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Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla to EBC)

PostPosted: Sat 13 Jan, 2018 7:23 pm
by Jack414
G'day guys

Been wanting to do this trek for a while now, just gathering info on it as I quite like to be organised and well prepared.

Few questions first, I plan to fly to Kathmandu from Sydney, and stay either 2 or 3 nights there to get TIMS and Sagarmatha park permit, also to look around the city and take it all in. After which I plan to fly to Lukla and begin trekking there. Anyway, to the question, from Lukla to Gorak Shep, numerous of online forums have stated that taking a tent on this trek is unnecessary as staying at Tea Houses along the way is the way to go, if this is the case, during peak season will there be a time when there is no room in any of the Tea Houses? I ask this as I do not want to regret not bringing a tent because there is no where to stay. People who have done the hike say that sometimes they sleep on the main room floor when there are no beds, but rarely get turned away, so any feedback or answers would be greatly appreciated.

Another question is in relation to food and water, I am aware that water and be taken from clear streams with iodine tablets dropped in them or bought, and breakfast and tea can be purchased at Tea Houses, how much food and water would be recommended to take? I know that at these altitudes 4 Litres of water should be drunk as bare minimum.

Last question, I'm planning to do this independently, no guide or porter, I will be doing it with others, but is this decision wise? There are mixed opinions on this, but most say it comes down to personal preference. If this is the case I would like to do it independently, is the track hard to follow? Lots of signposts? And is good navigational knowledge required?

Thans for any help in advance, any links to forums or other sites would be greatly appreciated (Probably already read it) :D :D :D

Re: Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla to EBC)

PostPosted: Sun 14 Jan, 2018 11:56 pm
by matchhead
Hi Jack,

I did EBC solo a few years ago (December-ish I think). To answer your questions:
1. I would not bring a tent or sleeping mattress at all. There are tea houses every few kilometers (and at the towns that you've listed on the map there are usually more than one), so accommodation will be sorted. When I went it was fairly empty, so rooms were not an issue. I'd imagine that if it is busy, then sleeping in the main room will be a compromise, but I can't see them turning you away as you have also mentioned. There is no where to realistically tent on the main trail so I wouldn't bother bringing it for emergencies anyway (EBC is a highly popular and well supported route).

2. I normally carry 2L water at home when trekking, and did the same for EBC. Again, lots of teahouses, so water/tea is not going to be an issue. There are sections which may be dry and steep so you might not want to rely solely on teahouses. I don't recall having any issues with water refills along the way. If you're really concerned, bring 4L worth of bottles, then chuck the extra 2L bottle if you find it not necessary. But definitely hydrate for altitude reasons. Re food - I usually brought some snacks, and then lunched and dined at the teahouses along the way. No need for cooking gear etc.

3. I did the trek independently (young male), with a topographical map I got in Kathmandu. Didn't really need the map, but was worthwhile for moaning about the climbs in the upcoming days. Path is very easy to follow - good signage at critical junctions but otherwise it's a single track and you'd have to work really hard to get lost. Keep in mind this is the route hundreds of mules use for Everest season, so the trail is going to be quite easily navigatable by them also (ie not a small track in the woods). Didn't need a porter since there's not much to carry (no tent/cooking gear/food). I preferred trekking independently since I got to set my own pace and determined where I wanted to break/lunch/stay rather than follow a crowd.

Just a word of advice also - we got held up for several days at Kathmandu waiting for the weather to Lukla to clear to fly in (in the end had to delay trip for 5 days). Perhaps we got unlucky, but the flight in can be tricky with the weather (I think they only fly in the mornings due to afternoon turbulances).

Re: Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla to EBC)

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jan, 2018 8:51 am
by Geevesy
As matchhead says, there is no need to bring any camping equipment on this trip. Food wise, there is an expectation from the tea houses that when you stay there you eat there also as this is how they make their money ($1 beds are not unheard of). I just took a bunch of tablets to purify water but you can also purchase boiled water from the inns.

The only specific equipment I recommend is a warm sleeping bag and a buff/bandana to cover your face - it can get quite dusty higher up. Walking independently is also recommended.

Re: Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla to EBC)

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jul, 2018 8:57 am
by fixa
I'm also looking at doing this in about 2021. Long time ambition, hoping to take my 15 year old with me. What are the peak seasons?

Re: Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla to EBC)

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jul, 2018 11:34 am
by safari
I can second everything matchhead said (well, I hiked EBC from Lukla 10 years ago so my experience is a tad historical)...I wandered the trail solo and occasionally with others, treated water with iodine and stayed in the tea houses for next to nothing- from memory they like you to purchase your meals & dine with them in exchange for a cheap room rate. And why wouldn't you? :)

My initial flight from Kathmandu to Lukla was delayed multiple times due to cloud (there are mountains in the clouds!) & the plane continually breaking down...every bloke with a spanner on the tarmac had a go at fixing the problem. The air strip at Lukla is exciting too. You can Youtube that.

One guy I was hiking with had a 3 day wait to catch a flight out of Lukla due to rubbish weather, I got out the next day on the first and only flight out, that's the roll of the dice. I booked with one airline, he with a different one.

If you are inclined, there are some great side trips off the main 'road', some nice choose-your-own-adventures.

