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Everest Base Camp (EBC)

ebc

When to go to Everest Base Camp?

The best time to go is from March to mid May and then from September to mid-November. This is when you have the best opportunity to see the peaks. The winters can be very cold, and the peaks in the summer are covered in clouds.  Most tours run during the time period. If you do go in the summer, you can sometimes get a small discount. (e.g., 10%)

What is the deal with porters and guides?

If you go with a tour operator, you will be set-up with a porter and guide.  Porters generally have a limit on the weight that they can carry, such as 30 kgs, so make sure to pack appropriately.  You could probably go without a guide, but it doesn’t make that much sense logistically and plus have the extra security in case you get altitude sickness.

Is EBC hard?

My research indicates that it isn’t that hard since you aren’t hike more than 5 miles in a day. With that said, you should in decent shape.  One person that had experience on both Kili and EBC indicated that Kili is harder primarily because you climb a lot quicker to the Summit. (i.e., 4 days vs. 9 days)

ebc2Basic Everest Route

If you are planning to do a trek to Everest Base Camp, you inevitably will be going on some sort of tour.

The basic Everest route ranges from 11 to 14 days with some tour operators adding additional days in Kathmandu in the beginning or end. The basic route follows the same path, but the tour operators might stop in different towns along the way. With that said, some tours do take a slight detour.

This is the story of the different trek lengths:

  • 11 Day Tour – Descent down the mountain occurs in 2 days as opposed to 3 days; same route just longer days
  • 12 Day Tour – Straight up and down the mountain with taking 3 days for the descent
  • 13 Day Tour – stops at a side location, such as Khumjung, or in the example of Summit World adjusts schedule to give more time at EBC summit
  • 14 Day Tours – stops in side locations, such as Thami, Khumjung, or another town

If you have the energy, you should choose the 11 day over the 12 day tour as you don’t see anything different.

Map of the Area:

 

You can see from the map that the basic itinerary pretty much goes straight to EBC. The main difference from the core route is that some of the tours might stop in different down along the way. They might also do slightly different hikes when you are trying to acclimatize.

Day 1: Lukla to Monju – 6 miles and 6.5 hours
Day 2: Monju to Namche – 3 miles and 3.5 hours
Day 3 and Day 4: Namche for Acclimatization – 3,440 meters; 11,286 feet
Day 5: Namche to Tengboche (3,870 meters; 12696 feet) – couple hours of hiking
Day 6: Tengboche to Periche (could stop earlier in Deboche or Pangboche or Dingboche)- 4,240 meters or 13,910 feet
Day 7: Day in Periche for Acclimatization
Day 8: Periche to Lobuche (4,930 meters; 16,174 feet)
Day 9: Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,160 meters; 16,929 feet); Visit Everest Base Camp at 5,380 meters; 17,650 feet
Day 10: Hike up Kala Pattar (5,643 meters; 18,513 feet for great view of Mount Everest)
Day 11 – 14: Hike back to Lukla

Tour Operators on Basic Everest Trip

 

 

National Geographic Expeditions ($4,695 + $325 for Katmandu to Lukla flight = $5,015)
19 Day Trip – 14 Day Trek; 5 Days/4 nights in Katmandu (2 in Beginning and 3 Days at end in Kathmandu); Tour also visits Thami (Monastery located here) and Khumjung
http://www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com/expeditions/nepal-everest-basecamp-trek/detail

REI ($3,500)
19 Day Trip – 14 Day Trek; 5 Days/4 nights in Katmandu (2 in Beginning and 3 Days at end in Kathmandu);
Hike to Phortse Tenga and extra day in the descent
http://www.rei.com/adventures/trips/asia/nepal_everest.html

One World Trekking ($2,780)
16 Day Trip – 12 Day Trek with 4 Days/3 nights
http://www.oneworldtrekking.com/trips-and-destinations/list-of-all-trips/134-everest-base-camp-trek.html?gclid=CPWS5YTP6bYCFeZFMgodQGQAng

World Expeditions ($2508 USD or 2,440 AUD)
18 Day Trip – 14 Day Trek; 4 Days/3 nights in Katmandu (2 in Beginning and 3 Days at end in Kathmandu); extra day in the “Sherpa villages” and extra day in descent
http://www.worldexpeditions.com/au/index.php?id=24

Crystal Mountain Treks ($2,256 USD or $2,195 AUS)
19 Day Trip – 14 Day Trek; 5 Days/4 nights in Katmandu (2 in Beginning and 3 Days at end in Kathmandu)
Spent extra day going from Dingboche to Lobuche and stop at Khumjung
http://crystalmountaintreks.com/destinations/Nepal/Everest_Base_Camp_Trek.php

