The expedition to the foothills of the tallest mountain in the world certainly holds great significance among mountain adventure enthusiasts. Despite the undying love for the up-close views of the alluring Himalayas, long-route trekkings are not everybody’s cup of tea, so how difficult is the Everest Base Camp trek actually?
The difficulty level of the Everest Base Camp trek has received a moderate-difficulty level grading . The expedition to the tallest snowy peaked wonder of the world also known as ‘The Third Pole’ takes generally more than two weeks although there are various obstacles before it doesn’t demand any technical climbing skills. You don’t need to be a trekking expert to explore the Everest region, however, determination and physical training will make the experience more immersive.
How Difficult is the Everest Base Camp Trek? – Trekking Route
Mt. Everest has two base camps, Southern Base Camp on Nepal’s side and the Northern Base Camp on Tibet’s side. Both of these base camps are popular among trekking enthusiasts all over the world, but in this article, we will be emphasizing the beautiful fascinating rugged route from the Nepali side.
The journey to the Everest Base Camp at an elevation of 5,364 meters, just 3,485 meters short of the summit of the tallest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest (8,849 meters) takes the trekkers from rough rugged terrains, including steep ascents and descents, over deep gorges, rocky paths and simply magnificent diverse environment.
This expedition to the foothills of Everest covers approximately 130 km (80 miles) distance in more than two weeks of trekking duration. The maximum distance that trekkers have to cover in their expedition is approximately 6-7 hours per day and the minimum walk period is around 3- 4 hours per day.
One of the most challenging aspects of this amazing trekking experience is the elevation gain on the inclining route. Commencing the adventure from the Tenzing Hillary Airport at Lukla (2,845 meters), the highest altitude of this trekking experience is Kala Patthar (5,643 meters).
The maximum altitude gain for the EBC trekking is around 2,798 meters, although it won’t be imminent the elevation inclination is a significant and challenging factor. The general trekking route covers about 400- 800 meters of altitude gain with enough time for acclimation at the higher altitude.
Altitude Jump Points in Everest Base Camp Trek
1. Namche Bazaar
Right after commencing the adventures of high-Himalayas, there is a significant altitude jump from the Lukla-Phakding (2,845 meters) to Namche Bazaar (3,445 meters). Thus Day 3, is for the rating and acclimatization process. The sudden rise in altitude and drop in oxygen density can be hard for the functioning of the brain and body thus, this rest day helps trekkers to get used to the high-altitude climate.
Tengboche (3,867 meters) to Dingboche (4,360 meters) is another significant jump in the Everest Base Camp trekking with above 484 meters ascending. Trekkers on the 6th day of the EBC trek rest in Dingboche to adapt to acclimatization. The clear up-close view of Mt. Lhotse and Ama Dablam makes this rest day a wonderful experience.
Another major altitude jump point is from Dingboche to Lobuche (4,940 meters) with a total of approximately 530 meters elevation. It is the final major acclimatization point in the EBC trekking with the final leap being to the Base Camp itself at an altitude of 5,364 meters. That’s why the Lobuche is the resting destination for this trek where the trekkers spend a night at Lobuche to adapt well to the high-altitude acclimatization. After a good night’s rest, it’s a final push to the Base Camp and Kala Patthar (5,643 meters) if it’s included in the itinerary.
The climate in Everest Region
As the high-altitude region of the Himalayas is covered by snow throughout the year, it has extreme weather conditions both in temperature and wind. But, still, the temperature in the Everest region has variations depending on the hour of the day, day or night.
The temperature in the region is at plus points generally during the days and fluctuates beyond minus zero at night, on normal days. However, temperatures near the Everest Base Camp and higher altitudes rarely get above the freezing point. Especially in the winter season of Nepal, from late November to February, the temperatures drop below the freezing point even during the day.
There are generally two segments in this expedition, the lower regions have a temperate climate zone meanwhile the cold tundra climate reigns over the higher altitudes.
