In January, winter sets in Nepal and Everest Camp as well. Everest Base Camp trek in January can be a unique kind of adventure in the snow-covered trails of the Everest region.
This is the coldest month in the Everest region so it experiences fewer tourists in the trekking trails. You will have the most peaceful treks with the unaffected views during this time.
Although you will experience many cold temperatures with wind chills, trekking to Everest Base Camp is no problem with proper packing and physical preparation.
Highlights of Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek in January
- A thrilling mountain flight to and from Lukla airport
- A mesmerizing view of snow-covered Everest and other Himalayan giants.
- Full attention and hospitality of the local tea house owners, villages. Panoramic views of the snow shed mountains
- Stunning sunrise or sunset view at Kala Patthar- 5,643 m
- Views of Sagarmatha National Park covered in snow
- An adventurous and thrilling trekking experience.
- Less crowded and peaceful trekking experience.
- A chance to witness the clear blue skies with breathtaking mountain views and beautiful sceneries.
Temperature and Weather Conditions of Everest Base Camp Trek in January
January is mid-winter season in Nepal. Hence, it is one of the coldest months of the year.
In the Everest Region, the temperatures drop below freezing at night. But, the days are quite sunny, clear and cloudless. The Everest Region receives snowfall from the mid of December.
The days are quite warm while the nights and early mornings are cold during this trek in January.
The average daytime temperature in the Everest region is around 8-12 degree. During the night the average drops down to -17 degree. Although it snows, you can start your trek as soon as it stops.
To give you a better idea about the temperatures you will face, here is a breakdown of temperatures of some of the popular rest stops during your Everest Base Camp trek.
Lukla (2,829 m): This is where most treks to Everest Base Camp begins and ends. Here, the average temperature is around 2.8°C. During the days, it can reach 8. 5°C. During the nights, it can drop to -2.8°C.
Namche Bazaar (3,463m) is a popular acclimatization stop. It is also the highest trade center in the world. Here, the average daily temperature is around -6°C. During the nights, it can drop to -10°C. Yet, during the days, you can enjoy cool temperatures of around -3°C.
Dingboche (4,483 m) is another popular acclimatization or rest day stop. At this altitude, the average daily temperature is around -7.2 °C. The nights have an average temperature of -15.3°C while the days are around 1°C.
Lobuche (4,910 m) sees an average daily temperature of -9.7°C. During the nights and early mornings, the average temperature can drop to -18.3°C. Yet, during the days, you can get average temperatures of -1.1°C.
Gorak Shep (5,180 m) is the highest sleeping point for your Everest Base Camp Trek. Here, the average daily temperatures are around -10.9°C. The nights and mornings are colder with an average temperature of around -19.6°C. The days are warmer with average temperatures of -2.1°C
Average Sunshine per Day
The sun shines for an average of 5-7 hours per day in January for most of the Everest Region.
During these hours, you can enjoy your treks in a warm and comfortable surrounding. After the sunrise, the day temperatures rise up a little bit.
The average daily wind speed in January is about 8-12 mph. This is quite windy.
Note: The weather in the mountains is quite unpredictable. This is true for a winter month like January. You may have to face different weather conditions in a single day. This includes sudden weather changes like blizzards, wind chill. Come ready to face any of these changes.
Benefits of Everest Base Camp Trek in January
January is one of the best time for trekking in a crowd-free trial. The beautiful trails have a very little crowd of trekkers in January. Hence, you can enjoy the solitude and peace of the trails in January.
Awesome Vivid Views
You get some of the most spectacular views of the snowy mountain peaks in January. You can enjoy unobstructed views of the surrounding landscapes and mountains. On the Everest Base Camp trek, you can see views of flat meadows from the top of ridges. You can also gaze at the spectacular snow peaks.
This is especially true for places like Kala Patthar, Khumbu Glacier, and Namche Bazaar. In January, these places offer some of the best scenarios in the world.
It is also the best time to take photos of the landscape and mountains. Not only are the views crystal clear and magical, but there is also very fewer chances of other trekkers of photobombing.
With the very few numbers of trekkers, you can have the best spots for photography for yourself. Hence, you can have more fun and take the time to get the best photographs.
Choice of Flights and Accommodation
Unlike the peak season, January is not packed with trekkers and visitors. Hence, you can get your choice of flights to and from Lukla with abundant seats. There is very less chance of not getting the flights on time.
It is the same for accommodations. Many tea houses and lodges will want you to stay with them in January. Hence, you will get the undivided attention of the tea house or lodge operators with great hospitality. You can also ask for extra mattresses and quilt for extra comfort and warmth while sleeping.
Snowfall and Skating
It is the middle of winter in January in the Everest Region. Hence, there is a chance of snowfall. You can enjoy the white sprinkles of snow. You can also choose to skate amidst the highest mountain in the world. It will make for a great story and memory.
Exotic Mountain Trek Experience
Unlike the peak seasons, January offers an exotic trekking experience. You can enjoy the full glory of the snowy mountain peaks and landscapes. The winter trekking experience has its own wonderful magic. The flawless winter world of the Everest Region along with the fabulous and clear white snowy mountain peaks is mesmerizing.
Discounts and Complimentary Services
January is an off-peak season for treks to Nepal. Hence, you can find better and cheaper deals on flights and accommodation during your Everest Base Camp Trek. Instead of discounts, some lodges and hotels offer complimentary services as well.
Disadvantages of Everest Base Camp Trek in January
The winter days of January are shorter in the Everest Region. Hence, you will have to trek early to reach your destination before it gets dark and cold. The number of trekking hours is also less. Hence, you have less time to relax.
