One of the most popular trails in Nepal, the trek to Everest Base Camp, is rarely without visitors. But in a few months, the trail will begin to buzz with excitement as sherpas, trekkers and climbers head through the Khumbu Valley and high into the Himalayas for the start of a new climbing season. It’s a time of much anticipation and preparation. And yet many trekkers arrive not knowing exactly what to expect. We put together this guide to help you prepare your clients.
To borrow from the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: Everest is a journey, not a destination.
Everest Base Camp
Trekkers should understand that it takes eight days to hike to Everest and three days to descend. They’ll spend only a few hours of this time at Everest Base Camp. This trek is about so much more than making it to 5,380 meters. It’s about spending days getting lost in nature (not literally) and being immersed in a foreign way of life and a fascinating culture. The physical challenge is just a bonus!
So who is this trek right for? It’s right for anyone who is in good physical shape and wants to spend nearly two weeks reveling in nature’s beauty and soaking in the rich culture of the Khumbu region. Yes hikers should be ready for several sections of tough uphill trekking, but much of it is also pleasant. Expect well-established trails, jaw-dropping views and adventurous suspension bridges.
Acclimatization days will be built into a trekking itinerary and should be taken seriously. The altitude change is dramatic and hikers need to pace themselves on this trip.
The first glimpse of Mt Everest from the EBC trail. Photo: Elen Turner
While several days of the journey can be long hiking days, there are also opportunities to visit the Tengboche Monastery, explore the town of Namche Bazaar and talk with locals at the teahouses. We recommend learning to play a traditional Nepali game called Bagha Chal, or Tigers and Goats. Many hikers become fascinated by the prayer wheels, prayer walls and prayer flags along the trail. Trekking guides can be a great resource for learning about cultural and religious beliefs.
There’s also plenty of time on the trail to talk to guides about how trekking tourism provides economic opportunity in these rural areas and empowers local communities.
Teahouses, the simple lodging options owned by locals along the trail, often run on solar power and only sometimes offer unreliable WiFi. Trekkers can expect — and enjoy — a digital detox on this trip. All the more reason to relax, and enjoy the journey.
Have more questions about the trek to Everest Base Camp? Please get in touch or check out our detailed trip itinerary.
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