Trekking to Everest Base Camp is not for the faint of heart. I trained for several months before my base camp trek and still found it extremely challenging. I also found the food and accommodations very challenging as well!
Here is my Everest Base Camp trek blog with a blow-by-blow account of each trek day.
Everest base camp Trek Blog Day One: Kathmandu to Phakding
Table of Contents
- Everest base camp Trek Blog Day One: Kathmandu to Phakding
- Flying to Lukla
- Lukla to Everest Base Camp: The beginning of the Trek
- Everest Base Camp Blog Day Two: Phakding to Namche Bazaar
- Namche Bazaar
- Everest Base Camp Trekking Day Three: Namche Bazaar to Khumjung
- Hike to Everest Base Camp Day 4: Kyanjuma to Tengboche 3867m
- Himalaya Trekking Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche 4350m
- Base Camp Trek Day 6: Acclimatisation Day Dingboche 4350m
- Everest Base Camp Trek Blog Day Seven
- Everest Base Camp Blog Day Eight – Everest Base Camp
- Himalaya Trekking Base Camp Day Nine:
- How to get to Kathmandu:
- Everest Base Camp Trek Guided Tour Options
- Everest Base Camp Trek Frequently Asked Questions
- How Difficult is the Everest Base Camp Trek?
- How Much Money Should I take on the Everest Base Camp Trek?
- Is trekking to Everest Base Camp Worth It?
- What is the best time to visit Everest Base Camp?
- Boutique Hotels in Kathmandu
- Who Paid for What in this Post
My Everest Base Camp Trek Blog starts very early on Day One in Kathmandu. You quickly learn that the best weather of the day for Everest Base Camp trekking is first thing eg 5 or 6 am.
To get to Lukla, you want to be on the first flight out of Kathmandu as anything can happen with the weather and many delays. This is also when it is an excellent time to be traveling with an organised tour as they have a lot of clout in terms of seats on airlines.
⇒ My Complete Everest Base Camp Packing Guide
Flying to Lukla
We got on the first flight out – flying from Kathmandu to Lukla on a 14 seater – and headed to the world’s scariest airport Lukla! The flight is quite spectacular – I had read to sit up the front on the left side as you enter from the back of the plane.
There were then two seats next to me. I had a great seat for most of the flight – but the seat next to me eg the middle seat of the first row had the best view of the runway and Lukla airport. It is a very short runway and then straight into a mountain. A second bucket list experience for this trip!
I enjoyed the flight, but I am not a fearful flyer. It would be challenging if you were. Upon arrival, we got a coffee at a nearby lodge and waited for our bags to arrive.
Our bags came across three different flights. And then, it was time to start the hike from Lukla to Everest Base Camp.
⇒ My Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary – What I did plus what I would have done differently.
Lukla to Everest Base Camp: The beginning of the Trek
We walked through the rather small town of Lukla – the streets are full of people and “joeys” which is the name for the horses. Yaks don’t operate under 3000m – too warm for them with all that underbelly of hair – so the joeys take care of carrying bags etc at the lower levels.
We had a beautiful first day of walking – clear skies. Unlike Kilimanjaro, which is entirely a national park with no one living in it, – there is always something going on during the hike to Everest base camp.
Villages, people, joeys, yaks, monasteries. The first day was a half-day of walking, and it was a pretty relaxed session – a bit of up and down but not much.
Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty Day One: 3/10
We got into our first tea house Sunrise Lodge & Restaurant quite early – about 4 pm. We found our rooms and put in our dinner orders. The rooms at the Nepal tea houses are basic as promised. Twin beds – each bed has a fitted sheet, a pillow with a pillowcase, and a duvet of sorts.
I only used my sleeping bag as a base the first few nights as I would have been too hot in it. That and I hate sleeping bags as you really can’t move much in them but that’s what keeps you warm.
I wasn’t looking for a shower option at this Nepalese tea house as I had had one that morning. This was probably the only time on the Everest Base Camp Trek I really sat outside and read my book on the trip.
