The best trekking routes for EBC
Everest Base Camp is one of the most trekked destinations in the country. This trend has ever increased as the gears have advanced and trails have been modified to make them less strenuous. The number of tourists vying for the top of 8848 meters has increased and so has the number to the Everest Base Camp. Also with the compatibility with the routes, tourists are now offered with the tranquil trail which goes through the wilderness or the often trekked shorter route.
There are different routes to visit the Everest Base Camp. The often trekked trail is via Lukla and arriving at Lukla by plane. This two weeks long trail sees a lot of visitors during the trekking season and is not quite as tranquil as compared to the trail via Jiri. Trekking via Jiri, it shall take between two to three weeks to complete the journey.
This journey, however, takes one into the wilderness and allows us to switch off from the everyday chaos until the end of the journey. Sagarmatha National Park, Sherpa villages, their culture, and the monasteries are the major attractions en route. A great deal of uphill and downhill trek brings us to the serene landscapes and the tallest mountain in the world in the backdrop.
Day 1: Kathmandu to Jiri:
Jiri is eight hours drive from the capital city. At an altitude of 2370 meters, Jiri is also known as the ‘Switzerland of Nepal’ mostly because the infrastructures there are funded by the Swiss. The weather, however, is similar to Switzerland as well.
Day 2: Jiri to Bhandar
Bhandar is at an altitude of 2190 meters and will take us almost 5-6 hours to reach there after have commenced our trek
Day 3: Bhandar to Sete
Sete is at an altitude of 2575 meters and en route, we pass via Lamjura Pass which is 3530 meters high. This takes almost 6-8 hours to arrive at Sete.
Day 4: Sete to Junbesi
Leaving Sete, we will arrive at Junbesi which is at an altitude of 2680 meters. It takes 6-8 hours to arrive at Junbesi.
Day 5: Rest at Junbesi
After walking for three days, a day rest is a must to shrug off your weariness. Strolling around Junbesi offers a magnificent view of the green hills and mountains.
Day 6: Junbesi to Nunthala
After having proper rest, walking up to Nunthala should not take more than 6 hours. Nunthala is a beautiful village at an altitude of 2330 meters.
Day 7: Nunthala to Bupsadanda
Leaving Nunthala, the next stop is Bupsadanda which is at an altitude of 2300 meters. Crossing the suspension bridge over the Dudhkoshi, Bupsadanda is 6 hours walk from Nunthala.
Day 8: Bupsadanda to Surkhe
Surkhe is a small village lying below the Lukla village at an altitude of 2290 meters. After walking for 4-6 hours, arriving at Surkhe will offer some spectacular views.
Day 9: Surkhe to Phakding
The trek is mostly uphill here onwards, increasing the intensity of the trek. As much exertion is required, you will witness some of the best views in return. Phakding is a village at an altitude of 2610 meters and 4-6 hours walk from Surkhe.
Day 10: Phakding to Namche Bazar
Namche Bazar is the city amid the villages of this region. This village has abundant hotels and accommodation should not be a problem. Namche is at an altitude of 3440 meters and takes 6-8 hours to walk from Phakding.
Day 11: Rest day at Namche Bazar
Namche Bazar is filled with amusement and a day should be enough to visit around Namche Bazar. Also for the acclimatization purpose, rest at Namche Bazar is a must.
Day 12: Namche Bazar to Tengboche
Tengboche is named after the Tengboche monastery which is very famous in the Everest region. Tengboche is a small village situated at an altitude of 3867 meters and 6-8 hours walk from Namche Bazar. The view of Ama Dablam, Lhotse and the mighty Everest itself is breathtaking.
Day 13: Tengboche to Dingboche
Dingboche is a small village at an altitude of 4400 meters offering a spectacular view of the lush mountains. Walking for almost 6-8 hours to arrive at the village, the serene environment rewards you with the chilly wind and beautiful mountains.
Day 14: Acclimatization at Dingboche
Rushing would only cause problems. A day rest at Dingboche should help to acclimatize and in the meantime, you can ramble around the village.
