The big daddy of them all, the world’s highest peak and the tallest order on many a bucket list: Mt Everest.
Of course, you don’t need to reach the summit of this iconic mountain to experience the essence of a real Himalayan adventure. Go trekking through the high passes above flame-red rhododendron forests and stunning alpine lakes and enjoy the chance to appreciate the jaw-dropping mountain scenery, as well as challenging yourself physically. Each of our treks is supported by an experienced crew, so you can let your feet do the talking and just focus on your end goal – Everest Base Camp.
Our Everest Base Camp trips
The different itineraries
While all our Everest Base Camp treks take you right to Base Camp, there are some differences. For example, if you're a nature-lover and want to see the crystal waters of the Gokyo Lakes, try our 19-Day Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes Trek. If you want to immerse yourself in the local Nepalese culture, our 15-day Everest Base Camp trip might be for you, as it includes an overnight stay in the famous Sherpa Village.
Why choose Intrepid
Meet the team
We have very experienced crew, with most of our local leaders having worked with us for over 10 years. Many of our porters and assistant guides on Everest Base Camp trek are Sherpas. The term Sherpa is commonly misused by foreigners to refer to almost any guide or climbing supporter hired for trekking expeditions in the Himalayas, regardless of their ethnicity. However, Sherpas are a local ethnic group from the Everest region, renowned in the international climbing and mountaineering community for their hardiness, expertise, and experience at very high altitudes. Many Sherpas are highly regarded as leading mountaineers and specialists in their local area.
We walk for between four and eight hours each day, some days being more strenuous than others. Trekking is mostly done on paths, but there is the occasional rough terrain along the way, and some days will include ascents and descents of 500 metres or more. This, in addition to the altitude can account for the variation in hiking time and distance per day.
Well fitted, comfortable and sturdy shoes are essential, and can make a great difference in the enjoyment of your trip. Make sure to break them in before your trip, either by wearing them on training hikes or even just around the house. The first time you wear your boots should not be on the trail!
Everest Base Camp sits at 5,380m/17,600 feet. At this altitude it’s common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects – regardless of age, gender or fitness level. Everyone will adapt to the altitude and thinning air differently. This is why we always try to keep the ascent slow and steady, to allow your body to acclimatise and make your journey to the summit easier. Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences, so it’s important that you discuss any pre-existing medical conditions with your doctor before you leave home.
You can help your body to acclimatise and avoid altitude sickness by:
- Drinking plenty of water – at least four litres per day on top of other forms of fluids such as tea or soups.
- Avoiding alcohol, tobacco and substances that can interfere with good delivery of oxygen to the body or cause dehydration.
- Eating small, frequent meals high in carbohydrates.
- Taking it easy or have a regular break. Walk at a slower pace than you would at sea level and avoid overexertion.
We have a number of different training guides available:
Your body needs time to adjust to the altitudes and acclimatise, which will make you feel better in the long run. We have taken this into account in our Itinerary by limiting the altitude we increase daily, and by giving you extra nights to acclimatise in Namche Bazaar.
Teahouses are the most common accommodation style on Everest Base Camp trek. They are simple but cosy, with shared toilets and washing facilities. As a general rule, the closer you are to Base Camp the more basic the teahouses are. While the views of Everest and the surrounding Himalayas are spectacular, the amenities are understandably basic.
Hot shower facilities are available in some teahouses for a price but occasionally a hot shower means a bucket of hot water.
Electricity to charge devices as well as paid WiFi is sometimes available. We suggest purchasing a solar charged portable charger to bring with you.
Food along the Everest Base Camp trail is simple and filling. All food must be carried to your guesthouses by yaks or people, so the higher you get, the more limited and expensive your food options will be. The most common meal on the trail is Dal Bhat, sometimes served with a small side of cooked or pickled veg. Dal is lentil soup, and Baht is rice. It’s filling, delicious, and you can have free refills! You can get western style food like pizza but it’s usually quite expensive. Breakfast is typically a choice of noodle soup, porridge, fried bread, and eggs.
We do not include meals while trekking, allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. We know from experience that the altitude and physical exercise can affect appetites differently.
While it’s not compulsory, our leaders will always encourage our groups to eat together to help build group dynamics over shared meals. The places your leader will recommend are usually the teahouses we use for accommodation. These teahouses have been inspected and approved by our local operations team and are continually tried and tested by our travellers, guides, and leaders that eat there.
The teahouses we sleep in do not rely on our travellers buying food and beverages for payment, as is sometimes the case with independent travellers and other operators. Intrepid pays the teahouses for the accommodation they provide to our groups and any other services they provide generates additional income for them.
It is essential to bring two 1-litre water bottles to refill along the way. While trekking, boiled or safe water is available for drinking, however you should also carry a water purification method. This could be in the form of filtered water bottles, purification drops/tablets, or ultraviolet sterilisation pens that are available in camping stores, some pharmacies, or online.
The evening before you leave Kathmandu, you'll receive a duffle bag to pack all the clothes and necessities you’ll need for the duration of the trek (10 kilograms or 22 pounds maximum). Your excess luggage will be stored at our starting point hotel in Kathmandu.
