The Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek

The Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek is the most popular trek in the Himalayas and is visited by thousands of trekkers each year. Trekking through the Everest region offers breathtaking views on 4 of the 6 highest peaks in the world: Mt Everest (8.848 m), Mt Lhotse (8.516 m), Mt Makalu (8.485 m), and Mt Cho Oyu (8.201 m). Beside that we have the opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of the Sherpa’s – the most famous climbers in the world. We go sightseeing around Sagarmatha National Park – Sagarmatha is the Nepalese name of Mt Everest, and means The Top of the World. Sagarmatha National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a home to many unique plants and animals. On our way we also get a closer look at the highest Buddhist monasteries in the world and learn about the Sherpa’s’ spiritual perspective on the mountains. And of course as a top highlight itself – the trip to Everest Base Camp (5.364 m) with the thrill on being up close to the highest mountain in the world.

The highest point on the EBC trek is the top of Kalapathar (5.554 m). Kalapathar is a very popular landmark among the trekkers  since it provides the most accessible point to view Mt Everest from base camp to peak (due to the structure of Everest, the peak cannot be seen from the base camp).

The 14-day Everest Base Camp itinerary is a moderate trek designed for novice trekkers who are in good health with normal physical fitness.

The lodges in the Everest Trekking region offer extensive menus, ranging from the typical Nepali dahl bath (rice with lentils) to pizzas and spaghetti. Hot showers are available at most of the places.

Day 1: Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding (3-4 hours trek)

After breakfast in our hotel in Kathmandu we drive to the domestic terminal for an early morning flight to Lukla (2.800m). After an exciting 40 minutes flight above the breathtaking mountains, we reach the airport at Lukla. We start our trek descending 500 m to the Dudh Kosi (River of Milk). We follow the trail to the village of Phakding (2.652 m). Passing mani walls carved with Tibetan Buddhist prayer inscriptions. We stay overnight in a lodge in Phakding.

Day 2: Phakding – Namche Bazaar (5-6 hours trek)

The trail leads us along the Dudh Koshi River through many suspension bridges, one of which is the famous Hillary Suspension Bridge. In Monjo we officially enter Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The trek climbs through the beautiful forests and we reach the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. After a steep climb of about 2 hours we catch a first glimpse of Mt Everest. We stop at Chautara and enjoy the view.  Another 1,5 hours later we reach Namche Bazaar (3.440 m) – the gate to the Khumbu region. We stay here for the next 2 nights.

Day 3: Namche Bazaar (Acclimatization day)

Today we stay in Namche Bazaar for acclimatization. But it doesn’t mean that are not active. We either spend the day on a short hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazaar is the centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colourful market each Friday evening and Saturday. We can visit Sherpa Museum and learn a lot about their culture and history of mountaineering. We stay overnight in Namche Bazaar.

Day 4: Namche Bazaar – Tengboche (5-6 hours trek)

After breakfast we start our trek towards Tengboche (3.867 m). We enjoy a fantastic view of Mt Everest, Mt Nuptse, Mt Lhotse, Mt Ama Dablam. Our trek leads us through the pine and rhododendron forest with few ups and downs. With a little luck we can see different wild animals like: pheasant, musk deer, blue ship and Himalayan Thar. We trek down to Kayangjuma and reach Sansa – the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. After a lunch in Phunki Thenga we climb uphill and arrive in Tengboche. Tenboche is famous not only for its magnificent views of Mt Ama Dablam, Mt Nuptse and Mt Everest but also for the biggest Buddhist Monastery of the Khumbu region. We stay overnight in Tengboche.

Day 5: Tengboche – Dingboche (5-6 hours trek)

We start our day with a photo session at the monastery which looks absolutely spectacular in the morning light. After that we take the trail through rhododendron forest to Debuche and cross an exciting suspension bridge on the Imja Khola. Then we climb up to Pangboche village passing several chortens, mani walls and small villages. After lunch we walk north to Pheriche. From here the walk is quite moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. We trek steep down to the river and then we take our last and steepest path of the day up to Dingboche (4.360 m). At our destination in Dingboche we enjoy fantastic view of Mt Lhotse, Island Peak and Ama Dablam. We stay overnight at a lodge.

