Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world attracts a lot of visitors throughout the year. The base camp is rudimentary campsites at the base of Mount Everest that is use by mountain climbers during their ascent and descent; they are also visited by hikers. The foot of the Everest holds two base camps, the North base camp and The south base camp, situated on the north ridge (China) and south ridge (Nepal) respectively. The South Base Camp in Nepal is situated at a height of 5,364m (17,598ft), while the North Base Camp in Tibet is at an altitude of 5,150m (16,900ft).
North Base Camp
North Base Camp is situated on the Chinese-Tibetan side of the border. To visit North Base Camp, a permit is required from the Chinese government on top of the permit required to visit Tibet. Such permits could be arranged by the travel agencies in Lhasa as a part of the tour package that included hiring a vehicle, driver, and guide.
The North Base Camp is accesse by vehicle through a 100 km road branching to the South from the Friendship Highway near Shelkar. It was also possible to trek up from the tourist camp, but only when properly acclimatized.
Access to the North Base Camp had been close for tourist since February 2019.
South Base Camp
The Everest Base Camp trek on the south side, at an altitude of 17,900 feet (5,500 m), is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Himalayas and about 40,000 people per year make the trek there from Lukla airport. Trekkers usually fly from Kathmandu to Lukla to save time and energy before beginning the trek to the base camp.
However, trekking to Lukla is possible. There are no roads from Kathmandu to Lukla and as a result, the only method of transporting large and heavy goods is by plane. For visitors, the trek to South Base Camp will take 10 days. The trail of trek is given as follow.
Trail of Trek to South Base Camp
- The trek will begin from Lukla. To get to Lukla, you will have to take a 40 min flight from Kathmandu. This flight will offer you a lifetime experience as the views of the flight going through the valleys of the Himalaya will definitely please your soul.
- After reaching Lukla, proceed trekking to Phakding. It’ll take 3.5 hours of trek to reach Phakding. You will have to stay overnight and proceed the next day.
- On day 2, proceed treks from Phakding to Namche Bazaar. It will take 4-5 hours to reach Namche Bazaar which is situate at a height of 3440m. Overnight stay at a tea house.
- On day 3, you can visit places in Namche bazaar and stay another night to relax.
- On day 4, proceed with the treks to Tengboche. At an altitude of 3860m, this is one of the most beautiful locations on the trail. Trek to here will take around 5 hours.
- On day 5, continue the trek to Dingboche. Situated at an altitude of 4360m, reaching this place will take 6-7 hours.
- On day 6, this day will be an acclimatization day. You need to adjust to the atmosphere before proceeding to further height. You can also get the view of the world’s highest peaks just after a small hike.
- On day 7, move from Dingboche to Dughla. It’ll take 3 hours to reach this location situated at an altitude of 4620m.
- On day 8, the trek to Lobuche will take 3.5 hours. Situated at a height of 4940m, this location will offer stay before reaching the base camp.
- On day 9, you will have to move from Lobuche to Gorakshep and from there proceed to The Everest base camp at an altitude of 5364m. After reaching the base camp, the glaciers of the highest peaks will become clearly visible. You will have to descend to Gorakshep for an overnight stay.
- On day 10, the hike to Kala Patthar at an altitude of 5645m is the most difficult part of the trek but also, the most rewarding. You will be able to see the Peak of Everest. In fact, Kala Patthar is the only place that will give you views of almost the entire high peak mountains of the Himalayan Ranges. It will take about 2.5 to 3 hours to reach Kala Patthar from Gorakshep. This will be the last point of the trek and now it’ll all be a descend trek back to Lukla.
Tips for a trek to South Base camp
- As the trek will be difficult and exhausting, you will have to prepare yourself before proceeding for the trek. This means, be prepared for extreme weather conditions, All accommodation on the trek to Everest Base Camp is in small tea houses.
- Carry enough cash as ATMs are not available on the trail and you will need money for accommodation and food.
- Carry Warm clothes, sunglasses, trekking boots, gloves, trekking stick, woolen caps among other trekking equipment.
- Getting to higher altitudes will cause headaches. Carry suitable medicines.
- Sunburns happen much quicker at high elevation so make sure to apply sunscreen a few times a day and wear a hat.
- Capture the maximum moments of the trek. This is one of the most beautiful trails of the Himalayas and capturing each and every moment is essential. Do carry smartphones and cameras for this purpose.
- In the cold, your batteries will die much quicker than they do at home. This holds true for basically every kind of electronics you’ll be using from phones to cameras so carrying extra batteries is advisable as the tea houses charge some amount for the same purpose.
- Bringing your own tea bags is advisable as the tea is way expensive here than hot water.
- Checking the climate record will be preferable.