How hard is the Everest base camp trek? This is a common question that frequently arises in everyone’s minds while thinking about the Everest base camp trek difficulty. Actually, in the EBC trek you’ll go to the maximum height of 5550 m (Kalapatthar) and base camp (5364 m) and back to sleep at Gorakshep around 5200 m. Starting from Lukla (2860 m), it takes roughly 8 days to reach the base camp of Mount Everest and Kalapatthar starting from Lukla (2860 m). A couple of days of acclimatization in Namche Bazaar and Dingboche. The EBC trek is absolutely doable in terms of acclimatization (two whole rest days enroute).
If you compare to the other well-known trekking route such as Annapurna circuit, then EBC trek is quite difficult. Because you’ll begin your EBC trek from an altitude of 2860m (Tenzing – Hillary Airport Lukla).
However, in the Annapurna Circuit trek, after a day of acclimatization in Manang, you’ll go to a maximum height of 5416 m.a.sl. The difference is that you’ll pass the Thorung La (5416 m) and descend down to the Muktinath (3800 m) on the same day from the Thorung Phedi (4500 m). It takes 9 days to cross the pass, starting from 800 masl in the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Do remember, you have to walk slowly and do not move quickly at high altitude. Otherwise, symptoms of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) will happen, and those symptoms affect people differently from person to person, which can even cause death within a few hours. The trek to EBC is not always going up & that altitude effects everyone. The majority of the time you will spend on mountain trails, and the last two days before the base camp, you’ll hike on the side of a moraine.
Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty Level
It is very difficult to say how hard and difficult it is to trek to EBC. because everyone has different thoughts and expectations according to their individual fitness level. I say it is a challenging trek in the 4-grading system (easy, moderate, strenuous, challenging). For the reason that, you need to have good fitness level. The Everest Base Camp trek goes to the elevation of roughly 5550 Meter.
You must be confident enough to walk more than 5-6 hours every day with your backpack. Otherwise, you can walk with the help of a guide or porter from Lukla as well. In fact, if you have already been to a high height and had no problems at all for 5–6 hours of walking every day, you have a good fitness level. I will write later about the preparation for the EBC trek.
However, during the EBC trip, the hike will normally begin after the morning breakfast, around 7 / 7:30 am. You will arrive at the lodge around 3 to 4 pm (depending upon the pace of your walk). In between times along the route, you’ll enjoy in the ambience and culture of wonderful landscape. You also stop for relaxing, tea break & lunch break amid the trek.
Well, for the preparation for Everest Base Camp, you don’t have to be a sports person like marathon runners, football players, etc. But you must be physically and mentally fit with light exercise a month before you come to hike. The hike will be enjoyable as you feel better.
You have to walk around 5-6 hours every day. Preparation is required before you come. Suggest to do cardio exercise, swimming, cycling and running & try to walk stairs in your hiking boot etc. Do not think the trek will go all the way up & that altitude effects to everyone. Walk slowly, take it easy and drink at least 4-5 liters of water every day. Don’t push your body if you get any severe symptom of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Stay at lower place and next day cover that with no hurry.
Altitude Difficulties in EBC Trek
Altitude difficulties are something that is very important to know in the EBC trek (5364 m). As per my experience, the trail is not that much more difficult than we think, as if we were on a lower altitude hike. Like, Annapurna Base Camp, Ghorepani Poonhill Trek etc. The trek can also be completed by skipping some days in between. But, doing so will make you sick from altitude. Therefore, try not to push your body at high altitude. Being young, strong and fit doesn’t help.
The key to prevent from altitude difficulties during the Everest base camp trek are as follows:
- Acclimatize your body with proper amount of Rest
- Walk slowly with steady pace
- Slowly ascent to high height above 3000 m.
- Maintain well balanced diet
- Sleep properly at least 5 to 6 hours (Possible 7-8 hours)
- Take it easy (Do not think you are on high height)
- Drink a lot of water (4-5 Liter Each Day)
- Check Oxygen Level at Oximeter (Do not exceed below 60)
Is Everest Base Camp Trek Difficult?
Mount Everest base camp trek difficulty is determined according to your physical fitness & the pace of walk you perform during the trekking. The whole 14 days trek from Lukla to Everest base camp and back is 125 km. When you are above 4000 meters, your walking pace will get slow & roughly 5-6 hours per day hiking duration. For a couple of days, when you’ll be walking into moraine, the path is zigzag. But easy passable and needs no technical abilities.
If you carry your own backpack, I would grade the difficulty of this EBC route as strenuous to challenging. If you are hiring guide & porter, I would grade the difficulty of this EBC route as easy to moderate. Because you will have 10 to 15 kg backpack and hike for 5 to 6 hours each day.
The main things to keep on consideration about Everest Base Camp trek difficulty is the altitude. It’s hard to tell you, how your body will response until you reach at Base Camp of Mount Everest (5364 m). Because, the effect of an altitude is different from person to person. The best prevention method of altitude difficulties is that above the 3500 m, you should not trek higher than 500 m every day.
