Everest base camp trek is an adventure of a lifetime, for anyone who have always dreamed soaring above the clouds. The EBC is a fairly difficult climb and one does not require prior mountain climbing experience. But you have to be fit for this expedition as the base camp lies at about 5,365m making in the highest base camp in the world.
EBC Trekking Trail
You journey begins from Manthali in Ramechhap district, about 4-5 hrs drive from Kathmandu. The best way to start your expedition is to fly from Manthali airport to the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla.
The runway in Tenzing-Hillary Airport is steep and considered by many to be the most dangerous in the world. The flight here is an adventure on its own, but if you would rather not take the risk, then walking to Luka is a good option. The trail to Lukla takes you on the ‘off-beaten track’ and adds another experience to your trekking.
Unfortunately, Everest Base Camp trekking is very popular to the point that it gets impossible to avoid crowds unless you trek in the winter or go off on a side trail. Your actual trek to EBC starts from Lukla, however. Walking is fairly easy here through this Dudh Koshi valley.
A gentle two-day trek up the valley leads you to the famous Namche Bazaar. This bustling mountain town is the heart of Khumbu region. Namche Bazaar is an ancient valley and is also the largest of all the Sherpa settlements. Most people take a day off here to acclimatize and also take this opportunity to do ther shopping for the journey ahead.
After Namche Bazaar, Phakding and Monjo are two other popular stopovers. A little further from Monjo is the Jorsale checkpoint, which is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park (Everest National Park). As you gain altitude, you will find that the mules are replaced by yaks. These yaks are transporting food and other goods to the city. Sometimes you may have to wait a while for a train of these mountain beasts to pass on the narrow path.
The trail follows the valley of Imja Khola and gives you spectacular views of Khumbila, Nuptse, Thamserku, Kangtega, Cholache, Kangtega and Ama Dablam mountains, with the giants Lhotse and Everest dominating the skyline. Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park region that is now established as a World Heritage site. Animals such as musk deer, the Himalayan tahr, the ghoral, the serow, the wolf, and the Himalayan black bear may be spotted by trekkers in this region.
Deep inside the National Park is a small Himalayan village known as Gorek Shep. This is the last resting spot for most trekkers before making the final trek to Everest Base Camp. Gorak Shep was the original base camp for climbers in the 1950s before moving closer to the mountain base, just below the infamous Khumbu Ice Fall.
The trek along the glacier to base camp can take up to 5 hrs. These are treacherous grounds and travellers must make this walk cautiously as the risk off the ice breaking can be great. But don’t let that deter you as getting to the base camp will make you among only a handful of people to be able to boast of reaching the top of the world.