Day 15: Dingboche to Lobuche
Walking up the hill for 6-8 hours up to 4900 meters, we will arrive at Lobuche. The trail is through the moraines and gets strenuous here onwards. Nights can be very cold with the chilly mountain. It is always better to be equipped with warm clothes.
Day 16: Lobuche to Gorak Shep to EBC
The ultimate destination of the journey is acquired today as you visit EBC and come back to stay at Lobuche. Gorak Shep is at an altitude of 5180 meters while Everest Base Camp is at an altitude of 5364 meters.
Day 17: Gorak Shep to Kalapatthar to Pheriche
Kala Patthar is the viewpoint of an altitude of 5545 meters. Kala Patthar offers the most magnificent view of Everest along with its range. Looking at the Everest so close in front might feel unreal but this is what the trek offers, bliss. You will arrive at Pheriche for the stay which is at an altitude of 4320 meters.
Day 18: Pheriche to Namche
The trail sees a familiar ambiance as you return to Namche. On the way back, you can see the Sherpa culture in the Everest region.
Day 19: Namche to Lukla
Following the route back to Lukla, the lush mountains will be in the backdrop.
Day 20: Lukla to Kathmandu
On the way back, the journey to Kathmandu via flight is preferred as the 30 minutes long flight flies above the mountains which is a treat to watch.
Day 21: Sightseeing around Kathmandu
Culturally enriched city, Kathmandu offers a lot of cultural beauty. There are several sites listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the valley.
Day 22: Departure
This route via Jiri is lesser trekked so one must be equipped with proper trekking gears. There are hotels for accommodation en route but during the peak travel season, there might be some shortage. So as per safety concerns, one should be equipped. This route is the best alternative to travelers who are fascinated by the wilderness and peace. Even if lesser trekked, the trails are marked and it should not be difficult to find the way. Even so, there are several villages on the way.
The other route to Everest Base Camp is the often trekked one starting at Lukla. After leaving Kathmandu for Lukla, the 30 minutes long flight will take you above the lush mountains. This route often trekked so accommodation and fooding should not be any problem.
Besides, you can always bring potters and guides with you. And with proper acclimatization, altitude sickness should not be a problem either. Lukla has all the facilities one will find in the city and so does Namche Bazar.
There are places where you will struggle for network signals and wi-fi connection but travel is about skipping the bustling life. So it is better that you complete your errands before you commence the journey.
Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla to Phakding (2652 m)
Day 2: Phakding to Namche Bazar (3440 m)
Day 3: Acclimatization at Namche (3440 m)
Day 4: Namche to Tengboche (3870 m)
Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche (4400 m)
Day 6: Rest and acclimatization at Dingboche (4400 m)
Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche (4900 m)
Day 8: Lobuche to Gorakshep (5180 m) to EBC (5364 m) to Gorak Shep
Day 9: Gorakshep to Kalapathar (5545 m) to Pheriche (4320 m)
Day 10: Pheriche to Namche (3440 m)
Day 11: Namche to Phakding to Lukla (2800 m)
Day 12: Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 13: Sightseeing around Kathmandu
Rolwaling Valley Trek is another option to complete the journey to Everest Base Camp. This trek is more strenuous and requires much exertion though. The hard climb through the peaks and passes and walking on the moraines, this trail offers a spectacular view of Langtang range and Everest range.
Starting from Kathmandu, you will drive to Gongar Khola and start the trek. En route, you will pass the largest glacial lake, Tsho Rolpa. The trail is not marked and there is not much settlement either. So this can be a risky trek to carry out on your own. Trekking via Rolwaling valley will require an experienced guide.
There are several routes to trek to Everest Base Camp and one can choose as per their compatibility. For the novice trekkers, the often trekked trail is preferred. Trekking itinerary, however, can vary with trekkers caliber. Apart from the natural beauty of the lush mountains, Sherpa hospitality is enticing as well. Trekking through the wilderness will allow you to explore the endangered flora and fauna.