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How difficult is Everest Base camp Trek?

Trekking to Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp Trek is a moderate to difficult trek. If you are reasonably healthy, can climb stairs, and have no trouble walking for a couple of hours, you can easily do this trek. The maximum time spent walking on the trail is 7 to 8 hours and a minimum of 3 to 4 hours each day. During the trek, the highest point you will reach is Kala Patthar at 5,550m. The route is gentle with some steep portions and downhill descents. You walk on an unpaved gravel path. No technical maneuvers involved, just easy walking.

When you hear or see the word “Everest Base Camp,” one thing definitely conjures up in your mind; the mighty Everest. Trekking to Everest Base Camp is the world’s best trek that takes you to the foot of Mourn Everest. This trek has long been on the bucket list of every trekker.

Thousands of trekkers flock to the Everest region of Nepal, flying to Lukla and trekking for at least a week to get a glimpse of the world’s highest peak and bag the bragging right of completing one of the most popular treks in the world.

If you are a traveler, chances are you have already done the trek, or it’s on your bucket list. Whether you’ve completed the trek or planning to do it, one thing is clear, that you have considered pondering the difficulty of Everest Base Camp Trek.

Trekkers definitely Google 'Everest base camp difficulty' before flying to Nepal. And in this blog, we will be answering that very question. So look for a cozy spot-whether recline or sit relax-and make yourself a cup of coffee and get along this blog to get the answer.

Everest Base Camp Trek is not just about Everest; it is much more. It is about the local people and their lifestyle, natural scenery, culture, camaraderie with fellow trekkers, Sherpa hospitality, mountain stories, monasteries, and the mountains. Travelers or, say, trekkers get to embrace the breathtaking views of some of the highest mountains in the world, including Everest. In short, it is a trek of a lifetime.

And this is the very reason why Everest Base Camp Trek is arguably the most popular trek in the world. People from around the world, be it a kid or an older person, wants to make it to the base camp of Everest once in their lifetime.

But one question definitely hit them: How Difficult is Everest Base Camp Trek? Let us give the answer: the trek is difficult for those who think they cannot do it. Otherwise, a person with average fitness and no prior experience can do it. In fact, they have done it. We have seen an Instagram post in which a happy kid poses at Everest Base Camp. This means you can do it.

Did you know, every year, thousands of trekkers-people of all ages from all walks of life-fly to Lukla from Kathmandu and walk for days in the Khumbu region to the base camp? This clearly means that with strong determination and proper planning, anyone can do the trek, provided that fact that he/she is in good health. Basically, Everest Base Camp Trek is a long high-altitude hike over 5600m.

Generally, the standard Everest base camp trek itinerary involves 14 days of trekking, including acclimatization days at Namche and Dingboche. You will be walking every day for 5-6 hours through rugged terrain. No technical skills are required to complete the trek, and trekkers with no prior high-altitude trekking experience can do the trek.

But, as far as the difficulty level is considered, there are certain things you need to take into consideration for a successful EBC trek. Without further ado, let’s look into the things that account for Everest Base Camp Trek's difficulty.

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Altitude

Starting from Lukla at 2600m, the trek takes you to a soaring height of 5,550m at Kala Patthar. Every day you will gain about 400-800m, trekking for 5-6 hours. With this height comes Altitude Sickness, a sickness induced by high altitude if not properly acclimatized. Our bodies are not used to high elevation and are thus prone to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

What is Altitude Sickness?

It is a bodily disorder experienced at higher altitudes with symptoms like headache, breathlessness, and nausea. And it can be dangerous. Please remember that it is possible to get altitude sickness above 2500m. Since the Everest Base Camp trek covers an altitude above 5000m, you are more likely to develop altitude sickness. But with precaution and a better understanding of high-altitude trekking, you can enjoy a pleasant trekking experience even at a higher altitude.

Like we said earlier, anyone can do the trek. And altitude should be of least concern if you know what you are dealing it. So what causes Altitude sickness? To answer this, a quick ascent is a prime reason for altitude sickness. This is because if you ascend quickly, your body will not be able to adjust to the lower level of oxygen in the thin air at a higher altitude.

Remember, lack of sleep, dehydration, and alcohol consumption also leads to this fatal sickness in the mountains. You should be alarmed if you develop symptoms like headache, dizziness, mild nausea and descend immediately to recover. Walk at your own pace: don’t rush or ascend quickly in an attempt to finish the trek earlier.

What to do to prevent yourself from getting altitude sickness?

  1. Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking. This is a BIG NO.
  2. Sleep in a teahouse at lower altitude.
  3. Drink plenty of water every day.
  4. Make sure your itinerary entails acclimatization days.
  5. In case if your body experiences the symptoms of AMS, descend immediately.

Length of trekking and everyday walking

How Far is Everest Base Camp? this could be a bit confusing to you! But wait, the length here refers to the total distance covered while trekking for days to the base camp; you’ll cover 130km in total. That’s huge! We know. Considering that you’ll walk for 9 to 10 days, the total distance covered in a day will be 7-15 km approximately.

Covering this distance is daunting, making it difficult for some trekkers who are not used to trekking for hours. The fact that you’ll be walking on rough terrains, ascending and descending, gaining certain altitude daily tunes to the difficulty of Everest Base Camp Trek. This means you need to be physically ready to hike for hours in mountain trails carrying your light backpack. Rest assured, this is doable, even if you don’t have trekking experience.

Now that you know you will cover a total of 130km in about 2 weeks, that is certainly challenging. Not everyone can walk for hours in the mountains; not everyone can cope up with high altitude gain; and certainly, not everyone can cover 130 km in just 2 week.

Since you’ll be hiking upwards for many days, it could be a daunting task for you. But like we said earlier, with firm determination to do the world’s best trek and proper plan, you can do it. Consider walking for a couple of hours in your hometown, carrying a light backpack daily for a month or so. Consider a short hike around the countryside. Or maybe consider some daily exercise. And this brings us to another point: Training.


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What to do before heading to Everest Base Camp?

Physical fitness is a must; you have to be physically fit in order to complete the trek. Otherwise, it is likely that you may find yourself in a terrible predicament. With poor fitness, you cannot even walk a day, let alone finish the trek. That said, for your EBC trek, you need some training.

But that does not mean you need to hire a physical trainer; you can do it on your own. The overall theme of the training is that you need to be fit for hiking for at least 5 hours per day. Yes, you can hit the gym daily or maybe hike near your house. We recommend that you involve in some exercises as well. The basic idea is that your body needs to be comfortable to trek for a couple of hours every day.

Training hikes are also ideal for testing your endurance. Make sure that you hike in varied surfaces (uneven) carrying a backpack of about 5 kg that includes a fair number of uphill and downhills. If you are comfortably able to hike for 5-6 hours, my friend, you are ready for the trek.

It would be a lot better if your hike is at a higher altitude, but it is not necessary though. Try to include some cardiovascular exercises like running, jogging, swimming, or cycling that will make you fitter for the trek. There’s no hard rule here; the point here is that you got to be physically fit. Period.   

Itinerary for trek

Your itinerary for the trek plays a vital role in determining the success rate of the trek. It is absolutely imperative that your standard itinerary entails at least one acclimatization day. Most of the EBC trek itineraries have acclimatization days in Namche and Dingboche. Now the following question can pop up in your mind:

Why EBC trek itinerary has acclimatization day particularly at Namche Bazaar?

If you have gone through several Everest Base Camp Trek itineraries offered by travel companies, you probably noticed an acclimatization day at Namche Bazaar. Well, it is for some good reasons! It is a popular Sherpa town and common resting ground for acclimatization. Most of the itineraries include two night here before ascending to Tengboche and further. From world’s remotest Irish pub to Sherpa Museum and Khumjung village, Namche has a lot to offer.

Namche Bazaar is the most popular landmark in Everest region brimming with café, restaurant, shops and atm booths and literally everything one can imagine at such height. It bestows breathtaking views of mountains including Everest.  Trekkers can embark on a shirt hike to Sagarmatha National Park or Khumjung or Kundu village. An uphill ascent to Everest View Hotel is a good option for acclimatizing at an altitude above 3000m.