Have a blast and I hope it is clear and uncrowded when you reach Kala Pattar.

Re: Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla to EBC)

PostPosted: Fri 20 Jul, 2018 11:52 pm
by Al M
If you havnt already done so get hold of a Nepal trekking guide book that will have nearly all the answers, maps, gear, weather, health etc.

Also head over to the Trip Advisor Nepal forum for tons of up to date information and regular posts.

It is a tea house trek with places to stay and eat about every 15 mins in busy sections up to 2 hours apart so never any lack of accommodation. Water is obtained from teahouse kitchen taps and black poly pipes sticking out of ground, which need treating. Use of iodine is now very old school and you don’t need to put up with any more and besides it is not as effective against giardia and cryptosporidium bugs that resist chlorine and iodine. Best method is filter plus one chemical method or UV device to cover large bugs and tiny viruses that pass through filters. There are also boiled water flasks in teahouses. Drinking 4L daily is nearly impossible and not necessary unless you are having colonoscopy test. You will be peeing every 10 mins, bloated and it’s not recommended to over hydrate at high altitude anyways. Instead drink as needed and as your thirst requires. It’s also cold so perspiration is much less than in a desert so no need to replace unlost fluids excessively.

I’ve done 5 combinations of the EBC, side valleys, walk-in and out from Jiri the last bus stop in the hills, fly out Lukla etc ranging 18-30 days. If you have the spare time and endurance try to do the classic EBC approach from Jiri town which adds about 6 days to Lukla, EBC at 5400m including the nearby 5600m viewing hill Kalar Patta, then over to the more beautiful Gokyo valley at 4900m staying several nights to get sunrise and sunset views of Everest plus side hikes, then back down to Lukla fly out, all total maybe 21-23 days. On the classic route you you may get a chance to meet international mountain climbers and local sherpas, some doing Everest etc. It will also best acclimatise one physically and altitude wise plus it’s very beautiful and less spoilt than the very busy and common Lukla fly in Trekker route.

There are perhaps 100,000 Trekkers annually and busiest time is October. Late November to mid December is best time as Trekker numbers have thinned out and weather is better with clear skies and less smoke haze.

Try to avoid putting all your eggs into a final day end attempt at EBC where if the weather or views are no good you will have no back up days or second chance to see what you came all that way for as you will be racing back to catch your flight out at Lukla. Most trekking agency packages will force you into this scenario to keep up with the group. Too tight a schedule can also result in not enough acclimatisation days as there is up to a 40% failure rate among Trekkers of not making it to EBC or Kalar Patta.

Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla to EBC)

PostPosted: Tue 24 Jul, 2018 8:03 pm
by RonK
Research and take note how to plan your itinerary and acclimatise to altitude. Carry Diamox as a precaution, and be aware that if you use it you must drink plenty of water as it is a diruetic. And that it will cause tingling in the fingers.
Also note that there is a high altitude medical clinic at Pheriche if you do get into difficulties.
Get a copy of Dr Deb's guide Travelling Well, available in hard copy, digital format or smartphone app.

If time permits, walk in via the classic route from Jiri. You will cross 3500m Lamjura La which will help your acclimatisation greatly.

The spring trekking season will be busy as it's also the climbing season. The autumn season is quieter. It's also cooler and there is greater chance of flight delays due to weather.

Re: Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla to EBC)

PostPosted: Wed 15 Apr, 2020 8:17 pm
by Birdman
EBC basically has two main seasons: Oct-Nov and March-April. Oct-Nov is by far the most popular because the skies tend to be clear and weather is good, but the crowds can be horrendous. The March-April season is more quiet, but there can still be some snow and the sky starts getting more hazy in April.

I hiked it in 2 March- 14 April 2014, in and out from Jiri (can be reached by bus from KTM). It was fantastic! I reached EBC on the 25th March or so and there were already some sherpas setting up tents for the Everest climbing season.


Regarding your questions.

1) Leave your tent at home. If lodges are full you can always sleep somewhere on the floor.

2) You get your water from the teahouses. It does need purification. I carried a Steripen Classic (UV) for this. I have never carried more than 2 litres of water during my hike, but of course it was still winter so you may need more if you hike in October.

3) It is very easy to do it independently and solo. It's an inhabited area, not a wilderness trek and there are plenty of people around. Just follow the crowds. When is doubt, you just ask the way (I did this a few times on the Jiri - Lukla part). Only exception is when you go beyond the route that you posted, across Lhenjo La, Tsho La passes etc, where I didn't see many people when I crossed (early spring). If you only hike Lukla - EBC, that is basically an broad, crowded trail. You cannot get lost really.

Food is nice in the lodges. Nowhere did I have to pay more than US$1 for accommodation (private room!). On the Jiri-Lukla part I was often the only foreigner in town, but Lukla-EBC was very crowded even in March. Always got a private room though. They make the money from the food, but even that was cheap (but way more expensive than KTM). Prices go up the closer you are to EBC, but the most I ever paid was US$6 for Dal bhat (big filling meal). On the Jiri to Lukla stretch it was more like half that price. Of course that was in 2014, so it could be different now.

I have an extensive walk report of this in the link in my signature.