It may sound like a cliché but we don’t mind repeating it! Yes, Mount Everest is more than a mountain and the trip to Everest Base Camp is more than just a trek. Reaching to the base of this world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest (8848 m) is the dream of every adventurer. Many Himalayan adventure seekers have already ticked it off in their bucket list and many are yet to do so. As, this trip is one of the most talked about and sought after adventures, travelers and would-be travelers are well versed about the facts related to Everest Base Camp. However, many are not fully aware about all the routes and corresponding time required to reach the Base Camp.
There are actually two base camps on Mount Everest, on the South and North sides of the mountains. South Base Camp which is situated in Nepal at an altitude of 5364 m, while North Base Camp is situated in Tibet, China at an altitude of 5,150 m. Most of the Base Camp trekking or Everest expeditions are operated on the Nepal side, i.e the South face of the Everest. In fact, when people say Everest Base Camp Trek, they normally mean Base Camp trekking on the Nepal side of the mountain. However, there are many ways to reach the Base Camp from both sides.
Everest Base Camp from Nepal
Everest Base Camp from Nepal is a popular trekking trail and easier to access than other routes. This trail gives you a chance to challenge yourself, discover the majesty of mountains, walk among the Himalayan giants and explore the highland cultures.
Classic Everest Base Camp Trek : 8 days of trekking from Lukla to EBC
This is the most popular route to reach the Base Camp. It is a spectacular high altitude trek that starts at Lukla, the gateway of Everest region and winds through the floral and faunal richness of Sagarmatha National Park. You gradually hike through some of the beautiful places of Khumbu region such as Phakding, Namche Bazar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Lobuche and return the same way.
Alternate treks: 13 – 22 days
As Everest Base Camp route from Lukla is popular and most favored one, the trail and accommodation gets crowded during the peak seasons i.e. spring and autumn. So, if you want to avoid the crowd, then you can consider alternative trekking routes.
The route from Jiri is also a well-known Everest Base Camp trekking route. This is the same route used by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa to reach Lukla for the Everest summit before airport was built in Lukla during 1960s. This trail adds several days in the itinerary as you have to trek around 6 days from Jiri to reach Lukla/Phakding from where you join the main Everest Base Camp trail.
You can reach Everest Base Camp through the trail of Three Passes Trek as well. One of the most challenging and thrilling trek in Everest region, Three Passes Trek offers an amazingly scenic circular route that includes crossing of challenging Renjo la, Cho la and Kongma la passes connecting to Lobuche to advance towards Everest Base Camp. The order of the Passes can be any depending on where you start from. The duration of this hard trek is quite lengthy (at least about 17/18 days) and only the trekkers who seek for more challenging adventure choose this trail.
Gokyo Lake trek can also be a better alternative to reach Everest Base Camp as this trek skirts the Base Camp and continues to the beautiful Gokyo Lake, one of the world’s highest freshwater systems. The views during this trek worth cherishing for the rest of your life.
Everest Heli Tour: Duration – Half a day
Heli Tour is the easiest way for the travelers who wish to reach the lap of this stunning mountain but have very limited time. It is also a luxurious way to reach the Kala Patthar (5545 m) and Everest Base Camp without trekking. The tour makes you marvel at the panoramic aerial views of astonishing mountains, tranquil valleys, quaint villages, glittering snow peaks, Khumbu glacier and many more. It not only gives you thrill and makes your adrenaline rush but also offers you the next level of experience. Everest Heli tour starts from Kathmandu or Lukla and stops midway for breakfast with wonderful view.
Everest Base Camp from Tibet
Everest Base Camp on the northern side of Everest lies in Tibet. An easier way to get to the Base Camp is by car or tour vehicle. You can travel from Lhasa to Base Camp along the highways having well paved roads. This is one of the fastest and luxurious ways to reach the Base Camp and visit the various attractions of Tibetan plateau. Some travelers also prefer trekking from Tingri over driving from Lhasa.
By car: Duration – 2 days from Lhasa
Many visitors who visit the Base Camp on north side usually get there by car. It is a two-day drive from Lhasa. However most travelers stop along the way in the locations such as Gyantse, Shigatse or Shekar (new Tingri) and Rongbuk that makes this tour longer and more exciting. There are very good roads which make the journey comfortable for almost everyone. The landscape that you can see is breath taking! If you wish, you can drive all the way up to Everest Base Camp but many of the travelers prefer to walk the last mile which is a bit off road. One needs to be acclimatized properly prior to this journey because of the timeframe. Remember Lhasa itself is at an altitude of 3,656 m! And you will gain about 2000m + altitude within 2 days.
By Trek from Tingri: Duration – 5 days
Trek from Tingri to Everest Base Camp gives you an amazing experience of Tibetan plateau, small village communities and nomadic herders. This trip takes you to Lungtang which takes around five hours from Tingri and heads due south, by crossing the Tingri plain and on to the Ra-chu valley and so on. This trail is not commonly used and only attempted by the experienced well-acclimatized trekkers.
