Tents at Everest base camp

Destinations Our Guide to Everest Base Camp

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How high is everest base camp?

Everest Base Camp generally refers to the base camp on the south side of Mount Everest in Nepal which sits at an elevation of 5,364m high. There is another Everest Base Camp in Tibet, China, which is on the north side of Mount Everest and is slightly higher at 5,5150m. It is much easier to apply for visas and permits to climb Everest in Nepal than it is to climb Everest from Tibet which is why this is the most popular route to trek to Everest Base Camp.

The trek to Base Camp, Everest, is one of the most popular trekking routes in the world and it is easy to see why so many people want to travel to Nepal to explore the stunning Himalayas.

How many base camps are there on everest?

There are 4 different routes you can use to climb Everest, and each has base camps along the way for climbers to rest and acclimatise. The most popular route up Everest is the South Col route and this has 4 camps including Everest Base Camp. After base camp, there is Everest Camp 1 at 6,065m, Everest Camp 2 or Advanced Base Camp at 6,500m, Everest Camp 3 at 7,470m and Everest Camp 4 at 7,920m, which is in the South Col itself. This is the base camp from which climbers will push for their summit attempts. It is important to spend an adequate amount of time at each in order to prevent altitude sickness.
Everest sign

How many miles/kilometres is it to everest base camp?

The distance from Lukla to Everest Base Camp is approximately 65km, or 40 miles depending on route.

Your Everest Base Camp trip will usually start with you arriving in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal and making your way to Lukla, the start of the EBC trek. From Kathmandu travellers can take either a 45 minute plane to Lukla, opt for a more expensive but quicker helicopter ride, or travel overland by bus or private vehicle.

Travelling the 367km, or 228 miles, overland from Kathmandu will take anywhere between 8-12 hours and journeys through hidden valleys and traditional sherpa villages, and while it may arguably be the most authentic way to travel, the road stops before Lukla so you will need to add at least another days trekking to your schedule before you actually begin the Everest Base Camp trail.

Travelling by plane or helicopter is comparable in price to getting to Lukla overland but the flight is not for the faint-hearted. The route is notorious for its short runway and frequent cancellations due to imperfect weather conditions. Book a morning flight and you are much more likely to arrive on time and be sure to take in the view from the plane as it will be one of the best views of the Himalayas you’ll get.

how long does it take to trek to everest base camp?

Lukla sits at an altitude of 2,860m and the Everest Base Camp altitude is 5,364m. Walking the Everest Base Camp trail will take between 7-8 days to cover the 65km or 40 mile route. This will usually include 5-6 days of trekking for approximately 8 hours a day and 2 acclimatisation days which will involve less walking. The route will involve a mixture of ascent and descent to ensure that altitude sickness is avoided.

The golden rule is to climb high and rest low so ensuring to plan this into your itinerary will help you acclimatise to the altitude.

The trek back to Lukla from Everest Base Camp is much quicker as you don’t need to be mindful of the altitude and will take between 2-4 days.

Teahouse in the Himalayas

is climbing everest base camp hard?

If you are reasonably fit and active usually then climbing to Everest Base Camp should be achievable with a reasonable amount of training. If you are less active or relatively new to trekking, then you will need to plan plenty of time to train before attempting the EBC route.

The two main things to consider when looking at an Everest Base Camp tour are the amount of walking required each day and the altitude. You need to be prepared to walk for around 8 hours a day for several days in a row to complete the Everest Base Camp round trip in 2 weeks. You can plan to take longer to complete the route, but it is worth considering the time and cost implications of this.

When it comes to altitude, taking your time and factoring in acclimatisation days will be the best way to avoid altitude sickness. There is medication you can take to help with this too. Beware of planning a trip that doesn’t allow enough time to get used to the increasing altitudes as your chances of reaching Everest Base Camp will be reduced if you don’t leave enough time to get used to the altitude.

Positive mental attitude is a must so if you have put in the training, carefully planned your itinerary with your guide and allowed enough time to acclimatise you’ll find this route challenging but enjoyable.

what is the altitude of everest base camp and do i need to train for it?

The altitude of Everest Base Camp is 5,364m. To put this in context with high altitude mountains across the world, Everest Base Camp is higher than the tallest mountains in Australia and Antarctica and a similar altitude to the highest mountains in Russia and Africa. However, when compared with the surrounding Himalayan mountains, Everest Base Camp is at a relatively low altitude, especially when you consider Mount Everest sits at 8,848m high.

Despite the comparison with mountains across the globe, Everest Base Camp is still a high-altitude trek and as such training is inevitably required for most people. If you are ultra fit, an experienced mountaineer and regularly expose yourself to high altitude conditions then you will need to train less than someone who is less mountain fit.

Everest base camp in Nepal

what equipment do i need to climb everest base camp?

You won’t need any special technical gear or equipment to trek to Base Camp, Everest. You will need reliable walking boots with good ankle support, suitable trekking clothing and headgear and a comfortable waterproof backpack to carry enough water to keep you hydrated. If you book your EBC trek with an adventure company, then your itinerary will be planned for you, and you will likely have a sherpa support team to carry any supplies and any heavy luggage.

You may want to consider a sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner, depending on the type of accommodation you’ll be staying in. You may want to consider buying or renting walking poles to help you during your trek and a warm down jacket for when you reach higher altitudes is highly recommended.

do you need a sherpa to climb everest base camp?

As of 2023 solo trekking in Nepal has been banned by the authorities. You must now take a guide with you to be able to trek anywhere in the Himalayas. The sherpa are a local Nepali tribe who work as guides and porters who can help you navigate, plan routes, carry equipment and help set up camps.

You don’t necessarily have to take a sherpa, but you must take a guide of some sort to be able to trek in Nepal and this includes to Everest Base Camp.

when is the best time of year to climb everest base camp?

There are two main climbing seasons in Nepal when the conditions make it more enjoyable for this long distance trekking route and the risks are lower. Springtime from March to May brings plenty of new vegetation, lush green valleys and milder temperatures. There is still a risk of showers but it’s more likely to be dry with blue skies in spring.

The alternative time to trek in Nepal is autumn, from September to November. You will have a much higher chance of clear skies in autumn and the temperatures will likely be warmer too. The monsoonal rains will have finished by now leaving exceptional views and optimal climbing conditions.

Sherpa on Everest
Like the sound of Everest Base Camp? Kandoo Adventures not only offer the classic EBC route but a choice of more off-the-beaten-track routes to Everest Base Camp too. Check out our Everest adventures below.