Mount Everest at 8,848 meters allures every adventurer out there – this fact is undeniable as it is the tallest peak in the world and the glory is worth yearning for. However, not only the peak, the base camp of Everest has its own list of adrenaline-junkies. So, today, we are here to explore everything there is about Everest Base Camp.
Everest Base Camp
Located at an elevation of 5,364 meters, Everest Base Camp welcomes thousands of trekkers from around the world yearly. Being the tallest mountain can be one reason, but the trek in whole gives you more than just snow-capped Himalayas
The trek can be accomplished from two routes: south base of Nepal and north base of Tibet. Despite the fact there is two way of scaling the base camp, trekkers relatively favor north side of Nepal because of its accessibility.
Attractions of Everest Base Camp
Tenzing Hillary Airport
Tenzing Hillary Airport of Lukla, which is often referred to as Lukla Airport is a very thrilling airport. Its astounding location at 9,334 feet surrounded by high hills and ridges makes it worthy of looking forward to it. Named after the first climbers of Everest, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, and Edmund Hillary, it is the point from where your base camp trek actually initiates.
Namche Bazaar represents Himalaya beauty and Sherpa hospitality at the same time. Its impressive modern settlement at 3,500 meters has made it one of the attractions of Everest Base Camp. Namche is a historical trading hub comprising Sherpas who still live by their ancient culture and traditional lifestyle and surrounded by mesmerizing mountain peaks throughout the valley.
Khumjung is another typical village located above Namche Bazaar. While spending a day or two in Namche, you can visit this beautiful settlement of a small group of people in the lap of Himalayas. It is a short hike from Namche, where you will see more of Sherpa culture.
The village is popularly known for the school built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1960, a yeti scalp and Khumjung monastery.
Khude Village is located near Khumjung and is divided by rock walls. Like Khumjung, Khunde also has a historic monument built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1996. A hike from Namche will excellently pay you with mountains from different angles, hospitable manners of peoples, and their unique local cuisine.
Sir Edmund Hillary’s family memorial chortens
Sir Edmund Hillary made a huge contribution to the people of Khumjung and Khunde by building a hospital, school, and providing financial and technical aid for Sagarmatha National Park.
His demise on January 11, 2008, was hardly felt by the villages, so a year later on January 11, 2009, a dedication ceremony was organized by local Sherpas on the ridge above Khunde Village hospital to honor his memory. Three different memorial chortens were established dedicating one to Sir Edmund Hillary and one each to his wife and daughter.
The whole Everest region is dominated by the Sherpas, who are known to be the elite mountaineers. Apart from their skill and expertise in mountaineering, Sherpas are also known for their endearing hospitality and intriguing traditions. To this day, they still prefer to live in the tranquility of mountain region following the ancient ways of life.
In your trek to Everest Base Camp, you will get pass glaciers, high passes, ridges, and many thrilling routes. Ngozumpa glacier, Khumbu glacier, Kongma La, Cho La, Renjo La, Nuptse-Lhotse ridge are some exciting point of Everest Base Camp trek.
Likewise, Kala Patthar at 5,545 meters, is the most awaited destination by trekkers. Kala Patthar lies in the vicinity of the base camp; it is a side hike that takes a few hours of effort. It is a most-sought after a point because it is a vantage point for viewing Everest more closer than anywhere.
Things to know about Everest Base Camp trek
It is generally said that Everest Base Camp trek is an expensive deal but with the growing passion for the trek, it has become relatively cheaper than past days. Back in days, you had to take everything, from tent to the foods, all by yourself, but now with the availability of teahouses/lodges, you can have accommodation at fair price.
Also about ATM, you can have this facility up to Namche Bazaar only. Most of the lodges will provide money exchange facility, but at less rate than Kathmandu.
You must be in a perfect physical condition to complete this trek successfully. The trek starts at an elevation of 2,800 meters from Lukla which is considerably high altitude than we are used to. You must start giving yourself a regular exercise at least a month before. Also, if you have ankle/knee or lungs problem, you should not try this trek.
