Everest Base Camp trek

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Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Everest Base Camp trek Reviews

Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
My tips and thoughts! Mar 03, 2013
The Everest Base Camp trek is perhaps the most famous trek in the world – everyone has heard of it and many wish to sneak a peek at it in real life. While conquering the summit might be reserved for those with greater wallets and physical training, getting to the Base Camp itself is a more manageable challenge. Here are my tips from my trek:

PREPARE

You need a TIMS card ahead of the trek so the officials know that you are going. It costs around 20 US Dollars (the actual US money and not local rupees!) and you will need 1-2 passport photos and a completed short application form. Your hotel in Kathmandu should be able to provide you with directions to the office, and there are agents in the Thamel area that will do it for you (for a small fee).

Equipment can be obtained in the Thamel area of Kathmandu for very cheap prices compared to Europe. Ok, it might not be the authentic Berghaus or Northern Face material, but it will last the trek and maybe even longer.

Flights to and from Kathmandu to Lukla, and then you complete the trek from Lukla to EBC and back to Lukla. You can start trekking from Jiri, but this is more challenging and many skip this and start at Lukla! Estimate the day you are likely to come back to Lukla, and check that you can change the flight date for your return to Kathmandu (just in case your trek takes longer). Remember that flights are rather temperamental here – you need the patience with potential cancellations.

Physical ability – I didn’t have any illnesses or medical conditions, but am not physically fit either. This isn’t a problem for the trek in my opinion. I just found that the day’s trek might take me 6 hours, whereas a super fit person would complete it in 4 hours!

It’s up to you whether you take a guide and/or porter. The trail is lined with many tourists and locals, so losing the way shouldn’t be too difficult. Just keep asking if you are on the right trail to the nearest village every hour or so, and you should be fine!

SPECIFIC THINGS TO TAKE

Clothes! Pretty obvious, but the obvious lifesavers I had were warm socks and gloves, long johns, a woolly hat and a thin scarf to wrap around my face.

Walking stick – at least one but some of the more cautious people took two! Lifesaver!

Good shoes! This is not something to cheap out on, and preferably you have worn them in before the trek.

Headlight: perfect for evening toilet trips.

Chocolate bars: 1 per day. Trust me, after the basic Nepalese food; you will crave some chocolate at the end of the day.

Dried fruit and nuts. Snacking material during the day, and sometimes I never even stopped for lunch at a local café as the snacks kept me going.

Water bottle and water purification material. I took a small bottle of chlorine solution, and found that it was fine (even though the water didn’t taste that nice!).

Wet wipes/naps: these are an absolute lifesaver. It’s way too cold to shower, and even the thought of brushing your teeth or washing your face can be a challenge. Take some wet wipes to feel fresh, as you won’t be showering for the whole trek (facilities are available at certain villages but they are very expensive, and I doubt the cold weather will leave you feeling refreshed).

Map! Available from bookshops in the Thamel area of Kathmandu.

Medication: for headaches, diarrhoea, cold/flu and altitude mountain sickness. I’m not saying that you’ll need all/any of them. But it’s better to take them for safety as they will be very expensive or pretty much impossible to acquire on the trek.


TIPS

Follow your guide book route and try not to do too much. Many people go too high very quickly, and risk the danger of altitude sickness. A few acclimatisation days throughout your trek are well worth it – the motto is to trek high and sleep low.

Eat the local food. The Nepalese eat healthy breakfasts, and dinner is usually daal bhaat (rice and lentil soup) with vegetable curry. You get seconds for free too. This is the cheapest and healthiest way of keeping fit.

Water: drink plenty. I would drink 3 litres - 1 litre before setting off in the morning, 1 litre throughout the day and 1 litre after the trek. It’s rather hard to do this, but I definitely stuck to it as much as possible. It will avoid headaches and early exhaustion.

Keep going. Very easy to say but it’s true. You’ll see plenty of people that power ahead of you, and some that are slower than you. Just keep going, don’t feel pressured and just keep thinking about the next village you are stopping at.

Check the overall price. In every village teahouse you stop, it is worth asking the price of the room. Get 2-3 quotes and shop around if needed (quite hard to do after a day's trek). Quite often, the rooms are 100 rupees, but the menu prices vary widely. Check the menu at the same time you ask about room prices. Some teahouses also have hidden terms and conditions (you must have your breakfast and dinner here). Therefore, think about the overall cost of staying at a particular teahouse.

Keep your camera batteries warm. I took two that were fully charged, and found that they lasted the whole trek. The electricity supply available at teahouses throughout the trek is weak and expensive, so if you are thinking of charging your batteries, think carefully. I also used to keep my batteries close to my body or tucked in the middle of my backpack to keep them warm. It is said to make them last longer, and it worked for me!

Watch out for the yaks. The locals keep yak and you will see many of them on the trail. They are laden with bells and many boxes of goods. If you hear them, stay well clear of them and keep to the mountain side. They don’t care for anyone and will quite happily push you away (for they will not move). If you are away from the mountain side, chances are you could get pushed off in a dangerous way. Even brushing past them could leave you injured from their horns. Don’t fear them, but respect them and stay well out of their way.



Watch out for the stones! The herders of the yaks will throw stones ahead to encourage them to keep moving. They throw these from some distance, so they might be aiming for the front of their herd without realising that some trekkers are coming up from the other direction! Watch out that one doesn’t hit you!

Make friends! Sounds corny but it’s true. With the locals, it was really useful to have a couple of them point me in the right direction when I was getting lost, to tell me the time it will take to village X and to play with their children when the evenings were boring. With the trekkers, it’s nice to share tips and know that you are not the only one with difficulties. They will also take pictures of you if you return the favour!

OVERALL

EBC is challenging but immensely rewarding. Do your homework, follow tips such as these (as well as the ones from your guide book, fellow trekkers and locals), and you will do fine!
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Alireza says:
Good but better if you mention how long the trip totally takes and how to organize and schedule.
Thanx
Posted on: Mar 14, 2013
jeminigirl says:
Very interesting and informative =)
Posted on: Mar 03, 2013
Vipin says:
Thanks for the compliments guys! I'm rather pleased that it's stayed in my head!
Posted on: Mar 03, 2013
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Everest Base Camp
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