Scaling Mount Everest is perhaps one of the most famous and impressive outdoor achievements you can accomplish. However, due to its difficulty, most people will never attempt it, let alone succeed in reaching its peak. The next best thing you can do though, is take the trek to the world famous Everest Base Camp.
Everest Base Camp South, Nepal: 14 Days approx. – 75 Km / 46 miles round trip
While there are actually two Everest Base Camps, the south camp, which is located in Nepal, is the one that is most popular with trekkers, who visit it in their thousands each year. The other camp, the north base camp, is located in Tibet and access for visitors requires several permits from the Chinese government as well as some other stipulations such as the hiring of guides and vehicles, making it much less popular with trekkers.
Trekking to the South Everest Base Camp, one of most renowned walking trails of the world can be broken into two distinct parts, one of which is optional. For those who fancy trekking the full trail, they can take the bus from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to Jiri and then begin the trek there, heading towards to Lukla and then on to the Everest Base Camp. For a shorter trek, many people fly directly into Lukla, and then trek on towards the base camp from there. As it takes about eight to 10 days to trek from Lukla to the base camp, including the recommended rest and acclimatisation days, it is up to you to decide whether you want to also undertake the six to eight days trek from Jiri to Lukla or fly over this part of the trail.
The popularity of the trek to the Everest Base Camp has continued to grow throughout the years. Its attraction is often attributed to the breath-taking views of the mountain peaks of the Himalayan range, as well as the base camp’s association with the highest mountain in the world. While you might not get great views of Mount Everest itself from the base camp, it is probably as close as most of us mere mortals will get to this great monument.
As this great walking trail of the world takes you up 5,364 meters (17,598 ft) into the mountains, it is not for the fainthearted. While there are many porters on hand, who can be hired for a modest fee to carry your bags every step of the way, you still have to be able to put in the amount of physical effort required to transport yourself to the camp!
Making sure you have the right mountain trekking gear with you, that is suitable for the time of year you are attempting the walk, as well as choosing the best time of year to go, can help make the trek more pleasant and less of an arduous task. Many people recommend visiting between the beginning of March, up to the middle of May, or from the beginning of September through to the middle of November . This should ensure you avoid the hot season as well as the monsoons, both of which can make this stretch of trail inhospitable to the average trekker.
- For an example itinerary, visit the National Geographic website: http://www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com/expeditions/nepal-everest-basecamp-trek/detail
- Wikitravel have a page of information on planning an Everest Base Camp Trek: http://wikitravel.org/en/Everest_Base_Camp_Trek