable if you’re in good health. It really is just a long hike at altitude. Go for it!

Hi my self and my father did this trek in 2019, he was 69 and had no problems doing it. In my view add a extra to acclimatise and this will make it easier and more enjoyable

Are there tour companies that you can recommend that specialise in base camp treks?

Hey Dennis, you can get connected with my recommended operator here: https://ebctrekguide.com/go

❣️HARE KRISHNA❣️ really I want everest base camp tracking.. Please send me details.

You can get a quote here: https://ebctrekguide.com/go

Everest has been a dream of mine that I cannot let go since I was a young boy of around 8 years old.I am now 58. Arthritis has attacked my knees as a result of injuries and wear tear from past exciting escapades.I guess this has put paid to an Everest summit,however,I cannot rule out a trek to base camp.I must and I have to see that mountain.

My question is what does the descent look like?My knees are not in the greatest shape but I am still fit.I practice yoga almost daily,I walk,I scuba dive and I have a love for the outdoors.

My only worry that prevents me or makes me hesitant from embarking on this trip is the constant descent.

Perhaps you could advise me.

I am not incapacitated in anyway and I don't require any walking assistance. As mentioned, I am fit.

Hi Gary, the good news is the descent on the classic trail is very gradual. In fact, the route in and out is very gradual with sections of incline and decline, but nothing very steep and prolonged (like Kilimanjaro for example).

I want to do EBC however age and other health issues make it difficult . Do you know if there is a helicopter that can take people to EBC, stop there for a little bit, allow the person to get out of the helicopter to take pictures and then take them back

Hi, there are companies that offer this, but I’m not familiar with any. I would recommend you spend some time at altitude before flying directly to EBC though.

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  • Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty – Is It Really Hard?
  • Everest Base Camp Trek
  • 31/01/2023 08/05/2024

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? If you’re wondering what the Everest Base Camp trek difficulty is, you’re in luck! At the trekking guide company Himalayan Exploration, we developed these tips and tricks for the Everest Base Camp Trek.

The Everest base camp trek is the highest-altitude hike among other treks in Nepal . It starts from Lukla and ends at Gorak Shep. There are many challenges you need to deal with when taking this trek. These can range from weather conditions to physical exertion required and even other hikers.

Preparing for any situation that may arise during a trek is always better. Since this is one of the biggest threats you will face, carrying enough water is always a good idea. In addition, you can protect yourself against the elements by doing some things.

You can avoid specific problems by carrying a high-quality sleeping bag and tent. Ask your local travel agent or check online for help determining your needed equipment.

Most people assume that trekking to the highest peak in the world, the Everest base camp is very difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. But it’s easy to do if you apply the following tips and tricks.

Understand the Physical Difficulties for Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest base camp lies at an elevation of 5,364 meters above sea level. It’s a challenging journey but not impossible. First, it’s paramount to understand your difficulties on this expedition.

The first challenge that you’ll encounter is high altitudes. The air pressure decreases with increasing elevation. It means you won’t be able to breathe correctly and suffer from headaches, nausea, insomnia, muscle aches, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, etc. If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above, you must rest until they disappear.

You could get severe injuries or even death if you ignore your body during this time. Another difficulty you might experience is terrible weather conditions. Many types of extreme weather in the Himalayas include thunderstorms, blizzards, avalanches, and landslides, which add to your Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty .

Research the Routes for Everest Base Camp Trek

Trekking in the Himalayas is a great way to explore beautiful places and get close-up views of some stunning mountain landscapes. There are many options for trekking, and Nepal has quite a few beautiful places to visit. However, the most popular trekking route is the Everest Base Camp trek .

This trek takes visitors to the top of the world, the Mt. Everest region . The highest peak in Asia stands at 29,029ft above sea level and is known simply as ‘Mt. Everest’. It is also the tallest mountain, although other peaks surpass it.

The trek begins from the Nepali capital, Kathmandu, where you will start your journey by flying to Lukla. From here, you continue your trip up to Namche Bazaar, a significant town on the edge of the Khumbu Valley.

Prepare Yourself for a Long Journey to Everest Base Camp Trek

If you plan on going on the Everest Base Camp Trek , you must ensure you have everything you need. These include food, clothing, gear, equipment, and medication. You can ask the people you are traveling with to share some of these things. Your friends and family will probably be happy to help you out.

It would help if you also considered visiting the doctor to ensure you are in good physical condition before leaving. It will be easier to climb the mountain if you are healthy. There are five best hiking trails on the Everest base camp trek . Some are easier than others, and some offer more scenery than others. If you decide to hike the shorter routes, ensure you have the right gear and enough food and water for your trip.

Try to go with people you trust. The weather can change quickly. You may get caught up in a sudden storm or blizzard and lose your way. It will lead to a very uncomfortable and dangerous situation. Always try to be prepared.

Check out the routes ahead of time to ensure you can take the right ones. You will be responsible for your safety when you are on the trek. It is up to you to look after yourself and ensure you are safe. It helps to reduce the Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty . 

Plan Your Training for Everest Base Camp Trek

If you decide to take a trip to Mount Everest, you must prepare for your journey in advance. Researching and learning more about the mountain is the best way to do this.

It will ensure you know what you need to bring to stay aware while climbing to the summit of the world’s highest peak!

It’s also important to remember that weather conditions are unpredictable, so it’s not just about packing the right equipment – you should also have enough food and drink supplies. So checking the forecast before heading off on your adventure is always advisable.

Consider the Weather

If you plan to go on a trekking holiday to Mount Everest, consider the weather because it can make or break your experience. The most popular time to visit is between April and May. However, If you decide to travel any season, you should prepare for unpredictable weather conditions that may force you to shorten your trip. . Nepal has four main seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Spring is generally the best time to travel. It’s usually warm enough to wear shorts and hiking boots without feeling uncomfortable, but you will still get a good dose of sun.

Summertime, however, can be rather hot, mainly if you are new to the climate in Nepal. So, if you prefer to avoid the heat, September to October is the best time for Everest Base Camp Trek .

Ensure You Have the Right Equipment

You may not realize it, but you need certain things to prepare for a mountain trip. For example, if you are doing an adventure in the Himalayas , you will need hiking boots that withstand rough conditions. In addition, you will want to pack an extra set of clothes since you’ll spend more time on your feet than you would on the road.

In terms of safety equipment, there are many items that you’ll find helpful when traveling to the highest point of the world. First off is a helmet. If you fall, you could easily suffer head injuries and severe damage. So it would help to consider buying an anti-fall device to protect yourself from these risks.

Another vital piece of safety gear to bring along is a medical kit. It will allow you to treat minor ailments before they get out of hand. Finally, it would be helpful if you had a compass. It is possible to navigate any tricky areas with a map.

Understand the Risk Factors

It’s easy to get excited about planning a trip abroad, whether trekking to Everest base camp, hiking a tropical island, traveling around Australia, or even spending a few days on a beach in Thailand. However, the most important thing to consider when traveling is safety – especially if planning a dangerous expedition, such as the Mt.Everest expedition .

The risks of trekking in Nepal are real but not necessarily life-threatening. You should be aware of some dangers on the trail: falling rocks, altitude sickness, and frostbite from exposure. But for the most part, the risks involved are minor. A tourist may decide to trek to Mount Everest Base Camp for many reasons.

Prepare for Any Emergencies

You don’t just need to prepare yourself physically before heading off on your adventure; you must also be mentally prepared for emergencies. If something unexpected happens during the climb and you’re not ready, it can lead to unnecessary delays and potential injury. So to ensure you stay safe and happy, here are a few things you should remember while climbing the mountain.

First, pack the right equipment, including comfortable hiking boots, a warm hat, gloves, a raincoat, sunglasses, sunblock, a first aid kit, toiletries, snacks, water bottles, and an area map. In addition, it’s essential to remember to carry your emergency contact information with you so that you can call someone if you need medical help or get lost. Also, it would help if you took plenty of cash with you, as some places do not accept credit cards.

Consider the Physical Fitness Level

The physical fitness level required for any high-altitude trek is higher than usual due to the extreme elevation. Therefore, you must be well-prepared before embarking on a trip like this. There are also medical requirements, such as vaccinations and medicines, that you must consider along with other essentials.

You can start preparing yourself if you are in good shape and confident about your skills. It would help if you began by researching whether you need to bring extra items to your destination so that you will stay supplied during your stay there.

An Everest base camp trek is a great way to prepare for any expedition. Not only does it improve physical fitness levels but also mental ones. In addition, it will teach you to endure hardship and be ready for emergencies. If you learn or know about the Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty , you will make it without any trouble.

There is much to consider if you are considering an Everest Base Camp. Selecting the right equipment for your needs, finding the best route, and so on are a few things that go into planning an expedition.

But when you return to typical life after the trek, you may want something else to do. So we put together this guide to help you plan your trip and keep you entertained while on the mountain.

You can read our post about 12 Reasons To Go On An Everest Base Camp Trek In Nepal here.

In Conclusion

Are you considering taking on the challenge of trekking to Everest Base Camp ? It’s an incredible journey that will take you through some of the most breathtaking places in Nepal. Can it be difficult?

The answer depends on your experience level and physical fitness. While no technical climbing skills are required for this trek, it is still challenging due to its high altitude and long duration (typically 12-14 days). The highest point reached during this trek is 5,545 meters above sea level, so understanding how your body reacts at higher altitudes can help prepare you for what lies ahead.

Additionally, since much of the terrain consists of steep hillsides or rocky paths with loose stones underfoot – proper footwear such as hiking boots are essential to remaining safe throughout your journey. You should also know that weather conditions can change quickly at these elevations.

Therefore, being prepared with warm layers and waterproof gear will help keep you comfortable regardless of whether rain or snow arrives unexpectedly!

Regarding overall difficulty – we rate Everest Base Camp Trek as moderate/challenging depending on individual ability levels. However, make sure to attempt one extraordinary adventure!

With enough preparation, determination, and support from experienced guides – anyone who has an eagerness towards new experiences should consider making their way up the iconic Mount Everest base camp !

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Difficulty level of Everest Base Camp Trek 

Difficulty level of Everest Base Camp Trek 

The  Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most challenging treks in the world . The trek takes you through the picturesque villages of Nepal, high mountain passes, and serene landscapes, all while leading you towards the foot of the world’s highest peak- Mount Everest. However, the trek is not an easy feat to achieve. It requires both mental and physical endurance, and trekkers must be prepared to face the following challenges:

Table of Contents

Altitude sickness: .

The trek to the  Everest Base Camp  is a high-altitude trek,  and the altitude increases gradually as you progress towards the base camp. It is not uncommon for trekkers to suffer from altitude sickness, which can be a severe problem if not dealt with properly. The symptoms of altitude sickness include nausea, headache, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Trekkers must follow proper acclimatization techniques, such as taking rest days and gradually ascending to higher altitudes, to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.

Rugged terrain:

The terrain on the  Everest Base Camp Trek is rugged and unpredictable . The trail mixes rocky terrain, steep inclines, and narrow paths. Some sections of the trail are notorious for being difficult, such as the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar and the steep descent from Lobuche. Trekkers must be physically fit to handle the demanding terrain and avoid injuries. In addition, trekking in the Everest region requires crossing several suspension bridges over deep gorges and rivers, which can be intimidating for those with a fear of heights.