Day 6: Dingboche (Acclimatization day)

Today is our second day of acclimatization. To help the process we climb the ridge on the north behind the village. This is an ideal acclimatizing excursion. From the ridge we can see three of the world’s six highest peaks, Mt Lhotse, Mt Makalu and Mt Cho Yu and view the beautiful Imja Khola valley as well as the picturesque fields and meadows of Dingboche. We spend the night at Dingboche.

Day 7: Dingboche – Lobuche (5-6 hours trek)

After breakfest we start todays trek with a climb to Duglha through the Khumbu Khola valley. The walk rewards us with awesome views of mountains on all sides. As we move on, the Mt Pumori (7.138 m) comes into view. As the trail descends and curves, Mt Pumori disappears and we come across a roaring stream. After crossing a small wooden bridge, we ascend to Duglha. Beyond Duglha, we climb up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we find ourselves facing several great peaks – Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. We are now very close to Mt Everest but the great mountain still remains invisible. As we continue to walk leaving the Khumbu Glacier behind, we now begin to feel a little out of breath due to high altitude. We spend the night at Lobuche (4.940 m).

Day 8: Lobuche – Gorak Shep – Everest Base Camp – Gorak Shep (5-6 hours trek)

After breakfast we start our trek to Gorak Shep (5.170 m). The trail goes ahead through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We see the north ridge of Mt Everest along with Mt Pumori, Mt Khumbutse, Mt Nuptse, etc. A small climb takes us to Thangma Riju from where we enjoy 360 degree view of snowy mountains. Climbing steeply up we catch our first glimpse of Kalapathar. We reach Gorak Shep and after a brief lunch and some rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. After 2- 3 hours we reach the Everest Base Camp (5.364 m). We stay few hours in the base camp and enjoy to scenery with trekker’s tents standing out in bright colors against the monotony of gray surroundings. But Mt Everest actually is not visible from here. We return to Gorak Shep and stay there overnigt at a lodge.

Day 9: Gorak Shep – Kalapathar – Periche (6-7 hours trek)

Today we start early in the morning to catch the breathtaking views from Kalapathar and see the first light of the day touching the peaks of the mountains, especially Mt. Everest. During the hike to Kala Patthar, we can pause to catch breath at several outstanding view points from where we can take wonderfull pictures. After few hours of ascent, we reach Kalapathar (5.554 m). We see fantastic Himalayan panorama unfolding before our eyes. Time to take photos and inprint the view into our minds for the rest of our life. We spend some time at Kalapathar and then go back to Gorak Shep and then descent to Periche (4.280 m). We stay overnight in Periche.

Day 10: Periche – Kayangjuma (5-6 hours trek)

Just after breakfest we start of our trek crossing Khumbu Khola creek. We follow the main Everest trail down the beautifully valley, we pass through little villages and reach Pangboche at the base of Ama Dablam. We cross the bridge over Imja Khola and reach Tengboche. After Tengboche we cross the first bridge over Dudh Koshi on our return trip at Phunki Tenga. Further, we pass the villages of Tashinga and Sansa and finally arrive at  Kyangjuma (3.570 m). We enjoy one more time the beautiful view on the highes peaks of the world. We spend the night at Kyangjuma.

Day 11: Kayangjuma – Monjo (4-5 hours trek)

We are heading back torwards Namche Bazaar. With a little luck we can see wildlife such as mountain goats, snow leopards, and colourful pheasants while passing through the forest by the trail. We have lunch in Namche Bazaar and them  steep descent to reach the suspension bridge crossing the Dudh Kosi river near the confluence of the Dhudh Koshi and the Bhote Koshi Rivers. We cross the Dudh Koshi River twice at different points before reaching Monjo. We are out of the Sagarmatha National Park after exiting from its official entrance near Monjo and finally reach Monjo village (2.840 m). We stay overnight at a lodge.

Day 12: Monjo – Lukla (4-5 hours trek)

Today we enjoy the last trekking day in the Everest region. Most of the trail today is flat although we will have some ups and downs too. Walking through the Sherpa villages, we see great many prayer stones and prayer flags flaping in the wind. We cross the Dhud Koshi River taking three suspension bridges decorated with colourful prayer flags. The final climb of about 45 minutes from Chheplung takes us to Lukla (2.800 m), where we stay over night.

Day 13: Lukla – Kathmandu (35 minutes flight)

Early in the morning we take our flight back to Kathmandu. We are back to the busy city but still having the pictures of the breathtaking nature and mountains inprinted deep into our minds…