If you are here is because you’re going to do the route to the Everest base camp, or you’re thinking about it. If so, secure that you have gone through dozens of websites and blogs trying to find all the information to perform the route. Friend, here you will find the answers!
Organize the route to the Everest base camp has been the trip more complicated planning to us. There are many hours that we spent searching for information since this was the first time we did a trip like this, but there is nothing like living it yourself. In the absence of information, we have decided to do this article with the updated information after the earthquake of Nepal in 2015 and runway maintenance of Tribhuwan International airport changing schedules for kathmandu to Lukla flights during 2019. Now these days and onwards, the flight to Lukla is operated from Ramechaap, Manthali Airport which is 132km far from Kathmandu and takes 3-4 hours getting there. Many guests move at 3 in the morning to get to Ramechaap and catch flights to Lukla.
We will go step by step to resolve your doubts:
There are many travelers who decide to visit Nepal to conduct trekking routes. For this reason, the government has certain controls over this type of tourists.
For trekking in Nepal you must arrange the TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) for regions except Everest. But you need Khumbu Pasang Lhamu rural Municipality Entrance Permit instead of TIMS permit. Trekking along Annapurna, Langtang, Manaslu and other Restricted Areas required TIMS. This type of identity card will specify your personal data, visa as well as which trekking route you are going to make. Along the trekking, depending on the route, you’ll find controls where to submit the TIMS. When managing this permission you will be asked for your policy number, so that it is mandatory that you have insurance that covers you up to the maximum altitude you will achieve. We hire the insurance World Nomads which covers up to 6,000 m-and-rescue helicopter.
If your trekking in Nepal takes place in a natural park, then you will have to pay the entrance to the park. In the case of the route to the Everest base camp, the park that you visit is the Sagarmatha National Park, as “Sagarmatha” is called Everest in nepali. The entrance to the park is 3,000 rupees and is subject to VAT resulting 3,390 rupees.
To process these documents you must go to the office of tourism of Nepal, in Kathmandu. You can see the location in Google Maps by clicking here. The procedures are performed at the time and even you take the necessary photos for the TIMS. In case you are not able to process the entrance to the park, you can take it out in the own access in Monjo during the trek. The price does not vary in the case of the entrance to the park.Quiet because everyone spoke English without problem, so it is easy to make the arrangements.
These are the opening hours of the office to get the permissions:
If you do the trekking with an agency, this is responsible for making these paperwork for you. If you still don’t know if you do the route to the Everest base camp, organized or for free, you can read this article where we compare both options.
This is another of the great dilemmas to be decided by the traveller before making the trek. The vast majority of agencies devote 11 days to the path to the base camp of Everest, which starts from Lukla. Each one knows their body and its possibilities, but it seems to us a time very tight.
Before you make the trek you have to buy the ticket of the plane from Kathmandu to Lukla. Despite the fact that it is a date closed, you can change the date back to Kathmandu the day before departure. The conditions of the mountain, or of your body, are very changeable in these places and companies are aware of this. We slowed down our flight a couple of days with a simple phone call.
Along the trekking, it is recommended to do at least two days of acclimatization (one in Namche Bazaar and another at Dingboche or Periche). There is also a rule of walk high and sleep low. That is to say, never sleep at the highest altitude you’ve reached that day. Finally, there is the rule (great recommendation) of each 300m-500m ascended throughout the day, devote a day to acclimatize. We saw that many agencies do not follow this last rule, especially from the 4.000 m of altitude, which we felt was a risk. This was one of the factors that made us decide to do it for free.
When you make the trek for free , you can decide your itinerary and schedules. In total we did the trek in 15 days, and was thus able to enjoy the scenery and peoples to our convenience and admire the summit of Everest how long we wanted without haste.
For trekking to Everest base camp is necessary to bring the necessary equipment. The route is not technical, and is accessible “for everyone”, in the sense that it has no part of climbing or mountaineering. Although yes you need a good physical form.
It is necessary to bring the necessary clothes for those temperatures (-20 degree recommended), as well as accessories are essential.
The budget to make the path depends on oneself. Yes, despite the fact that Nepal is a cheap country, the trekking expensive to a lot of the trip. The equipment as well as the tickets of the plane are a big expense for the budget. Once on the trek, the accommodation is the most economic and the food is not too expensive, even though you are going up in price as we ascend. We have dedicated an article to embody all the budget of the trekking to the Everest base camp, by concept and by days.
The accommodation is simple, but covers the basic needs. The houses where you sleep are referred to as lodge. These lodges are wooden houses with double rooms. The rooms consist of two beds formed by a wood board and a foam mattress thin. In the article of accommodation of the route to the Everest base camp, you will find luxury lodges as well but costs many much more.
The route to the Everest base camp is unique, there is no loss. If we do the path around to pass by the lakes of Gokyo we would be talking about another way.
This traditional route to the foot of the highest mountain in the world passes through the valley of Khumbu until heading out to the glacier with the same name. Every few kilometers we find peoples, sherpas where to find accommodation, even so, over the years a few have become popular more for their services.
This was the route that we do in search of mount Everest:
Normally the first day, after landing in Lukla, the walk begins to lose altitude in Phakding. Given the bad weather, our plane is not landed in Lukla until the late afternoon. If we continued the path we would of night by the way, so we prefer to sleep in Lukla that night.