Here are top 5 things to do in Namche Bazaar:

  1. Hike to Khumjung or Kunde village
  2. Visit Sherpa Culture Museum
  3. Visit World’s highest Irish Pub
  4. Embark on short hike to Everest View Hotel
  5. Stroll the Saturday Market

You are aware that acclimatization day helps your body adjust to the thin air at a higher altitude. It is also an opportunity to explore the place; you can go for an acclimatization hike-to the nearest landmark on that day.

Looking at the standard itinerary crafted by travel agencies, it is clear that they encompass acclimatization days, and every day covers certain-suitable distances, gaining appropriate altitude. This is ideal for novice as well as experienced trekkers.

However, you can customize your itinerary based on your preference. You can skip the acclimatization day and complete the trek in less than 14 days. But we do not recommend it unless you are a seasonal trekker.

If you have high-altitude trekking experience, it is likely that you don’t need acclimatization day for your Everest Base Camp trek. You can save the day! But for a novice trekker, we suggest a standard itinerary offered by the travel company. A wrong itinerary can cause complications and unfavorable circumstances.

Final Say

Everest Base Camp trek is a doable trek. Anyone with good health can opt for this trekker, be it a novice trekker or experienced trek. However, you have to consider the above things before embarking on an adventure to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world. You can contact us for any questions you may have regarding Everest Base Camp Trek. Our travel consultant will help you plan and prepare for the trek to Everest Base Camp.




Recent Comments

BT
Blake Thompson | Wed May 18, 2022
Unless it is winter, anyone can do this trek. The off-season is turn-off for adventure.
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MW
Mason Walsh | Mon Mar 21, 2022
My 14 years old brother did the trek with me, so not much difficult. I would say if you are someone who walks everyday or exercise every day, you can opt for this trek. Besides, the trek-company will help you.
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MH
Madison Harrison | Fri Jan 14, 2022
Totally agreed with everything. Acclimatization day helps a lot. The 14-day standard itinerary is great but if you are unsure about your health and fitness, you can extend the days and add one or two more days, allowing you to trek slowly, because better late than never.
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AG
Andre Gardner | Tue Dec 21, 2021
Can I not skip acclimatization day? How hard will it be then?
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TE
Travel Expert | Fri Dec 24, 2021
Yes, you can skip the acclimatization day. But make sure your body won't develop symptoms of altitude sickness. Make sure you can trek without any health hazards. Basically, acclimatization days help your body adapt to high altitudes and lower levels of oxygen. So the main point is that if you can trek without any problems, you may skip it.
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TJ
Telissa Jacob | Mon Dec 20, 2021
I am now clear on what would it take to do the Everest Base Camp Trek. This blog actually helped me shape my forthcoming trekking plan in Nepal. Equally useful for those who are still in planning phase.
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LB
Leigh Beal | Sun Dec 12, 2021
As I was in research phase of my EBC trek planning for 2023, this article really helped me. Very appropriate and important information, thanks for sharing.
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LB
Luke Bates | Sat Dec 4, 2021
Thanks for the insight. But I want to do the trek in Winter. Is that possible?
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TE
Travel Expert | Sat Dec 4, 2021
Yes, you can do it even in the winter. But it could be off-time for you. But the fact that there will be less trekkers is a relief; the trail will not be crowded. Another perk of trekking in winter is snowy winter landscapes and impressive mountains.
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WB
Wilfred Becher | Thu Dec 2, 2021
Thank you for highlighting all the possible hurdles of Everest Base Camp Trek. I was planning this trip for a year but was not able to find out such detailed information on what could happen and how to solve them during the trek. I have now developed a confidence to go for this trip very soon.
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SS
Sandesh Sudhakar | Tue Nov 30, 2021
I am interested October 2022 is it best month please suggest.
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TE
Travel Expert | Tue Nov 30, 2021
Yes, Spring (March to May) and autumn (mid-September to November) are considered the best seasons to trek to Everest Base Camp. The weather stays dry and clear during these times, making it ideal for trekking and enjoying unobstructed views of mountains. The days are warm and the nights chilly. On the downside, however, these are peak seasons, and the trails get crowded and busy.
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