Stepping to the foot of the world’s highest Mount Everest is the dream of every trekking enthusiast. But before heading for this trekking journey, the common question of every trekker is 'How hard is the Everest Base Camp Trek?' Well, people with previous trekking experience can find this trekking relatively easy, but for first-time trekkers, it can be quite challenging. However, with a little bit of preparation, training, and determination, people with a normal fitness level can also accomplish this trek fascinatingly. To conquer the trek to the Everest Base Camp, there is no need for any mountaineering skills or technical equipment.
Despite being non-technical and doable for anyone with the basic fitness level, there are still some factors that need to be taken into account before you embark on your trek to Everest Base Camp.
Starting with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, the Everest Base Camp Trekking can be completed in 14 days. If you want to skip the flight, then there are various other route options for the trek such as Jiri, Salleri, and Phalpu. A trek through the less-traveled routes of Jiri, Saleri, and Phalpu adds some extra days to your trek, however, the experience you get is truly outstanding. Further, there are also different route options from Lukla to reach the Everest Base Camp. Depending on your interest and time you have, you can either join the normal Everest Base Camp Trekking trail or routes such as Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lakesand many more.
Joining the normal Everest Base Camp Trek route, you have to walk around 120km to reach Everest Base Camp from Lukla. Therefore, for a normal person, it can be tough to complete such high altitude trekking. To cover this distance, you have to walk around 15km per day for about 12 days. Furthermore, the trail is not always a flat surface and has lots of ups and downs. The uneven terrain and rocky trails make trekking challenging even for the experienced trekker. However, if you manage to walk around 4-6hrs up and down with some light pack, you will get astonished by the beauty of the Everest region.
The main factor that makes the Everest Base Camp trek most challenging is its high altitude. The altitude is something that makes it more difficult than other average treks of the same length. As the trekking to the Everest Base Camp starts from Lukla, which is around 2800meters, it is high enough to get caught by altitude sickness. Moreover, climbing up to the highest point of the trek, Kalapatthar at 5554m, people are likely to have acute mountain sickness. If you feel any of the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and breathing problem, then immediately trek down towards the lower altitude. Further, to prevent yourself from altitude sickness, you need to take a slow pace, eat good food, rest properly, and drink plenty of fluids. By taking proper acclimatization, you can avoid altitude sickness. Acclimatization days stabilizes your body and makes you ready for the next altitude.
A person with any breathing problem should definitely avoid this trek. Moreover, it is suggested to take the proper medical advice before trekking at these altitudes.
Training Before Everest Base Camp Trek
You do not need to be a professional trekker to conquer the Everest Base Camp Trek. However, if you take some training before trekking, it will provide you the ability to adjust to high altitudes. If you want an enjoyable trek, then it is better to work on leg exercise.
By spending some time in the GYM or by joining some longer hikes, you can prepare yourself for Everest Base Camp trekking. Further, aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, and sprinting helps you gain endurance and improves the oxygen circulation in your body. These all help you a lot while trekking at the higher altitudes. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the trek.
Best time to trek Everest Base Camp
The Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty level varies according to various seasons of Nepal. It is better to avoid trekking in the summer and winter seasons. Excessive snowfall and extreme cold disrupt your trekking during these seasons. Spring and Autumn are the best seasons for the Everest Base Camp Trek. Autumn falls between September and November, whereas Spring lasts from March to May in Nepal. The stable climatic condition and visibility make your trekking reminiscing and exciting during these seasons.
Hiring a porter for Everest Base Camp Trek
The journey becomes relatively easier if you hire a porter to carry your belongings. You can hire a porter from Namche Bazar or Lukla, but you have to be very careful while hiring them. You should be able to examine whether they are trustworthy or not. It would be significantly easier if you book the Everest Base Camp Trekking package with any of the local trekking company in Nepal. Booking a trekking package with them, you do not have to worry about the guides and porters. They provide you, the licensed and benevolent guides and porters. The porters sometimes make use of yaks or donkeys to carry your bags. However, you have to carry a light backpack by yourself. The light backpack includes a camera, water bottle, light snacks, sunglasses, first-aid box, sunhat, and suncream. The option of hiring a porter somehow decreases the difficulty level of the trek.
Some of the safety measures to know before the trek to Everest Base Camp
The weather is harsh and unpredictable towards the higher altitudes. Therefore, the trekkers must take cautions and carry the first aid box while trekking.
Alcoholic drinks should be avoided on the trek.
To maintain the body’s hydration level and to avoid altitude sickness, you have to drink plenty of fluids during the trek.
You should not rush and must take proper acclimatization to avoid altitude sickness.
The trails in the mountains are high and narrow with rivers on one side so, stick on the cliffside when yaks and mules pass the trail. If you don’t pay proper attention, you may encounter a severe accident.
So, now it is up to you whether you find the Everest Base Camp trek hard or easy.