Trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp – Nepal

by Johnny Ward

50% less oxygen than you’re used to, freezing temperatures, no showers for a week, blisters bursting through your socks and one of the best experiences of your life – that is Mount Everest Base Camp Trek in a nutshell.

How much is the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek

At 5380m/17650ft Everest Base Camp is at a higher altitude than most mountains you’ll have climbed in your life. Bearing in mind that Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is a mere 600 metres higher than the bottom of Everest, it gives you an idea of the extreme conditions that the (quite literally) breathtaking Himalayas will present you with.

mount everest base camp trek

I’m going to run through a few FAQs on the trek so everyone can get a better understanding about it and decide whether or not it’s something you’d like to do.

How much does it cost for the Mount Everest Base Trek? First question as always, I know these awesome activities can create a serious dent in your backpacking bank balances but, alas, that’s life. This is no different. I paid around $330 USD (3 people, $1000) but I hasten to add that took 2 days of bartering and was the cheapest anyone has ever heard of for this trek, it also didn’t include meals. It included a 12 day trek, with a sherpa (guide), return flights from Kathmandu to Lukla airport and accommodation in the various teahouses all the way up and down to Base Camp.

I think realistically now the lowest pricing available starts at around $600 (with hardcore bargaining and low-end food and accommodation) for a 2week trek but remember that’s all your expenses taken care of for the whole two weeks. If you want better accommodation, nicer food, longer time to acclimatize you can easily pay upwards of $2000+.  Remember, don’t book it from your home country! Arrive in Nepal and sort it out from there.

buddhist paintings on everest

Buddhist painting and prayer flags are a common site on your trek

How difficult is the trek? It’s not a lazy Sunday afternoon stroll that’s for sure! If you’re reasonably fit, play a bit of sport, generally healthy you should be able to tackle Base Camp without any training (I did nothing in preparation). That being said, you will be walking for up to 9 hours a day up some steep climbs so be ready to sweat, it is a serious workout in parts! If you’re not so healthy you may need to take longer than 12 days (an 18 day option is available) or consider doing a bit of training before you start because, as I say, I wouldn’t describe it as easy. I recently climbed Kilimanjaro and aside from the summit day for ‘kili’, base camp is more strenuous than the kili climb.

Note:You don’t need any technical mountain climbing skills for this trek.

Tea house on everest trek

One of the towns you stay on on the way to base camp

What about altitude sickness? Altitude sickness has the power to ruin your trek. There’s no way of knowing who it will target and your level of physical fitness has no bearing on your likelihood to experience it. If anything, studies show younger, more muscular men are most likely to be affected by it! There are ways to counteract it, you can take a pill called ‘diamox’ which is great way to counteract AS – just make sure you drink plenty of water if you take it (plenty means plenty, like 6 litres a day!) or it can have a negative affect on your kidneys. Also, let the sherpa guide the pace and, if necessary spend a day or two acclimatizing as you ascend. Remember, it’s not a race and the most important thing is getting there, not getting there quickly!

altitude sickness on everest base camp

Do I need a guide/porter? The trek is quite well laid out so it is possible to go it alone, especially if you are an experienced trekker and mountain climber. However, I would recommend taking a guide/sherpa – if something goes wrong, he’s your man to solve the problem. Your sherpa knows the route inside-out, he knows how to pace the journey, knows about the history, knows the best view-points etc. and for the minor additional cost, it’s well worth it. A porter? That’s up to you, I think it’s unnecessary personally but if you don’t want to carry your backpack then by all means pay someone to do it. Also, it supports local labour which is always a step in the right direction.

 

What is the food and accommodation like? Pretty primitive but what do you expect, it takes days to get ingredients up here! The teahouses are wooden huts with uncomfortable mattresses, in the cold weather they will supply you with plenty of blankets so the temperature shouldn’t be a problem. You can pay extortionate fees for a hot shower in the first couple of days ($20+ per shower!) but after day 3 or 4, that’s not even an option, stil there’s always the Himalayan melt water stream to bathe in (coldest experience of my life, never again!). The food is hearty if not exotic – plenty of daal bhaat (similar to Indian lentil stews) with rice.

