Epic Everest Base Camp Trek

Trip Code: HNYE

Why we love it

It’s not (just) about the mountains. Hike past everything from alpine lakes and glacial plains to frothy rivers and valleys covered in pink blossoms, depending on the season., A Base Camp trek is the bonding experience of a lifetime and this trip gives you the chance to do it with like-minded travellers of a similar age., Get your first glimpse of the mighty Himalayan range on the included flight from Kathmandu to Lukla – the famous airport in the sky., Hike with an experienced and passionate English-speaking local leader as well as a team of guides and porters who will introduce you to incredible Sherpa culture., We partner with local mountaineering and porter welfare programs, so you can trek easier knowing that while our porters are taking care of you, there’s someone looking out for them., Read our comprehensive guide on trekking in the Everest region here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/theme/walking/everest-base-camp-trek

Is this trip right for me?

The weather can be unpredictable in the Himalayas and every year a significant number of trips have flights to or from Lukla delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions. See day 1 of the itinerary for the alternative plans should this happen on your trip.

Hiking the Himalayas is no walk in the park. But seriously, this trip includes 12 days of trekking for up to eight hours per day, reaching altitudes of over 5500 metres. Depending on the time of year, the weather can be harsh. Ask anyone who has done it and they will say the rewards are worth it, but we can’t stress enough that you must be in excellent health to participate. Think you’re up for it? Find our step-by-step training guide here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/trekking-training-guide-tips/.

The trekking lodges, known as teahouses, that we stay in on the trek are very simple with only basic facilities. Access to electricity points for charging devices will cost extra. Wi-Fi is available at some locations, but connections may be poor.

The scenery and conditions vary between seasons. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to trek in and consult this packing guide https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/packing-guide-for-trekking-in-nepal/.

The Everest Base Camp trek is a very popular route and you will encounter many other trekkers and groups on the trail and at the teahouses. If you are after a trek that sees less travellers and spends more time trekking through communities rather than on a more established route, see our Tamang Heritage & Langtang Valley Trek (HNXV).

This trip includes one or more overnight stays over 3500 metres (11500 ft) where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. While the vast majority will only feel discomfort, it is not uncommon for a small number of people to need extra care which will be provided by our leaders and local staff. All our trips that spend time at high altitude follow our standard altitude safety measures. A number of medical conditions and medications can also reduce your body's ability to acclimatise, and thus will affect your performance at altitude and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing condition (e.g. heart problems), or unsure of your physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. You may also wish to discuss medication such as Diamox that may help aid acclimatisation. Read more about AMS here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/altitude-sickness

Important information

1. This trip starts in Kathmandu with an important welcome meeting on day 1 at 4 pm. This allows you extra time to purchase/hire required gear in Kathmandu.
2. Due to the demands of travelling at high altitudes (up to 5545 metres/18192 feet). A Passenger Self Assessment Form is required for this trip.
3. A sleeping bag is required for this trip. Please bring your own or hire one in Kathmandu.
4. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement will only be included on Days 1,14 (Hotel) and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
5. Please bring TWO passport sized photos to your joining meeting for your trekking permits.
6. In case of weather conditions leading to cancellations or delays in flights, this trip will operate on an alternate itinerary. Please see day 1 of the itinerary for more details.
7. You must bring an emergency fund of USD 500 in cash with you on this trip, which you may need to use in case of delayed or cancelled flights.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.

Intrepid provide an individual duffel bag to carry your trekking gear. The weight limit per person is 10kg each. Porters carry two bags each as well as a their own backpack. Porters weight limit is 25kg each.

Please keep the weight and bulk of your trek bag to a minimum by bringing clothes made from lightweight material. Don't pack too much clothing; one or two changes will be all you need. However, as the weather conditions in the Himalayas are often unpredictable, be prepared for all eventualities, be it rain, unseasonable cold or heat. For the trek all of your gear should be packed into plastic bags to protect it from the weather - dry clothes are essential for your comfort.

Your trek leader will assist you in packing your kitbag and can advise what to bring and what can be left behind in Kathmandu.

Day pack - Your day pack must have the capacity for the items you will be carrying on a day's walk: rain jacket, spare trousers, warm clothing, water bottles, camera equipment, washing items and other personal effects. A hip/waist strap provides additional comfort. You should consider day packs of at least a 30 to 40 litre capacity. You only need to carry your day pack when trekking each day. 

SLEEPING BAG & INNER SHEET
A good quality, warm sleeping bag is essential while trekking as only blankets are provided at tea houses. Please note that sleeping bags, are readily available to buy or hire in both Kathmandu at very reasonable rates. Your group leader can assist you in hiring gear after your joining meeting. If you plan to hire a sleeping bag we recommend that you bring an inner sleep sheet, which adds another layer of warmth. In winter a thermal inner sleep sheet is warmer. If you bring your own sleeping bag, please think about the time of year of your trek. We recommend a four season bag with a rating to around -10c. In Winter (Dec-Feb) a five seasons bag is recommended.

WATER BOTTLES
It is essential to bring 2 x 1lt water bottles to refill along the way. 
While trekking, boiled or safe drinking water is available to purchase in tea houses.
However, you should also carry a water purification method. Options include:
- purification tablets available from camping stores or pharmacies eg. Micropur.
- 2% tincture of iodine, available from pharmacies, used at 4 drops per litre of water and left for at least 20 minutes - longer in very cold weather.

