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Everest Base Camp Trek FAQs

  • 11 Nov 2016
Everest Base Camp Trek FAQs

How fit do I need to be to take an EBC Trek?

You do not have to be able to challenge a professional athlete to trek to the Everest Base Camp. You only need to be able to walk long distances (without major breaks).

What is the best season for trekking?

The best seasons for the trek are September to November and March to June

Can a person with no trekking experience do it?

Yes, they can do it. Considering that they have prepared well and are fairly fit, they can surpass the challenge the Everest Base Camp Trek is.

Are guides really needed/can I trek to EBC on my own?

Yes, you can. This will be helpful. Get all the gadgets you are going to use in the trek checked and rechecked- the GPS and all the navigation system you have mounted up for your trek. If you are a foreigner looking to do the trek on your own, it’s imperative that you learn some useful Nepali words first. So, even if your gadgets abandon you, you can use these words to make it to your destination.

Is the trek dangerous?

You do not need to be on your guard all the time. But you cannot afford to be careless. Carelessness might cost you your life. Do not get too comfortable with unstable cliffs, stay on the safer side, do not get on the wrong side of the dumb donkeys/yaks - they might bump you down the abyss and don’t ever playfully push your friend enjoying the scenic beauty in the edges. Keep these things in mind and you should be okay.

Which currency should I bring along?

It's Nepal: so the best currency to use will be Nepalese Rupees. The American Dollars are also accepted. It is strongly suggested that you carry a lot of denominations of 100 rupees/1 dollars. Each and every item cost approximately 100 rupees- a bottle of water, a packet of snack, chocolate bars, etc. I think you get the idea. If you carry 500/1000 notes, the local shopkeepers can pretend to have no change and you might be compelled to buy five/ten items instead of one, two, three or none.

What is the highest altitude we will reach during the trek?

The highest altitude you will reach is 5545m. This altitude is reached during an early morning hike to Kalapatthar- an optional but highly recommended hike.

Will I be able to charge my cameras and mobiles during the trek?

Yes, you will be able to charge your batteries in the restaurants/hotels/lodges. Some of them support charging even when load shedding is in effect, others might not be as sophisticated. So, charge your batteries at every opportunity you get. Oh, and it’s not free. They charge from anywhere from 100 to 300 rupees per hour.

What type of accommodation services is available?

The accommodations are basic unless you have signed up for a luxury Everest base camp trek. Even that luxury trek won’t be able to save you from the local lifestyle experience as you go higher up the trails. The rooms are basically two beds side by side with enough space to put your backpacks in between those beds.

What type of food is available in the trekking?

Expect a lot of Dal, Bhat and Tarkari (vegetables) in this trek. That is the food almost every Nepalese eats twice a day- the de-facto national food.

Does being a vegetarian pose any problem during the trek?

There is no problem being a vegetarian. The lodges/hotels serve the food according to your choice- veg or non-veg- though it is recommended that you eat veg foods along the trek. Veg foods are easier to digest than the non-veg foods.

What is the total distance of the trek?

The total length of the trek is around 130km. If you sign up for a 15-day trek, then you will have to travel approximately 17 km a day.

Will I be able to use credit cards during the trek?

There are places in Namche Bazaar where you can cash in on your cards- they charge you 5%. Other than that, some of the luxurious lodges along the way might accept your cards. The price of utilizing the card is heftier- 8%.

Should I tip my porter/guides?

That is entirely up to you. By a rule of thumb, it is recommended that you spend around 10% of your total cost on tipping. But again, it is not a compulsion. It is a gesture of how satisfied you were with their service.

What type of sanitation facilities is available?

I will be honest here. The sanitation facility along the trek is not good. The hotels/lodges you will make majors stops on have sub-standard sanitation facilities. If you have to answer the call of nature while trekking, you probably will have to find a big boulder to answer it immediately. If you want to delay and wait for a small village to pop up, it’s entirely up to you. But keep in mind that it might be hours before you reach a village. And the villages get thinner as you climb higher up the trails.

What are the chances of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)/Altitude Sickness setting in?

There is no concrete percentage to answer this question. But if you do not take care of certain acclimatization properly, it can hit you. So, focus on acclimatization and the chances of AMS setting in will drop.

Are there Wi-Fi/ Cell Service along the trail/trek?

Yes, there are hotspots where you can use Wi-Fi to keep your friends and families updated. These hotspots are usually the lodges and hotels you will be staying in. The local telecom service provider’s reach in these areas is limited.

How good an idea is it to drink during the trek?

It is not a good idea to drink during the trek. Once you get started, it will be no time before you get drunk.

Should I carry Diamox/ibuprofen?

Yes, carry one as a backup. The Diamox especially is very helpful to reduce the chances of altitude sickness. The Diamox though can have side effects such as more frequent urinations. Use the Diamox when you think you are struggling.

What medical facilities are available?

In the peak trekking season, there will be a clinic help set up at the base camp of the Everest. Other than that, there will be medical facilities available at Namche- which is better suited for more serious problems.

How much does Everest Base Camp Trek cost?

Everest Base Camp Trek costs anywhere from $500 to $20000 based on the luxurious facilities you opt for. If you opt for getting in and out of Jiri on your own, it will be very cost efficient. But if you choose for a luxurious Everest Base Camp trek, then you will have to dig deep into your pockets.

Can I camp at Everest Base Camp?

The camps are reserved for the high spenders going for Everest expedition during the mountaineering season. In the offseason, camping is discouraged because of the unstable moraines.

Can I drink the tap water on the trails of EBC Trek?

The water provided by the Nepalese authorities does not match the standards required for direct drinking. Carry some water purifying tablets so that you can make it drinkable. Exploit each and every opportunity to fill up your water bottles. Though, it might very tempting to drink directly from the rivers (considering how clean they are), do not drink water directly from the river.

I’ve heard that Lukla flight is very dangerous. Are there any alternatives?

Yes, there is another option. You can trek to Everest Base Camp via Jiri- this is the same route taken by the legendary climbers Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary. And it does not include that nerve wrecking flight to the Lukla Airport. A win-win situation for you. But there is also a flip side. It is longer than the traditional EBC trek.

Is trekking with a child viable?

Trekking with a child has its consequences. If you feel that they are not up for it or they don’t want to go or may cause you a lot of trouble, then it is better to leave them at home. If you decide to go with your children, then set aside enough time for acclimatization. If you do not pay attention, then anything can happen. Your child might get injured (badly) or even die. If your children can not make it any further, then you will have to pay extra money for a ride on the back of the yak/donkey. Also sign up for emergency lift up.


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