Accommodation on the Mount Everest Base camp Trek

Standard teahouse accommodation on the trek

When you finally reach base camp and climb onto the glacier at the foot of Mount Everest you’ll be rendered speechless. Probably the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, it took you 10 days of walking every day to finally get here and then, there it is, the tallest mountain on earth staring right back at you – amazing.

view from everest base camp

The view from Kala Patthar (5600m)

Mount everest base camp pic

Me proudly at base camp with Everest in the background

Mount Everest at Sunrise

Mount Everest at Sunrise

Ok guys, there’s all the info you need. If you have any questions feel free to drop me an email or comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Other than that- get our hiking boots on and get to Nepal!

 

 

NOTE: if you love to climb mountains check out my post on climbing Borneo’s highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, and of course Kilimanjaro

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

86 thoughts on “Trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp – Nepal

  1. page

    Remember: with so many shows on the air all competing for audience attention they’re all looking for a
    new and different angle. If you want to get into reselling of used printer cartridges, you
    will need to source for additional empty cartridges to make your efforts viable.
    According to the officials of the association, some tips
    to be followed by SMBs to prevent the attacks are:.

    I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog’s posts everyday along with a
    cup of coffee.

    Reply
  2. site

    It’s best to get all the information about insurance companies, get multiple quotes from different companies and also be updated about latest insurance news before going to any insurance agent.
    If you want to get into reselling of used printer cartridges,
    you will need to source for additional empty cartridges
    to make your efforts viable. Its weight is 122 grams and casing measures 111 x
    51 x 13.

    I’m gone to inform my little brother, that he should also go
    to see this webpage on regular basis to get updated from latest gossip.

    Reply
  3. Aakriti

    why did you just went to the base camp and not to the final summit…And would like to know how i can get to the final summit…on top of the himalyas….

    Reply
  4. Nick (theboywander)

    I’d always wondered if it was all it’s cracked up to be but after hearing from a friend who did it last month and reading this post, I’m definitely doing it when I visit Nepal next year.
    Thanks for the great post

    Reply
  5. Deborah Thomas

    Hi, I’m doing this trek in mid April next year, would you advise a down sleeping bag, 4 season but am worried about getting it wet. A porter will be carrying it but someone mentioned condensation in the tea houses?

    Reply
  6. Barbara

    This is something we have always wanted to do…a bucket list kind of thing. Reading your story was very inspiring, thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  7. Ali baba

    Hay- cheers for the post really handy info- I am hoping to do the trek in July- any chance I could have your opinion on:
    1. How many days would you new in katmandu to bargain down to a good price?
    2. I’m most likely going by myself but would like to get in with a group – is it eat to meet people in hurt houses or I here an option to join a group?

    Reading your post made me very excited – also very informative so thank you
    Ali

    Reply
    1. caro

      Hi!! i was looking for some information about the trekking to everest base camp and find this.. Now i am in kathmandu, and i want go on july also. My question is it is possible go in july? i asked already here and many people said yes..but rain… what you know about this…. how is july? ..
      also if you want we can join and lets go…

      Reply
  8. Deependra Simkhada

    Best Everest base camp Trekking tour operator in Nepal, Simrik Real Nepal has established in 2010 /02/11 A.D. We advise for Everest Base Camp Trekking on the month of October, November, mid December , March, April & May in the year.

    Reply
  9. Paul Gorman

    Hi Johnny,
    I’m trying to decide whether to do EBC or Kiliminjaro. Seeing as you have done both, which would you choose? I will do both eventually, just trying to decide which I do first.
    cheers,
    Paul

    Reply
  10. Skizz

    hey man, really inspiring! I’m thinking about visiting Nepal, but since i’ve been travelling in Australia and Asia, i got a big backpack and a small one with me… what’s the best thing to do with that, i mean i don’t want to take both backpacks on the trekk… is there a possibility to store one of them somewhere? how did you do that?

    sincerely, Skizz.

