Everest Base Camp Trek Details
Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek Details
One of the most frequent questions regarding the trek to Everest base camp is, “can I make it?” This is a simple question with a complex answer. There are many variables when it comes to answering that question; therefore, the answer will differ with each person asking. This article will touch on the most important elements to achieving a successful base camp trek, which includes the hike all the way back down to where you started the hike from.
Before you get discouraged, the simple answer is, if you’re in good physical health, you’ll probably be fine.
One myth to immediately dispel: the hiking route is technical. It’s not technical. In fact, the trail to base camp is 95% dirt; it’s a wide, well worn path used by many people and animals. There might be some snow at higher elevations, and base camp itself is on the Khumbu glacier, but you don’t need any prior climbing or mountaineering experience to get to base camp. You need to like hiking, and be somewhat good at it. If you enjoy hiking day after day, you can hike to Everest base camp. I wont say it’ll be easy, but I will say it’ll be worth it.
Simple Elements to a Successful Everest Base Camp Trek
There are several elements to getting to base camp successfully. If these trekking details are followed, you’re chances of both reaching base camp and returning safely increase dramatically.
Before You Go: At Home
- Start Training Now
- Don’t wait. Start now. Life always has a way of getting in the way. Don’t let that happen. Training is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even if the little training you can fit in is to take the stairs instead of the elevator at work, do it. It’s the small things.
- There is no better way to train for a prolonged hiking experience than doing just that, hiking. Yes, the gym can be a great source of strength and endurance training, but there is no better substitute for the real thing. Get out on the trail at least once a week for a few months prior to departure. Try to summit a peak if possible. If not, simply go up. The more hills you do the better.
- A little known fact about the hiking trail to base camp is that there are many, I mean many, stairs. You wouldn’t think you’d find stairs in the back country, but the trail to base camp is maintained regularly because of the high traffic it receives. A good way to train is to find a stadium and do stairs, lots of them. Or, you can utilize a stair-stepper.
- Get High: Be Sure to Do Some Altitude Training
- Altitude training is essential to a safe and successful base camp trek. Try and get as much altitude in as possible. The mantra should be: “climb high, sleep low,” or “hike high, sleep low.”
- If you live at sea level and you can’t get in altitude training before you go, that’s okay. Volant’s base camp trek is designed with altitude in mind. We will take our time and do it right, which means doing it safely.
- Get All Your Documents In Order
- Nepal Visa (it’s suggested that you get your Nepal visa before you leave, but you can get one at the Nepal airport if it comes to that);
- Bring at least 2 passport-size photos;
- Airline Tickets.
- Pack the Right Equipment
- Check out our gear list to have that secure feeling that you did not in fact forget anything.
Thoroughly read the base camp trek gear list to prepare for your trek. Contact us with any questions you may have.
Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary
Learn more about our 16 day trek itinerary.
When You Arrive: Kathmandu
- Treat Your Body Right: Eating & Sleeping
- Eating: If you’re coming from the Western world, you’ll find that the food in Nepal can be quite different. Don’t let this throw you off. Nepal has many appetizing dishes to try. Your body will stay happy and healthy if you eat regularly. Stay away from oily and uncooked foods. Soups, pastas, and the traditional dish Dal Bhat are recommended.
- Sleeping: Again, if you’re coming from the Western world, your sleeping schedule will be thrown off dramatically. A good suggestion, you’ll do well to remember, is to force your body into the new schedule. Go to bed and arise according to the local schedule. Fortunately for westerners, jet lag associated with this trip usually occurs on the return side, not the arrival side.
While on the Trek: Lukla to Everest Base Camp
- Trek Like the Pros: Tricks of the Trade
- Hydrate: Hydration while trekking is vital. You should always carry a liter size water bottle and drink often. If you choose to use a water hydration system, such as a Camelbak, be sure to take precautions against freezing tubes and leaks; these mishaps can easily damper a trek;
- Refuel: Protein bars, power gels, trail mix, and electrolite mixes are highly recommended and are not provided for you. Please bring snacks you will need to sustain yourself while hiking. A full lunch will be provided each day so you should have plenty of energy throughout the day.
