When is the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp?

Can I do it in winter-December,January and February?

The best time to trek the Everest Base Camp is from March-May in spring and September-early December during autumn/fall. However, you can trek to Everest Base Camp in December, January and February during  Winter as well. Only a select few prefer trek the Everest Base Camp trails during these months. For elaborated information on climate/weather/temperature during Everest Base Camp Trek,

Trekking to Everest Base Camp in Winter-December, January and February

Yes, we can certainly trek Everest Base Camp in winter (December, January and February). As in monsoon season, the Everest Base Camp trek trail is deserted during core winter, especially in January. Below freezing temperatures are why core winter trekking in the Everest region is unpopular. So, if you don’t mind cold temperatures which can easily be tackled with advanced gear, winter trekking with an experienced guide and a porter is possible. As a bonus, the views are clear during winter season.

The weather during winter season is relatively dry and stable. The major challenge is trekking the snow-covered trails. However, it won’t be much of a bother with the proper gear. Those who attempt this trek in winter do so because the trails are isolated and quiet. More than 40,000 trekkers come to the Everest region every year and over 90 percent of those trekkers arrive during the peak seasons of spring and autumn.  The temperature drops down to -15°C to around -20 °C during mid-December to January in regions that are 4,000m above sea level.

Warm clothes including thermal down jackets are vital for winter trekking. It is also advised that you carry a thermal sleeping bag for the night as the lodges don't have heaters Everest region receives anywhere from 5-6 to 7-8 hours of sunshine per day during the winter season which  means you have less time to get from one destination to the other. Everest Base Camp winter trek is for trekkers who have at least average physical fitness level and some experience in winter trekking/hiking.

How is Food and accommodation like on Everest Base Camp trek?

The food and accomodation in the Everest Base Camp trek depends on the altitude. Most lodges and tea houses below 4,000m have excellent food and accomodation facilities while only basics are available above the 4,000m mark.

Accomodation

As we climb higher in the Everest Base Camp trek, the number of guest houses, tea houses and lodges are limited and only basic facilities are available. All the rooms in tea houses and lodges come with two beds and an attach bathroom, however, you only get the luxury of attached bathrooms till 4,000m after which you’ll have to share a common bathroom. Also, there is a common room at every teahouse where you can hang out with fellow trekkers. Most common rooms have a Yak dung fueled heater at the center. Teahouses and lodges do not provide a heater or a sleeping bag for your  rooms. We have to bring our own thermal sleeping bag, especially in winter.

Food

You have a variety of options in food but it  limits down as you go higher. Breakfast food menu usually consists of eggs, toast or tibetan bread, porridge, pancakes and cereals. The most common lunch/dinner item is Dal-Bhat, however, there are other options available like veggie stew and noodles. In some places like Namche Bazaar baked goods are also available.Your trekking leader/guide will help you with the menu and orders whenever required. During the peak season, lodges and tea houses are usually packed so pre-booking is a must. Adventure Club Trek handles accommodation booking for our clients and will  only choose the best accomodations available. There will be no compromise on the quality for our valued trekkers.

How difficult is Everest Base Camp trek and what physical fitness is required?

Just because it is the base camp of the world’s highest mountain, people thing trekking to Everest Base Camp is only for trained climbers. That is, however, just a misconception. Everest Base Camp Trek is thrilling and adventurous but also achievable by most people with an average fitness level. The trek is moderately difficult. The routes are well-laid out, there are tea houses along the way and people are friendly. However, Everest Base Camp trek starts at an elevation of 2,860 m and goes as high as 5,555m. So, the only real challenge here is the altitude which can cause Acute Mountain sickness ( Read more about AMS here).The difficulty level of the trek depends on your physical fitness level as well. But, no matter how fit you are, acclimatization is vital as it helps you beat AMS.

Trekking to Everest Base Camp without a guide, is it possible? What is it like?

Yes, it is possible to trek to Everest Base Camp without a guide and a porter.  However, not without consequences.You have a well-laid out route to follow, there are lodges and tea houses along the way and you have the company of mountains and fellow trekkers, so trekking independently to Everest Base Camp is possible. However, carrying all your gears yourself, navigating the way, negotiating for food and accomodation and not understanding the language can make your trek much harder than it should be. Also, the altitude should be considered here. You cannot predict beforehand whether or not you’ll get Acute Mountain sickness. And when you get it while trekking independently without no one to help you, it can be fatal. So, even though it is possible to trek to Everest Base Camp without a guide, it is not highly recommended. A guide can give you a better insight into the culture and traditions and a porter can make your trip less strenuous.Besides, by only spending a small amount on guides and porters, you are helping the hardworking people support their families which ultimately adds to the local economy.