Now, you might think that it is a long journey, you need to carry everything you can, but you can’t be more wrong on this. Do not pack your bag with more than 10 kg in weight. You will be accompanied by everything on hotel/lodges/teahouses on the way to the camp.
Wi-fi is everywhere
The Internet is a part of our life now; we need it in every passing minute. If you are worried that you won’t get any access to the virtual world during the trek, then my friend take a long breath because you can.
On your way, you will find passwords to connect wi-fi network that is being sold on every teahouse. However, as you scale higher, the cost becomes relatively expensive. You will get a limited amount of data enough for a few emails and updating a Facebook status. But make sure no updates are downloading in the background.
There is another option as well – you can buy a local SIM card with a data plan in Kathmandu. The network connects up to around 4,000 meters and even up to base camp as well in some cases.
Fitness level, difficulty, altitude sickness, and acclimatization
Everest Base Camp certainly comprises some high Himalayan terrain and challenging route, but that doesn’t make it invincible to normal people: any person can do it who is in good health and good fitness level. The level of difficulty is moderate; if you have trekking skills and experience, it will be the plus point for you.
Now, moving on to next issue, it is trekking for days in higher altitude zone. Altitude sickness is normal and occurs to everyone. However, you need to plan the trip in such a way that allows you proper acclimatization, because these days people want to hurry towards Everest Base Camp without acclimatizing often gets AMS. You can also take capsules that prevent altitude sickness on a doctors recommendation.
After reaching above 3,500 meters, your body becomes more vulnerable, so you must be careful and take care of yourself in those extreme conditions. Drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest and walking in slow speeds also helps.
Everest Base Camp trek permit
Trekking in Nepal requires a TIMS card, for the safety and security of trekkers. You can obtain this card from Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu that costs USD 10 per person if you are in a group and USD 20 for independent trekkers. Along with the fee, you will also need two passport sized photos.
As you will be trekking in the Sagarmatha National Park area, you will need a national park permit as well. You will be charged with USD 30 that includes + 13% tax. You can access this card from Nepal Tourism Board, Kathmandu or the headquarters of the park at Monjo, which you will encounter while in trek itself.
Best time for Everest Base Camp trek
Spring and autumn season witnesses the largest crowd of trekkers in Nepal that come from around the world. And for Everest Base Camp trek as well these two season fits the best. During this season, the weather is just fine, with moderate temperature and days all clear allowing you a clear view of mountains and around.
However, the other two seasons: winter and summer are not so favorable for trekking. In winter, the weather gets too extreme and cold, and there is always a threat of snowstorm and avalanche. Similarly, monsoon comes along summer with heavy rainfall and crazy storm. The days are also blurred with fogs and rainfall in this season.
Cost of Everest Base Camp trek
Scaling the base camp of the tallest mountain in the world certainly takes a lot of exercise, courage, and confidence. But, keeping aside everything, the cost is what really influences our decision. So, if you are up for Everest Base Camp trek, then here is a detailed overview of Everest Base Camp cost to help you set the budget and carefully plan the journey.
Everest Base Camp trek cost is inclusive of permits, TIMS card, porter and guide cost, accommodation, meals and drinks and a round-trip flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The cost usually ranges from USD 1,300 to 3,000 per foreigners for an average trek of 12-21 days. What Everest Base Camp cost doesn’t include is travel insurance, visa fees, trekking items, and other personal expenses.
Detailed Everest Base Camp Cost: What it doesn’t include
It is a known fact, you need a visa to visit abroad, and the same applies while coming to Nepal too. There are different visa category, and for tourist visa the current cost is:
15 Days = 25 USD
30 Days = 40 USD
90 Days = 100 USD
For detailed and up-to-date information on visa, please visit the Nepal Department of Immigration.
It is better to be prepared for all the situation than facing it and regretting later. Insurance is the ultimate umbrella that keeps you safe from the rain of risk. So, it is our advice and recommendation to all the trekkers and mountaineers to get travel insurance.
The insurance will cover basic travel risks like a flight delay or cancellation, lost/damage of luggage, financial default of operator and more advance insurance covers major risks of emergency medical cost, evacuation, etc.