Unpredictable weather:

The weather in the  Everest region is also unpredictable, and trekkers must be prepared to face all kinds of weather conditions . The trekking season in the region is from  March to May and September to November , but even during these months, trekkers can face harsh weather conditions such as heavy snowfall, strong winds, and rain. Trekkers may need to stop or turn back in extreme weather conditions, which can be frustrating and demotivating.

Basic facilities:

Another challenge of the  Everest Base Camp Trek is the lack of facilities along the way.  While several tea houses and lodges are along the trail, the facilities are essential, and trekkers must be prepared to rough it out. The food and accommodations may not be of the highest quality, and trekkers must be willing to adapt to local customs and living conditions.

Time and money investment:

Finally,  the Everest Base Camp Trek requires considerable time and money investment. The trek usually takes 14-16 days to complete, and trekkers must consider travel time, acclimatization days, and rest days. The cost of the trek can vary, but it is not a budget-friendly option. Trekkers need to budget for  permits, flights, guides, and equipment,  among other expenses.

In conclusion,  the  Everest Base Camp Trek is a challenging and demanding trek  that requires physical and mental endurance. Trekkers must be prepared to face altitude sickness, harsh weather conditions, rugged terrain, basic facilities, and the significant investment of time and money. However, despite the challenges, the trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers breathtaking views, cultural immersion, and a sense of achievement. If you are willing to take on the challenge, the Everest Base Camp Trek is an adventure you will never forget.

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Hike To Everest Base Camp

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Hike to Everest base camp

Hike to Everest base camp

based on 2+ reviews

Country Nepal

Duration 16 days

Maximum altitude 5545m/18187ft

Activity Trekking

Difficulty Moderate/Difficult

Best Season September to May

Accomodation Included

Meals Included

Start/End Point Lukla

Trek Overview

everest base camp trek difficulty

Hike to Everest base camp route has unique and globally significant cultural and natural attributes. It is globally known as the highest peak of the world and holds a delightful existence besides an 8848m range of massive icy mountain. This high mountain is located between Nepal and Tibet, the route is most often accessible via the south of the mountain, Everest Base Camp. With an altitude of 5,364 meters, is this base camp visited by nonmountaineers as well? The answer is simply yes and we don’t need any climbing equipment and so on.

For instance, trekking lovers usually visit this Everest base camp. During the Everest base camp hike route, you can find Yak above 4000 meters. Now the Yak is domesticated, it is very important in the lives of people living in the high Himalayas. They carry loads, pull plows, give milk, furnish meat hair, and hide.

Hike to base camp Everest is one of the most fascinating and popular treks of the Himalayas. Thousands of trekkers visit this base camp each year. Then again, trekking to base camp Everest is not as easy as an apparent but ultimate adventure. With compensation for time and energy, visitors usually fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and begin the trek. The trekking then reaches the gateway of Everest Namche Bazaar ’ where a large community of Sherpas lives. The village has a Buddhist culture including ancient Thami and Tengboche monasteries. On a long journey passes by Tengboche, Dingboche, and Lobuche, the mountain appears to the surroundings along with chilled climates. After reaching Gorakshep, the most awaited Everest Base Camp is climbed tucked under the sparkling Khumbu Icefalls. It takes about 4 hours to the summit and comes back to Gorak Shep the next day.

Hike to base camp Everest  landscapes and people nevertheless show overall stability and resiliency that provides important insights and models for mountain people around the world. The Himalayan Smile treks offers Base Camp Everest trek the best price and customized trek itinerary according to your interest. Your dream to hike the world’s highest mountain base camp can true with Himalayan Smile Treks.

Outline Itinerary

Arrival in kathmandu. transfer to hotel., preparation of trek. city tour, fly to lukla. trek to phakding, trek to namche bazaar(3446 m)., day hike to the syangboche, namche bazaar to tengboche(3867 m)., tengboche to dingboche(4260m)., acclimatization. day hike to the chukhung(4730 m)., dingboche to lobuche(4930 m)., trek to gorkhashep(5140m). day hike everest base camp (5364m)., climb kalapatter(5545m). trek to pheruche(4230 m)., trek to namche bazaar., trek to lukla., fly back to kathmandu., shopping / leisure, price table, package price.

The trekkers should pay by themselves the expenses of their meals and accommodation in the tea house while they're trekking. But other services are the same which are included in the Gold price and are also included in the Silver price.

Price Includes

  • Airport to hotel pick and drop by private vehicle
  • Four-night hotel in Kathmandu at three-star categories in BB Plan
  • Kathmandu valley sightseeing
  • One highly experienced mountain Guide and Porter
  • Accommodation food, drinks, salary, insurance, transportation of both trek guide and Porter
  • Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, duffel bag, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
  • Group medical supplies (first aid kit)
  • All necessary paper works and Sagarmatha National Park entry permit
  • TIMS Card (Trekker’s Information Management System card)
  • All additional government tax
  • All ground transportation by private vehicle.
  • Kathmandu/ Lukla / Kathmandu airfare.
  • Kathmandu/ Lukla / Kathmandu airfare for guide.

Price Excludes

  • Other ground transportation
  • Nepal entry visa fee (USD 25 for 15 days/ USD 40 for 30 days from the date of issue) (You may easily get Nepal visa upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu)
  • Accommodation in Mountain lodge run by local people during the trek
  • All meals during trekking
  • International airfare
  • Travelers insurance
  • Cold drinks (Alcohol  and cold drinks)
  • Boiled water, Hot shower, Mineral water, Batteries charge and hot drinks (in a pot)
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu (Approx. 10-12 USD)
  • Bar bills, telephone bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
  • Tips to guide and porter
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. Personal illness, strike, etc.
  • Helicopter evacuation charge in case of emergency whilst trekking
  • We don't include drinking water on the trek which you can buy a number of places for between $1 and $3 a bottle (it gets more expensive towards base camp). A better solution is to buy water tablets in Kathmandu for around $2 and treat the water (your guide can help you find the good places to fill your water bottle).
  • The other things not included on the trek are like Wifi, charging batteries and hot showers. Wifi is available in some tea houses for $3 to $5 an hour. Hot Showers are also available in a few for around $4 and charging costs about $1.50 an hour.
  • Unforeseen cost due to flight cancellation, weather conditions, etc. You are responsible for extra hotel nights ($30/night) and meals in Kathmandu for any extra days in Nepal due to flight delays.
  • Meal on full board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) a cup of tea/coffee in each meal during trekking trek
  • Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, duffel bag,  trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain(due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: arrival in kathmandu. transfer to hotel..

After arrival at Kathmandu International airport, meet our officer. He will assist you to transfer your hotel. Tea coffee. Refreshment in a hotel. Visit Himalayan Smile Treks for trip orientation. Pay for a trip. Meet the trek guide. Walk around Thamel street near your hotel. O/n at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Preparation of Trek. City Tour

After breakfast, our experience mountain guide will check your trekking gear and suggest you insufficient important trekking gear. He will guide you to the trekking gear shop. Afternoon Kathmandu Valley sightseeing(Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Baudhanath Stupa). Overnight at Kathmandu in Hotel.

Preparation of Trek

Preparation of Trek

City Tour

Day 3: Fly to Lukla. Trek to Phakding

Early morning transfer to Kathmandu airport domestic terminal to catch flight to Lukla (2810m).The flight duration is approximately 45 minutes. Have a tea and coffee in Lukla.. Then your trekking starts from Lukla. The trail contour through the Sherpa village and yak pasture land. Have a lunch in Thado Koshi (2591m) with stunning view of Kum Kangaru(6370m). You will see the painted Mani wall in Ghat (chhuthawa) village. In the late afternoon, you arrive at Phakding(2652m).

Fly to Lukla

Fly to Lukla

Trek to Phakding

Trek to Phakding

Day 4: trek to namche bazaar(3446 m)..

Your trekking starts after breakfast at the mountain lodge. You cross a long suspension bridge over the Dudh Koshi River which is originated from Khumbu glacier. Today you will enter the Sagarmatha National Park in Monjo village. You have lunch in Jorsale(2740m). The trail goes ahead along the Dudh Koshi river. After half an hour steep walking you will see Mt Everest (8848m). The trail ascends until Namche Bazaar through the alpine forest.

Day 5: Day hike to the Syangboche

Acclimatization in Namche Bazaar. After breakfast One and half hour steep walking to Syangboche(3880m). From Syangboche you can see Mt. Everest(8848m), Lhotse(8516m), Ama Dablam(6814m), Thamserku (6618m) and more mountains. After lunch in Khumjung village(3780m) hike back to the Namche Bazaar.

Day 6: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche(3867 m).

From hotel trail climb through the several tea houses in Namche reach the edge of the hill can view up view of Thamserku (6618m), Ama Dablam(6814m). The trail contour to the white stupa can view Mount Everest (8848) and other world high mountains. Trail down to the Dudh Koshi. After crossing long suspension bridge then the trail ascends through the pine trees to Tengboche(3860m).

Day 7: Tengboche to Dingboche(4260m).

Form Tengboche trail move down towards Deboche(3820m).After Deboche, the trail becomes very pleasant. You will feel very comfortable. Here you have chances to see Musk deer. It is very rare wild animal. After crossing iron bridge on your right side you can see the great view of Ama Dablam(6814m). Then the trail moves gradually up to Pangboche(4410m). After the lunch in Shomare (4110m)you walk around two hour and arrive to Dingboche Village (4410m). O/n at mountain lodge

Day 8: Acclimatization. Day hike to the Chukhung(4730 m).

It is the best place to acclimatization who is attending to climb Island peak or trek to Everest base camp. The Chukhung village has several Yak herders, hunts and few tea houses. From Chukhum great view of the Karyolung, Numbur and Khagtega mountains. 8h walking. O/n at Dingboche in mountain lodge.

Day 9: Dingboche to Lobuche(4930 m).

From Dingboche, the trail climbs up 20m above the village, panoramic view of Mt, Makalu (8463m). From Dughla(4620m) ascend along with a pebbly and sandy trail to Dughla Pass (4830m). In Dughla pass you see monuments on the memory of Everest climbers who have lost their lives while climbing Mt. Everest. From here the trail goes gradually up to the Lobuche (4910m).

Day 10: Trek to Gorkhashep(5140m). Day hike Everest base camp (5364m).

This morning you might feel chilly because the temperature may go down -5 to 10 degree Celsius. In the beginning, you walk along the flat trail through yak pasture trail (50 minutes). Then you have to walk in a glacier and icy in some part at Gorak Shep (5140m). Hike to the Everest base camp (5364m).

Day 11: Climb Kalapatter(5545m). Trek to Pheruche(4230 m).

Early in the morning start the climb to the Kalapatthar(5550m). After nearly two and a half hour climbs, you will reach on top of the Kalapatthar. Kala Patthar is one of the prime points for the massive view of Mount Everest (8848m). Enjoy the view of Mt. Everest and other towering mountains. Trek back to Pheruche.

Day 12: Trek to Namche Bazaar.

From Pheruche the trail descends to the Dudha Koshi river cross over the iron bridge. From here the trail climbs to the hill, panoramic view of the Ammadablum and Thamserku mountains. The trail contour through the Yak pastureland to the Pangboche and Tengboche. The trail descends to the Phungi Tanga and up to the Namche Bazaar. 8h walking.

