Destination Review By Cox & Kings: Everest Base Camp
Destination Review By Cox & Kings: Everest Base Camp
“Depend on others and you’ll go hungry. Depend on Nepal and you’ll never be full.”
Everest Base Camp Trail
A trek to Everest Base Camp, located at an altitude of 5,364 metres in Nepal, has become a pilgrimage of sorts for adventure seekers. Trekkers usually take a flight from Kathmandu to the precariously seated town of Lukla, before they embark on a journey through spectacular mountainous landscape. The sojourn offers an intimate glimpse into the unique culture of Sherpas, as the trail takes you through quaint villages, remote monasteries and thick forests. Breathtaking views of peaks that stand taller than most in the world serve as timely rewards along the way. And Everest shines through it all.
Season For Everest Base Camp
There are two seasons for treks and climbs in this region. For EBC, the months from March to May and then from September to December are ideal. Prepare for chilly winds and sub-zero temperatures in December. However, the plus point of going in winter is that you are almost certain to get the trail to yourself, and you may soak up the exquisite beauty of vistas around you, in solitude.
Can I Afford It?
Usually, most trekkers tie up with any one of the numerous trekking companies with knowledge and experience of EBC. While there are several packages priced anywhere between INR 66,000 and INR 1,00,000 for 15 days, here is one of our popular all-inclusive packages, which includes permits, round trip flights from Kathmandu to Lukla, accommodation in lodges and guesthouses, meals, airport transfers and travel insurance; certainly not a bad deal for the trip of your lifetime.
The Nepal government has made hiring of a local guide or porter compulsory after the disappearances of some solo trekkers in the recent years. Apart from this, you will need to spend on some essentials before leaving for Kathmandu: a fleece jacket, thermals, warm jumpers, synthetic T-shirts, shoes, socks, gloves, woollen hat, polarised sunglasses, warm sleeping bags, a down jacket, sunscreen and a first aid kit stocked with the required medicines.
Who Is This Destination Best Suited For?
Even though grading of this trek comes under the ‘difficult’ category, people with average fitness have famously pulled it off. Being in good physical condition does wonders for you because it makes your walk more about enjoying the beauty of the Himalayas and less about just putting one foot in front of the other. Ideally, start with cardiovascular training, go for a five-hour walk once a week and walk up and down stairs to get in shape. Sanjana Dalal, a 20-year old who weighed in at a light 40 kilos, did just that when she decided to ace the EBC trek as a personal challenge. Here she shares 5 Tips for the Everest Base Camp trek.
The Type Of Accommodation Available
Every year, travellers from all over the world fly into Nepal seeking adventure. The EBC trail hosts a lot of them, which is why the infrastructure is developed keeping Westerners in mind. All villages on the trail have tea lodges with necessary amenities. The lodges have a common living-cum-dining room, which is kept warm so guests can mingle and socialise. The rooms are more or less basic, with thick blankets for cold nights. Choose any lodge and you will wake up to astounding nature all around.
Quirks Of Everest Base Camp
Stories from many trekkers lay claim to the infamous Khumbu cough of EBC. Named after the Khumbu glacier, which is the highest glacier in the world, this ailment is said to hit at least one member of climbing groups. The legend is such that trekkers place bets before the start of their trek on who it will strike first.
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This is the starting point of your trail. Trekkers usually spend a day exploring the Pashupatinath temple and the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, before taking a flight to the mountainous town of Lukla. After a rendezvous with the porters, the journey begins through the banks of the Dudh Kosi to the village of Phakding, where you will get a sense of Tibetan Buddhist rituals.
#2 Namche Bazaar
As you enter the Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, you will be greeted by the first glimpse of Everest; a sight that literally stops you in your tracks. A short climb later, you reach the bustling Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar, where trekkers are suggested to spend at least two days acclimatising. After that, the trek leads on to the village of Thami, an ancient outpost on the trading route between Tibet and Nepal.
For those who wish to walk in the footsteps of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, this village is a must-visit. This is where Hillary established a school in 1961 and also initiated several other projects for the community. From this picturesque village, the route takes you to the Tengboche Monastery, which has some spectacular views of the valley and range.
This scenic route is dotted with remote villages, rich with ancient culture and rituals. One such village is Dingboche, where trekkers usually camp for two days. From here, you have two options—embark on a beautiful climb to Nangkar Tshang Peak to see three of the six highest peaks in the world, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu; or continue on the route to the base camp through Lobuche and village of Gorak Shep to reach Kala Pattar. This is where you start the final ascent to the Everest Base Camp, located close to the Khumbu Icefall.
Food & Drinks
Thamel in Kathmandu is where all the popular restaurants and shops are located. The streets almost always buzz with tourists from different corners of the world. Fire And Ice Pizzeria is a great place for Italian cuisine, while Nepali Chulo is where you get an education in typical Nepali cuisine and tradition, with their floor seating and dance performances.
#2 Everest Base Camp Trail
Various lodges along the trek will take care of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dal bhat (rice and lentils) is the most common and most relished dish. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for your third cup of lemon or black tea. Most of the food served is made from ingredients freshly picked from nearby farms, but the same cannot be said about the meat produce. For that reason, and because the body takes more time to digest it, trekkers are advised to stay off non-vegetarian food. Stick to a vegetarian diet and right there you cut your chances of Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS).
This year, the Everest Base Camp trek has seen an enormous increase in popularity and subsequently participants as well. Want a taste of one of the world’s most majestic mountains? Click below!
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