Q1. Is Everest Base Camp Trek difficult or easy?
Generally, the trek is not as hard as it sounds. It is rated as a moderate level hike. To get to Everest Base Camp, the trail traverse through many different Sherpa settlements. Also, the trail traverse through a huge variety of the terrain.
There are easy flat trails and difficult steep climbs but overall it is manageable for someone with little or no trekking experience. Also, the itinerary is designed with enough extra days for acclimatization. If you need, you can even spend extra days.
Q2. How much fit do I need to be to complete the Everest Base Camp trek?
Everest Base Camp trek is a moderate level trek. You will get enough time to acclimatize with the high altitude.
During the trek, you have to walk for 7-8 hours per day. Even slow walkers can manage comfortably, walking at own pace. But for this, a reasonable fitness is required.
However, if you train your body before the trek, it’ll help to build endurance level. The more fit you are, the trekking will be more enjoyable. You can go for a day hike in your home country. You can do daily exercise like jogging, running, and cycling.
But if you have heart and lungs problem you should consult with your doctor. Be aware, that the medical facilities on the trail are very hard to find and if you find by chance it’s very basic.
Also, due to the steep ascents and descents, rocky paths, and some moraine walking, Everest Base Camp trek is hostile to anyone with knee problems.
Q3. Am I prone to altitude sickness?
During the Everest Base Camp trek, there is a high risk of altitude sickness (read: how to prevent altitude sickness in EBC). It is often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). No matter how fit you are altitude sickness can hit you. Careful! it can be fatal.
The effect of altitude is likely to come once you’re above 3,000 meters. The initial symptoms of altitude sickness are as follows:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- A persistent headache
- Weakness, fatigue, heavy legs
- Slight swelling of hands and face
- Shortness of breath upon exertion
The above symptoms of AMS need to be taken seriously. The only cure for altitude sickness is to descend to the lower elevation immediately. Although there is no way to train your body against altitudes, there are some ways you can prevent it :
- Ascend slowly and gradually as you reach higher
- Drink plenty of water
- Take plenty of rest
- Do not smoke, drink alcoholic and high caffeinated drinks
- Eat high-calorie food
Q4. How long does the Everest Base Camp Trek take?
This depends upon the route you take and the number of days you spend in acclimatization.
Normally, Everest Base Camp trek can be done in 12-16 days. You can also extend the itinerary from 19-22 days and opt Three Passes Trek and Gokyo Valley Trek. If you want to explore more of the Everest region then these places are worth to visit!
Q5. What kind of accommodation is available along the trekking route?
During the trek, you’ll spend most of the nights in tea houses. Tea houses is a synonym of guesthouses. The rooms are very simple but comfortable to sleep. In some places, you might have to use the squatting toilets. On the Everest trekking route till Namche Bazaar, there are many luxurious lodges and hotels. Here you’ll find a luxurious room with attached bathroom and hot shower. As you move to higher altitudes “don’t expect luxurious accommodation”! Check: Everest Base Camp Accommodation Guide
Q6. What kind of food is available?
There are a variety of foods in Nepal you can try. During the trekking period, you’ll spend a lot of time in tea houses. Almost all the tea houses have the same food menu.
For breakfast, you’ll get boiled or cooked eggs, bread-butter-jam, pancakes, boiled potatoes, cereals and many more.
For meals, the most preferred dish is Nepalese traditional food “Dal-Bhat”. Rice is served with vegetable curry, lentil, chutney, salad, and meat (optional) cooked in Nepalese style.
Q7. Is drinking water easily available?
Yes, throughout the trail you’ll get mineral, boiled or tap water. Mineral water is safe but it is costly especially at higher elevation. The cost of mineral water per liter ranges from USD 1-3.5 from start to the end of the trek.
Another alternative is to carry a spare water bottle and get them filled in teahouses. The tea houses will sell boiled water at a relatively cheaper rate.
Although, you can save money by using reusable water bottle and water purification tablets. It’s cheaper,also controls environment pollution. On the trail, there are enough water taps, you can use purifying tablets and drink.
Q8. Do I need travel insurance for Everest Base Camp?
Yes, you need to purchase travel insurance and make sure it covers altitude upto 6,000 meters. Everest Base Camp trek goes above 5,000 m above sea level. Most of the travel insurance policies will not cover you over 3,000 m.
Medical treatment at high altitude can be expensive as it often involves a helicopter airlift rescue. So, a general insurance is not enough for this trek. Before purchasing the packages you must read terms and condition very carefully.
Besides altitude, you may fall sick in the new surrounding, make sure to have all necessary vaccinations prior to going abroad.
Similarly, while traveling your luggage might get lost or stolen or damaged. You may have to loose expensive trekking equipment. Thus, make sure your travel insurance covers for lost, stolen and damaged luggage.
Also, if you’re doing side trips to Island Peak, then it’s best to get the travel insurance that covers helicopter evacuation up to 6,000 m.
Q9. When is the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp?
The best time for Everest Base Camp trek is Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). October is the most popular time for this trek. The views are good and the weather conditions is moderate.
During March and April, expect warm and sunny days. There will be very little or no rainfall. The skies are clear with an amazing view of snow-capped Himalayan ranges.
Since May is the expedition month, you’ll see Base Camp full of colorful tents and climbers. Especially in the month of April and May, you’ll walk through the blossoming Rhododendron forests.
Besides, if you love solitude, then the monsoon (June to August) and winter (December to February) are the great time to do it. But it solely depends on how well you cope with the extreme weather conditions.
