Dubbed as the ‘steps to heaven, ’ Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most iconic and world-renowned trekking expeditions. Although everybody is familiar that the exhilarating trekking adventures take you to the foothills of the greatest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest (8,849 meters), do you know how long does it take to complete the Everest Base Camp Trek?
How Long Does It Take to Complete the Everest Base Camp Trek
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This classic trekking expedition to the heart of the glorious Khumbu region takes around 12-14 days to complete on the regular route. However, if you want to look for an extensive package that explores the remote parts of Khumbu, there are several longer itinerary packages like Everest Base Camp Cho La Pass Gokyo Trek, Everest Three High Passes Trek, Salleri to EBC Trek, and so on. So, the duration may vary depending on the kind of adventure you are looking for, speaking from experience, even a 25-long-day trekking package to relishing the magnificence of the Himalayas wouldn’t feel enough.
How Long is the Everest Base Camp Trek?
The Everest Base Camp is approximately 200-300 km far from Kathmandu. But the trek doesn't actually start in the capital city, most of the trekking packages in the Everest region offer a sightseeing day in Kathmandu before actually setting out on the adventure of the Himalayas.
Your trek will begin after a short-scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The Everest Base Camp is about 53 km (33 miles) away from the town known as the ‘Gateway to Everest’. So, in fact, in the classical trek to the foothills of Everest, you will cover a total of 106 km (66 miles) including the return trek to Lukla from where you will board a plane back to Kathmandu concluding the expedition.
General, the 12-14 days Everest Base Camp expedition follows the classical route starting from Lukla (2,800 meters) and the first-day trekking to Phakding (2,160 meters). Then, the trail heads toward the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar (3,440 meters), Tengboche (3,874 meters) to Dingboche (4,400 meters), and Lobuche (4,940 meters). During the last stretch of the expedition, you will hike from Gorakshep (5,180 meters) to Everest Base Camp (5,364 meters) and another early morning hike to Kalapatthar (5,545 meters), the highest elevation of this adventure.
Then concluding your adventure on laps of the Himalayas, you will retrace your step back from Pheriche (4,371 meters) to Namche and Lukla.
Everest Base Camp Trek Trekking Difficulty
The trip difficulty of the Everest Base Camp has been graded at a ‘moderately-difficult’ level, this high-altitude adventure that goes through several elevation jump points can be the most challenging factor of the expedition. However, with the right amount of preparation and sheer determination, and of course, enough acclimatization days, this amazing journey to the highest base camp in the world is an achievable dream.
You will be walking about 6-7 hours a day on average during the EBC trek, so you need to have an endurance level and strength to cover that much distance in the high-altitude and steep segments of the Himalayan region. Having said that, it is also not a marathon that will demand you to carry your luggage and make the run for it to the next point en route.
The Everest Base Camp trek is a slow-paced exploration of the inner and remote part of the Himalayas, passing through several resting points, you will have enough time to relish and soak in the allurement of the high-Himalayan region; plus, the acclimatization days after ascending to a significant altitude will make it easy for you to adapt to the high-altitude environment and get enough rest.
If you are heart is really into it and you want to partake in this once-in-a-lifetime experience just start following the right preparation plan, then instead of exerting yourself and giving up midway, you will be able to fully immerse in this glorious experience. As a matter of acts, even people over 70+ age and children have successfully completed the Everest Base Camp trek in the past; the success rate of the expedition hovers around 95% to 97%.
Preparation for the Trek
Slightly moving ahead from how long does it take to complete the Everest Base Camp trek, let’s hop into the right preparation plan to make this wonderful adventure a 100% successful conquest. First of all, when preparing for the trekking adventure in the high-Himalayan region what you need to understand is that the route passes through several steep sections.
So, instead of doing the preparation on the treadmill, it will be perfect if you can prepare on a natural landscape with a steep climbing section. It is recommended that you start preparing for the trek at least 8-12 weeks prior to the start of the adventure. If you are already into physical activities or workouts, then this trek won’t be much of a big deal for you; just focus on building stamina and endurance so that you can easily cover 6-7 hours of average walking in a day.
Furthermore, during your hiking preparation, if you carry a backpack with significant weight, it will be a lot helpful during the actual trek as your body will get accustomed to carrying the weight. Also, you need to prepare yourself mentally, the cold harsh Himalayan region is definitely not like a vacation on a tropical beach, so you have to prepare yourself for what is up ahead if you are really gonna do it, then, see it all the way to the end.
Helpful Tips for Everest Base Camp Trek
- Break in the trekking boots before the journey, it is very essential to check the comfort level of the footwear, otherwise, blister and sore feet will be just the start of your problem
- Always carry a water bottle or thermos flask and remind yourself to stay hydrated; getting enough rest and staying hydrated is the best way to prevent altitude sickness
- Do a proper inspection of your gears before embarking on the adventure; a defective tool will just be a dead weight
- Make sure to follow the guidelines of guides and porters, and don’t wander off on your own without consulting or informing the team
- Carry weather and temperature mapping equipments and keep yourself updated about day-to-day conditions
- Remember to take it slow, enjoy the scenery, and don’t rush; the EBC trek expeditions are tailored for an immersive and exhilarating experience
- Also, you will get enough rest period during the trekking but don’t drag it too long so that you might face inconveniences while completing the day’s itinerary
- It will be best if you don’t smoke or drink too much throughout the trek
- Safety first, there are plenty of steep segments and hills in the Himalayan region, don’t walk too close to the edge or stand on the hillside while letting yaks and mules pass
- Carry a first-aid box with you and keep checking your oxygen saturation level, at least twice a day
- And, always carry snacks with you, you never know when you might get hungry for that energy bar
- Check mountaineering and trekking groups and columns for insights and their personal tips about the region
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