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The trek to Everest Base Camp (5,364m/17,598ft) is on every avid hiker’s bucket list. Involving 12-13 days of continuous hiking (usually an 18-day itinerary in total) while carrying a 5kg backpack and covering 6,000m/20,000 feet of ascent and descent, is some people’s (including us) idea of heaven!
Breaking it down, it’s about 5+ hrs each day of hiking, all at high altitude. Mt Everest is the world’s highest mountain, standing at 8,848m tall, it’s obviously going to be a challenge! Here’s everything you need to know before heading off on this epic adventure.
Day 1: Starting in Lukla. If you go to Phakding (2,650m/8,694ft) it is 9km/5.6miles and about 3hrs walking. If you go to Monjo (2,850m/9,350ft) it will take approximately 5hrs and is 13km/8.8miles.
Day 2: You get to cross some of the famous suspension bridges and enter the Sagarmatha National Park, the official entrance to the Everest Region. You will head to Namche Bazaar at 3,340m/11,286ft. It’s 8km/5miles and will take roughly 5hrs.
Day 3 and 4: Acclimatization trek days (It depends on what guiding company you go with, where you will stop and how long you spend here).
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Day 5: Head for Tengbouche at 3,900m/12,795ft. It consists of 5/6hrs of hiking to cover the 12km/7.5miles.
Day 6: Travel to Dingbouche at 4,400m/14,436ft. Again 5/6hrs of trekking to cover the 12km/7.5miles.
Day 7: Acclimatisation day.
Day 8: Aim to get to Lobuche at 4,900m/ 16,077ft. A 5hr trek at 12km/7.5miles.
Day 9: Destination is Gorak Shep at 5,180m/16,995ft. A 6hr trek to reach Everest Base Camp. Then hike back to Gorak Shep for the night. It’s a tough 7/8 hrs of hiking to cover the 10km/ 6.2 miles
Day 10, 11 and 12: Head all the way back.
The ideal time to do the Base Camp trek is in March through to mid-May or else September through to mid-November. The other months are too wet for climbing. Summit temperatures average -36C in winter and -19C in summer.
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Earth’s Edge, ITAA & Pat Falvey.
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By Orla O'Muiri
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