Day 13: Trek to Lukla.

The trail descends to the Dhudha Koshi river through the pine and oak forest. Cross suspension bridge many time in the river. Lunch at Monjo. From here trail passes the beautiful village Banker and Toktok to the Phakding. From Phakding pleasant walk to the Chauri Kharka, from here half an hour climb to the Lukla.

Day 14: Fly back to Kathmandu.

You should pack up early in the morning. Then have a breakfast and hike down to Lukla airstrip. Take a flight to Kathmandu. The rest of your day is free in Kathmandu. In evening you can stroll around Thamel, the major tourist destination of Kathmandu. You can do some last minute shopping of souvenirs for your family and relatives. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu

Day 15: Shopping / Leisure

Extra day if in case of flight cancelation Lukla to Kathmandu. Today you can be shopping souvenir for your friends and family original from Nepal. You can buy Gems and Jewelry, Carpets, Handwoven Clothes, Metal Works, Paper Products, Thangkas and Paubhas, Woodworks, etc according to your interest. Rest day in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu

Day 16: Departure

After the breakfast walk around your hotel. Last minutes shopping. Transfer to the Kathmandu international airport before three hours, for your onward journey. Today is your the last day in Nepal. Our officer will come to meet you at your hotel to escort you to Kathmandu International Airport for final departure.

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Test your endurance on the world's 10 best treks

Joe Bindloss

Sep 14, 2021 • 11 min read

A walker on the Routeburn Track rising high above Lake Mackenzie.

Supersized landscapes along New Zealand's Routeburn Track © Philip Lee Harvey / Lonely Planet

Ask ten experienced hikers to nominate the best treks in the world and they'll give you ten different answers. Some treks are epic because of the scenery. Some are epic because of the almost superhuman levels of effort and endurance required to reach the end point. For some trekkers, it's all about the destination; for others, it's the journey and the camaraderie along the trail.

But the world's top treks all have one thing in common–a sense of mission that transforms the simple act of walking into a life-affirming expedition. With this in mind, we've compiled our own list of the world's top treks, from jungle trails to breathless tracks through the mountains of Nepal . All require a sturdy pair of lungs and a fit pair of legs, but the experience of trekking is its own reward; we promise you'll still be talking about these hikes decades later!

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Patagonia landscape

Top Tips for Trekkers

Before you load up your backpack with trekking socks and Kendal mint cake, give some thought to the infrastructure on the route you plan to conquer. Some treks require total self-sufficiency, sleeping under canvas and purifying water as you go; other routes have refuges or rustic teahouses every step of the way. Here are some of the key considerations: 

  • Travel light: every extra gram will weigh you down on the trails; if it isn't essential, leave it behind.
  • Respect your feet: boots offer more support, but all-terrain trainers are lighter and dry more quickly after a soaking.
  • Protect your knees: trekking poles can help control the knee-crushing descents that are a feature of pretty much every trek.
  • Climb slowly : Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can kill, so ascend slowly and take rest days to acclimatize on any trek above 2,500m in elevation. 
  • Heed the weather: when treks go wrong, it's normally because of the weather, so check the forecasts; if conditions look bad, stop somewhere safe and sit it out, rather than pushing on over the next pass.
  • Be prepared: don't launch straight from the sofa to the summit–warm up with gentler walks, hikes and runs to get your body used to the exertion.
  • Plan ahead: many trekking routes require a permit and advance booking for lodges and camp sites; for some routes, you need to book months ahead.

Panoramic view of Mount Everest from Kala Patthar with two tourists on the way to Everest base camp.

Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Best trek for: would-be mountaineers

Distance: 80 miles (130km) round trip Duration: 2 weeks Level:  moderate

Climbing to 18,193 feet (5,545m) at its highest point, the 2-week trek to Everest Base Camp is Nepal 's best-loved trek, with 8849m Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) rising ahead like a petrified giant. Tracing winding river valleys and the creaking mass of the Khumbu glacier, this mighty mission visits mountain monasteries, soaring lookouts and precariously balanced Sherpa villages, with gruelling days of altitude gain that will test your muscles and endurance to breaking point. 

It's not all hard work though. The trekking infrastructure is unparalleled: porters and guides wait on arrival at Lukla's tiny mountain airstrip, cosy teahouses provide warm beds and nourishing plates of dal bhat (lentils and rice) along the entire route, and side trails open up a mountain playground of summit ascents and high pass crossings for a taste of real mountaineering. Sure, the trails are mobbed in season, but the sense of camaraderie amongst trekkers is hard to beat.

The golden rule, however, is respect the altitude. Acute mountain sickness is a risk if you rush, so take it slow and steady and pause for the recommended rest days to let your body catch up with the elevation.

A woman with a backpack stands on a hilltop along the GR20 trail with rocky mountain peaks visible beyond her

2. GR20, Corsica, France

Best trek for: people who love challenges Distance: 104 miles (168km) round trip Duration: 15 days Level: difficult

This character-building slog through Corsica is legendary for the diversity of landscapes it traverses, and for the level of grit it requires from trekkers who brave its rugged trails. There are forests, granite moonscapes, windswept craters, glacial lakes, torrents, peat bogs, maquis, snow-capped peaks, plains and névés (stretches of ice formed from snow) to conquer, and the tough terrain weeds out all but the most dedicated hikers. 

Created in 1972, the GR20 links the town of Calenzana, in the Balagne, with Conca, north of Porto Vecchio, but the thrills don’t come easy. The path is rocky, uneven and frequently steep, with crossings over rickety bridges and exposed scrambles over slippery rock faces and loose, skittering scree–all part of the fun! You'll be drawing water from springs and sleeping in rustic mountain refuges, but two weeks later, you'll be able to tell the world you conquered Europe's toughest trail.

Machu Picchu

3. Inca Trail, Peru

Best hike for modern-day explorers.

Distance: 20 miles (33km) round trip Duration:  4-5 days Level:  moderate

The 20-mile (33km) trail to the 15th-century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu was used for centuries before it was brought to global attention when explorer Hiram Bingham 'discovered' the route in 1911. Today, the secret is definitely out; the trail to Peru 's most famous ruin is packed with backpackers, but with giddying views of high cloud forests and Machu Picchu waiting ahead like a beacon, we suspect you won't mind.

The trail climbs to 7,972 feet (2,430m) from the Sacred Valley , winding its way up, down and around mountains, and crossing three high passes en route. As a consequence of its popularity, the number of hikers permitted each day is restricted to just 200 people to protect Peru's not so lost 'lost city'. The result is a more tranquil experience for those fortunate enough to get permits, but hikers should still take extra care to make sustainable choices when visiting .

Kilimanjaro

4. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Best trek for: snow in the tropics Distance: 23–56 miles (37-90km) Duration : 5–9 days Level: moderate

Okay, it's the favorite trek of fundraisers everywhere, and an almost obligatory trip for visitors to East Africa, but the week-long ascent of Africa's highest mountain is still an epic undertaking. From the moment you first spy its misty prominence rising above the dusty plains, you'll know that Kilimanjaro simply has to be climbed. Lions and elephants may mill around at its base, but the summit is snow-capped and desolate, and lofty enough to bring a risk of altitude sickness at 19,340 feet (5,895m).

There are seven recognized routes to the top, and trekkers can complete the ascent in anything from 5 to 9 days, with longer treks being recommended to reduce the risk of AMS. The final stage usually starts before dawn, reaching the summit as the first light of morning erupts across a vast sweep of African savanna. In practice, nearly two thirds of trekkers opt for the Marangu (6 days) or Machame (7 days) routes on the south side of the mountain.

Nā Pali Coast

5. Kalalau Trail, Hawaii

Best trek for: sea views Distance: 11 miles (18km) each way Duration: 2 days Level: moderate

When asked to pick the best treks in the US, most reach for hikes along the rim of the Grand Canyon, or the mobbed trails that climb to the summits of El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park . However, we prefer to choose something a bit more off-piste. Linking Keʻe Beach and the Kalalau Valley on the north shore of Kauaʻi , the beautiful Kalalau trail follows a towering cliff wall dripping with tropical foliage to reach an overnight stop at a splendidly remote Hawaiian beach.

The route along the Nā Pali Coast starts out easy, but gets progressively more challenging on steep dirt paths; the reward comes in the form of elemental views over primordial valleys, thundering waterfalls, secluded beaches and the churning waters of the Pacific Ocean. There's a definite Lost World feel, and a bit of caution is required, as people have fallen from the track or been washed away by sudden flash floods.

Colourful Buddhist prayer flags above Leh

6. Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh, India

Best trek for: spontaneous trekkers Distance :50 miles (80km) Duration:  6-7 days Level:  moderate

Fewer people trek on the Indian side of the world’s mightiest mountain range, but those that do are rewarded with views to rival anything in Nepal, Tibet or Pakistan. There are spectacular treks all over the Indian Himalaya, from the breathless Goecha La trek in Sikkim to pilgrimage treks to remote mountain temples in Uttarakhand and Kashmir , but for our rupee, the best trekking country of all is in lofty Ladakh , crossing high-altitude deserts in the rain-shadow of the high Himalaya.

The Markha Valley trek strains for a week across a wonderfully desolate moonscape, circling south from Leh through the jagged ridges that flank the south bank of the Indus River before emerging near the famous Buddhist gompa (monastery) at Hemis . Best of all, no complex planning is required; you can reach the trailhead by bus from Leh, crossing the river in a dangling basket and stopping at whitewashed teahouses in timeless Buddhist villages along the trail.

shutterstockRF_367597793.jpg

7. Routeburn Track, New Zealand

Best trek for: fans of big landscapes Distance: 20 miles (32km) Duration: 3-4 days Level:  moderate

New Zealand ’s South Island is as alpine as you can get without actually being in the Alps, and the 3-day Routeburn Track is one of the best ways to cross this pristine natural wonderland. This is a trail for fans of big vistas and open skies, following glacier-carved fjords, truncated valleys and rugged ridges through the plunging landscapes of two stunning national parks: Fiordland and Mt Aspiring.

The preferred route runs from the Routeburn Shelter (north of Queenstown) to Milford Road, with overnight stops in spectacularly located campgrounds. Highlights include the views from Harris Saddle and Conical Hill, and chilly dips in spring-fed mountain tarns. The main challenge for this popular hike is securing a place among the limited numbers who are allowed at any one time–make bookings well ahead through the NZ Department of Conservation's Great Walks booking site .

View from the crater rim of Mount Rinjani

8. Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia

Best trek for: early risers Distance: 15 miles (24km) Duration: 2 days Level: moderate

There simply has to be a Southeast Asian volcano hike on the list, and for our money, it's Indonesia's Gunung Rinjani . While Lombok 's blissful beaches simmer at sea level, the island climbs to a breathless height of 12,224 feet (3,726m) at the summit of this enormous lake-capped volcano, which still periodically rumbles into life, most recently in 2016.

Trekking to the summit of Gunung Rinjani is up there with hiking the Himalaya as one of Asia's favorite adventures. To make the best of the views, the final push to the top starts in the dark, in order to gain the crater rim as first light pushes back the gloom, revealing the crater lake and its sinister cinder cones like a lost valley of the dinosaurs.