Best Season for Everest Base Camp Trek
The best time for Everest Base Camp trekking is during the spring season from March to May season and the autumn season from mid-September to November season. These are the peak seasons for the Everest Base Camp trekking in Nepal, as the routes won’t suffer the massive snow dumps of the winter or the slippery and dangerous path in the monsoon.
1. March to May
The spring season in Nepal, March to May, comes with its own perks for high-altitude adventures. During days the weather is stable and accompanied by warm temperatures and the best visibility in the region. Passing by the colorful landscapes mixing well with the greenery and bright red/pink rhododendrons. But, the best season for exploration also comes with a catch, the peak summit season brings lots of trekkers and climbers.
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2. June to August
Although it is not one of the peak seasons, trekking in Nepal can be done throughout the years. However, setting out on an expedition at a high altitude during the monsoon does come with its own challenges and risks. The trails along the routes are wet and muddy most of the time due to rainfalls, which can be a lot more dangerous at higher altitudes without the right gears. Also, the sudden landslides can be fatal and often block the path, the blurry foggy views, leeches along the path, and continuous rainfall throughout multiple days can be irritating and kill the adventurous mood.
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3. September to November
The fall season is another popular season for adventures in the high-altitude regions. The clear views of the surroundings, warm moderate temperatures, and clear skies are certain to lift the spirit of any mountaineering enthusiast. If the monsoon season elongates there might be light rainfall during the early days of the autumn. This season has a bit chillier nights and days compared to the spring season, but the warm days go well with the climate making it the perfect season to trek.
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- Everest Base Camp Trek in September
- Everest Base Camp Trek in October
- Everest Base Camp Trek in November
4. November to January
Winter is another off-season in Nepal for the adventures of the Himalayas. However, in comparison to the monsoon season which carries a lot of risks, trekking isn’t off-limits or not doable during the winter season. In fact, some of the truest adventures pick this season due to less crowded routes and to test endurance when the Everest region is at its pinnacle. During the winter the temperatures can drop as low as -17°c, weather can be quite daunting, and trekking routes are covered by the snow.
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Difficulty Level | How Difficult is the Everest Base Camp Trek?
The Everest Base Camp trekking has been graded as a moderately-difficult level, trekkers with previous high-altitude expedition experience and good physical fitness can complete it without a hitch. Although it is a beautiful immersive and spiritual experience in the lap of the Himalayas, the ascent to the high altitude points can be challenging for newbies and climbers with medical conditions. Still, it doesn’t mean it’s not doable, with the right amount of determination and proper physical training for the long hours walk, nothing is impossible.
In fact, thousands of trekkers from all around the world of all ages pour in for the exploration of the mystical Himalayan region. Just a bit of physical preparation for walks that can last from 6- 7 hours per day to 3-4 hours and good health condition is what all that matters for the trek. If you have medical conditions it can complicate the advancement so discussing it with your physician first-hand won’t make the exploration a sour experience.
Although the walks on average last 6-7 hours or fewer during trekking, it doesn’t mean that the trekkers are rushed from one point to another. The higher the altitude the slower the ascending pace, it works best for getting used to the high-altitude environment. Also, trekkers are given enough rest days fully adapt to the acclimatization process after a significant elevation jump. So, there isn’t really much to worry about anyway, if you are facing any kind of difficulty and uneasiness, you can communicate with the guides and expedition leader who will give their utmost to help their guests.
Everest Base Camp Trek 15 Days Itinerary (General)
As Everest is among the top trekking destination in the world, the trekking agencies provide several packages specially tailored to meet the requirements of every kind of enthusiast. Check out some of the most popular and beloved packages in the Everest region among our clients:
- Everest Base Camp Trek
- Everest Base Camp – Cho-La Pass – Gokyo Trek
- Everest Three High Passes Trekking
- Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return
- Everest Panorama Trek
- Everest Base Camp with Island Peak Climbing
- Gokyo Valley Trek
- Shivalaya – Gokyo – Chola pass – EBC Trek
- Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar Trek
- Everest View Trek
- Gokyo-Renjo-La Pass Trek
General Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar Trek outline:
Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu, pickup and transfer to hotel. Overview of the trek in the evening.
