I was hiking in Nepal in March 2019! Usually, the route is called "Everest Base Camp Trek" (EBC-Trek).
The trip takes at least 21 days (including flights, acclimatization days, buffer days) and costs at least 2100 EUR. I've paid additionally approximately 2000 EUR in equipment and I already had equipment for around 1500 EUR. More details below.
Having a guide is super helpful:
- Language: The guide should be able to speak English fairly well. So you can easily communicate with the guide. In contrast, with many people on the way it might be way harder. When you have a guide, you basically have also a translator for cases where you need that.
- Culture: If you are European or from the US, it might very well be that you don't know crucial parts about the culture. One thing I remember were the prayer stones. We didn't know that they were prayers. We wanted to take a nice photo and would have stepped on them. Before we did that, our guide told us that this is not acceptable. I imagine this would be similar as if somebody stepped on the altar of a church here. So I'm pretty happy our guide helped us not to misbehave.
- Accommodation: The trip is hard because of the altitude and the cold at night. It also has a lot of guest houses on the way which have reasonable clean beds, are protected from wind, provide a living room where you can play card games / talk next to an oven, buy warm and good food to a reasonable price. So you definitely want to use guest houses. The guide will make sure that you sleep in a good one. Or that you have a room in the first place, if you go there in high season. If there is a problem with the room (e.g. missing blanket) it is just easier to talk with your guide who will then talk with the guest house owner. So it is basically a combination of the Language-point and the culture point.
- Safety: I didn't know the region. Where do I have to go? Where can I stay and where should I just walk a bit further? When there is snow, where is the path? Is it save to go over the Cho-La pass?
Additionally, our guide (Ujjwal Raj) is a pretty cool guy. We got to know each other a bit on the trek. So after the first few days it felt more like hiking with an experienced friend than with a professional you hired for his expertise.
He also made a video for the first few days for us.
|Day||Start - End||km||Time||hm|
|Day 01||Fly to Lukla (2860m), trek to Phakding (2651m)||8km||3 - 4 hours trek||+254m, -417m|
|Day 02||Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3438m)||11km||5 - 6 hours||+1374m, -397m|
|Day 03||Acclimatization Day - Namche Bazaar (3440m)||-||-||-|
|Day 04||Namche Bazaar to Dole (3680m)||6km||5-6 hours||+931m, -691m|
|Day 05||Dole to Machhermo (4470m)||10km||4-5 hours||+864m, -74m|
|Day 06||Machhermo to Gokyo (4800 m)||7km||4-5 hours||+416m, -43m|
|Day 07||Gokyo Valley: Acclimatization Day - Optional Hike to Gokyo Ri (5357 m)||2km||3 - 4 hours||+557m|
|Day 08||Gokyo to Thagnak (4750 m)||4km||4 - 5 hours||-607m|
|Day 09||Thagnak to Cho La pass (5367m) to Zonglha (4835m)||7km||7 - 8 hours||+617m, -532m|
|Day 10||Zonglha to Lobuche (4940 m)||6km||2 - 3 hours||+105m|
|Day 11||Lobuche to Gorak Shep(5170 m), visit Everest Base Camp (5364 m)||13km||6-7 hours||+424m|
|Day 12||Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5545m) to Pheriche (4288m)||16km||7-8 hours||+181m, -1257m|
|Day 13||Pheriche to Namche Bazaar (3440m)||20km||6 - 7 hours||+890m, -1583m|
|Day 14||Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2860m)||19km||6 - 7 hours||+773m, -1587m|
|Day 15||Fly to Kathmandu||-||-||-|
|Total||129km||62 - 75 hours||-7188m, +7386m|
- Temperature range while hiking (7:00 - 17:00): 7°C - 10°C / -12°C to 1°C
- Temperature at night: -14°C to -9°C
- Overall: -10°C to +7°C
- Wind: 8 km/h to 20 km/h, most often about 10km/h
- Rain: 2 days with 0.8L/m2 and one day with 2L/m2 rain in March
During the trip which started in the beginning of March in Lukla, I experienced the following:
- Lukla is quite warm
- Namche is already way colder. I guess around +15°C at 12:00 and around 0°C at 04:00.
