Everest Base Camp Trekking
Mount Everest is known as the highest mountain in the world. It is part of Himalayas mountain range. Not many people can climb and reach its peak at 8,848 meters (29,029 ft) above sea level. However, you can get a glimpse of the earth’s highest peak from the Everest Base Camp. Even though arriving at Everest Base Camp is a challenging trek, it still much more doable and less dangerous than reaching the Everest peak itself. The scenery is breathtaking at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters above sea level surrounded by mountains.
There are two Everest base camps. The South Base Camp is in Nepal at an altitude of 5,364 metres (17,598 ft) while the North Base Camp is in Tibet at 5,150 metres (16,900 ft) above sea level. The South Base Camp in Nepal starts in Lukla. You can take a 25 minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla before starting your trek to the base camp. From Lukla, it takes around eight to ten days of trekking to reach Everest Base Camp. First step of your journey is a two day trip from Lukla to Namche Bazaar where you should rest for at least a day to get used to the high altitude and avoid the risk of High Altitude Sickness. Then, you continue your journey through Tengboche, Dingboche, Periche, Lobuche, to Gorak Shep. You might take another rest day in Deboche or Periche.
If you want to visit the North Base Camp in Tibet, you can combine your trip with a train journey across the Roof of the World from Qinghai – Tibet. You are required to have a permit from the Chinese government to the visit the Base Camp as well as a Tibet Entry Permit. The Everest Base Camp permit is called a PSB Permit which allows you to visit protected areas. These permits can be arranged by your local tourist agency. Your trip will start in Lhasa. It takes around four to five days to reach the North Base Camp. The time is shorter since it can be accessed by a car via the China – Nepal Friendship Highway. Along the way, you can see traditional Tibetan villages and other beautiful scenery of grasslands and lake.
It is possible to visit Everest Base Camp at any time of year. However, the best seasons are from mid-April to early June and from mid-September to mid-October when the climate is mild with clear sky. In May and June, you may have a risk of being caught in heavy rains during the monsoon season. The weather is cold all year, so you should prepare winter clothes that will keep you warm and a good sleeping bag. A good hiking boots are also important as you have to hike along mountain paths many hours each day. At high altitude, the sun is also harsh. You will need sunglasses and sunscreen. It is important to take your time and rest when you want, so you will not suffer from symptoms of altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS).