Should you trek to Mount Everest Base Camp?
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. Since their historic feat, thousands of climbers have reached the top of the world (29,035 feet / 8,850 meters) and even more of you are ambitious trekkers choosing to follow in their footsteps as far as Everest Base Camp at 17,600 feet (5,365 meters). The Base Camp of Mount Everest is an achievable goal for reasonably fit people from all walks of life seeking to gaze upon the world’s highest peak.
The sight of Mount Everest can be an emotional experience when considering the time and effort you have traveled along the high altitude village trails of the Sherpa homeland of the Khumbu. Colorful prayer flags, mani prayer walls, old Buddhist monasteries and the snow-capped giant mountains all stand as reminders that you have certainly entered a faraway and remarkable land.
For almost 30 years, we have been arranging treks to Everest Base Camp for reasonably fit and prepared people with positive attitudes looking for an achievable hiking challenge. And, with just a bit more huffing and puffing, it’s also possible to hike up to the top of the viewpoint peak known as Kala Pattar (18,200 feet / 5,550 meters) for a spectacular panorama of Mount Everest and its lofty neighbors.
Due to the need to acclimatize gradually to the altitude, it takes a minimum of 9 days (including rest days in Namche Bazaar and Dingboche) to reach Everest Base Camp from the airstrip in Lukla, a total distance of approximately 35 miles (50km). This means you’ll travel about 5 miles each day (8km) on well-maintained trails, which most keen hikers should have no difficulty in completing. Only the last 2 to 3 miles en route to Everest Base Camp is along the uneven and rough rubble of glacial moraine.
To make this fantastic trek even more attractive is the fact that it is possible to hike all the way to the Base Camp while staying in the relative comfort of mountain lodges owned and operated by local Sherpa families.
“You don’t have to be a hero to accomplish great things. You can just be an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.” – Sir Edmund Hillary