Posted by Abhinav in Travel Advice
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest is one of the biggest challenges of all, and its height makes even a trek to its base camp an adventure of the highest degree. Starting from the Kathmandu, an air ride and 10-14 days trek will take you amidst the soaring summits of Himalayas. During this trek you won’t only face the many challenges of high altitude trekking, but you’ll also get to experience the unique culture of the Sherpas. This journey will teach you the spiritual perspective of the Sherpas who reside on these mountains, plus you’ll discover the hidden mountain monasteries along the trail to Everest Base camp.
Everest Base Camp trek cost:
The first question that arises in anyone’s mind is the cost of trek to Everest base camp. If you’re thinking of doing a low budget trek that include a trek from Jiri till the base camp and back, lasting over 24 days, then it will cost you around $400. However, this trek will be an unguided one, but in case you want fly till Lukla and then trek, along with the odd luxuries, porters, guide, then an Everest base camp budget will be in a region of $1000-$1200 including the flight tickets, all kinds of lodging and eating, it also includes tipping the porters/guides. The Everest base camp trek is well marked and therefore, you can think of doing it without a guide, but there might be some tricky parts, where it can be dangerous to go without a guide. However, the best option is to have a Nepali guide along with you as they understand the local culture, and they’ll make sure you enjoy the trek.
A porter guide will cost you at least 1000 Rs/$20 a day. They can carry at most 15 kg of weight, and help you converse with the locals by translating, will also help you in negotiating rooms at the lodges. However, if you’ll go for a proper guide, then they’d arrange everything for you, plus show you around the place during the trek that have a historical importance. They’ll speak fluent English unlike the porters, and you can hire them at 40-60$ a day.
When you’re looking for a lodge, most of the basic lodges will charge between $2-6. Moreover, you must also keep in mind that as you go higher, food and water becomes expensive, a mineral water bottle can cost about $5. You’ll have to spend around $25 per day on meals, while luxury lodges on the way will easily cost around $150-200 per day, if you’re looking for comfort.
There are ATMs on the way if you’re thinking of withdrawing money during the trek, however, the bank in Lukla charges a fee of 5%, while in Namche the Visa ATM is there, plus the moneychangers who charge a fee of 8%. The expensive lodges along the route do accept mastercard and visa cards. However, it’s advisable to carry all the cash you’ll be needing along the way at once, plus $200-300 in cash for the emergencies.
Fitness level for Everest Base camp trek:
You do need to be fit for the trek, however, it isn’t that difficult since people from almost all age groups have walked to the Everest Base camp. The straight-in, straight-out trek to Everest base camp isn’t as demanding as it seems if you give yourself enough time to acclimatize to the altitude. Plus, you’ll also have to listen to your body and stop when it needs to.
Since there are steep ascents and descents during the trek, Everest base camp trek isn’t suitable for the ones with weak knees or ankles, moreover, you’ll also have to carry lesser weight. It’s harder to carry the same amount of weight at a high altitude than in the plains.
Moreover, if you’ve heart or lung trouble, consult your doctor before proceeding on this trek. Even though the amount of walking you’ll be doing per day isn’t that much, but a good amount of fitness is still required, because if you can’t climb a few flights of stairs, then it’ll become a bit difficult to climb a 3000m vertical climb with lots of steep ascents and descents. Make sure you’ve some high altitude trekking experience before venturing on the Everest Base camp trek.
Other things to remember during Everest Base Camp Trek:
During the Everest Base Camp Trek, you’ll have to take care of the various things. The straight-in, straight-out route is mostly danger free and widened as well as smoothed for trekkers at places, but there are still patches where you’ve to be alert while trekking. Moreover, whenever you meet a yak or mule train ascending or descending, you’ve to step to the wall side to protect yourself from being knocked off the mountain. One of the biggest danger that you’ll face is Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS). In most cases you can easily avoid it by sleeping at no more than 300m higher than the previous night, as well as you shouldn’t ascend more than 1000 meters in a day. Other than that you should take care while trekking as twisted ankles and sprains are common.
Route for Everest Base Camp Trek:
You’ll fly out from Kathmandu to Lukla, from where you can arrange for porter and guide before beginning with your Everest Base Camp Trek. From Lukla you’ll descend 1500 feet to Dudh Kosi. From Dudh Kosi valley you’ll move northwards to Monjo and enter Everest National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and from there you can catch your first sight of Everest. A steep climb will bring you to the Sherpa market town of Namche Bazaar, it’ll be your home for two nights as you acclimatize. From there you’ll proceed to Thami, the last outpost of the ancient trading route between Tibet and Nepal. At 13000 feet, you’ll pass the Thami Monastery, and then move uphill to the village khumjung where Sir Edmund Hillary established a school. From there move through Dudh Kosi gorge to Tengboche monastery, which is one of the most beautiful valley walks on Earth. From there you’ll proceed to the village of Pangboche after hiking through a beautiful forest, here the peak of Ama Dablam will be directly overhead. Hike up to the remote village of Dingboche, here you’ll camp for two nights, and you can also opt for an option 2100 foot climb to Nangkartshang peak to view Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu, three of the six highest peaks in the world. From Dingboche, we’ll continue along the valley floor until we reach Lobuje. Next we’ll be walking to the edge of Khumbu glacier, from where we’ll hike till the village of Gorak Shep. Here you can clim up the Kala Pattar for a stunning view of Everest. Depending on the weather we’ll head out on the final climb that’ll take us to the Everest base camp tucked under the Khumbu icefall. You’ll return to Lobuje for the night stay, and later start your descent to Lukla.
In case you’re planning an Everest Base Camp Trek, contact us at Tierra Travels to arrange a Everest Base Camp trek via Kathmandu-Lukla. http://www.tierratravels.com/