- After Namche, it got colder but not as much as much as from Lukla to Namche.
- At night, it is way colder than over the day.
- Gorak Shep was the coldest place. I guess around +5°C at 12:00 and maybe -10°C at 04:00.
- All airport and hotel transfers
- Hotel room in Kathmandu (3 Nights)
- An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader and assistant trek leader
- All government and local taxes
- A comprehensive medical kit
- All necessary paperwork and permits (National park permit)
- Trekking Map
- Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight
- All airport/hotel transfers
- Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, domestic airfare, food and accommodation
What's Not Included:
- Excess baggage charges
- International airfare to and from Kathmandu
- Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu (and also in the case of early return from the mountain than the scheduled itinerary)
- Travel and rescue insurance: I took the ErgoDirekt Reiseversicherung for 10 EUR.
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, big thermos water/tea, * shower etc)
List of clothing
|2 quick drying long sleeved base layer shirts, e.g. Icebreaker Tech Longsleeve||163.08 EUR||560g|
|1 short sleeve trekking shirts||60 EUR||345g|
|3 boxershorts, e.g. Icebreaker Anatomica||84.00 EUR||300g|
|1 pairs of thermal pants (base layer), e.g. Icebreaker 260||179.90 EUR||152g|
|1 pair of thermal pants (base layer): Odlo X-Warm||43.83 EUR||226g|
|3 pairs of woollen trekking socks, e.g. Falke TK4, Falke TK1||61.23 EUR||282g|
|Trekking pants with zip off bottoms, Keb Gaiter||224.91 EUR||640g|
|Trekking pants Vaude Farley Stretch Pants II||47.35 EUR||292g|
|1 light fleece sweater, Odlo Midlayer 1/2 Zip Snowbird||41 EUR||269g|
|1 heavy fleece sweaters, Mammut Innominata Advanced||122.58 EUR||540 g|
|Bought for Nepal||432.14 EUR||-|
|1 wind/rain proof overlayer – jacket (Hardshell Jackets)||319.10 EUR||540g|
|1 wind/rain proof overlayer – pants (e.g. Marmot Precip Full Zip)||62 EUR||340g|
|warm winter hat/beanie|
|1 headband/buff, e.g. Icebreaker Halswärmer Schal Flexi Chute||29.90 EUR||66g|
|1 pair of gloves|
|1 pair of trekking boots||235.19 EUR||2020g|
|Bought for Nepal||876.22 EUR||-|
|Hand Sanitizer||2.00 EUR||53g|
|Toothbrush / Etui||4.04 EUR||35g|
|Denal Floss||0.95 EUR||27g|
|Sleeping mask||8.50 EUR||TODO|
|Suncream and lipbalm, e.g. Sun Dance Winterkombi from dm||2.45 EUR||32g|
|Toilet paper||0.31 EUR||133g|
|3× 10 Tissues||0.55 EUR||75g|
|Bought for Nepal||28.48 EUR||-|
|Sleeping bag (notes, source)||359.92 EUR|
|Backpack (Deuter Aircontact 55+10)||146.77 EUR||2430g|
|Small backpack||0.00 EUR||?|
|Osprey Airporter S||23.45 EUR||350g|
|head lamp, e.g. Petzl Stirnlampe Tikkina with Petzl Accu Core||23.95 EUR||86g|
|Camelback (water pack)||28.73 EUR||198g|
|Water purification tablets||18.61 EUR|
|Bought for Nepal||596.64 EUR||-|
In future, I would give a SteriPen a try. However, I'm a bit concerned that I didn't see any reviews that checked the effectiveness of the water purification (e.g. Stiftung Warentest).
