South Everest Base Camp Trekking in Nepal

Everest Base Camp is the starting point for mountaineers who want to summit the Mount Everest. There are 2 such Everest Base Camps from where the climbing expeditions start. One is in the Nepal side which is referred as “South Everest Base Camp” and the other is in the Tibet side and referred as “North Everest Base Camp”. These camps are not a part of the Mount Everest and are only the camping place for acclimatization and the climbing expeditions for Everest starts from these two places. The North Everest Base Camp in Tibet is accessible by motor-able roads throughout the year, excluding the winter season. In winter, one can reach the North Everest Base Camp by trekking from a Monastery called Rongbuk which is about 4 kilometers from the North Base Camp. The altitude of the North Everest Base Camp is around 5,150 meters / 16,900 feet.

The below piece of information is about the “South Everest Base Camp Trekking in Nepal”.

The South Everest Base Camp, which is in Nepal, is situated at an altitude of 5,364 meters or 17,598 feet. This is the most popular Everest Base Camp in Nepal and is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts. This Base camp is 60 Kilometers away from the nearest airport in Lukla. In general, it takes about 7 to 8 days to reach the Everest Base Camp from Lukla, including the rest days of acclimatization. The Everest Base Camp is a rugged place on the Khumbu glacier and is very close to the Khumbu ice fall along with covered with moraines. It is surrounded by big mountains such as, Pumori (7,161 meters / 23,494 feet), Lingtren (6,749 meters / 22,142 feet), Khumbutse (6,636 meters / 21,772 feet), Lho La (6,006 meters / 19,704 feet) and Nuptse (7,861 meters / 25,791 feet). The Mount Everest is not visible from the Base Camp as the other big mountains before it covers its view. However, one can see the Mount Everest on your way to the Base Camp right after you get to the Khumbu glacier.

The glacier constantly keep moving and with time the place of the Base Camp has changed, albeit over the several years and of course the movement of glacier is not visible to our eyes. In fact in 1953, when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the very first men to summit Mt. Everest, the Base Camp was very Close to Gorakshep. Now, the Base Camp has moved very closer to the Khumbu Ice Fall. One can touch the Ice Fall just after 100 meters from the Base Camp.

The trail to Everest base camp is completely moraine and over the period of time it does move and change its positions, therefore it is not possible to have a permanent trail to the Everest Base Camp. We need to be careful on the way to Base Camp especially when you are on the Khumbu glacier, as at times you need to jump from cracked solid ice or walk over a slippery ice. Even though the glacier is covered with moraines, the movement of glacier takes off some of these cover and this becomes a challenge to cross such parts. It is always advisable and better to be accompanied with a local guide of the Khumbu region.

How to Reach?

One can fly to the nearest airport in Lukla, which is the gateway of Mount Everest Base Camp Trekking in Nepal. Alternatively, you can trek to Lukla form a place called Ziri, which is connected by road to Kathmandu. It will take you 5 days to reach Lukla from Ziri. The trek route for the same is “Ziri – Shivalaya – Sete – Junbesi – Jubing – Lukla”.
Once you arrive at Lukla, then the trail goes through “Phakding – Monjo – Namche Bazaar – Tengboche – Pangboche – Pheriche or Dingboche – Lobuche and Gorakshep”.

Gorakshep is the last stopover before Everest base camp. It takes about 3 hours of trek to reach Everest Base Camp. Most part of the trail goes along side of the Khumbu glacier. You need to get down to the glacier from the trail and take some very small hikes on the glacier to reach Everest base camp. There is no place to stay in Base camp so you need to come back to Gorakshep, which has some options for accommodations.

A proper acclimatization is required to reach Everest Base Camp. Usually the below two types of trekking itineraries including acclimatization is followed to reach Everest Base Camp from Lukla:

Option 1:
Day 1: Lukla (2,800 meters, 9,187 feet) – Phakding (2600 meters / 8,530 feet).
Day 2: Phakding – Namche Bazaar (3,440 meters / 11,290 feet).
Day 3: Namche Bazaar (acclimatization day).
Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,867 meters / 12,687 feet).
Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche (4,530 meters/ 14,800 feet).
Day 6: Dingboche (acclimatization day).
Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche (4,940 meters / 16,207 feet).
Day 8: Lobuche to Gorakshep (5,164 meters / 16,942 feet).

Option 2:
Day 1: Lukla – Phakding.
Day 2: Phakding – Namche Bazaar. (3,440 meters / 11,290 feet)
Day 3: Namche Bazaar (acclimatization day).
Day 4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche. (3,867 meters / 12,687 feet)
Day 5: Tengboche to Pheriche (4,371 meters / 14,340 feet).
Day 6: Pheriche to Dughla/Thok La (4,620 meters / 15,160 feet).
Day 7: Dughla/Thok La to Lobuche. (4,940 meters / 16,207 feet)
Day 8: Lobuche to Gorakshep. (5,164 meters / 16,942 feet)

If you are looking to reduce your daily trekking time and interested for better and effective acclimatization or lesser daily altitude gain then you can follow the below itinerary.

Day 1: Lukla to Phakding
Day 2: Phakding to Monjo (2,835 meters / 9,301 feet),
Day 2: Monjo to Namche (3,440 meters / 11,290 feet)
Day 3: Namche to Kyangjuma (3620 meters / 11,876 feet)
Day 4: Kyangjuma to Tengboche (3,867 meters / 12,687 feet)
Day 5: Tengboche to Shomare (4, 040 meters / 13,254 feet)
Day 6: Shomare to Pheriche (4,371 meters, 14,340 feet
Day 7: Pheriche to Dughla (4,620 meters / 15,160 feet).
Day 8: Dughla to Lobuche (4,940 meters / 16,207 feet)
Day 9: Lobuche to Gorakshep (5,164 meters / 16,942 feet)

In general it takes another 4 days to return to Lukla from Gorakshep and most of the trek is downhill trekking with few instances of strenuous hiking.

South Everest Base Camp in Nepal