A Beginner's Guide To Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trekking
Things to carry/remember:
- Warm clothes, trekking boots.
- First-aid kits.
- Trekking maps, walking sticks, flash lights.
- Light backpacks (if possible) with camelbak or water bottle or hot water flask.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Keep yourself well hydrated.
- Chocolates bars, cookies and dry fruits.
- Camera and video cameras with extra battery. Solar charger if possible.
- Hand Sanitizer.
- Wet Wipes.
- Head-mounted LED Lamp.
- Careful during ascending; might suffer from high altitude sickness.
- It is better to book your hotel before reaching destination as one might face trouble during booking on arrival on a peak season.
- Lukla Airport (one of the world’s most dangerous airports.
- Lifestyle and culture of Sherpa and Rai community.
- Buddhist rituals and cultures and monasteries.
- Various floras and faunas, and wildlife.
- Scenic view of world’s top mountains Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Amadablam, Mt. Pumori, and many others, Khumbu Glacier (largest glacier in Nepal).
- Dudh Koshi River, Imja River, and waterfalls.
Note: Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card required for foreigners, which you can get at the national park entry post and national park permit required for foreigners.
Kathmandu-Lukla-Monjo-Namche Bazar-Tengboche-Pangboche-Ama Dabalam Base Camp-Dingboche- Lobuche-Gorak Shep-Everest Base Camp-Kala Patthar-Thugla Pass-Pheriche-Pangboche-Tengboche-Namche Bazar-Phakding-Lukla.
Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla (2800 m) to Monjo (2835 m) (5 hours):
With excitement, we all meet up and went to Tribhuwan International Airport Domestic Terminal. After routine check in the terminal, we went inside for departure and checked for flight schedule. Well the officer gave us a surprise; he said that the last flight for Lukla has already left at 7:30 and there were no other flight. Although, we were on a scheduled time provided by the airline, they had not informed us about the early flight. There was some chaotic situation at that time, but the officer was cooperative and managed a flight to Lukla in a cargo plane. At first, we were like “Duh… a cargo plane,” but later on we came to know that it is the regular plane with the seats removed. So it took a little time to fix 5 seats in a plane and after few minutes, we were ready to fly to Lukla.
It was about 30 minutes of scenic flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. Those short 30 minutes were not enough to get a glimpse of beautiful mountain range to the north. Weather was pretty clear that day, so the panoramic views of beautiful snow-capped mountains are easily visible. After 30 minutes of flight, we landed to world’s most dangerous yet beautiful airport in Lukla (Tenzing-Hillary Airport). It was short runway and was between the hills. One must be there to see why it is called the world’s dangerous airport. We collected our baggage and started our trek from clean and beautiful Lukla. Before starting our trek, we stopped for a lunch (Daal-Bhat-Tarkari) in Lukla. After about an hour, we were ready to walk. Today’s destination was Monjo, which was about 5 hours walk from Lukla and 2 hours walk from Phakding. As it was first day, there was lots of energy in all of us. The walking was easy with greenery and clean and fresh air. Trail was both downhill, uphill, as well as plain trail. With the green hills on the front and right side, there were Jokpes (cross between yak and domestic cattle) and mules, carrying the daily need (salts, foods, gas cylinders, etc.). There are many chortens, prayer wheels, and stones scripts on the way and few teahouses for a small break. After 3 hours of walk, we reached Phakding, a small bazar where there are hotels and teahouses to stay overnight. We had a little break there and further continued our trek to reach Monjo. After 2 hours we reached our today’s rest point, Monjo. Unpacked our baggage and freshen up and hiked further up for acclimatization. Back to lodge, drank some tea, had a little chit chats with the owner. Back to room for rest after dinner.
Day 2: Monjo (2835 m) to Namche Bazar (3440m) (5 hours):
New day, new start; after breakfast, we headed towards to reach Namche Bazar, our rest point for the day. Trail is downhill as well as uphill (mostly). After an hour of walking, we reached Jorsale. With greenery and hills and mountains in the surrounding, there was a different excitement in walking. There were many suspension bridges on the way. Enjoying the beauty of the nature, we reached Namche Bazar, a beautiful bazar located between two hills. From here, we can see mountains like Khongde Peak, Thamaserku, Ama Dablam, etc. Rested in a hotel over at Namche, ate lunch and we climbed further up to Syangboche (3745 m) for acclimatization. Good view of Namche and surrounding mountains up from here. Spend about an hour over the top of Syangboche and back to the hotel for dinner and rest.
