Everest Base Camp Trek in December is one of the unique time around the year to trek in Nepal. While most of the treks are launched in the peak season of Autumn and Spring, the EBC Trek in December starts right after the end of Autumn in Nepal. But still, it offers bustling and thrilling experiences to trekkers with the pristine beauty of the Everest Region. The panoramic views of the Mahalangur Mountain Range, including Mount Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Island Peak, and many others, are the major attractions of this package. Similarly, the culturally rich Sherpa communities with Buddhism and local traditions fuel the package. Moreover, the diverse landscapes of the Everest region and the flora and fauna inside Sagarmatha National Park will take the breath away, making it one of the best trekking destinations in Nepal.
During the EBC trek in December, trekkers are likely to experience the cold temperatures that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The temperatures start falling down below the 0 Degree Celsius in late December, the early December treks can still be considered one of the best times to travel to Everest Base Camp. The early December features mild temperatures with stable weather and climate conditions. Similarly, the minimal rainfall boasts the dry trail, allowing trekkers to have a safe and secured navigation. Moreover, the early December trek to Everest Base Camp features less snowfall and light winds, which allows trekkers a convenient and easy survival around the region.
When it comes to Everest Base Camp Trek in December, one of the important things to consider is safe navigation and security. Similarly, weather and climate conditions, visibility, trail situation, and others also impact the trek. But are these all possible, and can trekkers withstand all the challenges in December? Let’s explore the following article in detail and know whether Everest Base Camp Trek in December is for you!
Reason to Embark on Everest Base Camp Trek in December
Generally, December is not recommended for embarking on the Everest Base Camp Trek. But some trekkers are delighted to go on the trek this month. Though listed under the off-season trek period, December comes with many positive sides which trekkers can consider during their journey. Here are some reasons why you should consider the month of December for Everest Base Camp Trek:
Lower Crowds and Serene Trekking Experience
December falls under the off-season trekking season in Nepal. But since it comes right after the end of the Autumn Season, it still features some characteristics of November. You can still experience the clear and blue skies that allow you to properly see the available means and resources in the Everest Region. Trekkers can immerse themselves in the stunning and picturesque vistas of the snow-capped mountains, lush green forests, streams, and frozen lakes.
Similarly, the winter will be at its peak during December. So, the traffic of trekkers in the Everest Region is likely to get lower compared to other months and seasons. This means you will not go through any hassles around the trail, and the environment will be quiet, making the journey more enjoyable. The peaceful environment will allow trekkers to connect more with nature for sure.
Favorable Weather Conditions
December is the starting month of the off-season period in Nepal. But it is also the transition month, where trekkers can still experience the vibes of the Autumn season. The winter hits harder, but during the daytime, clear skies, sunny days, moderate temperatures, and a low chance of rainfall keep up your trekking journey.
Temperatures at lower altitudes are even more comfortable to adapt. The mist and fog that swarms around the region during the morning and evening even give you perfect views during the journey. But if you are already in higher altitudes, you should make proper plans and preparation for your physical and mental health. Similarly, the right gear and equipment will excel your trekking experience during Everest Base Camp Trek in September.
Clear Mountain Views and Stunning Landscapes
Everest Base Camp trek offers picturesque vistas of the serene mountains, including Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Makalu, and many more. With fewer clouds in the sky during the daytime, December brings a great sightseeing opportunity for trekkers. With no blockage in having experienced the views of snow-capped mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, and beautiful landscapes, Everest Base Camp Trek in December is one of the best experiences trekkers can have.
December marks the start of the off-season trek and winter season. This means there will be less rainfall in the country during this month. Everest Base Camp also features less rainfall in December, making navigation more comfortable and viable. Due to less rainfall, the trails are usually dry and crisp, which provides a strong hold and grip to trekkers as they hike through the uphill and remote landscapes. This will lessen the chances of falls and other related accidents during the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Special Discounts and Offers
If you see the trekking trend and its fees globally, the peak season has more price tags than off-season treks. And since December marks the start of the off-season trek, the price tag is lower than ever. Trekking companies usually tend to minimize the cost of the Everest Base Camp Packages and also offer several special discounts on the logistics. Since the traffic will be low, travel agencies will likely attract tourists via attractive deals and discounts. Trekkers can take advantage of these deals and can make the journey more affordable and enjoyable.
Temperature During December in Everest Base Camp
During December, Everest Base Camp usually has cold temperatures. Since the winter gets on the verge of peaking its harshness, the temperature relatively goes down in late December. But in the initial phase of this month, trekkers can expect long sunny days with less chance of snowfall and rainfall in the region.
The daytime features a mild temperature, making favorable time to trek. The clear skies will soothe the challenging journey during the day. But nighttime can be harsh, with strong winds and freezing temperatures hailing up ahead. So proper preparation is required.
