Everest is the highest mountain in the world. It is not everyone’s cup of tea to assent it. However, trekking to its base camp is possible and the task is becoming increasingly easier with increase in its popularity and, therefore, facilities.
It is most definitely not a walk in the park, but if you possess a sense of adventure, will and a normally healthy body, you too can be a part of this legend. You too can enjoy the beautiful landscapes, nature and interesting culture of the Everest region.
Here is a guide to how you could go about making this dream a reality and, if you would want to.
Everest region was only moderately affected by the devastating Earthquake that hit Nepal on 25th April and 12th May.
Some minor landslides had crossed the trail to EBC but the villagers were quick in clearing it. After all, the trek route is firstly the means of transport for the inhabitants of the region.
Also, according to the team of experts sent by Tourism Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) and engineers from Miyamoto international, all the suspension bridges to EBC are intact and safe to traverse.
It was mostly the teahouses that were affected. All three teahouses in Tengboche collapsed. Many of them in Phakding, Monjo, Jorsale and Pheriche were destroyed while Deboche, Dingboche and Gorakshep were unharmed. The remaining villages endured little damage.
Teahouse owners reported that they would be up and running by the September of 2015. September to November is the peak season for Everest Base Camp trek.
Indeed, EBC trek was opened and declared safe for trekking by September. The trek was possible without any added difficulty.
Though things have gone back to normal, there were very less trekkers this year. Locals hope that the numbers too will go back up to normal from 2016 onwards.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp in Spring
Spring is one of the best seasons to trek to EBC. Clear sky and moderate temperature aside, spring offers an array of beautiful flowers. This includes Nepal’s national flower rhododendron that will make your hike uphill very pleasant.
Spring is also climbers’ season and one can see many colorful tents pitched on the base camp.
In Nepal, spring runs from March to May. However, late May may see some clouds. Mid-March is really the perfect time in terms of weather and April in terms of rhododendron and other flowers. These are also the busy times and will most probably be crowded.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp in Summer/ Monsoon
From June to August is monsoon, though the clouds stay around till mid September.
Monsoon is not a good time do EBC trek. First, views will be blocked most of the time due to rain clouds. Trails will be muddy. It can rain anytime and the next village could be still an hour away. And, snow fall or snow storm at higher elevations.
Another problem is the delays. Flights to and from Lukla can be delayed for as long as a week. Even buses and jeeps can be delayed. In fact, they can get stuck in the soft mud en route and it is a real hassle.
The only good news is that leeches aren’t a problem in Everest. However, all things considered, it is better to travel to rain shadow areas like Mustang, Dolpo etc. during monsoon.
What trekking gears or trekking equipment should I pack?
Knowing what trekking gears to pack is important. You would want to pack as light as possible while not missing the important equipments. So here is list to give you an idea.
- A pair of trekking boots
Break in the shoes if needs be before hitting the trail. Trekking boots are the best though not a must.
- A pair of warm slippers
You can use slippers when in lodge. Warm slippers will keep you warm at higher altitude. It will be hot in lower area, especially in spring, but why carry two pair of slippers? You could carry crocs and just use woolen socks for warmth too.
- Four pair of liner socks.
At least four pairs. Two warm pairs and two thin pairs. Trekking/liner socks are better but normal ones are okay too.
- Few pairs of underwear
Few pairs of underwear, 5-7, as you see fit. Normal ones are absolutely fine but do you know you can buy ‘trekking underwear’? Not in Nepal though.
- A down jacket and a down pant
You could layer up but it gets really cold up there. Bringing a down jacket and pant will be much easier and you can buy or rent them in Nepal for cheap. Renting costs a dollar or less per day.
- T-shirts and trousers
3-4 t-shirts, mostly full sleeved for both warmth and protection from sun. 2 pair of trekking pants/trousers. Also, one to two set of clothes for your time in Kathmandu.
- A set of thermals
A top, bottom and underwear.
- A windproof jacket/ fleece jacket and bottoms
- A light sleeping bag. You can rent or buy them in Nepal. You can also buy it outside of Nepal. If you want to buy outside of Nepal, you may want to buy one of these best backpacking sleeping bags under 100 USD.
This too can be bought or rented in Nepal cheaply.
Get yourself a nice and comfortable best hiking backpacks under $100 of 2017.
- Gety A pair of very warm Gloves
- A woolen hat
Buy a pair in your home town if you don’t already own one. Fakes in Kathmandu will not be protective.
- A torchlight/ head torchlight
- A First aid kit
Include Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) or diarrhea tablets, blister plasters, Diamox, some pain killers and a vapor rub.
Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, water purifiers, sunscreen, moisturizer, lip balm, soap, shampoo sachets, toothpaste, toothbrush and a trekking towel.
- A water bottle
Not a plastic one but a metal one that can be used to fill hot water as well.
- A waterproof map of Everest Base Camp
- Snacks you like and entertainment such as books, cards etc.
Snacks cost cheaper in Kathmandu so stock up on them in Kathmandu. Price of a snicker bar can reach up to $4 higher up in Everest.