Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
Mysterious and exotic, Nepal holds prime position in the imagination of every mountain lover and trekker in the world. It is home to the bulk of the Himalaya and of course Mt. Everest, planet Earth’s highest peak. In fact, of the world’s fourteen highest peaks, eight are in Nepal. It is also the birthplace of Buddha and home of the famed porters and mountain climbing Sherpas. The mixture of mountains and ancient culture make Nepal a magical land of superlatives and an absolute delight for walkers and trekkers. Himalaya means “abode of the snows,” and the main purpose of any respectable pilgrimage to Nepal is to reach out and touch a piece of these wild and jagged mountains, to feel their power and of course, to walk among the high peaks and deep valleys. It is the embodiment of a trek. It is no surprise Nepal is one of best places in the world to do just that. Considering 80% of the villages of Nepal are not connected by roads, walking is the means by which everybody and everything is transported, usually by porters. Trekking is second nature there and a habitual way of life.
It’s hard to imagine any other trek that offers as much classic Himalayan scenery step after step, day after day, than the trek to the foot of Mt. Everest. In addition to the fantastic vistas, there are rewarding visits to the friendly villages along the trails. While most of the culture is Sherpa, who are akin to Tibetan Buddhists, you will also find some migrant Hindu Nepalese who work in the shops and guest houses. This gives you a taste of the two predominant cultures in Nepal. Synchronize your visit with the market days and you will probably see traders who have ventured from Tibet to the markets in Namche and even farther south. Their distinctive red braided head garb makes them easy to spot.
There are two primary destinations for the average trekker. Everest Base Camp at 5,300m / 17,500’ is the stepping off point for most mountaineering expeditions to summit the peak and is the destination most people imagine when trekking to Everest. The other destination is probably more impressive from a trekker’s standpoint. It is a small chunk of rock nestled at the foot of Pumori Mountain overlooking Everest Base Camp. This modest piece of earth is called Kala Pattar (Black Rock) and its peak sits at 5,550m / 18,200’ commanding stunning views of Mt. Everest, the surrounding massif, Everest Base Camp, the Khumbu Glacier and finally, the famous, deadly Khumbu Ice Fall. All are part of one of the most breathtaking 360 degree panoramas available in the world! Amazingly, this is all accessible without using a rope and ice axe.
When to Go
The prime trekking seasons in Nepal are fall and Spring. Fall in Nepal is October to early December and the Spring season runs from mid February to mid April. Fall offers clearer skies and more crowds on the trails. Spring presents a greater possibility for dusty or hazier skies Spring also gives you a chance to see the spectacular Rhododendron Trees in bloom.
Guided vs Independent Treks
Nepal is perhaps the birthplace of the independent tea house trek. In the “old days” before guided treks, travelers ventured forth into the mountains going from village to village and staying at the same little tea-houses where locals stopped for a night rest and a cup of tea on their own journeys to and from their homes in the mountains. more...
Access / Local Information
Kathmandu is the gateway for most Himalayan Treks. The Du is an easy flight from Bangkok, a little longer from Hong Kong and a puddle jump from New Delhi, India. You can also cross in to Nepal by land from India. more..
Eyewitness Account - Kirk Markus - Breathing is Fundamental
It has been said that getting there is half the fun. Sometimes when you are sitting on a crummy and cramped bus for 12 hours in Burma, China or Laos it is hard to keep that in mind or to even believe that this statement has any basis in reality at all. However, in the case of getting to Everest Base camp you can see and feel the absolute truth in this statement. more...
Day to Day Account - Jeff Salvage - First Big Challenge
The trek to Everest Base Camp carried with it a mystique like no other I’ve experienced. The multitude of stories surrounding the successes and failures of many people’s journey to the peak built an aura about this trip that had me a tad bit apprehensive. Even though I was going no farther than Base Camp, I didn’t know what to expect. As my first real trek, it was an odd choice, but when one of my athletes, Keri and her sister Heather, invited me along, how could I refuse? While I had a reasonable amount of world travel under my belt and thousands and thousands of miles of race walking, I had virtually no hiking, trekking, or camping experience. The story continues more …