Gap Adventures ($1,399 + $420/$550 for meals = $1819/$1949)
15 Day Trip – 12 Day Trek; 3 Days/2 nights in Kathmandu;  Trip does not appear to go to Kala Pattar
http://www.gadventures.com/trips/everest-adventure/ANEA/2013/

Private Himalaya ($1,547 + $420/$550 for meals* = $1,967/$2,093) – Price was actually quoted as £999
14 Day Trip – 11 Day Trek; 3 day/2 night trip in Kathmandu; tour comes down the fastest of any of tours; same tour as the 12 day treks
http://www.privatehimalaya.com/everest_base_camp.asp
*Pay for your meals on your own and prices based on Gap Adventure

Summit Climb ($1,850)
18 Day Trip – 13 Day Trip; 5 Days/3 nights in Katmandu (2 in Beginning and 3 Days at end in Kathmandu);  Schedule adjusted so more time spent at EBC; only three trips offered – 2 trips in April or 1 in October
http://summitclimb.com/new/?vid=33

Ametreks ($1,295)
15 Day Trip – 11 day trip; 4 Days/3 nights in Kathmandu; 1 Day Acclimatization in Namche; 1 day less in Descent
http://www.ametreks.com/itinerary_detail/88/everest_base_camp_trek?gclid=CNmQ5YTP6bYCFYhFMgodGywACQ

Outshine Adventures ($1,245)
13 Day Trip – 12 Day Trip; no hotels in Kathmandu
http://www.outshineadventure.com/nepal/trekking/everest-base-camp-trekking.html

Individual Offering Tour ($1,129) – Price was on Touristlink.com
14 Day Trip – 11 Day trip with 2 nights in Kathmandu (1 Porter is shared between 2 guests)
http://www.touristlink.com/nepal/everest-base-camp.html?gclid=CM_R5ITP6bYCFTSVMgodHlMAYA

Detours beyond Everest Base Camp

 

There are several detours that one can take off this main route:

  • Gokyo Valley – detour from Lobuche
  • Island Peak Trek – Detour from Periche
  • Start hike in Jiri as opposed to Lukla

Gokyo Valley

Visiting the Gokyo Valley will add about 3 days onto the base itinerary. It will also add 15 – 30% to the total cost.

Hiking along the Gokyo Rates – adds another 3 days; 1299 pounds (not include meals)

Private Himalaya ($2,011 + $550 for meals* = $2,600) – Price was actually quoted as £1,299
17 Day Trip – 14 Day Trek with 2 nights in Kathmandu
http://www.privatehimalaya.com/base_camp_gokyo.asp

Adventure Company ($1,896 +$325 = $2,221)
http://www.adventurecompany.co.uk/tours/everest-gokyo-lakes-trek/itinerary

Himalayan Glacier ($2,150)
21 Day Trip – 16 Day trek and 4 nights in Kathmandu
http://www.himalayanglacier.com/trekking-in-nepal/88/everest-base-camp-trek-via-gokyo-lakes.htm

Ametreks ($1,530)
18 Day Trip – 14 Day Trek with 3 nights in Kathmandu (EBC base trip was 15 Days)
http://www.ametreks.com/itinerary_detail/89/everest_base_camp_trek_with_gokyo_lake_and_chola_pass

Outshine Adventure (TBD)
15 Day Trip – 14 Day Trek with 0 nights in Kathmandu
http://www.outshineadventure.com/nepal/trekking/everest-circuit-trekking.html


 

Island Peak Trek

Island Peak Trek would be reached via taking a detour from Periche. It is great place to climb if you want to say that you have been to top of a Himalaya Peak.  Island Peak is 5,120 meters

Trekking Island Peak can add 4 to 6 days to a tour. It can also add substantially to the cost of the trip.

Hike from Jiri

If you want a longer hike, you can start from Jiri as opposed to Lukla. It is also supposedly safer (at least according to Wiki travel) to fly into Jiri as opposed to Lukla.

According to one operator, it will add 7 days onto the length of the base trip and 60% onto the cost of the trip.

Awesome Tips about EBC

http://theplanetd.com/tips-for-trekking-to-everest-base-camp/

If you stay in Tea Houses, I also heard that it will be very cold.

My Opinion

While this trip is not cheap, it could be worse. Since you have made the long flight, I would think twice about going to Gokyo since it only adds a couple hundred dollars. If I timed it right, I would only need to take two weeks off of work.

In my opinion, it would mostly depend upon whether I wanted to see anything else in Nepal that didn’t involve trekking.  If there are other hot spots, I might skip out on Gokyo and check that out.