Let’s look at the temperature map of the Everest Base Camp Trek route. The maximum temperature of Lukla [Starting point] is 12° C while the minimum is 0° C. Similarly, major places like Namche Bazaar and Lobuche have the maximum temperature of 9° C and -1° C. The minimum temperature comes to be around -4° C and -13° C, respectively. Here is a detailed table representing the temperature of the Everest Base Camp Trek Route in December:
|Lukla (2,860m)||Namche (3,440m)||Lobuche (4,950m)|
|Max Avg Temp||12° C||9° C||-1° C|
|Min Avg Temp||0° C||-15° C||-13° C|
|Precipitation||5 mm||5 mm||2 mm|
|Precipitation Days||1.2 days||1.2 days||0.5 days|
|No. Sunny Days||27.1 days||27.1 days||28.1 days|
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Preparations for the Everest Base Camp Trek in December
Trekking to the Everest Base Camp might be strenuous due to the winter season. The high altitude, extreme weather, and steep landscapes might add more challenges to the trekker’s journey. So to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek, trekkers must go through strict preparation and plans for this trek. They should be prepared physically and mentally with gear, equipment, and logistic services before they book the Everest Base Camp Trek in December. Here are some preparation tips for this trek:
Gear And Equipment:
Trekkers should pack the essential hiking gear and equipment for the Everest Base Camp Trek in December. Since the trail to base camp features rugged and rocky paths and the environment comes with freezing temperatures, they should be aware of the health hazards and plan accordingly. The most important thing to consider here is the weather, which can change quickly. So packing weather-friendly clothing materials is recommended. Here are some items that should be on your packing list for Everest Base Camp Trek in December:
- A high-quality down jacket to keep you warm in the cold temperatures of December.
- Layered Clothing and thermal base layers like fleece jackets, sweaters, and waterproof outer shells.
- Flexible and moisture-wicking trekking pants
- Insulated Hats and Gloves protect your body from the cold. They should be waterproof and windproof.
- A pair of sturdy trekking boots with good ankle support and traction.
- Thermal socks [moisture-wicking] to keep your feet warm, dry, and comfortable during the trek.
- Trekking Poles provide stability and support during the trek. Choose lightweight and collapsible poles.
- A sleeping bag that can withstand the cold temperatures of the Everest Region. Choose sleeping bags with good insulation and a comfortable rating for freezing temperatures.
- Sleeping pads to lay on the floor to sleep. Ensure it does not let the cold temperatures of the ground to your body.
- A comfortable and spacious backpack that can hold all your essentials.
- Water bottles to carry reusable water bottles or a hydration bladder.
- Sunglasses protect your eyes from the strong sunlight and snow glare by bringing UV-protected sunglasses with polarized lenses.
- Sunscreen and Lip Balm to minimize the risk of sunburn. A high-SPF sunscreen and a lip balm with SPF protection are recommended.
- First Aid Kit, including basic medications, bandages, blister care, and any personal prescription medications.
Trekkers must undergo physical training for the Everest Base Camp Trek in December. While this package comes with a multi-day itinerary, trekkers must walk for more than 6 hours a day. This can be physically and mentally exhausting. To keep up your physical fitness with the demands of the Everest Region’s route, trekkers must attain a physical training session.
Physical fitness is a crucial requirement for the Everest Base Camp Trek. Since most of the parts of the EBC Trail are rocky, rugged, and remote, all trekkers might not find it easy and comfortable to walk. The long walks drain the body’s energy, and the extreme weather condition and high altitude make it even worse. So trekkers are urged to build strong physical fitness by training. They can work to build up cardiovascular energy by engaging in gym work, muscle training, cycling, and short hikes.
The important thing to consider here is that Everest Base Camp Trek takes you to over 5,364 m (17,598 ft) above sea level. This is a very high altitude, where the oxygen level and the air are thin, making it difficult to breathe. This could lead trekkers to suffer from altitude sickness and other related illnesses like AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema), and HACE (High Altitude Celebral Edema). To minimize the risk of altitude sickness, trekkers must acclimatize at least two times during this trek.
In our package, we have a provision for altitude acclimatization in Namche Bazaar and Tengboche. Trekkers are suggested to take their hike slowly and gradually, so they can adjust their body to the high altitude. Here are some trips for altitude acclimatization:
- Gradual Ascend
- Trekking High and Sleeping Low
- Sufficient Sleep and Rest
- Avoiding Alcoholic, Caffeine, and Narcotic Products during the trek
- Stay Warm and Consider Medication
Permits are the most important thing to get yourself prepared for the Everest Base Camp Trek. You cannot embark on this trek without obtaining the required permits. Trekkers must gain Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit and Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Municipality Entry Permit. They can both be purchased at Nepal Tourism Board in Kamaladi, Kathmandu, or at Monjo Checkpost.
If trekkers opt for the route of Jiri to Everest Base Camp, they must acquire Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit as well. The permits are required since Everest Base Camp lies within the protected land of Sagarmatha National Park, home to thousands of plant and animal species. So to enter this restricted and protected area, trekkers must acquire special permission by submitting the required documents and fees.
During the Everest Base Camp Trek in December, the weather conditions are harsh and pose a high risk to the trekkers. Similarly, the route to base camp is treacherous, featuring rugged and rocky terrains and uphill climbs. So trekking alone through these things might be challenging for trekkers. We need a company to help us navigate and enjoy the trek.
Professional guides are always necessary for Everest Base Camp Trek. And it has been made compulsory by the Nepal Tourism Board since April 1, 2023, to ensure safety and security. A guide can help trekkers with easy and proper navigation and take them to wonderful viewpoints for mesmerizing views of the surroundings. Similarly, they can help in motivating you to take on the step ahead and are always on standby to seek and support you medically in case of emergencies. In addition, guides are the medium of cultural immersion and assimilation during Everest Base Camp Trek. They can help you communicate with the locals and learn their lifestyle, culture, tradition, and history.
Besides guides, porters are equally important for this trek. Porters usually carry all your backpacks, gear, and other necessary items, giving you spare time to delve into the beauty of Everest Base Camp Trek. So trekkers will be physically free and get enough time to delve into the nature and culture of the Everest Region.