Piles of Deep Snow
In the higher altitudes, you will come across places with piles of deep snow. Hence, you may have to walk through heavy snow. The snow can also cover the trails. Make sure to follow the directions of your guides during these times. Else, you may lose your way to your destination and get lost.
Cold Freezing Temperature
January is one of the coldest months in the Everest region. During the days, it can be bright and cool. Yet during the nights and early mornings, the temperature is below freezing point. Hence, without proper clothing and supplies, there are chances that you get frostbite if you are not cautious.
Blizzards and Wind Chills
This is one of the biggest challenges you can face during your Everest Base Camp trek in January. The chilling wind can bring bad weather conditions like blizzards to the Everest region. Stay updated on these facts and the weather conditions for a safe trek.
What to Pack for Everest Base Camp Trek in January?
Gearing up well for the winter of January is essential for a safe and comfortable Everest Base Camp trek. Along with all the regular essentials of a high altitude trek, you need to add your winter essentials as well.
Some of the most important ones to remember are:
- Windproof and waterproof down jackets, trousers to keep the snow as well as the cold away.
- Inner T-shirts to go along with full-sleeve shirts.
- Lip balms, sunscreen creams, winter gloves and hats, and a pair of warm socks. This helps to protect your skin and your body which is usually not covered by your clothing.
- Comfortable and capacious backpack. In winter, you will pack more clothes. The clothes will also take up more space. Hence, you need a good, strong and durable bag with enough space to accommodate all your necessary belongings.
- A durable, waterproof pair of trekking shoes. A snow resistant shoes that are crampon friendly will come in handy.
- Sleeping Bag with liners: Make sure it is suitable for -40 degrees Celsius. The tea houses on the trails do not have heating systems. These will help keep you warm during the cold nights.
- Trekking Poles: Adjustable lightweight poles are easy to store, durable and user-friendly. These poles help during the uphill climbs and descents. They are great for support and balance especially while walking in the snow.
Note: These are just a guideline to help you pack for your EBC Trek in January. You are free to change to suit your needs.
Things to Keep in Mind during EBC Trek in January
During winter, your body burns more calories than it would during the warmer days. So, you should maintain your food intake. Make sure your diet is rich in carbohydrate and protein.
Don’t let your stomach feel empty. Also, always stay hydrated. Water is a great healer.
Both of these help to keep altitude sickness away. Avoid alcohol during, before and after the trek. This increases the effects of dehydration as it makes your body dry.
Make sure to include sun protection gear to your packing essentials for EBC trek in January.
This includes Sunscreen, Sun hat, UV protection lip balm, and Sunglasses.
During the sunshine hours, the sun is scorching in the high altitudes. In January, because of the white snow, 80% of the sun reflects back to you. So, your skin burns faster.
Take sunscreen with a high SPF and apply it every few hours. Make sure your sunglasses also protect you from the glare of the sun from the snow.
Avoid Solo Treks
During winter, solo treks are a huge ‘No’. There are very few to no other trekkers in the Everest Region. The trails also get covered by snow. The chances of losing your way and not getting any help are high. Hence, it is always advised to travel with other trekkers and with a guide.
Layer Your Clothes
During winter treks like this one, layering is a must. It keeps you warm. It is easier to remove or add layers when you get cold or hot. You will not have to go through your luggage when the temperature changes.
Start Your Trek Early
The days are shorter in January. Hence, you should start your trek early in the morning. This way, you will reach the lodge before it gets dark and cold.
Always have travel insurance while trekking. Trekking is an outdoor sport and has its risks. To keep the risk minimum and your mind at ease, having one is essential. Make sure your travel insurance covers travel to Nepal and altitude of 5000m and more.
Have a Flexible Trekking Itinerary
During winter treks in January, allow some days for possible delays. The weather conditions are less predictable in winter. This can lead to roadblocks, flight delays due to heavy snow on the trails or the region.
Hire a Porter
You will need to carry more than your regular high altitude trekking essentials. These will include your winter trekking clothes as well as equipment and supplies. You will also be walking on snow. The trails can also be slippery and slushy due to the snow.
Hence, having a porter to carry your luggage will help lighten your load. It will also leave you free to focus on your walk and the trails.
Proper Acclimatization Schedule
Make sure you have a good and professional acclimatization schedule. Stick to it, do not ever skip it. You should acclimatize for at least 3 days at Namche Bazaar and then at Dingboche.
This will lessen the chances of high altitude sickness.
January is an off-peak season. Hence, there will be fewer crowds on the trails, flights, accommodations. Hence, these facilities will be at their cheapest with better accommodation.
These include less expensive flights and special treatments or complementary services.
Be on the lookout for these and be ready to bargain for the best prices.
Walk in a Careful and Mindful Way
Walking on the trails to EBC in January can be a challenge. The trails may have snow which makes it slippery. Hence, keep your focus on the trails and be careful while walking. This is especially true for days after a heavy snowfall.
The best way to know you are walking on the safe side is following your guide and other experienced trekkers.
Physical and Mental Preparation
EBC trek is a mid-long duration high altitude trek. Along with this, January is a winter trek. Hence, getting some training like jogging, walking, and staying fit is essential. Make sure you get these training at least 3-4 months before your actual trek.
The fitter you are the more comfortable the trek will be for you. The physical training will also help to mentally prepare you for the trek. It should help improve your overall performance.
January is a quiet and peaceful trekking month for treks to the Everest Base Camp. It offers extra adventure and thrill to the classic trek.
With some of the most attractive views on offer, January is the month for you if you don’t mind the cold and looking for excitement in the classic route.
For any further question and queries for treks to Everest Base Camp in January, feel free to contact us. You can also contact us to guide and assist you for this trek or any other trek and tour in Nepal throughout the year.
You can also create your own custom itinerary for your EBC trek in January.