    Reply
  11. Julybabies

    Thank Goodness we found your website/post on Everest Base Camp!! This is just the type of down-to-earth info we have been looking for – its type of info we would put on our blog if we knew how too. We now can go with confidence that we will find what we need when we get there. Your post was Very informative and the pics add an insite to what to expect. We can’t wait!! This confirms our thoughts that it will be one of our perfect challenge for our Gap Year.
    We are also planning to climb Kota Kinabalu when we are in Malaysia in Feb/Mar, hopefully this will prepare us a little for the Everest Hike in Mar/Apr. Thank You. We better read your post on Kota Kinabalu now.

    Reply
  12. Gonçalo

    Hello!
    Were do You find The Serpa? In katmandu ou lukla ?
    I pretend to go with nothing booked, so….
    It’s easy to find a ticket plane to Kathmandu to lukla?
    How many days do you spend go up and down from lucla?

    Regards. Goncalo

    Reply
  13. Reachel

    Hi!

    I went to Everest Base Camp and was going to Annapurna this past April/May. I can tell you that I found good prices in Kathmandu. I went shopping with my guide though and he seemed to get good deals. I think he rents-out sleeping bags. You can get them in Pokhara too, but you will find a bigger selection in Thamel. this means you can get better deals and will be able to talk them down on the price. It is a Nepali custom (I read in a guide) to bargain. It is fun. You will have no problems wih the weight on the plane. My bag was a bit big, I have a hard time traveling light.
    I did hire a guide and he took care of hiring a porter. He works with trusted people. I can recommend my guide. He was knowledgeable, friendly, and most of all looked-out for my safety. He seemed to know just about everyone in Kathmandu and many, many guides and people on the mountain. Because Sanjib knows so many people he was constantly getting updates from up the mountain, or down the mountain. It was great to travel with a guide that has so many established relationships. I found him by chance through a travel forum and then got references from him. That is, I emailed past clients. In no time, I received emails from Italy, Germany and the U.S. singing this guy’s praises, so that is how I went about finding my guide. I found the price very reasonable and I liked the fact that you do not pay until you get there, so you avoid the big down payments and the advance payments as well. I was happy to travel solo. Traveling in a group is great, but for sure, you will not get personalized attention. You can meet a lot of people at the tea houses, or as you go along the trek you will become familiar with others “going your way.” You can contact Sanjib Adhikari at sanjib-adhikari@hotmail.com and Mobile No +97798416138. I recommend email. I am sure he will be happy to provide you with references. Let me know if you have more questions and enjoy!!!

    Reply
  14. shams

    Hi Johney- Thanks for a great post. Couple of questions for you:

    1. I want to travel the EBC in end November. Will that be a good time?
    2. Will I be able to get the tracking permission from Lukla?
    3. How much usually the guide charges per day?

    Thanks
    Shams

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      i did it all through a company in Kathmandu, where you pay for everything up front mate so not sure about the guides prices per day. The company organised my permits too, so again – no idea. November should be fine tho :)

      Reply
  15. nilay

    Hello,

    I’m interested in doing this, it really is a dream! My question is a basic one, do you think I should really do nothing before going there and start organizing/planning/finding sherpas/finding operators after I arrived in Katmandu? And if your answer is yes, what should i be careful about when choosing the operator/sherpa? Do you have any specific advice?

    And, thanks a million for the great post!

    Reply
  16. bub

    hey this is nice used this info well even thinking about a trek myself. it help me get a A+ on my assignment sheet i now have straight As! Thank you very much for helping me :)

    Reply
  17. amy

    Hi Johny,
    Thanks for so much great info! I am considering both the EBC trek and kili climb and read both of your posts. I have to chose one out of the two for next Jan for a two weeks vacation. It’s really a hard decision. :) EBC obviously has the allure of seeing the tallest mountain on the planet, while Africa is just a whole continent i never experienced and being able to have a relaxing safari after climbing up a huge mountain is attractive too. Can you compare these two experiences? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey amy, tough to compare to be honest! Because i don’t go to one country, i stay in the region for months (years?) so before/after nepal i was in bangladesh, india, western china, bhutan etc whereas with Kili i was in Kenya/Ethiopia/Malawi etc so you gotta factor that in too. It comes down to a choice of asia vrs africa i guess, cos the experiences themselves are both awesome :)