Day 2: Trek preparation day, sightseeing in Kathmandu, gear check, and renting.
Day 3: Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and trekking upto Phakding at 2,610 meters (2-3 hours trekking duration)
Day 4: Trekking from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,445 meters) (5-6 hours)
Day 5: Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar
Day 6: Trekking from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3867 meters) (5-6 hours)
Day 7: 5-6 hours trekking day from Tengboche to Dingboche (4,360 meters)
Day 8: Acclimatization Day in Dinboche
Day 9: Another day of trekking to Lobuche (4,930 meters) (5-6 hours)
Day 10: Trekking to Gorakshep (5,164 meters), hiking to the Everest Base Camp (5,364 meters), and hiking back to Gorakshep for a night stay (6-7 hours)
Day 11: 6 hours trekking to the highest elevation of the expedition Kala Patthar (5,643 meters) and descending to Pheriche (4,371 meters) (6 hours)
Day 12: Trekking back to Namche Bazaar (6-7 hours)
Day 13: Descending on the trail from Namche Bazaar to Lukla (5-6 hours)
Day 14: 30-40 minutes flight back to Kathmandu from Lukla
Day 15: Everest Base Camp trekking expedition conclusion and drop to airport for flight back home
Preparation and Physical Training
Although the Everest Base Camp trek doesn’t require any kind of specific hardcore training regime to successfully complete the conquest. It is recommended that before setting out to the foothills of the tallest mountain in the world, you should be used to walking approx 4km- 7km per day or at least a few hours of hiking each day.
Natural terrains are an ideal option for training your body to ascend and descend throughout the variation of altitudes. But, if it is not possible where you live, walking on trade mills or running building your stamina and endurance capabilities will also just work fine. Experienced trekkers and mountaineers suggest that the best way to prepare for a high-altitude trek is through training hikes.
Training hikes on the natural terrain provide the best simulation of diverse landscapes in the Himalayan region of Nepal. Also, it is the perfect opportunity to break and check the comfortability of your hiking boots, the inspection of hiking boots is a very significant factor, it determines the experience of your whole experience. Also, add a rucksack or backpack to your training hikes, this way you will get used to carrying your stuff while trekking through the rugged paths of the mountain (you can skip it if you plan to hire porters to carry all your stuff). You can also add cardio and strength training exercises to your regime, the stronger you feel the more you stay confident and motivated. It is not necessary for you to be in top shape for the trekking, but it is inevitable that the fitter you are, the less oxygen your muscles need to move.
On the other hand, you cannot train for the altitude, the oxygen density is 50% less in the Everest Base Camp region compared to the sea level. The trick to mastering the acclimatization process is taking a slow pace and not rushing, eating well, staying hydrated, and getting a good night’s sleep.
Some Helpful Tips for Everest Base Camp Trek
- Always carry basic medication and first-aid in high-altitude adventures.
- Focus on keeping yourself hydrated, staying hydrated consistently throughout the altitude significantly reduces the chances of altitude sickness.
- During the expedition avoid excessive drinking and smoking, long walks through diverse altitude landscape takes an excessive toll on drinkers and smokers.
- Always put on your sunscreen and sunglasses, the temperature in high altitude might be cold but the effects of the sun are much higher.
- Don’t rush or exert yourself, take it easy and enjoy the experience, take your time to acclimatize to the altitude.
- Pay respect to the local culture and traditions, and follow the basic etiquette of the upper-Himalayan region.
- Research first-hand, dos and donts, also tips from the trekking and mountaineering communities will come in a lot of handy during the expedition.
- Prioritize safety, don’t roam around without informing the team or without asking a guide.
- Never stand on the slopes of steep hills, trails,s and streams, chose to stand on the mountainside when you are letting her of yaks and mules pass by.
- Take breaks when you need to, but also pay heed to the schedules of the day, reaching the destination point before dark is much safer.
- Check your hiking equipment properly, although they are not mandatory, they do help a lot to reduce the strains.
