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.
Himalayan beauty often comes at a cost! You have to stretch your comfort zone, ramble on the rocks, pump your heart and do a bit of huff and puff. However, there is a way out! You can experience the Himalayan giants including Everest in style and comfort. Yes, we are talking about Everest Heli Tour.
When it comes to exploring Everest region and getting a bird’s eye view, nothing beats the experience you get from a helicopter ride! You can enjoy the breath taking heavenly landscapes along with the world’s gigantic mountains including Mount Everest (8848 m). It is the best and easiest way for the travelers who wish to reach the lap of astonishing highest mountains but have very limited time. You get an experience that is worth every penny and it’s quite likely that the time you spend in air will turn out to be one of the most thrilling minutes you will ever have in your life.
Everest Heli tour is not just about flying to Base Camp and returning back. It comes with different side tours like visiting Kala Patthar (5545 m), the historic site of World’s Highest Cabinet meeting and stopping at Kongde, World’s highest Resort where you can stop for a celebratory meal. So, without straining yourself and spending longer trekking days, you can marvel at the panoramic views of astonishing mountains, tranquil valleys, glittering snow peaks, Khumbu glacier of Nepal’s North East Himalaya region and many more. It not only gives you the thrill of being in the air, but offers you the whole new level of experience. So, welcome abroad to have the exclusive escape to one of the world’s most challenging landscapes.
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
Scottish traveler Mr. Mo. Gillespie was on a short trip to Nepal this spring. His trip privileged him with a very short trek from Lukla to Namche Bazaar. He also grabbed an opportunity of fantastic Everest Heli Tour. Here we have the few wonderful lines delivered by Mr. Gillespie after the conclusion of the trip.
“Meeting and handling was excellent. Sabin was fantastic throughout. My tour guide at Kathmandu Ms. Uttara was fabulous. Trek guide Mr. Balkumar was brilliant, very encouraging and a fantastic companion. He was very much knowledgeable and professional.”
“The meals during the stay at the city and during the trek were very good. The staffs serving me, during the trek were very good, warm, courteous and exceptionally comfortable.”
“The hotel in the city, Gokarna Forest Resort and Yeti Mountain Lodge at Phakding and Namche were great places to stay.”
“Transportation was very good. Particularly the helicopter ride which was the highlight of the trip is undoubtedly the best trip of my life.”
“My itinerary was faultlessly perfect. However, if possible I would suggest for the trekking to Monjo instead of Phakding on the first day, so that the second day of the trek becomes lot easier. Overall the trip was perfect and my every expectation was exactly addressed.”
Westphal Joachim and his friends wanted to fly on the helicopter from Kathmandu to Everest via Lukla on April. Explore Himalaya got an opportunity to guide them through the Himalayas in the Everest region. They were lacking time to go around the Himalayas thoroughly. They didn’t want to let go this opportunity to view the Himalayas when they were in the South Asia. They were pretty excited to tour around the Himalayan regions in Nepal.
Aerial view of Kathmandu- City of Temples.
Heli tour in Nepal beyond doubt takes you to the world of fantasy. The heli tour is specifically taking off in a chopper for the Aeriel view of the ancient Hindu Mega temple Pashupatinath, Buddhists pilgrimages Swayambhunath and Boudhanath, the cultural prides Narayanhiti Palace, Ranipokhari, Durbar squares of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, Darhara, Singha Durbar and many more artistic delights of the Kathmandu valley. Gradually passing through the narrow transits between the mountains with the breathtaking Aeriel view of rivers bends, traditional villages, dense vegetation, still lakes, green fields and magnificent waterfalls the helicopter cross the threshold to the county of Great Himalayas. After landing at the airfield in Syangboche (12,340ft), ultimate groundwork will be made. A necessary groundwork to acclimatize the altitude will be followed by equipping every squad member with highly equipped mountaineering oxygen.Then the ultimate heli journey in the Himalayas started. The Aerial view of Everest 8848m, Nuptse7879m, Lhotse 8501m, Amadablam 6856m no doubt worths a shot. Mr. Westphal and friends were completely satisfied with the excitement and adventurous provided during the heli tour to witness the supreme beauty in the great Himalayas in the Everest region. After spending time viewing the Mt. Everest and other Himalayan ranges the helicopter flew back to Kathmandu.
Everest- A close up view from the helicopter.
Pics: Explore Himalaya.
Heli tours in Nepal gives an opportunity for the supreme Aerial view of the Himalaya nation.