      Reply
  18. Marco

    Hi johnny, I am planning to go to Nepal in two weeks, and was thinking of doing the EBC.
    You said you were there about the same time of the year. I am ok with the cloud cover, but did it rain a lot while you were trekking?
    Also, I don’t have much time to spend in Nepal, about 15 days. Can the EBC track be done in 10 days?
    thanks

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      cloud cover was quite bad mate :S luckily on the day we were at base camp it opened up. EBC in 10 days? Sure but it won’t be easy, u bringing a guide? No rain at all until the last day for us too :)

      Reply
  19. charlotte

    Johnny, can you comment on vaccination and medications one may need to trek EBC, and health issues a trekker is likely to encounter enroute to EBC, altitude sickness, stomach, respiratory. Hear about them all the time, just how common are these problems? thanks

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey charlotte, the only worry is alitutde sickness – u can take diamox to counteract it, if u do u need to drink about 6litres of water a day to stay hydrated tho, but that’s ok :) other than that, take it slow and you’ll be grand

      Reply
  20. Donni

    Hey johnny,

    Your post is awesome thanks. I started looking into doing this recently as between and might be heading there next month…

    On another subject, i am going alone and have never done this sort of thing before, do you suggest I go there find a group and join them or go solo? If anyone is going in April let me know if you want to meet up – email at ammrdonia@gmail.com

    Thanks

    Reply
  21. Simrik

    Highly informative post. Keep on posting such a informative post. I would really like to do Everest Base Camp Trekking In Nepal before I die.

    Reply
  22. Ying

    Reading your post about EBC really makes me want to trek up there myself!! sounds like such an experience. Well done to you for scaling EBC.

    I’ve only trekked once and that was last year at Mount Kinabalu. I rested at most of the stations but I did make it to the top in time to see the sunrise (was spectactular!). As you’ve done both – how does EBC compared to Mount Kinabalu? I’m just worried that I’m not fit enough.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      thanks ying! kinablu is awesome too, so beautiful at the summit! EBC is a lot longer than Kinabalu, its almost 2 weeks as opposed to 2 days (and the price is obviously a lot more too!). Fitness wise, it’s not too much of a problem, you just take it slow. You don’t have to be in great shape to do it, i promise =)

      Reply
  23. Amit

    Hey Man ! This is really great ..I have some questions..

    1.How much total it costs you?
    2.How much for the Guide/sherpa?
    3.how many days you stayed in Kathmandu?
    4.What were your clothes ,if I buy from store there How much it costs??

    please tell as I have plan to go there and I want to make it as cheap as possible..

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey amit,

      i bargained HARD and it cost me less than $500 for everything. That includes one guide and fees. For clothes, i bought fake stuff in Kathmandu – they have s0 much stuff there, it’s really easy. I stayed in kathmandu for 3 or 4 days after to celebrate, cool city =)

      Reply
      1. Amit

        Did you bought or should we take on rent and after use we can return to it..I think that is good too…Thanks for your reply ..

        Reply
  24. Tom

    Thanks for the info, sounds awesome. I am going to head in that direction this summer and was wondering what kind of red tape I need to take care of. The visa is no worries but some of the websites I have seen are telling me different things. Did you deal with other paperwork other than your visa?

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey tom,

      forget that mate – i arrived in short and tshirts with my passport in hand. That’s all you need, don’t worry about anything else!

      Reply
  25. Nathalie

    Great blog! Really inspiring.

    I’m hoping to head for EBC around june-july 2012, but I’ve heard so many bad things about that particular time of the year.
    Would you advise me to go anyway?

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      Hey nat! i went in low season too and the cloud cover can be quite frustrating so the mountains are under cover for long portions of the time. That being said, there are often breaks where you can see everything AND you have the whole place to yourself, which is a real bonus. My friends just got back from it in high season, and it was packed!

      Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      chris mate – you put me on the spot there!!