How to visit Everest Base Camp?
It’s very simple. First and foremost, you need a budget. Next, you’ll need a clear plan about yourself-either an independent or guided tour. The EBC trek cost will give you all those details.
Try to get a confirmation for an early flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. Later flights will have a chance of cancellation due to heavy winds or inclement weather. After your arrival at Lukla mountain airport, begin your hike to the base camp of Mt. Everest. Normally, the trek takes 14 days from Kathmandu to Kathmandu. My advice for the travelers, arrive at KTM 2-3 days prior to recover from Jetlag and to explore the historical place of the city.
Flights is not only an option to trek to Everest Base Camp. There are many other optional routes that can start from Jiri, Salleri, and Phaplu. These all routes are stunning, unlikely you see the tourist, less traveler. But it takes longer to hike to EBC. There are also several alternative route on the way, such as Gokyo Ri trek, Chola pass etc. just you need to add the length of the day. It all depends on how much time you have.
Is the Everest Base Camp Trek Dangerous?
Everest base camp is very popular trekking destination in Nepal. This is most preferable hike for all adventure seekers. In this EBC trek, we normally start to walk from 2860 meter to maximum 5550 meter above the sea level. Thus, Everest Base Camp Trek will not be dangerous if you plan & walk correctly. Otherwise, it is danger if we are not aware of following things:
Trekking to EBC get busy normally in two seasons. Pre-monsoon season (March, April, and May) & Post-monsoon season (September, October, and November) are the finest months to hike to Everest base camp. Due to the global warming, it is pretty hard to predict about the weather of mountains. Hence, the weather changes in 15 to 20 minutes. So, it has had an impact on climate change. However, the best time to trek Everest Base camp is Pre-monsoon and Post-monsoon.
Pre-Monsoon (Mar – May):
This is the time of flower blooms. The weather will remain mostly clear and stable, ideal for trekking. Between these months you can enjoy the perfect scenery on EBC trek. If you want to see the beautiful snow cover- covered mountains, recommend to visit end of February and early March. But this time the temperature is very low and bitterly cold. If you wish to go Gokyo Ri via Chola pass between Feb – March, keep in mind that the route will may blocked due to heavy snow and no able to pass.
In this time of year, highest percentage of tourist come to trek Everest base camp. The weather will be pleasant and sky will remain clear. If you like to trek in less crowed then, recommend to trek in begin or mid of November. This time the weather will be little more chill then October. But, fantastic time to go trekking. Do remember, October is overcrowded season with teahouse occupied fully. In the beginning of September, the weather will be fewer haze and clouds. But September is season starting month. Have to be lucky to see the clear sky & mountain.
Winter (Dec – Feb):
Hiking is still possible, although it is extremely cold, with temperatures down below minus – 20 to 25°C at night. However, there will be lot of snow on the path and may have closed. Make sure you have the right trekking gears.
Rainy Season (July – August):
This is time for those who are interested in botanical. If you like to study about plants, this time is good to trek. But there will be not any guarantee about the clear weather & see mountains. It doesn’t mean that we can’t see Himalayas in this time. Thus, you have to be lucky to see the mountain in Monsoon Season.
Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Hike Difficulty
If you have not been to high altitude before and does not have hiking skill, Annapurna is good for you. Because, Annapurna is somewhat less difficult trek. The average altitude is substantially lower and there are less hard ascents and descent. Only one or more two days it will quite tough. Although the trek is very much easier than Everest Base Camp. In the Annapurna, there are many alternative easy ways walking trail into fresh territory everyday without having reroute the ways.
If you like a bit of a challenge, then the EBC trek is for you. Compared to the Annapurna trek (ABC vs EBC | Annapurna Circuit vs EBC Trek), the Everest base camp trek is difficult. The reason is that you will begin your journey after your flight to Lukla at 2860 meters above the sea level. And goes to maximum height of 5550-meter at base camp. But, in Annapurna, you will start a trek from an altitude of 800 meter above the sea level & goes to maximum height 5416 meter and descend down to the 3800 meters. In Everest, you will go 5364 meter and sleeping at 5200 meters. Hence, you will stay for 1 night at maximum altitude of 4500 meters Annapurna circuit. But, in Everest, you will have to stay 4 Nights in above the 4500-meter altitude.
The Annapurna Trek lies in the western part of Nepal. This is actually the conservation area of a people’s project. Pokhara is the gateway city of the Annapurna Circuit and other well-known trekking routes like Annapurna Base Camp and Poonhill Trek. Actually, all of these trekking routes begin through lower foothills, oak forest, rhododendron, etc. In the Annapurna trek, mountain lover can enjoy the 7th & 10 Highest peak Dhaulagiri & Mount Annapurna respectively to keep happy themselves. Annapurna just has more diversity to go with its stunning views.