|Cell phone charger||8.22 EUR||38g|
|Power Adapter||12.97 EUR||42g|
|Perixx peripro-402 SIM-Kartenhalter||9.99 EUR||22g|
|Bought for Nepal||12.97 EUR||-|
Medicine / First Aid
- Pain killers: Ibuprofen 600 mg
- Diarrhoea: Imodium/charcoal tablets
- Throat pain: Isländisch Moos
- Blisters: Blister plasters
- Hypothermia: Space blanket
|Travel Insurance (Ergo Direkt)||10 EUR||-|
|Flight MUC-KTM||777.62 EUR||-|
|4 passport photos (35mm ✕ 45mm)||7.00 EUR|
|Playing cards||3.79 EUR||85g|
|Sandals / Slippers||8.95 EUR||358g|
|20× Magnesium||4.95 EUR||54g|
|Diary / Notebook||8.07 EUR||145g|
|Nail clipper||5.95 EUR||51g|
|3 cloth pegs||16.95 EUR||27g|
|Plastic bag for trash||0.00 EUR||10g|
|Bought for Nepal||2073.59 EUR||-|
Here is what I brought, but would not bring again:
|2 more short sleeve trekking shirts||60 EUR||345g|
|2 pairs of liner socks||4 EUR||83g|
|Down jacket||321.93 EUR||600g|
|Smog mask (FFP2)||19.99 EUR|
|Sawyer Mini||28.99 EUR|
And those things I did not bring and did not miss:
- 1 pair of down booties (for keeping feet warm in room and while sleeping and/or in the lodge)
- pair of trekking poles / Hiking sticks
- vaccination: Ask a doctor what you need (or your insurance). Keep in mind that there might be restrictions of the country à la "only people with Polio vaccination are allowed to enter"!
- Money: 200 EUR in cash
- Sunglasses: Necessary to prevent snow blindness. Category 4 is recommended (source)
- Small backpack: My backpack is too big for cabin luggage, so I have to check it in. I have a couple of things that I would prefer to take with me (passport, money, camera, sunglasses, power bank, cell phone+charger, sim card box, sweater). So a small and super lightweight backpack that doubles as a stuff bag is awesome.
- Elektronische Erfassung von Deutschen im Ausland
- Petzl Accu Core
Things to Note about Nepal
- You will need pass photos to get a travel visa in Nepal
- Purchase SIM-Card at the airport. I used Ncell - it worked fine in Kathmandu, I think it still worked a bit in Lukla, but it did not work at all higher up in the Himalaya.
Meindl has the following categories for shoes (in German, source):
- A = Freizeit, Alltag, Reisen, Walking nicht zwangsläufig knöchelhoch, unterstützen Gehbewegung ausreichend, Sohle ist nicht komplett steif – geeignet für gute Wege, Parkanlagen, Alltag
- AB = Leichte Wanderungen im Flachland, Mittelgebirge oder den Voralpen – geeignet für gute und weniger gute Wege sowie Hüttenwege
- B = Anspruchsvolle Wanderungen im Mittelgebirge, leichte Trekkingtouren, ein knöchelhoher Schaft sorgt für Stabilität, bedingt steigeisenfest, Sohle zunehmend torsionsreif, ermöglicht noch ergonomisches Abrollen – auch geeignet auf schlechten Wegen sowie Steigen
- BC = Anspruchsvolles Trekking, harte Wanderungen, bis Hochgebirge – auch geeignet auf schlechten Pfaden und Trails, Geröll, Klettersteige
- C = Touren im Hochgebirge, auf Gletschern, härteste Trekkingtouren, bedingt steigeisenfest, Schaft reicht über den Knöchel, steife Sohle und fester Sohlenrand zur Befestigung eines Steigeisens, reichen für die meisten alpinen Unternehmen im Freizeitbereich – geeignet für Gletscher, schlechteste Wege oder auch weglos, Geröll, Klettersteige
- D =Absolut steigeisenfeste Schuhe mit Sohlenrand vorn und hinten, haben eine steife Sohle und genügen allen Anforderungen, in Einzelfällen auch als Hartschalenschuhe mit herausnehmbarem Innenschuh konzipiert – geeignet für weglose Touren, Gletscher, extreme Eistouren, Eisklettern
I took the Meindl Island shoes.
- Auswärtiges Amt: Nepal: Reise- und Sicherheitshinweise
- Packing lists:
- MT Sobek: 50th Anniversary Everest Base Camp Trek
- Alternative Tour websites (I didn't try):
- German Wikpedia: Mount Everest Trek
- Travel Notes:
- German: EBC + KALA PATTHAR