The daunting white peaks soaring high in the sky have captivated numerous intrepid trekkers till date. These mighty snow clad mountains have witnessed frequent attempts to the summit. Everest base camp trek is an adventurous and a quite famous trek among the wanderlusts. Two base camps lie at either side of Mount Everest, the south base camp in Nepal and the north base camp in Tibet. The south base camp is often referred to as the Everest base camp due to its unparalleled popularity that attracts thousands of trekkers every year. Basecamp literally means the spot from where the mountaineering expedition is set out. This incredibly popular trek can be found on the bucket list of many travel enthusiasts and adventure lovers.
Route and Height
Offering spectacular mountain scenery, the trek to the south base camp starts from Lukla in Nepal, stretching up all the way to Kala Patthar, situated at the height of 18192 feet. Most of the people opt for aeroplanes to travel from Kathmandu to Lukla, while a very few also choose for trekking this way as well. This adrenaline pumping and heart thumping trek exhibit rough terrains, high altitudes and unparalleled views of the landscape.
The south base camp in Nepal is located at an altitude of 5,364 feet. The trek starts from Lukla, travelling up to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar, which is located at an elevation of 11,290 feet. Climbers usually opt to take a halt here and get accustomed to the dropping Oxygen levels. From here the route takes the hikers to Dingboche, then further via Gorakshep to Kala Patthar. The journey downhill is quite enjoyable as there is no altitude sickness.
This trek is sometimes referred to as the 'Mother of all Himalayan Treks' because of its high altitude and the need for a level of physical fitness and mental readiness.
The duration of this trek varies depending upon the weather conditions and your level of fitness. It may range from 12 to 20 days.
The price for this trek varies from INR 35,000 per person to INR 65,000 per person, depending upon the duration and inclusions of the package.
During the trek to the Everest base camp, the travellers can also witness the Sherpa culture by visiting the various monasteries and museums that lie on the way. The unique and colourful prayer wheels, swing bridges and the distinctive aura of this place will keep you engaged all throughout the day. You can enjoy piping hot delectable local food during the night and indulge in Nepalese hospitality. If you are nature and wildlife lover, then make sure to visit the Sagarmatha National Park. This park is home to some rare species of wildlife like the snow leopard and red panda. It is an alluring tourist attraction. Here you can witness the grandeur of the mountains, glaciers, valleys and various high peaks soaring up in the sky.
Best Time To Visit
The best time for this trek is from March to May and September to December. The temperature here is quite high during May, and hence it does not serve as an excellent time to visit the place. Also, some monsoon showers can be expected in the months from June to August. In December, the temperature often dips to below-zero degrees.
You can choose to go on a solo trek or hire a porter or guide to accompany you on the trek. Although both options are feasible, going solo often is seen as a little risky. Many lone trekkers have disappeared on this trek in the yesteryears. Also, hiring a local guide helps you to learn about the tradition, customs and local lifestyle of the place. You can even get a package done by a travel agency for a hassle-free trip.
Tips and Training
To prepare yourself physically for this trek, you need to reach a moderate level of fitness. It can be easily done by indulging in some cardiovascular activities like swimming, jogging, walking, cycling and repeated climbing stairs. The basic mantra to be followed during the trek is to be 'slow and steady'. Moreover, the luggage should be light and compacts. A load of 10 kg should be appropriate for a trek like this. Some important things that are a must-have are- a sleeping bag, raincoat, gloves, woollens, sun hat and polarized sunglasses. Don't forget to carry a portable medical kit and travel-size toiletries.
Some issues that are commonly faced by the trekkers are- altitude sickness, blisters and digestion problems. To avoid these opt for vegetarian food like dal bhaat and make sure to carry the prescribed medicines as well as proper protection from the sun. Choose the crowded tea houses on the way to ensure that the food you consume is freshly prepared. It is advised to drink at least 3-4 litres of fluids every day in the form of filtered water, tea and soups.
Everest base camp trek is a remarkable experience and an accomplishment like none other. People flock from all over the globe to witness the majesty of the mighty mountains and bask in the glory of the natural scenic beauty. Spruce up the wanderlust in you and indulge in this fantastic trek to have the time of your life!