Girl trail running in Chamonix around the Chesery lake (Lac des Cheserys). In the background many mountains are visible.

9. The Haute Route, France-Switzerland

Best trek for: yodellers Distance: 125 miles (200km) Duration :14 days Level: difficult

Leading from Chamonix in France through the southern Valais to Zermatt in Switzerland , the 2-week-long Walkers' Haute Route trek traverses some of the highest and most eye-popping scenery accessible anywhere in the Alps. Hiking here is a summertime endeavour, tracing a different course to the famous winter Haute Route for ski-tourers. Every stage will test your endurance, with ‘pass hopping’ that demands a high level of fitness on many sections of the walk.

So why put your body through all this exertion? The mountain views, obviously! Some days pass through yodel-worthy alpine meadows, while others struggle over glacier-carved outcrops guarded by mountain giants. And with this being northern Europe, the infrastructure along the way is excellent, with hotels, gites d’etape (rest shelters), auberges (inns) and mountain refuges dotted all along the route. You'll appreciate a warm bed and a hot meal as you tackle over 46,000 feet (14,000m) of elevation gain.

Torres del Paine National Park

10. The Torres del Paine Circuit, Patagonia, Chile

Best trek for :photographers Distance: 85 miles (136km) Duration: 9 days Level:  difficult

Many visitors to Chile 's Torres del Paine National Park draw up short when they see the scale of the terrain and opt for the shorter 'W Trek', but we recommend following the full 9-day 'O Trek' circuit, to soak up the sheer variety of landscapes in this magnificent wilderness reserve. As you follow the trail from Las Torres, you'll pass some of the world's most photogenic vistas: crystal-clear rivers, sculpted mountains, open grasslands, old-growth forests, deep and silent lakes and the icy tongue of Grey Glacier.

That's a lot of variety per trekking mile, but you need to plan ahead as only 80 trekkers are permitted on each section of track at any given time, and camping sites and refugios are in heavy demand. Make bookings with the companies operating the lodges and camping areas months in advance if you hope to secure a slot during the busy November to March trekking season.

You might also like: 8 of the world's most epic hikes Trekking to K2 base camp in Pakistan: everything you need to know See gushing waterfalls and hidden hot springs on these 13 top Iceland hikes

This article was first published in November 2010.

This article was first published Aug 6, 2019 and updated Sep 14, 2021.

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Royal Navy: Portsmouth engineers conquer Himalayas mountain peaks as they trek to Mount Everest Base Camp

Brave Royal Navy engineers have climbed some of the toughest mountain peaks in the Himalayas as they trek to Mount Everest.

A 14-strong team from Portsmouth's 1710 Naval Air Squadron spent 15 days braving the bitterly cold conditions in the Asian mountain range. They were guided by two expert instructors on the "Three Passes Trek" - battling altitude sickness and temperatures which dropped to -26C. Team prepared by climbing Snowdonia in January .

Lieutenant Jenna Clark said: "Although weather conditions made it more difficult and temperatures were as low as -26 Celsius, there were almost no other trekkers around, so the team could fully appreciate the enormity and magnificence of the huge towering mountains of the Himalayas." The engineers slept in tea houses which offered incredibly basic facilities, with no running water or electricity.

The only heat source was from a stove fuelled by dried yak dung, which was only lit in the evening. Personnel - from able seaman to commander - conquered the Renjo La and Cho La passes, vast glaciers and fought their way through snowstorms before making a 2 hour hike to the Mount Everest base camp and back. The camp was at 17,600ft.

Difficult wintry conditions forced the team to skip the final pass of the trek, Kongma La, and head back down the valley. It was a sobering journey as they passed memorials for people who lost their lives climbing Mount Everest and other mountains in the region. Avionics specialist Air Engineering Technician Matthew Edwards said despite the exertions, the expedition was “pure joy”.

He added: "Every step felt like an adventure and I couldn’t get enough of it. The most challenging aspect was becoming ill the night before the first and most challenging pass. I had to push my body to the limit, running on very little energy and an empty stomach (due to being ill). I felt a huge sense of accomplishment once that day was over – it was the most mentally and physically challenging day of my life so far.”

Exped leader Lieutenant Olivia Critchley-Peddle said the Himalayan trek was the experience of a lifetime and her squadron benefitted hugely from the skills learned in the mountains. "There were multiple times and prolonged periods that our resilience was tested," she added. "To keep trekking day after day, setting off at 0500 on some days and in such low temperatures, the entire team deserve all the credit I can give them. Physical fitness and courage played major roles in the trek, but the resilience developed and the leadership shown at various points, pulling each other through and working together to get over the high passes was amazing.”

Royal Navy: Portsmouth engineers conquer Himalayas mountain peaks as they trek to Mount Everest Base Camp

First successful drone delivery trial on Mount Everest done by DJI and partners

by Liam Cavaletto

The Drone makes an impressive trek up Mount Everest Credit: DJI{p}{/p}

NEPAL (FOX26) — A Chinese company reached new heights with a drone trial recently.

DJI teamed up with The Nepalese drone service company Airlift, video production company 8KRAW, and Nepalese-certified mountain guide Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, to fly the world's first successful delivery drone trials on Mount Everest.

The trial was Completed in April, the company has described the event as a historic milestone in aviation and it highlights the impressive capabilities of DJI FlyCart 30, which can carry 33 pounds of payloads even in the extreme conditions brought upon by the Everest altitude.

During the tests, three oxygen bottles and over 3 pounds of other supplies were flown from Everest Base Camp to Camp 1.

On the trip down trash was carried back.

"From the end of April, our team embarked on a groundbreaking endeavor to help make cleanup efforts on Everest safer and more efficient," said Christina Zhang, Senior Corporate Strategy Director at DJI.

Before the delivery engineers had to consider the environmental challenges of the mountain including the temperatures which can range down to the single digits.

The responsibility of cleaning up the mountain usually falls on the local Sherpa.

"We need to spend 6-8 hours each day walking through this icefall," said Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Imagine Nepal mountain guide. "Last year I lost three Sherpas. If we're not lucky, if our time is not right, we lose our life there."

The hazardous climb across the Khumbu Icefall typically happens at night when the temperatures are at their lowest but the ice is the most stable.

An automated drown can carry more than 30 pounds across camps in under 15 minutes at any time of the day.

Each climber on Everest is estimated to leave over 17 pounds of trash on the mountain and more estimated on the slopes.

The challenge of removing waste from Mount Everest is made even more difficult by the climbing season being limited to April and May.

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Mt. Elbrus South Side

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Mt. Elbrus South Side

Price / Deposit

$5,300 / $ 1,500

Mountaineering

In a journey to the top of Russia's forgotten corners, climb the rolling glaciers overlooking the fabled Caucasus Mountains of Europe's highest peak.

Qualifications

Mt. Elbrus is a stunning volcanic peak located in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia and at 18,510' it is Europe's, as well as Russia's, highest peak.

everest base camp trek difficulty

MT. ELBRUS CLIMB HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit Russia’s greatest cities during the expedition where we stay within an easy stroll of Moscow’s Red Square and in the heart of St. Petersburg.
  • Climb Mt. Elbrus with an experienced RMI Guide , benefiting from the background, training, and expertise of our guides as you venture to higher altitudes.
  • Improve your chances of reaching the summit with time spent training and acclimatizing and with an itinerary that has the flexibility to accommodate for the uncertainties of Mt. Elbrus’ weather.
  • Base out of the Pilgrim Huts on Mt. Elbrus, enjoying the hot meals prepared by the hut’s cooks and allowing us to climb one of the Seven Summits carrying only light daypacks.
  • Take part in an RMI adventure and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

everest base camp trek difficulty

Situated between the Black Sea to the west and the Caspian Sea to the east, Mt. Elbrus rises majestically from the high green plains that stretch northward into the heartland of Russia. Just to the south of the peak lies the main body of the Caucasus Mountains , a range that rivals the Alps with its stark rugged beauty. Our adventures begin several thousand miles to the north of Mt. Elbrus in Moscow - the political, economic, and cultural heart of Russia. We walk across the cobblestones of Red Square, beneath the shadows of St. Basil's onion-shaped domes, and cross through the thick walls of the Kremlin to visit the seat of Russian power.

We then fly south to the town of Mineralnye Vody, known for its abundant mineral springs. A three-hour drive brings us to the Baksan Valley, sitting at the foot of Mt. Elbrus and surrounded on all sides by the soaring peaks of the Caucasus. After adjusting to the altitude while hiking in the valley, we move to the Pilgrim Hut at 12,600’ on Mt. Elbrus’ flanks. We use the mountain’s rolling glaciers surrounding the hut to review our mountaineering skills and continue our acclimatization in preparation for our summit bid.

This is an ideal trip for climbers aiming to build their altitude experience while climbing one of the Seven Summits .

The route takes us up the broad flanks of Mt. Elbrus southside to the West Summit, the mountain's highest point. The ascent is a moderate snow climb that presents minimal technical difficulty but the altitudes to which we go make climbing Mt. Elbrus a challenging undertaking.

We end our expedition in St. Petersburg. Sitting on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, this beautiful European-styled city is often described as the "Venice of the North". We spend a full day exploring St. Petersburg's stunning architecture, amazing museums, and beautiful canals. Our time there is the ideal way to end our Mt. Elbrus adventure.

everest base camp trek difficulty

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. was established in 1969 and is one of America's oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Denali and leaders in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge to create the best possible trips. We work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader.

Our Mt. Elbrus climb is led by RMI’s foremost U.S. guides who bring years of climbing experience in the mountains around the world and an intimate familiarity with the region to the trip. Working closely with our local partners, these mountaineering veterans make climbing Mt. Elbrus an unforgettable experience. Our trip preparation before departure takes care of the details for you, from hotels and airport transfers to arranging in country flights, so that you can focus on preparing for the climb instead of the distraction that comes with coordinating logistics.

In Moscow and St. Petersburg we stay at hotels that have been hand-picked by our guides for their location and amenities, staying in the heart of the cities within easy walking distance of their greatest sites. While on the mountain the Pilgrim Hut provides us comfortable lodging and enjoyable meals, keeping us content, healthy, and strong throughout the climb. We use RMI's own climbing equipment brought from the U.S., ensuring that our expedition standards of safety, quality, and reliability are met. Our exceptional focus on detail, our unparalleled level of guest attention, and our genuine love of these adventures are what make our programs truly memorable.

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ELBRUS NORTHSIDE ALTERNATIVE

We also lead climbs of Mt. Elbrus' more remote Northside. This program is slightly longer and entails expedition style climbing as we move camps up the mountain. Our Northside Expedition is ideal for climbers seeking a more remote experience away from the busier standard route and interested in building their expedition climbing skills.

Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. RMI's experienced team of guides focus on leading a fun and successful climb without compromising safety. We apply the same standards of safety we bring to Alaska and the Himalayas to our Mt. Elbrus guided climbs . Careful planning, precise ascent profiles, flexibility in our itinerary, daily weather forecasts via satellite, and diligent attention are taken as we venture into high altitudes. Comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio and satellite communication equipment are carried with the team throughout the climb.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or [email protected] .

Climber Reviews

Depart U.S.A. Depending on flight times and connections travel to Moscow, Russia typically takes almost 24 hours from the U.S.