Everest is the way to go if you just want to see and be near at the top of the world. Actually, this is a high-altitude trek, walking through the perfect trail by enjoying the some of the most breathtaking high Himalayas. When you go EBC via Gokyo Lakes, the high Himalayas surround you on all sides. But be forewarned that magnificent vistas come at a cost: painful thighs and calves.
Insurance Is Must For EBC Trek During Difficulty
Travel Insurance is very essential before planning the trek into Himalayas. You need to search a travel insurance companies that must cover against personal accident, medical expenses, personal effect, loss of luggage. Helicopter Rescue and Air Ambulance if needed.
In Everest trekking, there is not any specific hospital that treats you as per your standard. Thus, you need to buy insurance from your own home country. In the event of a serious illness, evacuation by helicopter to Kathmandu is only an option for your good treatment.
There are various company that provide coverage and protection up to 6000 meters, however Everest base camp is at 5364 meters. For worldwide: World Nomads | Global Rescue. Look for one that covers incidents at a minimum of 5500 meters above sea level.
During the day time while walking, you’ll feel warm and sweats due to strong sun or heavy walk. I suggest to wear light & breathable, water repellent quick drying hiking pants that keep you cool & comfortable in both hot & cold weather. Preferably, zippers at the knees that can be converted to a short style in seconds. For instance, two section detachable pants for quick changes during hiking.
After your arrival at the tea house, you need clothes that keep you warm. We recommend carrying a warm, adaptable, and packable down jacket that is ideal for the off-the-beaten-path. For greater warmth, a nylon shell with 600 to 700 fill premium down insulation is good. When you are on the EBC trek, tea house lodges do not have any heater system in the bedroom. However, you’ll need to pack a best down jacket because most teahouse bedrooms in the EBC trek don’t have a heater.
Head lamp/ Torch light or Flash Light
Electricity blackout are common in Nepal. It is especially important in the early morning or at night to move here & there around the lodges. Like; when you go to Kalapatthar for sunrise view, Head Lamp or torch light or flash light is needed.
Receive or exchange sufficient cash in Kathmandu that is required for the Everest trekking days. Even if you have lesser known currency, it is better to change in Kathmandu. In the mountains like Lukla and Namche Bazaar, there you can find few ATM services. But sometimes it may doesn’t work when you need due to insufficient money into ATM machine. Therefore, Kathmandu is good to receive amount for trekking.
First Aid Kits
EBC Trek is not that difficult, as far as your health is concern. Common problems like dehydration, diahhorea, fever, headache, tonsillitis, blister, altitude sickness etc. arises amid the trek. Thus, don’t forget to pack up all medicine that you are required for the trek. Consult to your doctor carefully about the medicine that would suit to your body or not.
This is very important when strong sunlight strike on the mountains. Even it helps you to prevent from the dust that directly transmitted into eyes. Recommend – Polarized Sports Sunglasses.
Neck Gaiter or Buff.
This is very essential while trekking to Everest Base Camp. Because, some part of the trails has dust and windy that might affect on your breath. In order to prevent a terrible case of Khumbu Cough, you need a neck gaiter or buff. Recommend lightweight and breathable 4-way stretch fabric that fits men, women, and kids.
This is actually an alternate of shower or to clean your body surface. In high mountains, taking shower is difficult due to water pipe frozen. Another reason is that you feel very cold and want to skip taking shower all days of trek. When you will be at EBC trek, you will thank yourself for not forgetting to pack wet wipes. Recommended, Fresh Feel Flushable Wet Wipes. If possible, bio-degradable.
You need a warm, breathable, waterproof, and comfortable boot to wear. That is the best boot for the EBC trek. recommended. They are really comfy and provide a lot of ankle support. Rubber sole with a non-slip surface for greater movement control for everest base camp trek difficulty.
It will be very cold during the night on the Everest trek. There is no heater system in teahouse bedrooms. They will provide you with a couple of blankets at a time. But that is not enough to fight a cold in the night. However, you need best and warm sleeping bag for your sound sleep. I recommend you obtain a sleeping bag -15°C to -20°C. Check out our review of the best sleeping bag, Complete Everest base camp trek packing list.
Recommended adjustable s-type shoulder straps that have a side pocket to manage belongings. such as sleeping bags, mats, hammocks, tripods, and other gear. It should have high elastic breathable back support that has ventilation and ease of use while using. Plentiful sponge padding helps relieve the stress from your shoulders. rain cover that prevents water and heavy rain. This could help you for Everest base camp trek difficulty.
Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, tooth brush, tooth paste, sunscreen cream, body lotion, lip balms, medium and small towels, and other personal care items need to be carried by you.
Do not forget to carry your favorite snacks too. like chocolate bars, snickers, mints, etc. There will be no fixed time to have your lunch during the trek. When you need some energy, your snacks help a lot.
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