This first day of hiking we decided to move up to Phakding, where we stop for lunch. After this we continue the route to Monjo. This village is almost at the same altitude than Lukla, and, given that we had not had symptoms of altitude sickness, we follow up to this. Here is where the entrance to the natural park of Sagarmatha. The route passes simple, descent until past Phakding where we have to climb all the meters that have been downloaded.
This was one of the toughest days of the route. You read where you read they tell you about the huge climb that takes you to reach Namche, the largest town in the valley of the Khumbu. After passing the bridge of Hillary, the suspension bridge, the highest in the world, tap to climb a height difference of 800m until you reach Namche. Durant the way there is a point where you stop many porters, and there is a shy bathroom. From there, it is the first time that you see the highest mountain: Everest.
At the epicenter of Khumbu have to rest. This great town sherpa has all of the necessities you could want: shops, bars and hotels with hot showers and electricity. During this day we did a route that took us up to Khunde and Khumjung, two villages where Edmund Hillary started his work of helping the sherpa community. In this excursion we reached the 3,700 m of altitude, which would help us in the following days.
This route runs quiet and without much slope until Punki Thenga. Given that we have to cross the river, there are quite a few downs. Once we have crossed this small town, in which we recommend to stop to eat to gain some strength, plays a big climb up to Tengboche. For us, this was the toughest of the route. The slope is much at a distance of few kilometres. In Tengboche there are just two lodge, so the accommodation places are limited.
This day we were going to do acclimatization, but we decided to move up to Pangboche. This town is located just three hours from Tengboche and it is the point that separates the routes from the lakes of Gokyo and the Everest base camp. As trek from Pangboche, you can go to the base camp of the Ama Dablam, although the route is not indicated.
From Pangboche, with the clear sky, we climbed up to Dingboche. Throughout the route we enjoy the views of the Ama Dablam to the front. On this day, be feeling the altitude by the great changes in the landscape and vegetation. It is recommended to stop at Periche or Dingboche, though Dingboche is usually the most popular option. In Periche is the hospital that specializes in altitude sickness. Periche will be your best option if you feel symptoms of altitude sickness.
In Dingboche we make another stop for acclimatization. The most popular options are to go up to Periche, climb one of the hills near Dingboche or go up to Chukhung, the last village before Island Peak. This last option was the one that we chose.
In the trek organized is usually done the day of Dingboche to Lobuche in one day, but the slope seems to us to be excessive at the juncture of more than 4,000 m of altitude. This is why we do the route to Doughla the only intermediate point. The route passes up and down several slopes for a spacious ground leaving Ama Dablam behind. There are no people on the way. It comes to Doughla after entering the glacier of the Khumbu and cross the river. Doughla is a space of a few meters where there are exactly two lodge where you sleep.
The journey of this day was the hardest, not by its difficulty but by the height. The day starts by climbing the Toukla Pass, which has a considerable elevation gain across rocky terrain. After climbing the step, we find the memorials of people who have lost their lives climbing in the Himalayas. After that the terrain is more flat, but with a slight rise. The landscape is now mostly barren and wide.
The route from Lobuche to Gorakshep starts with easy terrain. Following the previous day, the landscape is arid, with a slight slope, with 6,000’s to both sides. After passing this part of the route, you arrive at the Lobuche Pass, another great climb to this height can cost, though not as much as the previous one. It all depends on the physical state at that time of each and the accumulated fatigue. After this, tap up and down several slopes, always with the glacier of the Khumbu to our right. Since we do not know the way, the route makes us infinite with several ups and downs. Finally we arrived at the crossing the Khumbu glacier and the Khangri Shar. We crossed the last, to spend the last climb until you reach Gorakshep. This population is not inhabited during all months of the year, and rests on a frozen lake under the summit of Kala Pattar.
Today was the end of the route to the Everest base camp. We woke up early with nervousness, given that we will achieve our goal: to reach the Everest base camp. The route is about six hours round trip. The trail runs on rocky terrain, with the road not very suitable. To the right we always have the glacier of the Khumbu, and very far away, we spot the cascade of the Khumbu with the camp to his feet. After several hours and stops, we descend the hillside to cross the difficult terrain to reach the camp.
After several hours in the Everest base camp and enjoy the, we return to Gorakshep for our backpacks. In Gorakshep we eat and we descend to Periche. The road is long, and despite dropping down in altitude there is also some slight rises, but many miles to be done. We got to Periche at sunset and we settled into the lodge.
Without a doubt this is one of the toughest days. As we descend, we cannot imagine that the route will also feature climbs that were lowered into the back. It is much the tiredness accumulated all the day, and the day is quite tough. We arrived at Namche at about six in the afternoon where we settled in a lodge.
Given that we enjoyed a lot being in the mountains, and we were very tired, we didn’t want to rush into quitting the Himalayas. Spent the next two days to rest and make local life, enjoying the pleasure of doing nothing and talking with local people. We stayed in a room with hot shower and electricity to be able to shower after 10 days without enjoying it (:D) and charge the batteries of cameras.
After enjoying two days of rest, we descend to Lukla. Once more, the day is done eternal for all the miles to go. In addition, we remind you that the first day of the trek from Lukla to Monjo was all downhill. So this time it was all uphill. We arrived to Lukla exhausted with the energy fair to return the sleeping bags are rented as well as find a lodge where we sleep.
We got up early to go to the terminal planes of Lukla. Our plane to Kathmandu with a few minutes of delay. The journey is undergone, since we take quite a lot of turbulence and we have not yet lost the fear of this small junk flying. We arrive to Kathmandu where we continue with our one-month trip in Nepal.
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