MOSCOW • 512' | 156M

Arrive in Moscow (SVO). Hire a Yandex taxi to get to the hotel. Once we check-in to our hotel, the afternoon is free to rest and explore the city. A team orientation meeting is held at 7:00 p.m. We spend the night in Moscow at the Park Inn Sadu.

Moscow

We spend the day exploring Moscow. We take a guided walking tour to visit Lenin's Tomb, Red Square, the G.U.M., St. Basil's Cathedral, and the Kremlin. The afternoon is free to explore the city. We spend the night at the Park Inn Sadu. (B)

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AZAU • 7,500' | 2,300M

We have an early morning transfer to Moscow's domestic airport for our flight to Mineralnye Vody. A three-hour drive brings us to the village of Azau at the base of Mt. Elbrus. Located in the Baksan Valley at 7,500', Azau is a small village full of skiers in the winter and a quiet center for climbers in the summer. We spend the night in a quaint hotel in Azau. (B, L, D)

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We awake for an early breakfast and to begin our acclimatization hike. We climb up the grassy slopes of the Cheget ski area, bringing us to over 11,000’ and offering impressive views of Mt. Elbrus across the valley. Descending back to Cheget via a single chairlift, we have lunch in a local café before returning to Azau. The rest of the afternoon is spent organizing our gear for our climb. (B, L, D)

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PILGRIM HUT • 12,600' | 3,850M

From Azau we ride two trams up to the Mir Station, and then take a chairlift to Pilgrim Hut (12,600') at the foot of Elbrus’ glaciers. The Pilgrim Hut is where we stay while on the mountain. We take an acclimatization hike on the lower reaches of the glaciers and snowfields to approximately 13,000'. (B, L, D)

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We build upon our acclimatization by climbing to Pastukhova Rocks at 15,000’, gaining familiarity with the route and reviewing basic mountaineering techniques. We return to the Pilgrim Hut for the night. (B, L, D)

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We spend the morning reviewing basic mountaineering techniques such as ice axe arrest, crampon techniques and roped travel. Today's focus is on acclimatization and rest. Final preparations are made for Summit Day and we settle in early in anticipation of tomorrow's summit attempt. (B, L, D)

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SUMMIT DAY • 18,510' | 5,642M

We get an early alpine start for the summit. We begin our ascent with a Snowcat ride to Pastukhova Rocks (15,000'). From there, we climb the low angle snow slopes as we traverse towards the Saddle (17,700'). Mt. Elbrus has two large summit domes and the Saddle separates the East Summit from the West Summit. Both are comparable in size but the West Summit is slightly higher, and our objective. Our route gets somewhat steeper as we gain the upper summit plateau where we follow the ridge to the Summit. After enjoying the summit and its impressive views of the Caucasus mountain range, we descend back to the Pilgrim Hut. Depending on our schedule, the time of day, and the weather we have the option of taking the tram back down into the valley or spending one more night on the mountain. Climbing time is 8 to 10 hours. (B, L, D)

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This extra day is scheduled into the itinerary in case we encounter bad weather or need additional time for acclimatization. Having this extra day has proven to dramatically improve the team's success. If we do not use this day for our summit attempt, we can spend the day in Azau relaxing, horseback riding, fishing and/or visiting the local market. Overnight in Azau. (B, L, D)

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ST. PETERSBURG • 44' | 14m

We have an early departure from our hotel to Mineralnye Vody for our flight to St. Petersburg. A transfer from the airport brings us to our hotel in the center of the city. Overnight at Hotel Arcadia. (B)

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ST. PETERSBURG • 44' | 14M

We take a half-day tour of the striking city of St. Petersburg. Attractions include a visit to the State Hermitage, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Isaac's Cathedral, and walking along the banks of the city's many canals. The afternoon is free to check out any of the numerous churches, palaces, museums, or parks that make up this wonderful city. We finish the day with an evening boat cruise on the city's canals. We spend our final night in Russia at the Hotel Arcadia. (B)

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Return flights from St. Petersburg (LED) to the U.S. (B)

Key: B, L, D = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.

Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to  [email protected] .

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is required for this trip. Your travel insurance policy should include trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, and evacuation.

Navigating through the different options for travel insurance can be challenging. When purchasing Travel Insurance, here are a few items to consider:

  • Read the fine print. Travel Insurance will reimburse you when canceling for a covered reason for prepaid, non-refundable trip costs that you insure. However, there are exclusions, so make sure you understand the "covered reasons."
  • Confirm that your activity is a covered “activity.” Not all travel insurance policies will offer coverage for activities such as mountaineering, climbing, skiing, or trekking adventures. Policies can also exclude coverage for activities due to the gear used (crampons, ice axe), activities that go above specific elevations or activities in a particular region of the world. If there are exclusions, you may need to add an "Adventure" or "Sports" package to cover your activity.
  • Verify that your state of residence is allowed with the policy that you are purchasing. Not all insurance companies offer policies in all 50 states.
  • Contact your travel protection company directly for any questions you have regarding benefits or coverage.

We have partnered with  Travelex Insurance  and  Ripcord Insurance  because they offer certain policies specifically designed for adventure travel with coverages for remote areas and activities like mountaineering, climbing, skiing, and trekking, without any altitude restrictions. 

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For your convenience, we offer Travelex Insurance Services, Inc.(CA Agency License #0D10209) travel protection plans to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. 

For more information on the available plans visit  Travelex Insurance Services  or contact Travelex Insurance (800) 228-9792 and reference location number 47-0370. 

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276.

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Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance is travel insurance designed for adventurers, including the best evacuation and rescue services available.

Benefits are tailored for adventurers and include:

  • Rescue and evacuation from the point of illness or emergency to your home hospital of choice.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, sporting goods, baggage loss, emergency dental, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) and more.
  • Completely integrated one-stop program with a single contact for emergency services to travel assistance and insurance claims.
  • 24/7 access to paramedics, nurses and military veterans.
  • Security extraction in case of unexpected dangerous and chaotic events.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel security risk company. Their team is comprised of special operations veterans, paramedics, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, former intelligence officers, insurance actuaries and global security experts with dozens of years of experience in theaters around the world. The Redpoint network covers the globe, making them uniquely equipped to provide elite rescue travel insurance – in every sense of the word. Whether it’s reimbursing you for a cancelled trip, paying your travel medical bills or evacuating you home in an emergency, Ripcord takes the worry out of your travel.

Security & Medical Evacuation

Global Rescue

Global Rescue is the world’s premier provider of medical and security advisory and evacuation services. Security Evacuation offers crisis evacuation services in non-medical situations. Examples include evacuations from areas affected by natural disasters, war or conflict zones, terrorism, and other areas in which participant security is threatened.

Travel Advisories / Warnings

Please confirm any current travel advisories/warnings as well as passport and visa requirements with the US Department of State .

Currently the US Department of State has a Travel Advisory pertaining the the north Caucasus, including the Mount Elbrus area. Please review the Travel Advisory before registering for this program to ensure that you are aware of the non-climbing risks associated with this program.

Getting There

Travel to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) typically takes about 24 hours from the U.S. depending on your departure city, available connections, and flight times. Flights generally arrive in the afternoon on Day 2 of the itinerary. 

Departing flights from St. Petersburg (LED) may be booked for any time on Day 13, the final day of the program.

Entry Requirements

A valid passport is required when traveling to Russia. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected return date.

We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.

A Visa is also required for entry to Russia. This must be done prior to your arrival or you will not be permitted to enter the country.

Russian Visa

Our office will provide you with the current application form, a written itinerary and a letter of invitation from our hosting organization in Russia. You will need to submit these forms along with a valid passport, an additional passport photo and payment to your local Russian Consulate or a travel document company that can assist you in processing the Russian Visa. This generally takes place 2 - 3 months before the trip departure and will take 4 - 20 business days to process. Once your visa arrives, please check the date to ensure it covers your complete stay.

Airport Arrival

Upon arrival proceed to the Immigrations desk for foreign travelers. Proceed to Baggage Claim and then to Customs. There will be a random selection of bags for inspection. Be sure to keep all your bags together. You can then hire a Yandex taxi to transfer you to our hotel.

In-Country Transportation

The provided transportation in Russia as stated in the itinerary is via private vehicle.

Immunizations & Travel Medicine

For the most current information on inoculation requirements and recommendations, please refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention .

Traveler's Health

Travelers often suffer from upset stomachs when in foreign countries. There are some basic rules, however, that can help keep you healthy.

  • Hygiene - It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before meals and after using any bathroom. If water is not available for washing, we recommend using a hand sanitizer.
  • Water - The number one rule is: don't drink the water, and that includes shower water and ice! Brush your teeth with purified water rather than tap water. You should check bottled water for a good seal and use a napkin to wipe dry excess moisture in drinking glasses. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if it has been diluted with water. Carefully clean the tops of bottled beverages before opening.
  • Food - If you can cook it, boil it, or peel it; you can usually eat it. Salads and fruits should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Be wary of ice cream and shellfish. Always avoid any undercooked meat.

Medical EmeRgencies

Elbrus is a remote mountain without easy access to definitive medical care. We are our own rescue team.

The medical facilities in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other urban areas in Russia are limited except for routine, non-emergency needs. We will work with our tour operator to access an appropriate level of care should the need arise.

Russia Country Facts

Russia is the largest country in the world at almost twice the size of the United States. Officially known as the Russian Federation, its main attractions include art, magnificent (and newly restored) cathedrals and monasteries, treasures and palaces of the czars, the performing arts, health spas, river cruises, historic sites, spectacular scenery, Siberia, and Moscow's Kremlin.

Russia has a captivating history. Tradition says the Viking Rurik came to Russia in 862 and founded the first Russian dynasty in Novgorod. Through the 10th and 11th centuries, Christianity united the various tribes, but Mongol raids broke the Russian territories into smaller dukedoms. It was Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584) who is credited with founding the Russian state. The succeeding period saw power wrested into the hands of the czars and expanded Russian territory. These actions ultimately led to revolution and the creation of the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) in 1922. The Union dissolved in 1991 and Russia became the federal presidential republic that it is today.

Russia will appeal to travelers who have a sense of adventure and an open mind. Don't expect a relaxing vacation and, unless you're in Moscow or St. Petersburg, don't expect deluxe accommodations - a trip through Russia requires determination, flexibility and plenty of patience.

The climbing season extends from May to September, with the highest summit success rate from mid-July through mid-August. September through April comprises the rainy and winter seasons.

The weather in Moscow and while traveling to and from the mountains can be very warm.

While there can be no guarantees of perfect weather in the mountains, our expeditions take full advantage of both the weather and route conditions for this expedition, and utilize prime months for optimal climbing experiences.

Cultural Etiquette

Although it is not expected that we dress formally, we should dress modestly. Casual and comfortable clothing and shoes are suggested. Showing expensive cameras, watches, jewelry, etc. is considered unseemly and may attract unwanted attention.

Men shake hands when greeting one another and maintain direct eye contact. Women generally shake hands when meeting one another for the first time. In greetings between men and women, a light handshake is common. It is expected that you remove your gloves to shake hands, regardless of how cold it may be. The three alternating kisses used in greetings are common only between friends and family.

Chivalry, for the most part, is still valued in Russia. Men are expected to hold the door, offer their seat, or offer their coat.