Also, while trekking during this time, you need to prepare yourself for flight delays and cancellations. Be aware the trail conditions can be difficult. Compared to the winter season, the visibility can be poor during monsoon.
So, if you go trek in winter you need to be prepared with the right clothing for challenging temperatures. Winter trek can be rewarding though. It could be an exciting way to celebrate Christmas and New Years.
Although the best time for the Everest Base Camp trek is Spring and Autumn, the trail is overcrowded. During this time, the tea houses are often packed by trekkers. You have to pre-book for accommodation and flight.
Q10. Do I need a guide/a porter/ a porter-guide?
Although hiring a guide or porter while trekking in Everest region is not mandatory, trekking with a guide or a porter is more safe and enjoyable. A guide is a person who will look after all aspects of your trek. They’ll arrange flight tickets, rooms, meals and camping gears. They’ll also brief you about the history of the village, monastery, the local culture, and traditions.
A porter is someone who’ll carry your baggage for you. Hiring a porter will help you enjoy long walks comfortably. But at the same time, they may not know the trekking route well and may not speak English.
A poter-guide will speak some English, carry loads and do some basic guiding. They’ll help you to get the room, communicate with the locals, show the way, and explain the local culture and traditions.
Besides, if you want to enjoy the solitude, you can do a solo trek. The trekking route is well-marked and busy, so you may not need a guide to find the way.
However, to cross less crowded and difficult trail like the Cho-La Pass and Renjo La Pass a guide, a porter or a porter-guides are recommended.
Q11. Can I charge my electronic devices?
Along the route most of the tea houses have electricity powered by solar. Charging your electronic devices will cost you some money especially at the higher elevation.
During the trek, to save some money, you can carry spare batteries for your camera, iPod.
Also, during the peak trekking season, teahouses are packed with trekkers. So, you may not get free space for charging your devices. In that case, you can charge your devices after paying few dollars to the lodge owners.
Q12. Is trekking permit required for Everest Base Camp trek?
Yes, TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) Permit and Sagarmatha National Park Permit are needed.
For TIMS card, you can apply in Nepal Tourism Board office in Thamel. There are three different types of TIMS card. Each card is different in color and cost.
The first one is organized TIMS card is blue in color cost USD 10. The second one is freelance individual trekkers card is green in color cost USD 20. The third one is SAARC Country TIMS card is red in color cost USD 3.
Note: You do not need TIMS card to trek to EBC. A local permit costing USD20 works for this trek
Sagarmatha National Park Permit can be issued either in Kathmandu or directly in Monjo. The cost of this permit is USD 30 + 13% Govt. Tax. The cost is same for individual trekker and organized trekkers.
While trekking from Jiri to Everest Base Camp you need Gaurishankar National Park entry permits. The cost of permits is USD 20 and it’s same for both individual and organized trekkers.
Q13. Is tipping the guide or porter mandatory?
No, tipping the guide or porter is not mandatory while trekking in Nepal. But it’s always appreciated. At the end of the trek, if you’re really satisfied with their job you can show your appreciation through a small gratitude.
Q14. Do I need to bring camping gear?
No, you don’t have to bring unless you want to camp. Everest Base Camp trek is a teahouse trek. There are a lot of tea houses along the entire trekking route.
Q15. Is there are any alternative way to see a close-up view of Mt. Everest without walking for longer days?
If you don’t have an ample of time for the Everest Base Camp trek, you can take a day’s Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour around the Everest region to get a close-up view of the Himalayan ranges.
Q16. Do I need to bring all the necessary gears or can I get in Nepal?
This is totally optional. There are plenty of shops in Kathmandu that sell trekking gears. You’ll find few other shops in some places along the trek route too.
Apart from high quality and popular branded stores, you’ll also find many other shops selling a high-quality copy of these brands but at a relatively cheap price.
Apart from this, you can also rent most of the trekking gears and equipments from Kathmandu. The rental cost is quite cheap, it doesn’t exceed more than $3-4 per day.
Right trekking gear can make or break your entire journey. So, it is not advisable to compromise on the quality especially when it comes to down jacket, sleeping bags, and hiking boots. Check this Packing list for Everest Base Camp Trek to get more idea.
Q17. Is there any chance of a flight delay or cancellation either in Kathmandu and Lukla?
Since the weather in the mountainous region is quite unpredictable there may be a chance of flight cancellations or delays. But that does not mean it is frequent.
The heavy rainfall, strong winds, and blinding fog may cause such inconveniences in your flight.
However, during the best trekking seasons (spring and autumn) the chances of flight cancellation and delay are comparatively lesser than in off seasons (monsoon and winter).
In case of flight delays or cancellation, you have two options: either charter a helicopter or travel by road to Salleri (approximately 11 hours by private jeep).
If you opt for the first option then we’ll arrange the charter flight. Where you have to fly with six people and the price per person will be approximately USD 350 per person.
Another option is by extending a trip for two days and travel from Kathmandu to Salleri by private jeep. Normally, the jeep carries 6 passengers and costs NPR 25,000 per private jeep.
Likewise, if a delay occurs at the beginning of the trip, then you can either wait for few more days or opt for an alternative trek like Annapurna Base Camp.
Also, if you’re not interested in taking an alternative trip and wish to do Everest Base Camp Trek, then you can opt for Annapurna circuit trek
Lastly, flight delays or cancellations may happen any time in mountain flights so we request you to add extra days on your itinerary and have patience.
Further, in case of flight cancellation, your costs of flight will be refunded.
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