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Everest Region Trekking with the high altitude experts Kandoo | Malangphulang, Beautiful panoramic view of himalayas with clouds near mount Ama Dablam on the way to Everest base camp, Nepal
Everest Region Trekking with the high altitude experts KANDOO | Everest Treks with the high altitude experts
Everest Region Trekking with the high altitude experts KANDOO | Everest Treks with the high altitude experts
Everest Region Trekking with the high altitude experts KANDOO | Everest Treks with the high altitude experts
Everest Region Trekking with the high altitude experts KANDOO | Everest Treks with the high altitude experts
Everest Region Trekking with the high altitude experts KANDOO | Everest Treks with the high altitude experts

Best Everest region treks

Once you have flown into Lukla there are literally dozens of trekking routes you can choose from in the Everest region, all of which take you through stunning scenery and many of which end up at Everest base camp.   We offer four routes which we consider are the best Everest trek options. Four of what we recommend as the best routes take you to Everest base camp while the last, the Mera Peak trek offers the best panoramic view of five of the 8000m plus peaks

A map showing all of these routes is below together with more information on each option.

Map of the best treks in the Everest region

Everest region trekking routes

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Classic Everest trek

Classic Everest trek

| 14 Days
Prices from £1079 Prices From $1402 Prices From €0

Trekking to Everest Base Camp is the adventure of a lifetime and if time is short this Everest base camp trek is the best option. From the exhilarating flight into Lukla to standing on top of Kala Pattar looking over to Everest itself, this is a journey that you will always remember.


Everest via Gokyo Lakes

Everest via Gokyo Lakes

| 19 Days
Prices from £1187 Prices From $1559 Prices From €0

Our favourite Everest trek for the more adventurous hiker. This route leaves the classic trail at Namche and approaches Everest base camp via the Gokyo valley after crossing the dramatic Cho La Pass. This is a much quieter approach and makes for a circular route that avoids backtracking. Add in the chance to climb Gokyo Ri for fantastic views of Cho Oyu and you have a really exceptional adventure.


Three Passes Everest trek

Three Passes Everest trek

| 20 Days
Prices from £1399 Prices From $1819 Prices From €0

The ultimate trek in the Everest region covering all the four main valleys in the Khumbu , crossing three immense passes and hiking up three peaks for sensational views of all the tallest peaks from Cho Oyu in the West to Lhotse in the East.


Island Peak and Base Camp

Island Peak and Base Camp

| 20 Days
Prices from £2399 Prices From $3119 Prices From €0

This expedition combines the Classic Base Camp trek with the chance to climb Island Peak, a real Himalayan summit with one of the best close up views of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. The climb itself is physically demanding but requires no previous technical experience as you will be led by one of our fantastic Everest Summiteer guides to ensure you are in safe hands.


Mera Peak

Mera Peak

| 18 Days
Prices from £2499 Prices From $3249 Prices From €0

Mera Peak is the highest trekking peak in Nepal and at 6476m is a huge Himalayan mountain. Not technically a Base Camp trek but the views of Everest and the whole region are second to none. Mera is approached via the quiet Arun Valley before ascending onto the long Mera glacier. As with the Island Peak climb, no previous technical experience is required.


More about the treks we offer in the Everest region

A plane landing at LuklaArriving by plane into Lukla, the gateway to the Everest region, is an adrenaline rush in itself with the plane diving down steeply aiming for an impossibly short runway in an otherwise mountainous region. And this is just the start of the journey. Wherever route you take from here you are guaranteed day after day of the most spectacular views and awesome trekking.

The shortest trek we offer, and the most direct route to Everest base camp, we operate takes you from Lukla to Namche Bazaar then directly up the Khumbu valley. This route is generally called the Classic trail as it is the route taken by all the Everest summiteers.

While the scenery up the Khumbu valley is spectacular, this route does have the disadvantage that having reached base camp you turn around and walk back along essentially the same route.