Electricity

Electricity in Russia is different than in the United States. Russia has standardized on type F (Gost) sockets and plugs. Type C plugs and power points are still commonly found in older buildings. Both are used for 230 volt, 50 hertz appliances. U.S. appliances will require plug adaptors, convertors or transformers. Remember to bring any necessary adaptors if you plan to recharge electronics.

The current currency of Russia is the Ruble. Currency can be easily converted at banks, hotels and kiosks. Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure.

We suggest bringing $600-$900 total for personal spending money including restaurant meals, drinks, pocket money, and the Support Staff Tip Pool.

Cash machines are still the best way to get money in country, so if you are in doubt, be sure to bring your cash card. Cash machines are readily available in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but become increasingly difficult to find outside of the main urban areas.

Credit cards are accepted in most, but not all, areas.

Everyone has a preferred way to carry money. Some use money belts, others have hidden pockets. Whatever you do, be aware of pickpockets in any area which caters to tourists.

Everyone approaches tipping a little differently. Whether or not a person tips, and how much, is completely dependent upon the individual; here are some suggested tipping guidelines for your trip.

Local waiters, drivers, and other service personnel expect to be tipped. Ten to fifteen percent is standard. Some restaurants and hotels add a 10% service fee to bills in which case, no further tip is required.

Support Staff Tip Pool: We recommend that each climber contribute $75 to the Tip Pool. This is collected at the beginning of the trip and will cover group tips for all our support and mountain staff throughout the program.

Our guides work hard to ensure your well-being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program. If you would rather not bring the guide gratuity with you on the trip, you can send a check or call the RMI office to pay with a credit card upon your return.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Russia and https://www.lonelyplanet.com/russia offer a wealth of information.

This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition and is a great first trip to altitudes above 15,000'. Prior knowledge of, and comfort with, rope travel, the use of crampons, and ice axe arrest are required.

Our experience shows that individuals perform better and enjoy the adventure more if they have a high degree of fitness and comfort with basic mountaineering skills. This program’s high altitude and snowy terrain contribute to make this a very worthwhile challenge.

Qualifying Programs

Recommended climbing experiences prior to the Mt. Elbrus South Side climb include:

Mt. Rainier Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons

Mt. Rainier Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz

Mt. Rainier Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir

Mt. Rainier Expedition Skills Seminar - Paradise

Mt. Rainier Mt. Rainier - Five Day Climb

Mt. Rainier Mt. Rainier - Four Day Climb

Expedition Skills Seminar - Shuksan

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Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life And Then Go Climb A Mountain

Create a fitness and training program, physical fitness training.

Mountaineering requires a high degree of physical stamina and mental toughness. Even for the healthiest and fittest individuals, climbing mountains qualifies as an extremely challenging endeavor.

  • Start immediately. Start a rigorous fitness and training program now with the goal of arriving in top physical condition and confident in your skills.
  • Be intentional. Focus on gaining the necessary strength, stamina and skills to meet the physical and technical demands of the climb.
  • Be sport-specific. The best fitness and training program mimics the physical and technical demands of your climbing objective. The closer you get to your program date, the more your training should resemble the climbing.

For Elbrus southside, you are preparing for:

  • Hiking and climbing with a 20-25 lb load
  • A 10+ hour summit day
  • Mountaineering techniques which require core strength and flexibility

Nothing ensures a personally successful adventure like your level of fitness and training. Bottom line: Plan on being in the best shape of your life and ready for a very challenging adventure!

Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.

Acclimatization

The key to climbing high is proper acclimatization. Our program follows a calculated ascent profile which allows time for your body to adjust to the altitude.

Excellent physical conditioning significantly increases your ability to acclimatize as you ascend. Climbers in excellent physical condition simply have more energy to commit to the acclimatization process throughout the days and nights of the ascent, allowing their bodies to adjust to the altitude more easily.

Finally, physical performance and acclimatization are also related to how well you have taken care of yourself throughout the hours, days and weeks prior to summit day. Arriving healthy and well-rested, maintaining proper hydration and caloric intake, and protecting against unnecessary heat loss (staying warm) are all key factors in an individual’s success on an expedition such as this.

What You’ll Need

A list of required personal equipment accompanies every RMI program, and the thought process behind each item is much greater than simply “preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.” The list for your program takes into account factors such as: seasonality, route conditions, weather, elevation and more. As such, this list is framed within the broadest of contexts and is dynamic by its very nature. Therefore, certain variables (additions and/or subtractions) are inherent within such an all-encompassing list. We make every effort to recommend only top of the line clothing and technical gear and it is never our intention for you to buy or rent unnecessary gear.

The Guide Pick is an example of the listed item, giving you an idea of the material and specifications of the item. This exact item does not need to be purchased or used; however, any item you choose must have similar characteristics and performance abilities to the Guide Pick.

RMI Guides concur on the  potential   necessity  of every item, thus every item on the list is required at gear check. However, guides may also have suggestions derived from their experience, some of which will vary from a given list. The guides’ recommendation whether to bring along or leave behind certain item(s) comes during the gear check, when the team first meets. Occasionally this recommendation comes at the expense of having previously purchased an item. If a guide presents the option of leaving behind certain item(s) on the list of required equipment, it is for a reason. Their recommendation may be related to the weather, route conditions, freezing level, perceived strength of the party, or desired pack weight.

Ultimately, there will never be a consensus for a “perfect” equipment list for an ascent. It does not exist because of the multitude of variables faced by climbers throughout the climb. Please follow this equipment list closely so that you will arrive for the gear check with all the required items. Keep in mind the list is not black and white, fine tuning will occur once you meet with your guide. Have a great climb!

Whittaker Mountaineering

Shop Your Equipment List // Rent new equipment for your climb

Equipment list, pack & travel.

Image of DUFFEL BAG(S)

120+ liter bag(s) made of tough material with rugged zippers.

Image of LUGGAGE LOCKS

Bring as needed. Make sure these are TSA-compliant.

Image of 50+ LITER BACKPACK

Your backpack should be large enough to carry all of your personal gear, food and water, plus a portion of group gear. You will not need a separate summit pack.

Image of 25+ LITER DAY PACK

A 25+ liter day pack to use as carry-on or while sightseeing.

Sleeping Bag & Pad

Image of SLEEPING BAG

We recommend a bag rated between 20° and 0° F. Allow ample room for movement. We recommend down over synthetic for its light weight, warmth, and packability. If you know you sleep cold, consider a 0° F bag.

Image of COMPRESSION STUFF SACK FOR SLEEPING BAG

Full-length inflatable or closed cell pad.

Technical Gear

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The length of your axe depends on your height. Use the following general mountaineering formula: up to 5'8", use a 65 cm axe; 5'8" to 6'2", use a 70 cm axe; and taller, use a 75 cm axe. If you hold the axe so that it hangs comfortably at your side, the spike of the axe should still be a few inches above the ground.

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We recommend a comfortable, adjustable alpine climbing harness. Removable, drop seat, or adjustable leg loops are convenient for managing your clothing layers over the course of the climb and facilitate going to the bathroom.

Image of TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER

Used for clipping into the climbing rope.

Image of NON-LOCKING CARABINER(S)

Used for pack ditch loop, etc.

Image of CRAMPONS

12-point adjustable steel crampons with anti-balling plates designed for general mountaineering use.

Image of AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER WITH FRESH BATTERIES

Bring extra batteries appropriate to the duration of the climb.

Image of TREKKING POLES

We recommend lightweight and collapsible poles with snow baskets.

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A UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) or CE (European Committee for Standardization) certified climbing helmet.

Image of WARM HAT

Wool or synthetic. It should provide warmth but also be thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet.

Image of BALL CAP OR SUN HAT

A Buff provides versitile head and neck protection. A neck gaiter is also acceptable.

Image of HEADLAMP

Start with fresh batteries and bring extra set(s) of batteries appropriate to the duration of the trip.

Image of GLACIER GLASSES

Glacier glasses are protective sunglasses that provide close to 100% frame coverage (wrap-around frames and side shields ensure no light can enter from the top, bottom, and sides of the glasses) and transmit less than 10% of visual light.

Image of GOGGLES

Amber or rose-tinted goggles for adverse weather. On windy days, climbers, especially contact lens wearers, may find photochromatic lenses the most versatile in a variety of light conditions.

Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES

Light weight liner or softshell gloves. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight while still offering UV protection.

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES

Wind- and water-resistant, insulated mountain gloves.

Image of HEAVY WEIGHT GLOVES OR MITTENS

Wind- and water-resistant, insulated gloves or mittens. These also serve as emergency backups if you drop or lose a lighter-weight glove.

We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light, and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, softshell, down, and synthetic options.

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT BASELAYER OR SUN HOODY

Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Light weight, light-colored, hooded baselayers (sun hoodys) are highly recommended for sun protection.

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

One step up in warmth and bulk from a baselayer. A technical fleece makes an ideal light weight insulating layer.

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

A down, synthetic, or softshell hoody makes a great midlayer.

Image of RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL)

An uninsulated, waterproof shell jacket with hood.

Image of INSULATED PARKA WITH HOOD

Your expedition-style heavy parka must extend below the waist, have an insulated hood, and be able to fit over the rest of your upper body layers. While the parka is worn primarily at rest breaks on summit day, it also serves as an emergency garment if needed. We recommend down rather than synthetic fill.

Image of SPORTS BRA

We recommend a moisture-wicking, active-wear bra.

We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.

Image of PAIRS OF UNDERWEAR

Non-cotton briefs or boxers.

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT BASELAYER

Synthetic or wool.

Image of SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS

Softshell climbing pants can be worn in combination with a base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.

Image of RAIN PANTS WITH FULL-LENGTH SIDE ZIPPERS (HARD SHELL)

Non-insulated, waterproof shell pants must be able to fit comfortable over your baselayer bottoms and softshell climbing pants. Full side zippers or 7/8 side zippers are required so that shell pants can be put on while wearing boots and crampons.

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANTS OR SHORTS

A light weight, synthetic pair of pants is a good option for the approach trek when hiking at lower altitudes and in warm conditions. These pants have no insulation, are typically made of thin nylon, and commonly feature zippers to convert between pants and shorts.

We recommend modern hybrid double boots for this climb because they provide the best balance of weight, comfort, and insulation. Insulated single mountaineering boots are also adequate but might result in cold feet. Bring one pair of chemical foot warmers per summit day if you are using single mountaineering boots.

Image of RAINIER AND 5000 METER SINGLE BOOT TEXT

SINGLE BOOTS: Insulated, full-shank, and crampon-compatible leather or synthetic boots designed for mountaineering. Single boots tend to be lighter and more comfortable than double boots at the expense of warmth.

Image of RAINIER AND 5000 METER DOUBLE BOOT TEXT

DOUBLE BOOTS:  Insulated double boots designed for mountaineering. Plastic-shelled models are acceptable, though modern synthetic models are lighter and more comfortable.

Image of HIKING BOOTS

A pair of lightweight boots for approaches and hiking on rugged terrain. We recommend a waterproof, mid-top boot for better stability and ankle support.

Image of CASUAL SHOES

Great for traveling and wearing around town or camp. A pair of tennis shoes or light hikers works well.

Image of GAITERS

A knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots. This will protect you from catching your crampon spikes on loose clothing. Not needed if using a boot with an integrated gaiter.