Cost of equipment in Everest Base Camp trek is dependent on what list of equipment you already have and how much more you are willing to hire.
Any kind of personal expenses like tips to porters and guides, gift, souvenirs are not included in the Everest Base Camp cost. Likewise, mineral water, laundry, phone calls, internet, alcoholic beverages, etc. also don’t count.
What Everest Base Camp cost includes
Porters and Guides
Traveling in a new place is a lost job if you are without someone who knows the places and ways. Hiring guides and porters depends on you if you ask us we recommend you to take them. They know the route in a better way, they will help you all the heavy backpacks, and it will be fun to trek listening to the interesting stories of their career. If you are willing to take guides and porters, then Kailash Himalaya Treks will provide you with well trained, skillful and experienced porters and guides.
The standard rate for trekking guides is USD 20-25 per day in Everest Base Camp trek. And the porter who carries you heavy baggage throughout the journey costs USD 15-18 per day. Porters carry about 20 kg to a maximum of 25 kg.
Foods and drinks
Everest Base Camp is a long trek where you have to walk for hours till the end of the trek, so it is very important to boost the energy level of your body. While getting further in the trek, you will be filled with excitement watching the magnificent range of mountains, but you will need constant energy to keep on and witness the view.
Mineral water ranges at a cost from $1 - $4 per bottle. But why pay money, when you can drink tap water for free of cost. It will be best if you take a bottle and keep on refilling on the way and drink after adding water purifying tablets. Talking of other beverage, tea, and coffee costs USD 2- USD 4 and a beer bottle cost USD 5-10. Breakfast cost from USD 3- USD 6 and dinner and lunch range from USD 5 – USD 9 per meal.
There are enough hotels and lodges that provides comfortable accommodation. However, in trekking season, their hotels are usually packs, so you have to advance booking. Hotel/lodges are of affordable cost ranging from USD 5 to USD 40 + per person as per the standard of hotel.
But if you are totally into nature and want to stay in camp, then we will help you organize the best camping trek of your life.
The parking permit can be issued directly from the national park entry point at Monjo or from Nepal Tourism Board Kathmandu, Bhrikuti Mandap for an independent trekker.
If you are trekking from Jiri to Everest Base Camp, then you will require a permit of Gaurishankar Conservation Area Project entry permit which is worth NRs. 2,000. The cost is for organized as well as independent trekkers, and you have to issue it in Nepal Tourism Board.
Most of the trekkers are well-aware of these permits, but since 2017, an additional cost of NRs 2,000 per person is levied by Pasang Lhamu Gau Palika (Municipality).
Tenzing Hillary airport at Lukla is the main gate of Everest Base Camp. A number of flights daily takes place from Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu, and most of the passengers are trekkers. For tourists other than Indian, one-way flight costs the US $ 180 and round trip is double. For foreigners, the cost is USD is 180 X 2 (for two ways), for Indian nationality INR 9200X2 and Nepali nationality NRs 5200 X 2 per person.
Different Routes to Everest Base Camp
The Popular Route from Lukla
It is the most popular and most used route to base camp. We will fly towards Lukla and began our trek to Namche Bazaar where we will stay for a day to acclimatize. Then paving our way we move towards Tengboche and to Lobuche, from where we will finally arrive at Everest Base Camp.
Gokyo Lakes to Everest Base Camp
This is another popular route to base camp which takes us to an ethereal lake of Gokyo as well. We will follow the normal route till Namche Bazaar, from where we divert our way to Gokyo. Then we trek towards Gorak Shep crossing high pass at Cholapass and to the camp.
Jiri to Everest Base Camp
Now, this route takes to some to the distinctive settlement of Nepal before making your way to Lukla. In the start of the trek, we first take a ride to Jiri and after several days of trekking arrive at Lukla from where we will follow the same classic route to the camp.
Arun Valley to Everest Base Camp
Also known as Tumlingtar to Everest Base Camp route, it takes around ten days to arrive at Namche Bazaar if we follow this route from where we will follow the usual path. Our trek from this route starts with a flight to Tumlingtar and gradually passing through several villages; we will arrive at Namche.
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