Your team of porters will carry the duffle bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Keep in mind that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. While hiking you will need to carry your own day pack with your water, camera, sunscreen, rain jacket, warm layers, hand sanitiser, and any other personal items.
It’s important you refer to the packing recommendations in your Essential Trip Information, however, for a general guide check out our blog, ‘What to pack for a trekking trip to Nepal’.
We understand that you might not own all the appropriate gear required to trek in the Himalayas. Thankfully Kathmandu has plenty of shops where you can rent or buy hiking apparel, sleeping bags, and trekking poles. While there are a few stores which sell real brand names, most sell knock offs with varying degrees of quality. Your trip leader can assist you in renting or purchasing the items you require.
Autumn: The most popular trekking season for Everest Base Camp runs from mid-September to November. October is traditionally the most popular time for this trek, when the views are great, the skies are usually clear, and the temperatures are not too extreme.
Winter: Some travellers prefer the colder winter months, from December to February, when the days are still sunny, but the trails are quieter. If you’re travelling over this time be sure to bring some extra layers of warm clothes.
Spring: If you go to Everest Base Camp over March, April and May you may be lucky enough to meet the people who will be attempting to summit the mountain. Mid-March to mid-May is one of the best times to see rhododendrons, Nepal’s national flower, in full bloom.
Summer: Is monsoon season, so we don't recommend trekking in June or July.
Depending on when you travel the weather can be vastly different, but it is best to prepare for all weather, as it can vary throughout the day. During the day in the earlier months of the trekking season it can get very warm and sunny, but during the winter months it can drop well below 0 degrees Celsius, so warm clothing is vital.
No matter what the temperature, or how cloudy it is, always use sun protection! The atmosphere is thinner at high altitude meaning the UV rays are more extreme. Snow can also reflect UV rays, which greatly intensifies UV radiation.
ATMs are not common on the Everest Base Camp region. There are only two towns where you will see ATMs: Lukla and Namche Bazar. It is quite common for there to be problems with those ATMs or for them to be out of money, so we advise our travellers not to rely on them and make sure you leave Kathmandu with sufficient cash for meals and anything else you might require.
At Intrepid, we offer treks to Everest Base Camp, not to the summit. Trekking to the summit of Everest can cost upwards of $60,000USD and is far more technical than the trek to Base Camp. The summit climb requires previous trekking experience and knowledge of how to climb ice, rock and use summit equipment. Base Camp, on the other hand, requires no technical trekking skills or experience and is considered much safer than summitting. The trek to Base Camp takes between seven to nine days, whereas a summit expedition takes between seven and nine weeks.
Most people who trek to Base Camp go for the experience of seeing Mt Everest, while exploring the local culture. Those who undertake a summit expedition have the primary goal of making it to the top.
Yes. We carry multiple, comprehensive first aid kits and our porters and leaders are fully trained on their use. We also take oxygen cylinders, oximeter, portable altitude chamber, and satellite phone.
Absolutely! Intrepid have invested in the highest standards of training of our staff, including advanced altitude training delivered by local doctors who undergo refresher training every two years. We also train them on how to respond in the case of a moderate or severe case of altitude sickness – which will always mean organising for the affected traveller to descend immediately. During your briefing on the first evening of your trip, your leader will talk to you about symptoms of AMS and how to recognise them.
Yes – there are three key, potentially life-saving drugs that our teams carry on the mountain. These are Dexamethasone, Diamox and Nifedipine and they used to treat cerebral and pulmonary oedema, which are the two potentially life-threatening complications of severe AMS. Our mountain guides are fully trained on the use of these drugs for altitude related illnesses.
We carry medical oxygen – and when a group has four travellers or more, this will mean multiple cylinders will be distributed among the team of porters to ensure that oxygen is always quickly available in the case of an emergency. The oxygen that we carry is strictly for emergency use only – and cannot be used by clients to assist in climbing.
Yes. We carry PACs, a portable altitude chamber, which are used for sufferers of severe AMS. When a person is suffering from AMS a descent of just a few hundred metres back down the mountain is enough to make a difference. However, a rapid descent on foot is not always possible on Everest Base Camp trek, in which case PACs are more effective.
Mobile (cell) phone coverage on the mountain is improving – but it's still patchy in many areas. For this reason, Intrepid leaders carry short wave radios to allow for communication in the case of an emergency.
All our trips in Nepal are operated by PEAK DMC Nepal, which is a fully owned Intrepid Travel company based in Kathmandu.
We use porters on our treks instead of yaks to carry bags and equipment. Even though animal transport is much cheaper, we have found the animals aren’t treated well and there is no weight limit enforced while using these animals as carriers. We have a detailed Porter Policy in place, to ensure our porters are respected and treated in a dignified way.
At the end of your tour please consider donating to the KEEP Porters Clothing Bank. Contrary to the belief that porters are well-adjusted to the cold and altitude of the Himalayas, every year many porters suffer from a variety of illnesses such as altitude sickness, snow blindness, hypothermia and frostbite and some even die as a result. The Clothing Bank was set up in 2009 to provide ill-prepared porters with better clothing suitable for trekking in a mountain environment and reduce the number of unnecessary illnesses and fatalities which occur each year.