      Errrmmmmm… hmmmmm…. bloody hell that’s tough! How about costs, i know flights to tanzania can be pricey? I guess i’d say Kili, Everest is more beautiful BUT you’re only going to the bottom although seeing the top of the tallest mountain in the world is pretty special. With Kili though, when you reach the summit you’re literally the highest person on the whole continent at that time, that’s pretty cool too! I’d go Kili just because you actually summit it :)

      let me know what u choose!

      Reply
      1. Chris

        Hey Johnny

        Thanks for getting back to me, as I’m travelling from the UK both trips are going to cost in excess of £2000 so money isn’t really the issue. I just could’nt decide which one to do but then I figured it doesn’t relly matter as I will always want to do both of them any way!

        Either way neither of them are going anywhere so…..

        Cheers dude!

        Reply
  26. Nikos

    Hey Johnny – I enjoyed this story… very interesting. One question though – You said the price you paid for the trek did not include meals. How much did you end up paying for your meals? Did you carry your own food with you? I understand food gets expensive the further you go up the trail. Do you think it would be worth it to pay the extra amount so you don’t have to worry about paying for meals?

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey mate,

      i didn’t carry any food with me at all. Drunk water from the river mostly – i’m cool with eating local Nepalese food so we ate daal baat EVERY meal i think! It costs $1-$3 i think, more expensive as you go up is spot on. If you’re drinking beers and eating mars bars you’ll spend a fortune, but if you’re ok with slumming it for a week or two then it works out cheap as chips :)

      Reply
  27. Rachna

    I did EBC trek from 16-Apr-2011 to 3-May and it costed me NPR 56000 which included porter at $15/day and 4 nights stay+food in Kathmandu. I bought boiled water instead of using water puification tablets and an expensive shower at Naamche bazaar.

    Just thought to share my experience.

    Reply
    1. Ken Allen

      I have just returned from an EBC trip with a buddy. We did the trip in 6 days, and my buddy smoked cigarettes all the ways to the top and was not that fit!! We had signed up for a 10 day trek which included meals, return flight to Lukla, accomodation a guide and a porter for $575 each. If we had anticipated we could do it in 6 days we might have gotten it a bit cheaper. Great trip n experience!!! Highly reccommended :-)

      Reply
        1. Ken Allen

          I pre booked for just myself over a few emails and phonecalls for 770$ for the 10 days! Once I knew I had a friend come on board I got them down to 600$/person. As I had payed a deposit for myself and my friend had not we got him down to 575$ on the day to secure the both of us….. We got a great Sherpa too who had reached the summit a few times, he even introduced us to the world record for everest summits, Apa Sherpa. He just reached his 21st summit on the 10th May I believe and we met him on route to BC.

          Reply
          1. Johnny Post author

            wow! awesome experience Ken, that was a great opportunity! Thinking of attempting the summit yourself?!

      1. Jethro

        Hello Johnny, great experience.

        Hi Ken Allen, thanks for sharing your trip. Can you tell me with which sherpa / organization (name or maybe emailadress) you and your buddy made that trip. Can you recommend them? Please let me know. Thanks!

        Reply
      2. debbie

        my friends have invited me to tag along this fall….I am so sceptical! I am 54 years old, overweight but curious….the comments about your friend the smoker actually encouraged me….is it too much of a challenge….that is the question….

        Reply
        1. Johnny Post author

          no way debbie, u can definitely do this! a month or two of healthy eating and early morning walks and ul be ready for the summer! let me know please! :)

          Reply
    2. Bhaswati

      Hi Rachna,

      Can yousend me the details of the porter u had used? how difficult was the EBC trek? I am planning to do this summer?

      Reply
  28. Bill

    Johnny

    I have experienced fear of heights on some previous trips. Tetons, Mount Rainier.
    Does the Base camp trek have exposed dropoffs. thanks

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      not too many exposed drops mate, no sheer cliffs or any of that malarky, just time and money – then everest is all yours!! :P

      Reply
  29. Powling

    Connor, I can’t believe you did this! Honestly your life is incredible – you put the rest of us economics peeps to shame… (apart from Ritchie, who will no doubt be PM one day..)

