Trek to Everest Base Camp

By @rtaylormcknight | Posted: November 05, 2016

Below is a case study of a 12-day trek, roundtrip from Kathmandu, to Everest Base Camp (EBC) in October 2016. If you have questions after reading this post, feel free to reach out to me via a DM on Instagram.

Difficulty and skill assessment

This trip is well-suited for anyone who is comfortable with long, 6-8hr days of hiking with a 20-30lb pack. The times noted in this case study – e.g. 4-5hrs – are a relatively fast pace.

You do not need technical mountaineering skills, but you can enjoy some rock scrambling at EBC.

You do not need camping skills or a tent. Just bring your sleeping bag. You will stay and eat in tea houses along the route.

Permits and fees

1. “Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit”:

  • 3,390NPR (~ $31USD)
  • You can pay these fees at the Tourist Service Center, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu (Tourist Information Office, Exhibition road) or at the park gate.

2. “Solukhumbu Permit”:

  • 2000NPR (~ $20USD)
  • Pay when you arrive in Lukla.
  • This is a new fee, as of 2017.

Key info:

  • Bring enough NPR to pay in cash.
  • The Solukhumbu Permit currently replaces the old TIMs Permit. However, check about the TIMs requirement a few days before your trek, given recent debates over the Solukhumbu permit. You can check at the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu, if necessary.

Equipment

Clothing

  • Quick-dry underwear
  • Wool socks (The Fox River socks were awesome. Will buy more.)
  • Wool base layer
  • Soft-shell pants
  • Hard-shell pants (Nice if it rains.)
  • Soft-shell jacket
  • Hard-shell jacket
  • Beanie (I wore this at night for more efficient heat regulation.)
  • Puffy with hood
  • Midweight waterproof gloves
  • Liner gloves

Personal items

  • Water treatment device (Nice to fill up at streams along the route.)
  • TP and hand sanitizer
  • Sunblock
  • Lip balm
  • First-aid kit
  • Large, white compactor garbage bag for lining pack
  • Permits
  • Photo ID

Food and water

  • 2L+ water (Easy to filter water and fill up at streams along the route.)
  • Trail food
  • Meals – eat at tea houses!

Pre-trek accommodation

  • We stayed at a hotel in Thamel. There are many options. Check online. It’s relatively easy to find accommodation after you arrive, if that’s your preference.

Day 1: Lukla to Monjo

Time: 3hrs hiking after flying from Kathmandu to Lukla in the morning

The plane we flew on from Kathmandu to Lukla
This is the very short Lukla runway. It's only 527m long with a 11.7% gradient.

Day 2: Monjo to Namche

Time: 3hrs hiking

Day 3: Namche to Tengboche

Time: 3.5hrs hiking

Day 4: Tengboche to Dingboche

Time: 4hrs hiking

Day 5: Dingboche

Time: Rest day

Day 6: Dingboche to Lobuche

Time: 3hrs hiking

Day 7: Lobuche to Gorakshep + Kala Patthar + EBC

Time: 8.5-9hrs hiking

Conditions encountered: After a 1hr 40min hike to Gorakshep early in the morning, we made our way up Kala Patthar (~2.5-3hrs round-trip) to 5,600m for our first good look at Everest. It was definitely worth it. The views from Kala Patthar are much better than those at the actual Everest Base Camp, which we visited later in the afternoon (~3.5-4hrs round-trip from Gorakshep).

Day 8: Gorakshep to Pangboche

Time: 5hrs hiking

Day 9: Pangboche

Time: 5hrs hiking

Conditions encountered: I ended up getting food poisoning the evening of day 8, so day 9 was mostly spent sick in bed at a tea house.

Day 10: Pangboche to Namche

Time: 5hrs 30min hiking

Day 11: Namche to Lukla

Time: 5hrs 40min hiking