Dinner was fine – I was able to have a glass of wine with my vegetarian Momos, so I was happy.
⇒ If you want to know more about Nepal Tea Houses on the trek – from showers to charging to the food – read all about it here.
Everest Base Camp Blog Day Two: Phakding to Namche Bazaar
The Everest Base Camp Blog begins at 7 am on Day Two for an 8 am exit from Phakding. This was one of the toughest days of the Everest Base Camp trek in terms of physical exercise – 16km of rather relentless up and down – particularly the last two hours.
It is, however, quite a stunning walk. There are quite a few firsts on day two of the ebc trek – first suspension bridge, first entry into the official Sagarmatha national park and the first view of Everest weather permitting! We saw a very exciting first hint of Everest.
Namche Bazaar is the London of the Everest Base Camp Trek. It is a bustling village with lots of shops and restaurants. I was very excited to find many Illy coffee signs and takeaway coffees. And the coffee in Namche Bazaar wasn’t bad either.
Some treks have two nights here for acclimatization but we were only one night. We got into Namche Bazaar by about 4 pm which gave me time to have a quick wander. This is the last good place to pick up chocolate, biscuits, pharmacy items, gear for the trek etc etc.
Day Two Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 7/10
This was probably the best tea house of the Everest Base Camp Trek – The Green Tara Hotel. We even had an ensuite – albeit the shower only had cold water. There were two excellent hot showers on a different floor of this Namche Bazaar tea house.
Most excitingly, the Green Tara Hotel owner had a hairdryer that he allowed us to use free of charge. The owner here was very friendly and this tea house had a great feel. The Green Tara Hotel was also very very clean.
Everest Base Camp Trekking Day Three: Namche Bazaar to Khumjung
Namche Bazaar to Khumjung is one of the most stunning days of Everest Base Camp Trekking. We had earned our views after a very steep trek out of Namche. Our morning coffee stop was the best of the trip – the Everest View Hotel.
On the way there we got amazing views of Mount Everest – the scenery was just jaw-dropping.
⇒ And definitely log in to 12Go when you’re organising how you’re going to get around Nepal. This super easy-to-use platform has all modes of transport on one platform and allows you to compare based on time, cost, and reviews.
The Everest View Hotel itself is lovely. A massive terrace allows everyone to enjoy their coffee with what must be one of the best views in the world.
We then had a lovely trek down to Kunde where we visited the Edmund Hillary Hospital and learned about how emergency medicine works on the mountain and what had happened during the earthquake.
It was amazing what can be accomplished at such an altitude. We also visited a local school which is also funded by the Edmund Hillary organisation.
We then visited a monastery in Khumjung which was quite picturesque. It claims to have the only Yeti skull in the world. Of course, a fee is involved to see such an amazing icon.
It appeared to be kept in a rather non-museum like box in a cupboard. Two members of our group agreed to pay, and the rest of us were told in no uncertain terms to pay up or head out of Khumjung monastery.
Day 3 Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 4/10
Our tea house for night three was Amadablam View Lodge. This was nothing particularly exciting, but it was decent and clean which is all that was needed and again I was able to have a hot shower which was exciting.
This marked my first consumption of Sherpa stew which became my signature dinner meal of the trip. I always went vegetarian – which meant carrot and potato rather than anything green.
Hike to Everest Base Camp Day 4: Kyanjuma to Tengboche 3867m
The hike to Everest Base Camp Day four is blessedly more of a half-day as the altitude kicks up. It begins with a descending walk and then moves into a climb through the forest. We arrived in Tengboche around lunchtime.
This was one of my favorite places we visited on the trek. Tengboche has a lovely feel to it, and it was one of the best tea houses in terms of food and it definitely won for the best coffee on the trek.
In the afternoon we visited Tengboche Monastery, again a trip’s highlight. Every person who has climbed Mount Everest has visited this monastery to be blessed from Sir Edmund Hilary onwards.