- Rest Step: The rest step is a mountaineer’s trick-of-the-trade secret that should be used while trekking. The secret trick is to simply lock your knee (your back leg) after each step while at the same time balancing all your body weight on your skeleton–through your locked knee. The leg that is forward should be completely at rest, only being used to provide added balance to your stance.
- Nose over Toes: An upright body position will keep your body weight on your skeleton and off your muscles (in conjunction with the rest step).
- Pressure Breathe: This is similar to lamaze class. Breathe in through your nose and out through pursed lips, thereby creating pressure in your lungs and forcing your body to acclimatize faster.
- Right-of-Way: Yaks Are Bigger than You: When it comes to high mountain trails, you can expect cliffs and steep edges. When it comes to the Himalayas, you can expect yak trains: long lines of yaks, burdened by heavy loads. Put the steep cliffs, the yaks, and you together, and you get a dangerous situation. Whenever a yak train approaches, go immediately to the uphill side, away from the cliff. Yaks have been known to stubbornly shove hikers off the trail. Don’t let this happen to you. Know and prepare before the animals get close: get uphill.
- Stay Close To Your Guide
- The Route: It’s simple. Your guide knows the way. There are many trails through the Khumbu valley. Do not mistake bravery for overconfidence. Thinking you know the way may get you into trouble;
- Hiking Tips: Your guide will offer hiking tips, as those listed above, to remind you of the importance of sustaining a good, sustainable pace and overall hiking best practices;
- Surroundings: Aside from the many surrounding peaks, there are many species of plants, animals, and birds. Stay close to your guide to learn more about what’s surrounding you;
- Culture: The Khumbu valley is rich with culture. Your guide will help relay cultural information that will enrich your visit to Mt. Everest base camp.
- Get Over Your Pride: Be Open with Your Guide
- Whether it’s a blister, diarrhea, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, etc., you owe it to yourself and the group to inform your guide. Your guide will help take care of it before it has a chance to get worse. The back country, especially in the mountains, is not the place to ‘appear’ tough. It is the right place to be open and honest about your physical or mental condition.
- Whatever it may be, let’s talk about it.
- There is no reason why you should jeopardize the health and safety of either yourself or the group because of your pride. We all want to be tough and to reach the ultimate goal, however, base camp will be there next year.
- If you’re experiencing anything listed in number one, please, talk with your guide. The consequences of not sharing that information could be deadly.
- The Glory of the Himalayas: Altitude
- High elevations are inherent when trekking to see the top of the world. Take this seriously. As stated above, Volant’s itinerary takes into account the seriousness of altitude sickness and combats it with acclimatization days and slow ascents.
- The following is a list of the locations and highest elevations we will reach each day.
- Kathmandu: 4,264 ft – Arrive – Nepal Airport
- Kathmandu: 4,264 ft
- Phakding: 8,700 ft (fly to Lukla: 9,186 ft – hike to Phakding)
- Elevation loss: 486 ft
- Namche Bazaar: 11,280 ft
- Elevation gain: 2,580 ft
- Namche Bazaar: 11,280 ft (hike to Khumjung, 12,500 ft, for acclimatization)
- Elevation gain: 1,220 ft
- Tengboche: 12,660 ft
- Elevation gain: 1,380 ft
- Dingboche: 14,300 ft
- Elevation gain: 1,640 ft
- Dingboche: 14,300 ft (hike to Dingboche peak, 16,404 ft, for acclimatization)
- Elevation gain: 2,104 ft
- Lobuche: 15,207 ft
- Elevation gain: 907 ft
- Gorak Shep: 16,961 ft
- Elevation gain: 1,754 ft
- Everest base camp: 17,700 ft
- Pheriche: 14,070 ft
- Elevation loss: 2,891 ft
- Elevation gain: 739 ft
- Kala Patthar: 18,514 ft
- Tengboche: 12,660 ft
- Elevation loss: 1,410
- Namche Bazaar: 11,280 ft
- Elevation loss: 1,380 ft
- Lukla: 9,186 ft
- Elevation loss: 2,094 ft
- Kathmandu: 4,264 ft (fly to Kathmandu, weather permitting)
- Kathmandu: 4,264 ft – Depart – Nepal Airport