Everest trek via Gokyo Lakes view of Cho OyuOur favourite trek in the Everest region if you have a little more time, is the Gokyo Lakes trek. This still takes you to Everest base camp but it is a circular route following the much quieter Gokyo valley on the ascent then descending down the Khumbu valley on the main Everest trail.

This route takes you up to the beautiful, emerald Gokyo Lakes and also allows you to climb Gokyo Ri for some of the best views of Cho Oyu. From Gokyo it crosses into the Khumbu Valley over the Cho La  pass which is an adventure in itself.

Three Passes View

For the ultimate trek in the Everest region you need to look at what is called the Three Passes Trek.  This challenging trek traverses all of the Everest region visiting all four of its huge valleys.  Starting  in the far west these are the Dhote Kosi valley,  the Gokyo valley, then the Dudh Kose valley and finally arriving in the Imja Khola valley. 

En route you  cross three fantastic passes: Renjo la, Ch La and Kongma La and summit three peaks: Gokyo Ri, Kalar Patar, and Chukung Ri. Definitely one for the experienced trekker this trip takes in all the highlights of the Everest region.

View from Island Peak xFrom  any of these differing approaches to base camp you then have the option of crossing over into Imja valley and climbing Island Peak. This is a fantastically challenging way to end your adventure with views of the mountains that are unsurpassed (unless you climb Everest itself!).

Finally, in our Everest trek summary we include the Mera Peak trek. This is not strictly an Everest trek as it does not actually visit base camp. It does though start with the flight into Lukla and it offers one of the very best panoramas of Everest and the chance to summit the highest trekking peak in Nepal. This trek is  relatively quiet and is one of the Kandoo team's favourite treks.

Options on private treks

Khumbu IcefieldIf you book a private trek to Everest base camp on any route of your choice, we are able to offer two exclusive options to make your trip extra-special.

Stay in base camp overnight

The first option is the chance to join an expedition team and actually spend the night at Everest base camp. Trekkers normally can only go as far as the entrance to base camp and have to turn around. If you take this option you are able to spend the night in base camp and we partner you with one of the expedition teams. This gives you the chance to visit the "Crampon Point" where the climb proper starts at the begining of the Khumbu icefall.  

And if you can manage to wake up in the middle of the night it is worth the effort to see the trail of porters' headlights winding their way up the icefield ferrying supplies to the higher camps. All of this work starts at night as the icefall is safest when at its coldest.

 

Helicopter trek

everest helicopter trek

While we can't get you up to base camp more quickly by helicopter, as this would almost certainly guarantee that you would get altitude sickness, we can offer you the option of flying back to Lukla or Kathmandu from just below base camp by helicopter.

If you are short on time, this is the best way possible to trek to base camp and get back  earlier. Flights take off from a day's hike down from base camp and you effectively save two full days. And of course you get the most fantastic aerial view of Everest and all the surrounding peaks in your journey back.

When is the best time to trek to Everest base camp

Two factors impact the decision on when is the best time to trek to base camp. First, is the massive South Asian monsoon which builds up over India in late May and extends north into Nepal during June, continuing throughout the Northern Hemisphere summer,  before finally petering out in early September. During this period the rainfall is torrential and many of the trails become impassable, lodges close and unless you are heroically stoic you do not want to be in the Khumbu region. 

The second factor is a combination of Nepal's location in the Northern Hemisphere and the altitude at base camp of nearly 5000m. Together these factors combine to make the months of December and January extremely cold, particularly at night. And by cold we mean minus 20c. The weather can be clear and dry during this period but you should expect some snow showers and you must be prepared for the extreme cold. If you can cope with this though the trails will be quiet and you can have a truly magical experience.

Taking out the summer monsoon and the winter freeze leaves two windows of opportunity that offer great trekking conditions. First in February to May, when nearly all the attempts on Everest are schedule and second in September to November. Historically, the Autumn period has been a little drier but with changing weather patterns worldwide there is nothing to choose between these options.

