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BEST TIME TO TRAVEL Everest base camp | everest REGION KANDOO EVEREST BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

When to hike to Everest base camp and around the Everest region

We recommend that you consider a of factors before you decide when you want to trek inthe Everest region.   Most important of these is undoubtedly the weather which sees huge swings in temperature and rainfall.  You should also consider any other activities you might want to do and the calendar of festivals in Nepal. We cover all these below.

Weather in the Everest region

WINDS EVEREST SUMMIT Small

With Nepal situated in the Northern Hemisphere, its main variations in temperature coincide with the European seasons. Beyond this though, the climate is heavily affected by two main  forces: winds coming over the Bay of Bengal to the south and winds coming from the main Asian continent to its north.

In the summer months, from June to August, the winds coming from the Bay of Bengal dominate, bringing in the South East Asian monsoon. In the winter, from December to February, the winds from the main Asian continent dominate bringing very cold weather. 

You may have read about how critical the timing is for the attempts to climb Everest and this is because there is a very short window when the winds from the North and South cancel each other out creating a period of calm. The variation in wind strength on Everest is shown in the chart opposite. Fortunately conditions lower down are much more benign.

The net result of these continually balancing climate influences are that the average temperatures and rainfall at Everest base camp are below. Of course, in the winter months most of the precipitation at base camp is snow.

Temperatures at Everest base camp

Everest base camp rainfall 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Affect of altitude on temperature at base camp

 Besides the main climactic factors, which drive the seasonal variations in weather, the other big factor affecting the weather at Everest base camp is the altitude. You can see the altitude profile of the classic Everest trek and the huge monthly difference in temperature compared to Lukla below.

Everest trek altitude profile

 

Average Maximum Temp EBC Lukla s

Recommended trekking seasons for Everest

Taking into account all of the issues surrounding weather, these are our recommendations.

February - May

February to May is an excellent time to trek  with mostly clear, bright days and warmer conditions. as the year progresses the risk of rain increases and with that the risk of delays at Lukla so make sure you are ready for both.

Generally though, most days will be fairly stable and dry. And look out for the spectacular Rhododendrons on display during April!

Expect this period to be busy though, as this is the time of year when most Everest summit attempts occur. That being said, if you're into the mountaineering scene, this is a great time to actually meet people attempting the summit and to feel the activity and buzz surrounding the climbing expeditions. Kandoo uniquely offer the chance to spend the night at base camp with an expedition team  

September - December

September to October used to be the most popular time of the year for trekkers, as historically it provided relatively stable and clear weather and was quite warm. Although these months are still popular we now feel that the best months for trekking to Everest base camp are November and December as with changes in climate the earlier months are often rain affected. This causes lots of problems flying into and out of Lukla. 

November and December offer a much better chance of dry days and clear blue skies with no flight delays. Although not the warmest time of the year, this period provides a pleasant temperature for trekking and the nights do not get super-cold unitl January. And of course you get to avoid the worst of the crowds. 

If you do want to trek in September and October be ready for some rain and understand that you will have to contend with a fair amount of traffic though, as the popular routes are busiest around this time. This makes it a particularly good time to consider the option of one of the lesser known routes that will get you off the beaten track and away from the crowds.

January

January is the coldest period on the Nepalese calendar, but for really hardy  travellers, Everest can still be trekked. Although very cold, the weather is generally fairly stable and dry. The coolness of the weather will very much depend upon how high you want to trek. If you are going to Everest Base Camp for example, then expect overnight temperatures of around -20 to -30 degrees Celsius. However, if you stay down in the valleys the temperatures will remain fairly moderate and you will have no problem. Although far less crowded, please remember that routes over any high passes such as the Gokyo trail or Mera Peak trek are closed during this period and the days will be much shorter.

June - August

June through to August is the wettest period in the Himalaya because of the monsoon. The monsoon period is characterized by short, sharp, torrential downpours. The tea houses and trails begin to empty out in June and only the hikers looking to trek high are seen during these months. Even if you are trekking high you will get rain or very heavy snowfalls. Not many foreign trekkers hike during the monsoon period as mud, rain, leeches and lack of mountain views  ombine to make it a pretty miserable experience.  If you are keen to trek in Nepal during this period we would strongly recommend you look at the Annapurna region which has much drier conditions during the summer months

Impact on when to trek to Everest of other activities

Elephant ride in ChitwanBesides trekking you shouldn't forget that Nepal has some fantastic other activities and a whole host of spectacular festivals. White water rafting is extremely popular and this is particularly good in the later Spring months as the glacier melt swells the rivers.  

For animal lovers a visit to Chitwan on safari is an excellent option and this is best in the months from October to February when the days are cooler and less humid.As well as elephant rides you regularly see rhino and occassionally tiger. Whatever you see though, the jungle at Chitwan is a great destination.

 Cultural tours in Kathmandu are possible all year round but the summer months  again are probably best avoided. The main sites in Kathmandu including Boudhanath, Bhaktapur and Durbar Square can easily be visited in a day and, if you have time, a day trip to Bhaktapur is definitely worthwhile

Try to fit in a Nepali festival

Everest region festivalNepalis are generally either Buddhists or Hindus , with a large number being a combination of both! The great advantage of this is that as a nation they celebrate all the important dates in both the Buddhist and Hindu calendar as well as a number of other national days. If you add up all the days of festivals it comes to more than two months worth!  You can read all about the main festivals here.  

Festivals specifically celebrated in the Everest region are the Mani Rimdu festival, in October/November and the  Dumji Festival, celebrated in May/June. Both are big colourful festivals and are worth adding into your trekking schedule if you have time. 

 

Current weather forecast for the Everest region

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