Planning a trek to Everest Base Camp isn’t something that most people will do overnight. It requires you to think about the best time to go, where to overnight, your level of fitness and a clear overview of the trip inclusions. To help make things a little easier, we asked our London Sales Manager, Nicola, to answer the 10 most frequently asked questions about the Everest Base Camp & Kala Pattar – she has just done it herself! So, sit back and start planning the trek of your lifetime!
Do you stay overnight at the Everest Base Camp?
There are no nights at Everest Base Camp on this trek. Instead you will stay at Gorak Shep from where you walk to Base Camp. To sleep at Everest Base Camp requires special permits which are very expensive. So it is better to stay at Gorak Shep and walk into Base Camp for a day trip.
What is the average size of the groups trekking to Everest Base Camp?
Our groups are between 6 to 16 fellow travellers. The Everest Base Camp & Kala Pattar trek is a popular trip so most of our groups go fully booked. Our groups typically are a mix of individuals, couples or friends travelling together. The ages differ and trekkers can be in their 20’s to 60’s. The groups comprise of people from all nationalities.
How long have you offered treks to Everest Base Camp?
World Expeditions have been running treks in Nepal since 1975. We operate around four Everest Base Camp trekking holidays per month during the trekking season (Sept to May). Besides the Everest Base Camp & Kala Pattar trek, we have many other treks in Nepal too, such as lower altitude treks in the Annapurna region, remote treks to Gokyo Ri and the Renjo La and even specially designed treks for people over 55s.
What is the accommodation like during the trek?
One of the big advantages of travelling with World Expeditions is that we don’t use tea houses. This means that the food you’re being served is freshly prepared, beds are comfortable, and we don’t burn wood to heat our dining rooms, but choose the more sustainable alternative of dried yak or buffalo dung.
On selected nights of your trek you’ll arrive to an established private campsite, spacious tents erected with beds made, composting toilets, hand basins and a hearty meal enjoyed with your group in the comfort of windowed dining room with eco-friendly heating.
I found the private campsites very comfortable and slept really well in the tents (very important on a trek!) with the thick comfortable mattresses and warm sleeping bags. You can see more on our private campsites here. The nights in our private campsites will be complemented by nights in our hand-picked eco lodges.
Do you have any training programs for the trek?
We don’t specify detailed training programs, as it is difficult to recommend one general programme that applies to each individual. The training you should do to prepare for your Everest Base Camp trek depends on your current level of fitness and any medical conditions. We suggest that you exercise a minimum of 5 times per week for one hour each time doing activities such as hill walking, cycling, running and strength work.
If you do like to get a general idea of how to prepare for a trek, this Trek Training Guide with advice from high altitude mountaineer Soren Kruse Ledet may come in handy.
What is the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp?
The trekking season for Everest Base Camp runs from mid September to May. October is traditionally the most popular time for this trek, when the views are good and the temperatures are not too extreme. But we also get many travellers enjoying the colder winter season (Dec/Jan) when numbers on the trail are lower, and views can be crystal clear. If you go trekking in December or January you need to be prepared with the right clothing for some potentially very low temperatures, but we provide good quality down jackets, down sleeping bags and fleece sleeping bag liners to keep you cosy! Winter trekking can be very rewarding though. We always get a lot of interest in our treks over Christmas and New Years , as it is an exciting way to spend the holiday season and minimises the days you need to use from your holiday allowance.
As you head towards March and April, the temperatures get warmer. In April it can be a little more hazy for the views, as the closer you get to the Monsoon period, the more cloud you get. In April, usually the peaks are clear in the morning, but you might get cloud build up in the afternoon. In April or May you are much more likely to see activity at Base Camp, as the big expeditions get ready to summit.
Every month of the trekking season has something to offer in Nepal, so it can be difficult to choose when to go. Having trekked in both November and April, I would find it hard to choose which I preferred!
How is World Expeditions’ Everest Base Camp trek different than other operators?
One of the keys to our success in running the Everest Base Camp trek is our team in Kathmandu. Our Nepalese guides are real experts who have all worked with us for many years. Another unique aspect of our treks is that you stay in our private eco campsites where food is freshly prepared using local produce, you sleep on a real mattress, and have a heated dining room to enjoy your meals with some of the best views!
Besides this, we believe there are more unique points that contribute to the popularity of our Everest Base Camp trek: we offer excellent value for money as we include virtually everything you need on your adventure. This ranges from a trek pack with a down jacket, sleeping bag and sleeping mat; virtually all meals; internal flights within Nepal and much more. The full details of inclusions can be found on the Everest Base Camp trip notes . As a result of this, unlike other travel companies, you will need very little spending money on the trip.
We can also help with booking your flights to Nepal, and you will receive a detailed packing list once you have booked with us.
What happens in case of an emergency?
If a fellow trekker in your group has to descend, then an assistant guide would go with them. We have lots of support staff on the trek, so the person descending would be well looked after and it wouldn’t impact on the rest of the group’s experience. Emergencies are dealt with by the guide, and depending on the severity, in a serious case evacuation would be by helicopter.
Our guides pass a medical course each year and this is a course that is run by our UK-based doctor. He travels each year to Kathmandu to run the course, and all guides have to pass this and absorb all the information provided to be able to guide for us. We take safety very seriously. There are limited medical facilities on the route, but our guides carry a full medical kit and are trained extensively in how to use it.
We also carry portable altitude chambers, which are useful if someone is suffering from AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) but cannot be evacuated due to bad weather. You will typically have a main guide, plus four assistant guides, a sirdar (who manages the porters), porters, cooks and camp hands join you on your Everest Base Camp trek with us.
How many acclimatisation days are scheduled in the trek?
If you download the trip notes for Everest Base Camp & Kala Pattar, you will find the itinerary with all the details. We have two rest days on the Base Camp trek, one in Namche Bazaar and the other in Dingboche. They are carefully timed to help you acclimatise, and your guide will lead you on acclimatisation hikes on these days if you want to participate. Some trekkers choose to take their rest days to remove their hiking boots and have a proper rest!
How many days are scheduled in Kathmandu?
You will spend three nights in total in Kathmandu, two at the beginning of your trek and one upon your return. If you’d like to spend more time in Kathmandu and visit other places in the Kathmandu Valley like Patan, Bhaktapur, Nagarkot or Dhulikel, we can help arrange this.
We hope our Everest Base Camp FAQs will come in handy for your trip planning. For even more details, we suggest you download the Everest Base Camp & Kala Pattar trip notes or get in touch with our team of travel experts around the world.