We went to the afternoon prayer ceremony at Tengboche Monastery and it was packed. Sitting where every Everest climber has sat was humbling and a bit awesome.
The monks wander in and out of the ceremony, bringing some food, having a laugh and a chat and then picking up on the chanting. It is a very enjoyable hour and I highly recommend attending Tengboche Monastery.
Day 4 Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 5/10
Himalaya Trekking Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche 4350m
The hike to Everest Base Camp Trek Day 5 has some spectacular walking and a lot of up and down. Well every day on the trek has a lot of up and down, but I did seem to feel it more on Day 5 – and it added to get some great views.
Day 5 Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 6/10
Base Camp Trek Day 6: Acclimatisation Day Dingboche 4350m
This is where I really started to feel the altitude. We did a decent-sized acclimatization climb to the Nangkartshang Peak, which is 5100m. It was tough work.
The physical strain became very clear, and the headaches started to get stronger. I also noticed at this point my appetite was quite shot and I was getting dependent on chocolate – and even that was an effort.
However, we were rewarded with some spectacular views, which always helps and allowed for some great photos for the Everest Base Camp Trek Blog.
Getting down was almost more of a challenge than getting up. This was one of our first descents. I do prefer an ascent to a descent in general. I always think I must have gone toppling down a mountain in a previous life.
Night two at the Dingboche tea house started to wear a bit thin – especially as it became very cold in the late afternoon with snow, They did offer clothes washing at this tea house, but it was too cold to do so as they needed to be able to hang the clothes outside to dry.
This was quite a big tea house though so there were a couple of communal warm areas. They also still had a good range of snacks and of course ginger, honey and lemon tea to help make the afternoon and evening go faster.
Day 6 Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 6/10
Everest Base Camp Trek Blog Day Seven
The morning was one of if not the most stunning scenery of my Everest Base Camp Trekking. It is hard climbing from Dingboche, but once you ascend, you are rewarded with spectacular 360 views. It is jaw-droppingly beautiful.
It is then some seriously high walking to the first-morning tea stop. I began to feel very weird and unwell at this point. I made it to the rest stop, but it wasn’t easy, and I was quite disoriented.
Anyway, I continued, and we made it to the very basic tea house in Lobuche. This was a difficult night as you are at just over 4900m, so sleeping is tough, and the need to urinate and the thirst frequent.
Day 7 Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 9/10
Everest Base Camp Blog Day Eight – Everest Base Camp
So this is the big day. An early start and some serious walking to get to Gorak Shep for lunchtime. I felt very lousy, but I won’t bore you with all those details.
It is tough to eat at this point, and everyone is feeling the altitude. It is then a flat walk followed by some tough walking mostly due to the altitude, to get to Everest Base camp.
The weather at base camp can be very mixed. Visibility was not great when we arrived, but we were very lucky and the sun came out after we had been there for about 30 minutes. We spent one hour at Everest Base camp which was sufficient time.
You, of course, need to get your photo taken with the rock formations and prayer flags and there is quite a queue! And you need to get a group shot done here.
The views of the Khumbu icefall are fantastic. I had always wanted to see this as I have watched many Everest movies and read many Everest books. It appears to be pure ice, and I have no idea how anyone climbs it.
No one ventures that far once you get to base camp, as everyone is feeling the altitude. I felt dreadful but forced myself to go and take photos etc as heck I had made it now.
You don’t see climbers etc as the tents are scattered over quite a large area. It is most powerful to stay near the rocks and prayer flags as it allows you to get a good view over base camp.
Otherwise to be honest, it would be a cold camping ground with some stunning mountains around it. The trek back was tough – about 2 hours.
The last hour is pretty flat thank goodness. I collapsed into bed as soon as we got back at 5 pm. It was another up at 2 am with a vice-like headache/loo issue evening as well which was not fun at 5100m. Definitely the worst night of the trip.
Day 8 Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 10/10
Himalaya Trekking Base Camp Day Nine:
Day Nine gives you the option of getting up at 330am and ascending Kala Pattar. Of course, before the trip, I had been confident that I would want to do this.
On the trip, I would have rather stuck long hot needles into my eyes than do this! About half of our group went, and half didn’t. Their photos were great, but all said it was very tough.
This was a tough day as the Everest Base Camp Trek is 90% up and down whether you are going up or down, so it is hard trekking. We ended the day in Pheriche.
This is where I ended my trek as I felt so absolutely dreadful and was not recovering from altitude sickness as I should have been at that point. A doctor in Pheriche agreed that I needed to head down and I got a helicopter out the next morning.
The rest of the group then had three days of trekking ahead of them and three more nights of tea houses before returning to Kathmandu. I spent those three days in bed sick as a dog so I definitely felt that I had made the right decision to head down sooner rather than later.
I was quite happy with my Everest Base Camp Trek Blog ending. Having said that, it was a difficult conversation with the leader of my trek, despite my having a certificate from a doctor to head down the mountain.
I clearly wasn’t about to die – which I openly stated – but I felt extremely sick and was sure that if I continued I would hurt myself. I hadn’t had a proper meal in four days and still had no appetite.
Also, I had Kilimanjaro for comparison, where I quickly recovered my appetite and physical ability after a much higher ascent. I soon realized that, as always, the key issue was money.
It took me a while to realize how huge the cost to helicopter me out was from my guide’s point of view. I had asked one of the sherpas that day, and he had estimated US$1200. I have to tell you that it felt like a bargain to me at that point, as I had felt so dreadful in such difficult conditions for several days.
Anyway, I offered to give him my credit card to book the helicopter and said that I would handle the whole process through my insurance company when I returned to London. This changed the conversation and got the helicopter going for the next day.
When I returned to London, I completed my insurance claim and all my costs were covered. I was far too unwell to continue – as I told the doctor, if I felt like this at home, I wouldn’t leave my flat let alone take on three more days of intensive trekking.
It was quite upsetting to be met with resistance when I had a doctor’s certificate and felt so unwell, and initially, I got quite upset and angry. However, a calm voice in my head said that I needed to get out of there and get my credit card out, and it worked.
Day 9 Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: 8/10
How to get to Kathmandu:
This is one trip where you MUST take out travel insurance! I certainly ended up using mine.
Everest Base Camp Trek Guided Tour Options
⇒ If you’re planning on heading up to Everest Base Camp check out this really good comparison of tour options on Viator.
I did the Everest Base Camp Trek with Exodus. Exodus is the biggest tour operator for Everest Base Camp so there are quite a few benefits in going with them in terms of expertise, access to the best teahouses etc.
They also know what they are doing and are very organised. As Exodus is a big deal in Nepal anyone working with them locally will be keen for this to continue and therefore service levels are pretty good.
⇒ Click here for Exodus Everest Base Camp Treks.
In terms of UK based tour operators, we saw quite a few G Adventures groups during our trek. They tend to stay at the same kinds of tea houses and have a similar setup.
I have also heard that Intrepid is a good operator for base camp.
Everest Base Camp Trek Frequently Asked Questions
How Difficult is the Everest Base Camp Trek?
This depends on your level of fitness. It would be extremely difficult for an unfit person to attempt to climb Everest Base Camp. For the average trekker, it is considered to be moderately difficult.
How Much Money Should I take on the Everest Base Camp Trek?
Most trekkers heading to Everest Base Camp will do so as part of a guided tour. Most guided tours will cover all of the major costs of the trek as part of their package eg meals and accommodation. However, there are opportunities to buy sweets etc as well as wifi, clothes washing, extra coffee etc. I would recommend bringing at least $USD10 per day on top of having all expenses covered.
Is trekking to Everest Base Camp Worth It?
As long as you don’t get too sick or injure yourself then yes. It is an amazing feeling to have managed to trek to Everest Base Camp and an achievement that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
What is the best time to visit Everest Base Camp?
In my opinion, the best time to visit Everest Base Camp is April/May. Weather conditions are quite stable and the skies are quite clear. Also, these are generally the times when it is best to attempt to summit Mount Everest. This means that Everest Base Camp will be populated with many tents and people. If you visit in September/October it will be empty.
Boutique Hotels in Kathmandu
I recommend enjoying some luxury pre and post the Nepal Tea Houses! Without question, the best boutique hotel in Kathmandu is the lovely lovely Dwarika Hotel Kathmandu.
It was also my best place to visit in Kathmandu Nepal, for its restaurants and stunning building.
It isn’t exactly boutique, but as options at a higher boutique end are a bit low in Kathmandu, I am going to list the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu.
⇒ Read reviews on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now
Kathmandu has some more basic boutique hotels that offer great value for money. Dalai-La and Kantipur Temple House offer traditional Nepalese style.
⇒ Read reviews of Dalai-La on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now
⇒ Read reviews of Kantipur Temple House on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book
NowAria Boutique Hotel & Spa is somewhat more modern with its offer. Uniquely for Kathmandu, its interiors are heavy on white!
⇒ Read reviews on TripAdvisor ⇒ Book Now
If you’re after a real treat check out my post on the stunning Dwarika’s Dhulikhel Resort – stunning Himalayan luxury.
Who Paid for What in this Post
I covered the costs associated with most of this trip, but Dwarika’s were kind enough to give me a discount on my accommodation costs. But as always my opinion is my own.
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on them and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. This won’t affect the price that you pay. I just wanted to make sure that you were aware of this.
Famous Landmarks around the world
Like this post? Why not Pin It?
Monday 16th of January 2023
Great post and beautiful photos! I see your recommendation that April/May is the best time to visit but is that when you were actually there? We’re booked on a tour that goes from April 28th -May 12th (reaches base camp on May 6th) and I’m getting a little nervous because I’d originally read this was a great time to go and now I’ve seen a lot of articles talking about how it’s more likely to be rainy/clouded in/low visibility at that time of year (versus the fall). I know you can’t control the weather but it would be so disappointing to go all that way and never be able to see the mountains! If you were there around that same time it gives me some hope!
Monday 6th of February 2023
Hi Erin. Sorry for the delay in reply. I visited at the same time you are eg early May. We still had many blue sky days and I think it is a great time to go. Hope you have a wonderful experience!
Tuesday 4th of October 2022
Hi Who did you use for insurance? Hard to find one that covers the altitude Thanks
Thursday 6th of October 2022
Hi Laina. I booked my insurance through Exodus Travel as my trip was with them. I checked my emails and it seems that they used this company https://www.csal.co.uk/ I would definitely find an insurer who covers altitude. Best of luck!
Sunday 22nd of May 2022
Great write up!
I did the trek in 1980 with my dad. It was before all the hospitality. We stayed in tents. We climbed Kayla Patar but did not go to the base camp. Our trek cost $800 each. The trekking was just getting started so they did not know how to price it yet…
Wednesday 25th of May 2022
Thanks for sharing Doug - sounds like trekking in Nepal has changed alot over the years!
Tuesday 27th of April 2021
Hi. Thanks soooo much for sharing your experience. Me and my wife are contemplating doing the EBC in November. We are good hikers but NOT trekkers !!?? Very healthy, swimming and treadmill 2-3 times/week. Is it doable in your opinion? Is there a possibility to stay 2 days instead of one day only at the same level / segment of the trek? Thanks so much for your non-binding advice. Michael and Terry.
The Boutique Adventurer
Wednesday 28th of April 2021
Hi Michael and Terry. It is probably doable but I think it is more about how much you enjoy it. Due to the level of trekking it would probably be best to add some weights into your exercise regime - it's all about strengthening your legs and glutes to deal with the uphill elements. If you get your own guide you can design your own trip and probably stay more than one night at stops. best of luck!
Sunday 9th of August 2020
Great and detail info, thank you for sharing !