Weather Everest region

Recommended kit for Everest treks

Our kit recommendations are below. If you click on the image you can download an infographic of all the kit items that you can use as a checklist and share with your friends.

Nepal Trek Kit List

FAQs about trekking in the Everest region

Q1WHICH IS THE BEST ROUTE

All of the routes for trekking in the Khumbu region offer fantastic views, a fascinating cultural experience and a real physical challenge. The two factors that will determine which is the best route for you are the time you have available and how much experience you have of long distance trekking. If you are short on time or relatively new to high altitude trekking we recommend the Classic Route. If you have more trekking experience and are fitter Gokyo Lakes is a great alternative. and for the really fit trekker looking for a real challenge look at climbing Island Peak or Mera Peak.

Q2HOW MANY DAYS DO I NEED?

We operate the Classic trek over 12 days, which with arrival and departure dates means 14 days in Nepal. This itinerary has been designed to ensure a high success rate within a two week trip. You should bear two points in mind in deciding how many days you need. First, on the 12 day itinerary the last days trek back to Lukla is relatively long and after 11 days trekking some people find this challenging. We offer a 13 day options as part of our regular schedule that splits this last day into two separate days. Second, all of the treks to the Everest region involve flight in and out of the mountain airport at Lukla. Bad weather shuts this airport down and this can cause delays in either starting your trek or returning to Kathmandu. We recommend that you leave some flexibility in your flight arrangements to accommodate this.

Q3HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?

The Classic trek and the Gokyo Lakes trek require a level of fitness similar for long day hikes at home. The two challenges that you will face are the number of days trekking and the altitude.  Even with rest days a 12 day trek can lead to an accumulation of tiredness and we would recommend that before arriving in Nepal you have recently done some weekends when you have done at least two days hiking back to back. The effects of altitude are complicated and are dealt with in detail here.  In essence though the keys to acclimatisation are walking slowly at a comfortable pace and ensuring you remain properly hydrated at all times.

Q4ARE FLIGHTS IN NEPAL SAFE?

Following a fatal air crash in 2012 in Nepal, the European Commission put all of the Nepali airlines on its list of banned operators. As no Nepal airline flies within the EU the ban has little operational impact.  The EU's black list currently includes some 300 airlines of which 8 are in Nepal.  Flying in Nepal is a much higher risk than flying within the EU because of old aircraft and extremely severe flying/landing conditions.  While on some routes it is possible to travel by road this is no safer.  Roads are often in very poor repair and subject to landslides and a lot of vehicles are in a poor condition and this increases the risks for everyone.  Unfortunately there is no way to trek in Nepal and avoid these risks.  It is a poor country with limited infrastructure.  Before booking to visit Nepal you need to consider these risks carefully and decide for yourself whether you find them acceptable.

Q5WHERE IS MOUNT EVEREST LOCATED?

Everest is on the border between Tibet, China and Nepal, in the Mahalangur Himal, part of the Himalayas which stretch between the Arun River west to the Nangpa La pass. The peak actually serves as a marker for the border of Nepal and China.

Q6HOW HIGH IS MOUNT EVEREST?

The most recent confirmed measurement is 8,848 metres above sea level. This measurement was taken by an official Indian survey in 1955, and confirmed by a separate Chinese survey in 1975. The mountain’s great height was first measured officially by Andrew Waugh (and others) as part of the Great Triginometrical Survey of India in 1856.  It was measured at the time as 29,002 feet (8,840 metres), which was really quite accurate, all things considered.  It is interesting to know that the actual measurement at the time was exactly 29,000 feet.  Radhanath Sikdar, an Indian mathematician, added the extra 2 feet so that it was less of a suspiciously round number.  Mount Everest grows by approximately 4 millimetres every year, due to the tectonic forces that continue to build it.

Q7IS MOUNT EVEREST REALLY THE TALLEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD?