Image of PAIRS OF SOCKS

Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc.), should work just fine for this climb.

First Aid & Medications

We recommend you speak with your physician about which medications you should have for high-altitude climbing. These medications are only used in emergency situations, and if someone is showing symptoms of HAPE or HACE, our standard protocol is for immediate descent. We do not take any of these medications prophylactically, and please talk with your guide before taking medications.

We require each climber to have the following medications:

Broad spectrum antibiotics for respiratory and gastrointestinal problems like Azithromycin (250mg tablets).

125mg tablets for the prevention or treatment of Acute Mountain Sickness. A normal prescription is 125mg tablets, twice a day. Recommend 15 - 20 tablets.

4mg tablets for the treatment of altitude illness. Recommend 12 tablets.

30mg slow-release tablets for the prevention or treatment of high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). Recommend 8 - 10 tablets.

Image of SMALL PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT

Our guides carry comprehensive medical kits, so keep yours small and light. We recommend a selection of adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, Moleskin and blister care, medical tape and/or duct tape, cough drops, basic painkillers, an antacid, an anti-diarrheal, and personal medications.

Personal Items

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See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

Image of INSULATED MUG

Insulated outdoor-style mug. We recommed a model with a removable lid, which helps retain heat and prevent spills. You may also choose to use 0.5L insulated bottle or a 0.5L nalgene.

Image of WATER BOTTLES

One-liter water bottles with wide mouths made of co-polyester (BPA-free plastic).

Image of AQUAMIRA WATER TREATMENT DROPS

Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops. Make sure to select the 30-minute version.

Image of STUFF SACK(S)

Bring as needed.

Image of LARGE GARBAGE BAGS

Heavy-duty trash compacter bags for use as waterproof pack/stuff sack liners. You can also use a a waterproof pack liner.

Image of POCKETKNIFE

Include toilet paper, hand sanitizer, toothbrush and toothpaste, and wet wipes. Bring a quantity appropriate to the duration of your trip.

Image of SUNSCREEN

We recommend small tubes of SPF 30 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.

Image of LIP BALM

We recommend SPF 15 or higher.

Image of EAR PLUGS

Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.

Image of PAIRS CHEMICAL HAND WARMERS

Practice using this before coming on the climb!

Image of CAMERA (OPTIONAL)

Many smartphones have excellent cameras. Action cameras, small point-and-shoots, and compact dSLRs are lightweight and work well at altitude.

Image of POWER BANK (OPTIONAL)

A small power bank, enough to charge a phone or e-reader several times.

For charging personal electronics while traveling internationally.

Travel Clothes

Image of TRAVEL CLOTHES

We recommend bringing a selection of clothing to wear while traveling, site seeing and dining.  

Travel Documents

Valid for six months beyond your return date.

The first two pages of your passport.

Pre-Trip Checklist

Purchase travel insurance.

Purchase airplane tickets.

Reserve rental equipment.

Be in the best shape of your life!

Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: huts, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, climbing ropes, climbing anchors, avalanche probes and shovels.

Every guide on your climb will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Each climb has two-way radios and a satellite phone for emergency contact.

On Mt. Elbrus South Side you will need 5 days of mountain snacks. All of your mountain snack items should weigh 3 - 4 lb.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner meals on the mountain are included as indicated in our Trip Itinerary . With the exception of hotel breakfasts, most restaurant meals are on your own. You are responsible for your own bottled water and drinks.

Mountain Snacks

You will want to have a few snack items with you everyday to fuel you up the trail. We continually snack to keep our energy levels up while we climb - lunch begins just after breakfast and ends just before dinner! Avoid packing any items that require preparation or hot water.

The importance of having foods that are genuinely enjoyed cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. In order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude we aim to have a variety of foods that stimulate the whole palate, from sweet to sour to salty.

Recommended mountain lunch items: dry salami, smoked salmon, jerky (turkey, beef, fish), small cans of tuna fish, individually wrapped cheeses such as Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, crackers, bagels, candy bars, hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, Toffees, Life Savers), Gummy Bears, sour candies (Sweet Tarts), cookies, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, GORP mixes, and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid).

We may have a chance to purchase additional food in Russia, but we recommend you take what you need and only supplement with local food if necessary.

The breakfast menu includes items such as instant oatmeal, cold cereals (granola), breakfast bars, hot drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa, cider) and local fresh fruit.

Dinner usually begins with soup and ends with dessert, followed by a round of hot drinks. Healthy one-pot meals, incorporating fresh local food whenever practical, are served as the main course. There are limitations, but the menu is planned to offer good variety and ample portions.

Deposit Payments: A non-refundable deposit payment of $1,500 per person secures your reservation.

  • Deposit payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express*, e-check/ACH, or check from a U.S. bank.

Balance Payments: The balance payment is due 120 days before the start of your program.

  • **Wire transfers must cover all fees charged by your bank. The amount of the incoming wire to our bank must equal the balance payment amount.
  • A payment reminder is emailed approximately three weeks before your payment due date. If your balance payment is not received 120 days before the start of your program, your reservation will be canceled, and all program fees will be forfeited.
  • Payment in full is required when registering for a program within 120 days of the departure date.

*There is a 3% surcharge on all credit/debit card transactions. Credit/debit cards are not accepted for payments of $10,000 or more.

Cancellation

The $1,500 per person deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable .

  • If you cancel 120 or more days before the start of your program, the $1,500 per person deposit will not be refunded.
  • If you cancel less than 120 days before the start of your program, no refunds will be issued .

Due to the time-sensitive nature of these programs, and the amount of preparation time required for this program, we strictly adhere to our policy and cannot make exceptions for any reason.

Cancellation Insurance

We require that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Tab for details.

  • RMI Leadership
  • Hotel accommodations as indicated in the itinerary, based on double occupancy*
  • All park entrance fees
  • Sight seeing arrangements as indicated in the itinerary
  • Airfare from Moscow to Mineralnye Vody to St. Petersburg
  • All group transportation in country as stated in the itinerary
  • All breakfast and dinner meals on the mountain and other meals as stated in the itinerary
  • All group cooking, climbing and camping equipment

NOT INCLUDED

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance, medical evacuation insurance and security evacuation insurance
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Excess baggage fees from U.S. or flights within Russia
  • Departure taxes
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Bottled water and personal drinks
  • Customary guide gratuities
  • Support Staff Tip Pool (we suggest $75 per person)
  • Additional room charges including laundry service and other personal expenses
  • Hotel accommodations not indicated in the itinerary
  • Transfer from Airport to Moscow Hotel on arrival
  • Transfer from St. Petersburg Hotel to Airport for outbound flight
  • Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)

* Accommodations are based on double occupancy.  A Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those occupying single accommodations by choice or circumstance. The single supplement is not available in huts, tents, or in all hotels.

Risk Management

Please clearly understand that mountaineering is inherently hazardous. Managing risk is RMI’s number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in mountaineering, but they cannot eliminate them.  Objective hazards include rockfall, icefall, avalanches, slides or falls by individuals and rope teams on steeper slopes, weather-related problems including cold, heat, high winds, and other unnamed dangers that can occur while climbing.

You are choosing to engage in an activity in which guided and non-guided climbers have been injured or killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risks and hazards of mountaineering and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in this activity. 

PARTICIPANT Responsibilities

Mountaineering is both an individual challenge and a team endeavor. Each Participant is required to share in the responsibility of the safety and success of the team. For this reason, we ask that each Participant:

  • Possess the climbing prerequisites required for this program.
  • Possess the necessary physical and mental fitness required for this program.
  • Be responsible for knowing all pre-departure information.
  • Provide a signed Physician’s Certificate stating that the Participant is medically qualified to join this program.
  • Update the RMI Office if there are any changes to your health or medical information before departure.
  • Be properly attired and equipped as outlined in the Equipment List.
  • Act in a considerate manner toward all team members and show respect for local customs, values, and traditions in the areas we travel.
  • Help minimize our impact on the environment and follow appropriate Leave No Trace practices.
  • Describe yourself, honestly and accurately, in terms of fitness, health, skills, abilities, and your equipment to your guide staff.
  • Communicate with your guide staff on the mountain if there are any changes in your medications or health.
  • Adhere to the advice of your guide staff.
  • Continue to self-assess throughout the program, measuring your fitness, health, skills, and abilities against the demands required of the program.

RMI reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a program or to send the Participant to a lower altitude at any time if the RMI Guide Staff determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for, or capable of participating in the program, or for any other reason that may compromise the safety, health or well-being of the Participant or the entire group. If this decision is made, the Participant will not receive any refunds or credits and will be financially responsible for any additional costs associated with an early departure, including but not limited to, evacuation, transportation, hotel reservationss, meals, etc.

Zero Tolerance Harassment Policy

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI) does not tolerate harassment or mistreatment of our participants or employees. Inappropriate conduct under this policy may include conduct that creates a disrespectful, intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for a participant or employee. Engaging in such conduct is a violation of this policy.

RMI may consider conduct to violate the policy even if it falls short of unlawful harassment under applicable law. When determining whether conduct violates this policy, we will consider whether a reasonable person could conclude that the conduct created an intimidating, hostile, degrading, or demeaning environment.

Violation of this policy may result in removal from a program, as well as refusal to provide services indefinitely. We place the utmost value on the safety of our participants and employees. Please report any incidents to RMI management.

Age requirements

All participants must be 18 years old at the time of registration.

Photo Release

RMI’s Photo Release outlines the terms and conditions for using your likeness in photographs, videos, or other digital media. 

I hereby grant Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI) or its affiliates permission to use my likeness in a photograph, video, or other digital media (“photo”) in any and all of its publications, including web-based publications. By granting permission, you allow RMI to utilize these media for lawful purposes. 

Here are the key points:

  • Authorization: You authorize RMI to edit, alter, copy, exhibit, publish, or distribute the photos.
  • Ownership: All photos become the property of RMI and will not be returned.
  • Compensation: You will not be compensated for these uses.
  • Rights: RMI exclusively owns all rights to the images, videos, and recordings and to any derivative works created from them. 
  • Waiver: You waive the right to inspect or approve printed or electronic copies.
  • Release: You release Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. and its assigns and licensees from any claims arising from these uses, including defamation, invasion of privacy, rights of publicity, or copyright.
  • Hold Harmless: You hold harmless, release, and forever discharge RMI or its affiliates from any and all claims, demands, and causes of action which I, my heirs, representatives, executors, administrators, or any other persons acting on my behalf or on behalf of my estate have or may have by reason of this authorization.

Summit Attempt

RMI cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire group may have to turnaround without reaching the summit.

Failure to reach the summit due to a person’s own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route conditions, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.’s responsibility and will not result in a refund, credit, or reschedule.

General Policies

RMI’s program schedule and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, group strength, terrain, other environmental factors, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including but not limited to increases in program fees, changes to program schedule or itinerary, and changes to guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program. Once the program has started, the Lead Guide will decide on any changes to the itinerary, including ending the program early if the continuation of the program may compromise the safety, health, or well-being of the group.