- Don’t exert yourself during the rest day, even if you are taking hikes let your body adapt to the acclimatization process.
- Breathe through your nose and breath out from your mouth, a tip from the mountaineering and guiding community.
- Communicate with the guides and expedition team leader for any inconvenience or discomfort. And, just enjoy the immersive experience of the magnificent Himalayas.
What to Pack for Everest Base Camp Trek?
In this two-long weeks expedition to the Everest Base Camp, it is necessary to pack all the essentials and the right gear to make the trip an amazing experience. Depending upon the season of your visit, you might have to customize the following listed clothing, footwear, and equipment.
We suggest you pack only essentials for your trekking, carrying heavy luggage can lag you behind during the trek, and hiring additional porters costs extra. You can evaluate these trekking essentials from the packing list below while packings.
Clothes and Footwear
- Sun hat
- Wool hat
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Lightweight down jacket
- Long sleeve and moisture-wicking t-shirt
- Waterproof trousers
- Heavy-weight pants for higher-altitude trekking
- Hiking shorts (for the warmer season)
- 2/3 pairs of T-shirts
- Fleece or warm mid-layers
- Light-weight gloves and heavy-weight winter gloves
- Several pairs of underwear
- Socks: bring several with different thickness grades for all altitude adventure
- Hiking boots (break them beforehand)
- Lightweight trainer or sports shoes for camps and stroll around during evenings
- Camp shoes (something warm to make you feel cozy after a long day walk)
Personal Supplies and Hygiene
- Personal brush (toothpaste if you prefer specific)
- Toiletries and hand sanitizers
- Biodegradable wet wipes
- Toilet paper
- Sunscreen and lotions (to avoid high-altitude sunburn)
- Sleep masks if you are used to it
- Quick dry towels
- Water bottle or flask therms, staying hydrated on the long walk is very essential
- Dust masks
- Personal medications
- First Aid kit
- Backpack/daypack with suitable size if you don’t have porters
- Sleeping bag (a four-season sleeping bag)
- Portable power banks
- Solar charger
- Extra pair of batteries for your camera and accessories
- Universal plug adaptor
- Water/snowproof gaiters (optional)
- Hiking poles, it does lessen the impact on joints during the trek
Extras but Essential
- Few extra passport-sized and few copies of passport (you never know when you might need them)
- Reading materials
- Journals and pens if you have writing habits
- A small mirror and nail clippers
- Converted currency, for snacking and buying souvenirs to remember the journey
If you love the thrills of adventures in the higher-Himalayan region in the foothills of the glorious Mt. Everest. Here are several Everest Region trekking packages you can choose from for the experience you are seeking.
FAQs How Difficult is the Everest Base Camp Trek?
Is the trek to Everest Base Camp hard?
Trekking in the Everest region isn’t like hiking on an average backdoor hill, but graded moderately difficult, it is doable with the right amount of mental and physical training.
Can a beginner trek to Everest Base Camp?
There is no exact age or experience bar for the Everest Base Camp trekking if you want to do it you can do it with a little bit of preparation. However, you have to stay determined if want to successfully complete the expedition to the foothills of the tallest mountain in the world.
What is the hardest part of Everest Base Camp Trek?
The trekking route from Lobuche to Gorakshep and hiking to the Everest Base Camp is considered the hardest part of this trekking. Trails jagged and filled with rocks-boulders and a significant altitude gain jump make this part of Everest Base Camp trekking the hardest part of the experience.
Can a normal person climb Everest Base Camp?
If it was the summit of the tallest mountain in the world at 8,849 meters it wouldn’t certainly demand years of mountaineering experience and technical climbing. However, trekking to its base without any technical region is doable with physical preparation and the right amount of determination.
How fit do you have to be to trek Everest Base Camp?
If you are involved in any fitness activities like working out in the gym, running, swimming, or others, then Everest Base Camp trekking won’t take much toll on you. However, if you are not involved in any physical activities preparing with 4km- 7km per day is best recommended to build endurance.