Yes and no. It is the mountain whose peak is the highest above sea level. The earth is not a perfect sphere, though.  Because it is thicker around the Equator than at the poles, there are four mountains that are closer to the Equator which have peaks that are farther from the earth’s core, but not farther above sea level. Ecuador’s Mt Chimborazo is one example.

Q8HOW DID EVEREST GET ITS NAME?

The Royal Geographical Society named the mountain after Sir George Everest (pronounced EEV-rest), the man who had headed the Triginometrical Survey before Waugh, despite the overall policy to use local names where they already exist. In fact, Sir George never even saw the peak from a distance. Before the British, Everest was known in Tibet as Chomolungma, which (very roughly) translated means Mother of the Earth. It is believed by many that the mother-creator goddess Miyolangsangma resides inside the mountain. In Sanskrit it is called Sagarmatha, meaning Brow of the Sky. This is the name officials in Kathmandu have used for it since the 1960s.

Q9WHO FIRST CLIMBED MOUNT EVEREST?

The first recorded successful ascent to the summit was by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on 29 May, 1953.  It wasn’t successfully climbed in the winter until 1980, by Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy, both from Poland.  Hillary later visited both the North and South Poles, becoming the first to visit both, and Everest in 1985.  Hillary was made a knight of the Garter in 1995, on the same day as Margaret Thatcher. In 2014, the Nepalese government named two only slightly lower peaks after Hillary (7681 metres) and Tenzing (7916 metres) and opened them for climbing.  They remain unclimbed so far.

Q10HOW MANY HAVE REACHED THE SUMMIT SINCE HILLARY AND NORGAY?

The official figures up till February of 2014 show that 4042 climbers have made the ascent 6871 times. Obviously, some of them have made more than one trip. The most frequent climbers are the Sherpas themselves. The record for the most Everest ascents is tied – held by Phurba Tashi and Apa Tashi with 21 ascents each.  Apa did get to 21 first, to be fair.  The Briton with the most ascents under his belt is Kenton Cool, who has stood on the summit on eleven separate occasions. In 2007, he did it twice in the same week.

Q11WHO WERE THE OLDEST AND YOUNGEST TO CLIMB EVEREST?

The range of ages among those who have climbed Everest is staggering. The oldest person was Yuichiro Miura from Japan at 80 in 2013, while the youngest was American Jordan Romero at 13 in 2010.

Q12HAVE MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST?

Since records began in 1922, 265 people have died attempting to climb Everest. A bit more than half (159) have died on the Nepali side of the mountain, and 106 in Tibetan territory. It is estimated that around 200 bodies remain lost in Everest’s ‘Death Zone’ at 8000 metres and above. Many will never be found and very few are recovered. Unfortunately, the majority of these deaths were Sherpas. Of the Nepali deaths, 82 were Nepal natives and only 77 were foreigners. This is to be expected, though, as Sherpas spend more time on the mountain than most other groups. Their survival per attempt is much higher than that figure suggests. More people go up the mountain than ever, but the death rate among those most likely to ascend (high altitude workers) is now less than 0.6%, or six in 1000. Still, it is very dangerous work. In April 2014 the mountain saw the worst loss of life in a single event, when Everest’s west shoulder experienced a serac collapse. Tragically, 16 people were killed including 13 Sherpas.

Q13CAN YOU SKI OR SNOWBOARD DOWN MOUNT EVEREST?

Probably best not to try, but Davorin Karnicar did descend 12,000 feet on skis, reaching the base camp on the south side successfully in October of 2000. Yiuchio Miura (the oldest man to climb Everest, see above) skied down approximately 4200 feet of the mountain starting at the South Col in 2013. Snowboarding seems to be even more dangerous, despite what video games would have us believe. It has been done though by two men in 2001: Stefan Gratt of Austria and Marco Siffredi of France. Unfortunately Siffredi made a second attempt in 2002 and disappeared, never to be seen again.

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Rachael Bode

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: + 44 (0) 1283 499982

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Sharon King

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: +44 (0) 1283 499981

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