Day 3: Namche Bazar (3440 m) to Pangboche (3900 m) via Tengboche (3880 m) (8 hours):
Woke up early to get a good view of snow-capped mountains. Finished our breakfast and prepared to walk. As it was a long hour of walk, we had to hurry. The area was well crowded with trekkers mostly foreigners. Locals were busy in their daily lifestyle. We can hear the yak bells tied up in their neck and carrying loads for daily uses. After 3 hours of walking mostly downhill, we reached Phunki Thenga (3240 m) near the riverside. We stopped there for a lunch break. After lunch, we walk straight uphill for about 2 hour to reach Tengboche (3880 m). There is a big and popular monastery in Tengboche. There are few hotels and lodges to stay. Resting for few minutes, we again headed to reach Pangboche (3900 m). Trail from Tengboche to Pangboche is quite easy. Trail passes through dense forest of different beautiful vegetation and river. After walking for about 2 hours or so, we reach Pangboche. There are few good lodges to stay in for overnight.
Day 4: Pangboche (3900 m) to Dingboche (4530 m) (4 hours): Visit to Amadablam Base Camp (3 hours):
After breakfast, you can either trek to Dingboche or you can trek up to Amadablam Base Camp. We thought we would give a short visit to Amadablam Base Camp. The decision made was pretty good. After 3 hours of walk with the good view of mountains, we reached Amadablam Base Camp. There were few expedition teams at the base camp. The view of the base camp was awesome, but due to the bad weather, we couldn’t get a view of Mt. Amadablam. We spend about one hour at the base camp, talking with team of Sherpa helper over there. While returning, there was a slight snowfall, and on the way back, we were lucky enough to get a glimpse of Nepalese national bird “lophophorus.” Enjoying the snowfall, and few hours of walk, we reach Pangboche to get our bag packs and headed towards to reach Dingboche. After 3 hours of walk, we reached Dingboche. Weather was pretty cold and due to high altitude, it was difficult to breathe easily and walk.
Day 5: Dingboche (4530 m) to Lobuche (4940 m) (5 hours):
Today’s destination is Lobuche. We pass through Thugla Pass (4720 m). Trail from Dingboche to Thugla is plain and easy and up to Thugla Pass is straight uphill and quite strenuous. After passing Thugla Pass, the trail is easy again. With the good view of surrounding mountains, we reach Lobuch after almost 5 hours of walking. Breathtaking views of mountains and glaciers will accompany through the trek. We can get a good view of Mt. Amadablam, Mt. Tobuche, Chola Peak, and Tobuche glacier. Resting for a while at the lodge, we again trek little further up for acclimatization, from where we can get a good view of Khumbu glacier. Few hours spending there, we then return back to lodge to spend some quality time.
Day 6: Lobuche (4940 m) to Gorak Shep (5164 m) (3 hours) to Everest Base Camp (5364 m):
Gorak Shep is the last resting point for the Everest Base Camp trekkers. Almost after 3 hours of easy but slow walking in plain trails, we reach Gorak Shep. Due to high altitude, it becomes little difficult to breath and one might feel uneasy while ascending. We must be careful while ascending to prevent from high altitude sickness. Keeping that in mind, we trekked further up to reach Gorak Shep. There are few hotels and lodges. After lunch, we headed towards to reach Everest Base Camp. The view from the trail was splendid and there were mountains and mountains everywhere. After 3 hours of walking, we finally reach our destination “Everest Base Camp.” At that point, I knew why BBC has listed Everest Base Camp as “50 Most Amazing Places to See Before You Die.” One has to be there to witness the beauty of the nature, beauty of the mountains and glaciers. We can see tears of joys and happiness of the people in the base camp. After spending some time, we return back to Gorak Shep and rest.
Day 7: Gorak Shep (5164 m) to Kala Patthar (5545 m) to Tengboche (3880 m) (10 hours):
Early morning we trek up to reach Kala Patthar; good view point of Mt. Everest, Mt. Pumori and other surrounding mountains. After 2 hours of straight and painful uphill walk, we reach Kala Patthar. You will see Pumori base camp from here and Mt. Pumori right in front. Not to mention, we can also get a clear view of Mt. Everest from here. Spending some time over there enjoying the spectacular view, we head back to Gorak Shep, ate our breakfast and trek back to reach Tengboche. Either we can take same route as we took to trek up or we can take a route from Pheriche village to reach Tengboche. Pheriche is a beautiful village, so we can opt to take this route while returning back. Eating lunch at Thugla, we now trek to reach Tengboche after 5 hours. Rest at Tengboche.
Day 8: Tengboche (3880 m) to Lukla (2800 m) (10 hours):
Descending is quite easy than to ascend in the high altitude. So, it will be quite easy and fast to descend to low altitude. It took a good 3 hours of walk to reach Namche Bazar from Tengboche. There was a 2-day market at that time in Namche, so there were people doing shopping. These markets are held every Friday and Saturday. We had a short break over there and then headed straight for Lukla via Monjo. Few hours of walk from Namche, we reached Monjo where we had our lunch. After lunch, we rushed to reach Lukla. At around 6, we reached Lukla and stayed in a hotel near to airport in order to catch early flight the next morning.
Day 9: Lukla to Kathmandu:
Final day of the trip. 8 a.m. flight to reach Kathmandu. With good memories of the Everest Base Camp trekking, everybody seems happy that they have accomplished this trek without any difficulty.