We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather, route conditions, or for any other reason. In such a case, we will make every effort to reschedule the Participant on a different program date. If rescheduling is not possible, we will issue the Participant a refund for all program fees paid to RMI, less any non-refundable payments made on behalf of the Participant to secure any of the included land costs provided for this program, including, but not limited to, hotel accommodations, transportation, transfers, tours, group equipment and food, permits, and local outfitter services, prior to the cancellation of the program. Additionally, RMI cannot be responsible for any non-refundable expenses the Participant incurred in preparation for the program (i.e., airline tickets, hotel reservations, rental cars, equipment purchases or rentals, etc.).

Once a program begins, there are no refunds or credits for weather-related cancellations or for a program that may end early due to weather, route conditions, or any other circumstances that may compromise the health, safety, or well-being of the group. Furthermore, if the Participant decides for any reason not to begin a program or to discontinue a program at any time, no refunds or credits will be issued. The Participant will be responsible for all additional costs associated with an early departure, including but not limited to evacuation, transportation, hotel reservations, meals, etc.

The Participant is responsible for any costs due to COVID-19, including but not limited to, any testing fees to enter another country, tests required to return to the US, and/or costs associated with medical care and/or quarantine such as hotel accommodations, meals, separate transportation, etc.

Land Costs are provided as a package, and refunds or credits will not be issued for any unused meals, accommodations, group transportation, or other unused costs. Accommodations are based on double occupancy. A Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those Participants occupying single accommodations either by choice or circumstance. If you are willing to share a room, we will make every effort to pair you with another same-gender team member. We will match willing same-gender team members based on the order of registration date. If we are unable to match you with another same-gender team member, a single supplement fee will be charged. The availability of single accommodations is limited in most of the hotels where we stay, and single accommodations are not available while in the mountains.

The Participant understands and agrees that RMI assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with any travel and hospitality services provided to the Participant by other companies in connection with the program, including but not limited to, the services provided by airlines, hotels, rental cars, and transportation companies and that RMI is not responsible for any act, error, omission, or any injury, loss, accident, delay, irregularity, or danger by a supplier of travel or hospitality services to the Participant in connection with the RMI program. The Participant will be responsible for all costs associated with any travel delays, missed connections, or missing baggage that requires additional arrangements (separate transportation, hotel accommodations, meals, etc.) to be made on your behalf for you or your baggage to rejoin the program.

Related Trips

Mt. Elbrus North Side

Mt. Elbrus Summit & Ski Descent

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RMI Expeditions 30027 SR 706 East Post Office Box Q Ashford, WA 98304

Phone: 1 (888) 892‑5462

Email: [email protected]

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IMAGES

  1. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 12 Things To Know [2024]

    everest base camp trek difficulty

  2. How difficult is Everest Base camp Trek?

    everest base camp trek difficulty

  3. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

    everest base camp trek difficulty

  4. Three Passes Trek to Everest Base Camp

    everest base camp trek difficulty

  5. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 12 Things To Know [2024]

    everest base camp trek difficulty

  6. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

    everest base camp trek difficulty

VIDEO

  1. Everest base camp trek 5464m

  2. How much does the Everest base camp trek cost? Full information about fitness, etc II English vlog

  3. 3 Passes Trek

  4. trek to Everest base camp

  5. Everest Base Camp Trek

  6. Glimpses of Everest Base Camp Trek

COMMENTS

  1. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 12 Things To Know [2024]

    Learn how to prepare for the high altitude, acute mountain sickness, and weather conditions of the Everest Base Camp trek. Read about the author's experience, training, packing list, and alternative routes.

  2. How To Do The Everest Base Camp Trek In Nepal

    Learn how to do the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal independently or with a tour, when to go, what to pack, and how much it costs. The trek is not super difficult, but you need to be prepared for the altitude and the weather.

  3. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

    Learn how difficult the EBC trek is and what factors to consider before you go. Find out about altitude, length, training and tips for this popular but challenging trek in Nepal.

  4. Beat Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Expert Guide Tips

    Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Conquering the Challenge of Altitude. Altitude sickness is a major hurdle on the Everest Base Camp Trek, with elevations reaching beyond 5,500 meters (18,000 feet). Here's how understanding altitude sickness and proper acclimatization can significantly impact your experience:

  5. Best Everest Base Camp trek itinerary (12 days)

    The typical Everest Base Camp itinerary is as follows: Day 1: Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla; trek to Phakding. Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazar. Day 3: Acclimatization day in Namche Bazar. Day 4: Namche Bazar to Tengbouche. Day 5: Tengbouche to Dingboche. Day 6: Acclimatization day in Dingboche. Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche.

  6. The Ultimate Insider's Guide to Trekking Everest Base Camp

    Classic Everest Base Camp trek. The classic Everest Base Camp trek takes about 14 days, including time in Kathmandu before and after. From Kathmandu, you'll fly into Lukla Airport (2,860m/9,383ft) with its famously short runway - try to sit on the left side of the plane so you can catch your first views of Mt. Everest.

  7. Everest Base Camp Trek

    For a person of medium to good fitness level, the Everest Base Camp trek is of medium to strenuous difficulty. You walk 4 to 6 hours a day for 12 days, with a resting day or two for acclimatization. If you are reasonably fit you should be able to do this carrying your own backpack. Having porters make it easier.

  8. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

    Lobuche (4,940 meters) to Everest Base Camp (5,364 meters) Trekking Distance: 15 kilometers with 424 meters of ascend. Difficulty Level: Strenuous 8 hours of trek. Everest Base Camp (5,364 meters) to Kala Patthar (5,555 meters) Trekking Distance: 9.6 kilometers with 381 meters of ascend.

  9. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty, Route & Preparation

    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 ...

  10. Everest Base Camp Trek: The Ultimate Guide

    EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK DETAILS. Distance: 120 km round-trip from Lukla to Base Camp and back to Lukla (You will fly to Lukla from Kathmandu); Days required: 12 -14 days; Total Incline: (Undulation) - 6015 m; Total Decline:(Undulation) - 5821 m; The highest point on the trek: 5640 m/18 500 ft, this is actually at Kala Patthar, which you will hike to in the morning after reaching Everest ...

  11. The Reality of Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

    The high altitude is one of the most significant Everest Base Camp trek challenges. This is what adds more difficulty to trekking in the upper part of the trail. The Everest base camp trek starts from Lukla at 2,845 meters (9,334 ft). From Kathmandu (1,400 m/4,600 ft), you will gain 1,455 meters (4,774 ft) in just 30 minutes of flight.

  12. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty (For 2023)

    Everest base camp altitude lies at 5264meters above sea level. Similarly, we hike up to Kalapatthar which is itself a very important peak that lies at 5,500 meters in height. Here is the list of different places on the Everest base camp trek and their altitude. Kathmandu - 1300 m / 4265 ft. Lukla- 2,860 m/ 9,334ft.

  13. How Difficult Is Everest Base Camp Trek? A Comprehensive Guide

    Learn how to prepare for the challenging but achievable Everest Base Camp trek. Find out about the distance, duration, altitude, weather, acclimatization, and more.

  14. 7 Important Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty Facts & 25 Tips for

    The Everest Base Camp Trek is arguably one of the most beautiful, rewarding multi-day treks on the planet. Unfortunately, the austerity, remoteness, and unpredictable weather of the Himalayas makes most people question Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty and whether they can complete it.

  15. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty and Hardships

    Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulties. These are the difficulties you will face on the Everest Base Camp Trek. Altitude and lack of oxygen make everything difficult. The distance to walk - it isn't very far, but there are steep ascents and descents. Fear of heights, crossing very high suspension bridges.

  16. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty, How Hard is Everest Trek?

    Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty is a moderate level which can be done by beginners as long as they are physically fit. The hard parts of the Everest Base Camp Trek are mentioned below: Walking an average of 5-6 hours a day. Covering 13-14 kilometers of distance. 400-800 m altitude elevation per day.

  17. How Difficult Is The Everest Base Camp Trek

    The Everest Base Camp Trek requires no technical expertise or mountaineering skills as it is basically a long hike at altitude. Generally, the most off-putting aspect of the trek is its duration - around 12 days (14 if your include a pre and post night stay in Kathmandu). The reason for this is because most of the trekking is at a slow pace ...

  18. Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

    Learn how to prepare for the Everest Base Camp trek, the highest-altitude hike in Nepal. Find out the physical, weather, and route challenges, and how to avoid them with the right equipment and training.

  19. Difficulty level of Everest Base Camp Trek

    The Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most challenging treks in the world. The trek takes you through the picturesque villages of Nepal, high mountain passes, and serene landscapes, all while leading you towards the foot of the world's highest peak- Mount Everest. However, the trek is not an easy feat to achieve.

  20. Hike to Everest base camp

    Day 10: Trek to Gorkhashep (5140m). Day hike Everest base camp (5364m). This morning you might feel chilly because the temperature may go down -5 to 10 degree Celsius. In the beginning, you walk along the flat trail through yak pasture trail (50 minutes).

  21. Conquering The Khumbu: Your In-Depth Guide To The Everest Base Camp

    The Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek isn't just a hike; it's an expedition into the heart of the Himalayas. Standing at the foot of the world's tallest mountain, surrounded by the dramatic beauty of the Khumbu Valley, is an experience that will stay with you forever. ... Essential Acclimatization and Difficulty Considerations. The real ...

  22. The 10 best treks in the world

    Everest Base Camp, Nepal. Best trek for: would-be mountaineers. Distance: 80 miles (130km) round trip Duration: 2 weeks Level: moderate. Climbing to 18,193 feet (5,545m) at its highest point, the 2-week trek to Everest Base Camp is Nepal's best-loved trek, with 8849m Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) rising ahead like a petrified giant. Tracing winding ...

  23. Expedition Blog

    Difficulty. Level 1 . Level 2 . Level 3 . Level 4 . Level 5 . Destination. Mount Rainier . Crevasse Rescue School . Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons . ... Everest Base Camp Trek . Everest Base Camp Trek - Lobuche . Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru . Gokyo Trek . Illimani and Huayna Potosi . Kilimanjaro Climb Only .

  24. Mt. Elbrus North Side

    The climb is a moderate snow climb, comparable in difficulty to the standard route. However, there are far fewer climbers on this route and it has a reputation of being a bit more adventurous. ... Everest Base Camp Trek . Everest Base Camp Trek - Lobuche . Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru . Gokyo Trek . Illimani and Huayna Potosi . Kilimanjaro ...

  25. Royal Navy: Portsmouth engineers conquer Himalayas mountain peaks ...

    Brave Royal Navy engineers have climbed some of the toughest mountain peaks in the Himalayas as they trek to Mount Everest. A 14-strong team from Portsmouth's 1710 Naval Air Squadron spent 15 days ...

  26. First successful drone delivery trial on Mount Everest done by DJI and

    The Drone makes an impressive trek up Mount Everest Credit: DJI. ... three oxygen bottles and over 3 pounds of other supplies were flown from Everest Base Camp to Camp 1. ... The challenge of removing waste from Mount Everest is made even more difficult by the climbing season being limited to April and May. Stay Connected. Like Us.

  27. Mt. Elbrus

    The ascent is a moderate snow climb that presents minimal technical difficulty but the altitudes to which we go make climbing Mt. Elbrus a challenging undertaking. ... Everest Base Camp Trek . Everest Base Camp Trek - Lobuche . Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru . Gokyo Trek . Illimani and Huayna Potosi . Kilimanjaro Climb Only .