Walking the Everest Base Camp trek, Nepal:
Everest Base Camp trek (EBC trek) in the Khumbu region, is one of the most famous treks in Nepal. The full trek starts in Jiri and lasts for 20-25 days. Most of the people however, start this trek in Lukla, arriving there by plane, thus saving around 5-6 days walk from Jiri to Lukla. This is an extremely high altitude trek, reaching heights of 5545 meter, with sleeping above 5000 meter. The highlight of the trek is of course watching Everest and Nuptse mountains from Kala Patar. Optional extension is to cross over the Cho La pass to Gokyo, to enjoy Gokyo lakes region.
First day - arrival to Lukla by plane. From Lukla (2800 m) to Phakding 4 hours, from Phakding to Namche Bazar.
Second day - from Namche Bazar (3440 m) to Tengboche (3860 m)
Third day - from Tengboche (3860 m) to Pheriche (4200 m)
Forth day - from Pheriche (4200 m) to Dugla (4600 m)
Fifth day - from Dugla (4600 m) to Gorak Shep (5160 m)
Sixth day - day in Gorak Shep. First climb to Kala Pattar (5545 m)
Seventh day - day in Gorak Shep. Second climb to Kala Pattar (5545 m) and walking to the Best Camp (5360 m)
Eighth day - from Gorak Shep to Dzongla
Ninth day - from Dzongla to Gokyo, via Cho La pass (5330 m)
Tenth day - day in Gokyo
Eleventh day - from Gokyo to Dole
Twelve day - from Dole to Namche Bazar
Thirteen day - from Namche Bazar to Lukla
Books and maps:
Lonely Planet "Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya", 8th edition, includes a schematic map and route description of this trek.
You can buy maps of Sagarmatha National Park (Everest region and Gokyo region) in Kathmandu. 1:50,000 maps can be found in any books store.
Alone or with a guide: The route is quite clear almost all the way. The map is very good and the description in the books is very detailed. There is no need in the guide for the Everest Base Camp (guide is necessary for the Cho La pass, if you pick to go over the Cho La pass to Gokyo).
Carrying your own stuff or hiring porters: this trek is considered very difficult due to high attitude. More than half of the days involve sleeping above 4000 m and even sleeping above 5000m, which is usually VERY distressful. Having someone carry your bags could be quite helpful. However, if this is not your first high altitude trek in this season and you already feel quite comfortable with high altitude, porters are not required and you can do it alone.
It is possible to hire porters in Kathmandu or in Lukla. In Lukla they will be waiting for you outside the airport.
Equipment: There are lodges along this trek, meaning that you do not need to worry about sleeping, breakfast and supper. I would still recommend carrying a sleeping bag, since blankets are not always available in the lodges (especially if you trek in high season, when there are lots of people). Worm clothes are very important. Carry your daily food (your dinner). Walking polls are highly recommended.
Getting there and back:
Flight to Lukla from Kathmandu (around 85$ each way) or walking from Jiri
On the trek: Only if you opt to go to Gokyo lakes: Cho La pass is quite a challenging part. The route may be not clear and you walk over the glacier. It should NOT be attempted alone without a guide. One option is to join some group in Dzongla or hire a guide in Dzongla just for one day to cross the pass.
Altitude Note: I would not recommend doing this trek as your first high altitude trek in this season. Start with some easier, lower trek (Gosaykund for example, or some trek in Anapurna region) and only than do the Everest Base Camp. This way you will enjoy it much more and it would also be safer.
Last updated 24-07-2008