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey Dani,

      Thanks for the nice words, I don’t think it’s a case of anyone doing better or not, my lifestyle is just very different from the rest of you guys. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly the right one for me :) Hope to see u again soon, I’m in Bangkok now, any plans to visit thailand again!?

      Reply
  30. Jayanraj

    what could be the best time to do EBC ?
    Can you suggest me some trek optrs in Nepal ?
    Can I buy clothes for EBC trek in Nepal or get them from trek optrs ?
    What could be the total length of this trek in Kilometres ?

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      There are sooo many operators you don’t need my help there mate, you’re more likely to need help avoiding them all!!

      With regards to the best time, the general consensus is October to Dec, but it’s available all year round and I went around July i think. March and April (pre-monsoon) are good too.

      You can buy as much (counterfeit and genuine) mountaineering gear that your bank account will allow in Katmandu, seriously it’s everywhere.

      I’m not sure how far it is to be honest mate, but i think you trek around 10-15km a day, for around 6 or 7 hours so i guess it’s around 70km total. Something like that i would imagine. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      1. Jayanraj

        Thanks Johnny,

        70 Kms in not that much in 2 weeks.

        Buddy like you I am too a solo traveller. So how much should I expect for EBC trek if travel alone with porters / guide ?? Sometimes you find no other travellers with you.

        I don’t want to buy special clothes and keep them with me. I can buy them but will not. So do trek optrs provide warm clothes during trek ? Can I hire them ?

        Regards

        Jayanraj

        Reply
        1. Johnny Post author

          i guess if u bargain hard u might be able to do it for $500, how good are ur bargaining skills!? lol U can hire everything u need, no stress there mate

          Reply
  31. Cam

    Some great shots. Another very cool experience that frequents the universal bucket list! We did the Annapurna region but were pretty socked in by fog and rain, so we didn’t really get a chance to see the mountains. Hopefully we’ll get back that way one day – Tibet has been calling but the prices keep rising!

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      Hey cam, i hear Annapurna is amazing, perhaps even more beautiful than the Everest trek but it’s not as popular due to the draw of the Everest naturally. I’d love to do the Annapurna route too so maybe we should both head back there asap!

      Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      With regards to the best time, the general consensus is October to Dec, but it’s available all year round and I went around July i think. March and April (pre-monsoon) are good too.

      Reply
  32. Kirsty

    These are some great tips, it’s something that Poi and I really want to do, but I am definitely not fit enough yet! Those pictures look amazing!

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      sure you guys are, just take it slow. Sometimes it’s an advantage to be a little less fit, it slows you down and then you avoid altitude sickness! 95% of the people who fail, fail due to AS, not their levels of fitness, so you’d be fine i’m sure :)

      Reply
  33. Pingback: Tweets that mention Trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp – Nepal | OneStep4ward.com -- Topsy.com

    1. Janka

      Hi Johnny,
      I’m going to Nepal this March. I’m planning to study buddhism at KOPAN monastery plus travel for a bit and do some trekking (EBC & ABC, maybe other treks if possible). I am thinking about spending three months there. How much money one needs for three months in Nepal? I’m a woman traveling alone so safety is very important for me but I’m not fancy so I don’t need high end hotels, just safe. And also how is the wireless connection in Nepal? Thanks Johnny and I LOVE your article above. AMAZING!!! Especially the very first sentence. So inspiring!!! LOL
      Cheers, Janka

      Reply
      1. Manoj Shahi

        Hi Janka,

        Don’t be worried about the safety. People loves the foreigner in Nepal. The hotel tariff starts from lower to higher (depend on the quality of hotel).

        Wireless connection is OK, sometime network problem (NTC and N-Cell are the Company).Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lumbini are the main Junction of Buddhist where you find the people of these religion.

        As we know, Nepal is much famous for its trekking, if you have a time then obviously you can trek in EBC and ABC, I do hope this will be gonna your memorable days.

        Regards
        Manoj

        Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      Sorry Jill! i’m supposed to be doing an assignment for my Masters so im doing some blog stuff as a way to avoid studying! Yeah there’s only one route this time around but if you go out of peak season you have the place pretty much to yourself.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *