Bucket List Ideas: Everest Base Camp

Bucket List Ideas: Everest Base Camp

by Guest Contributor July 09, 2018

Author and Photographer: Ryan Erickson, Instagram: @ryanericksonphotography

Mount Everest is the tallest, most revered mountain on the planet.  Ever since laying eyes on this towering peak high in the Himalayas, man has tried to climb it.  Everest has both a mythical and tragic history.  Around 4000 people have climbed it and nearly 200 lost their lives in the process. The risks and rewards are high on Everest and so is the price tag.  The cost of a summit attempt ranges from $40,000-$120,000 per climber. For those of us who can’t afford to throw down a cool $100k on a climb, making the trek to Base Camp is the next best thing. 

Upon arrival, you’ll find yourself immersed in the spiritual Himalayan mountain culture. You will be face-to-face with the tallest and most intimidating mountain peak in the world. You will travel along the same famous trail as all the other climbers who are summiting Everest. The trek will be one of the greatest physical challenges of your life.  In my opinion, the Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the world’s greatest adventures.

GETTING THERE

Your journey begins in Kathmandu, the sprawling and congested capital of Nepal.  Most international flights from the USA or Europe will connect you somewhere in Asia first. Potential stops include Seoul (Korean Airlines), Guangzhou (China) or Dubai (Emirates).

KATHMANDU

I recommend giving yourself a day or two in Kathmandu both before and after the trek to rest, see some of Nepal’s top sights and pick up a few souvenirs.  Don’t miss visiting these four amazing sights: 1) Durbar Square 2) Bhaktapur 3) Boudhanath 4) The Thamel District.

FLYING TO LUKLA

After sleeping off the jet-lag and seeing some of the sights in Kathmandu, you’ll need to catch a flight up to the Himalayan village, Lukla. This village is the jumping off point for the EBC Trail.  The domestic airport in Kathmandu is chaotic.  It’s recommended to book your flights in advance as the planes are small and flights are limited.  Two airlines fly this route: Yeti Airlines and Tara Air.  The flight to Lukla is one you’ll never forget.  You’ll navigate through narrow mountain passes, experience severe turbulence and land on a very short upward sloping runway on the end of a cliff. Lukla has the title of the world’s most dangerous airport, so the adventure begins the moment you (hopefully) land.

THE TREK

The Everest Base Camp Trek (Also known as the EBC Trek) is an 80-mile roundtrip journey through some of the most amazing scenery in the Himalayas.  You’ll be hiking 4-7 hours a day covering anywhere between 4-10 miles for about 2 weeks straight.  One of the great things about the EBC Trek is the impressive network of mountainous rustic huts called tea houses where you’ll be staying each night. Some are nicer than others, but all cater to trekkers and offer hot meals, a warm bed and a fire where you can dry your clothes (and yes, you will get very wet). Each day you’ll leave early in the morning, hike for several hours, have lunch at a scenic spot, and hike for another few hours before arriving at your tea house for the night. You’ll relax, have dinner with the other climbers, talk about the day’s adventures on the trail, dry your clothes, prepare for the next day and try to get some sleep.  You’ll repeat this routine for about two weeks. The trail isn’t technical and is gradual most of the time, but it’s long and some steep sections seem to go on forever.  You’ll definitely want to be in good shape before you attempt it.  The trail passes along swift glacial rivers, through thick pine forests, past waterfalls, up switchbacks and across about a dozen narrow suspension bridges. Suspended between steep gorges 1000 feet above the raging river below, these bridges are not for those with a fear of heights.

All along the trail there are multi-colored prayer flags, Buddhist stupas (shrines) and memorials to climbers that were killed on Everest.  You’ll step back in time as you trek past ancient monasteries where monks sit in solemn meditation and you’ll spin the Buddhist prayer wheels for good luck as you pass through the traditional mountain villages. Trekkers share the trail with grumpy, long-haired snow yaks carrying all manner of supplies up the mountain to support the climbers above.  You’ll also share the trail with the friendly, superhuman Sherpas who also carry gear and cargo up the mountain. I saw one Sherpa who had an actual door strapped to his back and a propane tank strapped to his chest; still a smile on his face. 

On the EBC Trek you’ll meet climbers from all over the world.  Some are traveling with you as far as base camp and others are making their Everest summit attempt.  Each has a great story to share. After 7 full days of hiking, you eventually drop down into the glacier ice caps and reach base camp. The massive tent city is surrounded by an amphitheater of jagged peaks on the edge of the dangerous Khumbu Icefall.  The feeling I had after completing that journey was like no other I had experienced. The physical toll it takes on you to reach Base Camp only makes it that much sweeter.  The EBC Trail is the perfect mix of exotic culture, amazing scenery and a gratifying physical challenge.

BEST TIME TO GO / WEATHER

April and May are the traditional climbing months on Everest.  You’ll want to be prepared for any weather mother nature can throw at you.  You’ll often start the day trekking in a jacket and by lunch you’ll have stripped down to just shorts and a t-shirt.  During our time there, we had hot temperatures, high wind, rain, hail, sleet and even woke up to a foot of snow one morning. 

PRICE

A guided trek ranges between $1000 - $2000.  This includes permits, guides, Sherpas, travel to and from Lukla, all your meals and accommodations.




Guest Contributor
Guest Contributor

Author



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Trip Reports

Bucket List Ideas: Riviera Maya, Mexico
Bucket List Ideas: Riviera Maya, Mexico

by Mark Thomas June 04, 2018 2 Comments

We started Wildhorn Outfitters in the spring of 2015. Since then we’ve become one of top 20 fastest growing outdoor brands on Amazon.com. Some of the inspiration in the brand stems from our love of the Riviera Maya.

Read More

Bucket List Ideas: Backpacking the Napali Coast/Kalalau Trail
Bucket List Ideas: Backpacking the Napali Coast/Kalalau Trail

by Guest Contributor June 04, 2018

When you think of adventure planning, a quick Hawaii getaway is at the top of our list.  It’s simple/easy (not having to deal w/customs or international travel), and it’s filled with endless opportunities of beach days and waterfall/forested day trips.  The crown jewel of Hawaii adventures is on the island of Kauai (the garden isle), and getting a permit to go see the Napali Coast. Whether you’re familiar or not, this place is a must see and some planning and prep for the strenuous route can make or break your trip.

Read More

Wandering Wildhorn Women
Wandering Wildhorn Women

by Jenna Baker September 21, 2017

We are happy to have some rad, epic women in our Wildhorn community. They inspire us and hopefully we can pass that adventurous spirit on to you! 
Here, some of our Wildhorn Tribe members share their stories of mountain conquers and lessons from the peaks.

Read More