1Million Tourists Nepal has achieved an unprecedented success in receiving tourists in 2018 with a record of 1,001,930 arrivals between January-November. According to Nepal Tourism Board, the month September alone has the record of 91, 820 visitors, a 33.8 percent increase compared to last year! The tourism arrival got the momentum throughout the peak tourist season between October-November. However, the total count doesn’t include overland visitors, which would have further increased the figure. India became the top source market with 260,124 visitors followed by China with a total of 134,362 Chinese tourist arrivals. The United States, Britain and Germany were enlisted as third, fourth and fifth source countries respectively.
“The growth can be attributed to concerted efforts of Government of Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board, private sector travel trade and media towards promotion of overall tourism sector in the international tourism arena,” said Deepak Raj Joshi, Chief Executive Officer of Nepali Tourism Board. Tourism industry of Nepal considers the record as crucial in Nepal’s tourism history as it indicates a brighter future to further realize the tourism potentials ahead of Visit Nepal Tourism Year 2020. Nepal had the record 940,218 tourist arrivals in 2017.
Coming to Nepal for Ms. Norell Lee, aged 67 was just one of her customary holidays till she flew to Everest region. After she witnessed the immensity of the Himalayan Kingdom and the divine Everest itself, the visit became, exceptionally, the best part of her life.
Norell Lee came to Nepal on 04 March 2014 for her 9 days heli based holiday. During these days, she explored the best of Nepal, Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan. After the medieval insights at the heritage squares of Kathmandu Valley, she flew to Pokhara for her heli tour to Annapurna Base Camp.
Flying above the Annapurna trail, the enchanting Gurkha settlements, the alpine hills and the panoramic ranges, she got to observe the highlights of one of the most sought after trekking destinations. When she flew to the lowlands of Chitwan, she was just spellbound see the dramatically contrast elevation of the country. And the wildlife tours added extra excitement to her stay. On 19 March, she returned Nepal again for her most anticipated heli tour to Everest, which turned out to be an epic experience!
Nothing in Nepal has singular manifestation. However, within the span of few days, Ms. Norell got the opportunity to experience the multiplicity of Nepal. And effortlessly too!
Nature is even more beautiful when its original color is “Black N White”
Here we have a short testimonial by Ms. Norell during the conversation we had at the end of the trip. After the testimonial have a look at Photo Gallery of Ms. Norell’s Helicopter Tour to Everest.
Best memory of the trip was helicopter ride to Everest. I would recommend fellow travelers to include the helicopter ride to Mt. Everest during their trip to Nepal.
Service of Explore Himalaya was excellent and faultless which I would rate with 5 stars. Kritee, my Tour Officer has been marvelous. She has made my tour seamless and taken responsibility for all arrangements.
One of the most thrilling airports of the world- Lukla 2840m
Frozen glacial lakes of Gokyo
Snow covered highland habitat
One more glimpse of Himalayan village covered by snow
One more black and white beauty in nature
Ms. Norell witnesses Mt. Everest so closely
Explore Himalayans experiencing boundless joys
Walk over the fresh snow- Probably the softest walk
Comfortable ride to the most beautiful corner of the world
Kongde Resort 4250m where even the snowfall can be heard
Amazing blend of soft white snow and black hard rocks
A continuous series of Himalayan doors open during the ride
Isolated treasures of Himalayas that trekkers even miss
Closer to Kathmandu the landscape below now turns into green
What a beauty! Landscape possible to capture only during Helicopter Tour
Nepal silently booms as a prime attraction for travelers in the region. A south Asian landlocked country tucked at the base of the Himalayas, Nepal lies between two Asian giants, China and India. The nation, geographically and culturally diverse is well known for the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, and Lumbini, birth place of Buddha.
The nation also offers a bevy of religious, spiritual and cultural experiences. Nepal tops many travelers lists of must visit place on earth. Popular travel guides have ranked Nepal very highly on their lists of must visit travel destinations around the world.
Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice 2013 ranks Kathmandu eighteenth under Top Travel Destinations in Asia and second in South Asia after New Delhi. Lonely Planet ranks Nepal fifteenth in the list of Must visit Travel Destination in Asia whereas for meeting other travelers lonely planet’s Travelers Choice ranked Nepal third.
Similarly, on the trekking side lonely planet and Exodus UK rank Everest Base Camp Trek 4th and 3rd respectively in their lists of most wonderful treks in the world. One of the most popular trekking trials in the world Annapurna Circuit is ranked first and third respectively by Travel Channel and BootsnAllin their lists of Best Treks in the World.
Everest, the crown of the world is the Nepalese pride. Myriads of adventure seekers throng to this adventurous destination every year with the strong desire of closely viewing the mighty Everest towering beyond the sky in the Khumbu region of Nepal.
Electrifying flight to the world’s one of the high altitude airports, Lukla 2900m
The cultural encounters in the frequent highland settlements of indigenous Sherpas including the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar 3440m
The friendly and hospitable natives
The biodiversity of floras, faunas, Himalayan wild animals and colorful birds at Sagarmatha National Park
The pleasant walk along the lush vegetation of rhododendron, firs, pines and oak forest
The panoramic views of towering Himalayan giants including Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Lobuche and many more
The visit to sacred highland monasteries including the one at Tengboche 3846m
Kalapattar 5545m, the highest cabinet meeting point
Dolpo requires some extra logsistics and Pemba made all necessary arrangements. We also benefited. Both treks were wonderful! from having a local guide- Baba –in Mustang- as this is more of a cultural trek-his personal knowledge was useful.