ESSENTIAL TREKKING EQUIPMENT
Trekking boots (broken in)
Gaiters + spikes (for winter departures Dec-Feb only - can be hired in Kathmandu if required)
Waterproof 3/4 season jacket and trousers (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu if required)
Camp footwear (ie sneakers, thongs or booties)
Several pairs of high quality hiking socks
T-Shirts - highly recommended are synthetic t-shirt styles that wick away moisture
Thermal underwear/layers
Down jacket (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu if required)
Warm mid layers (fleece/micro fibre)
Trousers - lightweight, loose fitting, trekking trousers (can be purchased in Kathmandu)
Shorts or skirt for summer
Tracksuit or fleece pants for even
Sleeveless fleece and extra layers for winter departures (Dec-Feb)
Warm hat & sun hat 
Scarf/neck warmer
Gloves and mitts - waterproof and warm.
Sunglasses with UV protection
Head torch (w spare batteries)
Sunscreen and lip balm
Light weight towel or sarong
Personal first aid kit
Biodegradable wet wipes/toilet paper
Hand sanitizer gel
Trail mix/nuts/muesli bars (bring zip lock bags from home)

OPTIONAL GEAR
Pocket knife
Insect repellent
Ear plugs
Walking poles
Extra zip lock bags
Hot water bottle (winter months)

CASH:
Before departing on your trek, make sure you have enough Nepalese currency to purchase meals and drinks during the trek - in the smaller denominations where possible, there are no ATM's and it can be harder to change a NPR1000 note.

OTHER GUIDES & FURTHER TRAVEL:
For other guides to packing for treks: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/packing-guide-for-trekking-in-nepal/
If you are spending further time in the region, please see some ideas for regular travelling gear to pack.
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, For further advice on what to pack, see our Everest Base Camp packing guide here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/everest-base-camp-packing-guide/

Physical rating

5

TREKKING AT HIGH ALTITUDES (over 3500m)
This trip includes strenuous trekking at altitudes of over 3500m. We take this activity very seriously, which is why we have one of the best safety records for tour operators in this region in our over 30 years of operating treks in the region. You will need to be in great health and have excellent fitness to attempt this trip, as well as be committed to train to ensure you are suitably physically prepared for the challenge. Please have a read of this training manual to help you prepare for your trek. http://www.intrepidtravel.be/sites/intrepid/files/teal/Intrepid_Trekking-Training-Manual.pdf
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/altitude-sickness

Joining your group

Mandala Boutique Hotel, Chhetrapati, Dhobichour, Kathmandu, Nepal., Kathmandu, NEPAL

Joining instructions

Finishing your trip

Mandala Boutique Hotel, Chhetrapati, Dhobichour, Kathmandu, Nepal., Kathmandu, NEPAL

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 

FOOD IN NEPAL:
We do not include meals while trekking, allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. We know from experience that the altitude and physical exercise can mean trekker's appetites differ quite widely. The menus in the teahouses are varied, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Vegetarians are well catered for in Nepal. How much you need to spend per day will vary, but it could be anything up to US$60 per day for meals, snacks and drinks. Prices tend to get higher the higher you go on trek in response to the difficulty of getting supplies to the teahouses.

In Kathmandu and Pokhara there are plenty of restaurants and cafes for all tastes and budgets. For a glimpse at what traditional Nepali cuisine entails, check out our guide here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/guide-to-nepali-cuisine/

ALCOHOL & CAFFEINE:
Alcohol and trekking don't mix. We highly recommend that you limit your alcohol consumption in Kathmandu prior to your trip. Celebrate your achievements after your trek. Both alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration. Limit your intake of both when hiking at high altitudes.

Climate & seasonal information

ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY DUE TO FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS:
Weather conditions in the Himalayas can change rapidly, which frequently results in the need for changes to be made to our intended itineraries. Flights throughout Nepal, particularly in high mountain areas, can be delayed or cancelled due to poor weather conditions. Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are particularly prone to these delays which has the potential to vary the itinerary of all departures in the Everest region. Our contingency plans in case of bad weather preventing the fixed wing aircraft flight from Kathmandu to Lukla are as follows:

Day 2 - We will attempt to board our booked fixed wing flight as per the itinerary. If this flight is cancelled we will return to our hotel in Kathmandu for an additional night.

Day 3 - We will again attempt to board our booked fixed wing flight. If this flight is cancelled but helicopters are available and permitted to fly to Lukla we will use our best endeavours to charter a helicopter to transport the group. Travellers will need to use their emergency fund to cover the cost of this chartered helicopter. The exact cost will depend on how many travellers are in your group and could be up to US$500. If we reach Lukla on Day 3 by either fixed wing aircraft or helicopter we will then follow the same itinerary to Everest Base Camp, but descend over one less day in order to take our return flight from Lukla on Day 14.

Day 4 - If no flights (either plane or helicopter) are possible on the morning of Day 3, then on Day 4 we will travel by road to Phaplu (approximately 9 hours drive by private vehicle) and then trek to Tengboche on the Everest Base Camp route, via Lukla. While we will not be able to reach Base Camp itself on this altered itinerary our travellers have still found it a highly enjoyable trek with superb views of the Everest ranges including Everest itself.

We also advise allowing a few extra days in Kathmandu at the end of your trip should your return flights from Lukla be delayed due to weather conditions.

SEASONAL INFORMATION:
Nepal's climate varies greatly depending on the season:

JUN - SEP: the monsoon rains (mostly at night) bring landslides in regional areas. Cloud cover often obscures mountain views with rain, mud, and leeches deterring most trekkers at this time of year. Treks running in September can be hot and very humid at lower altitudes. See what it's like to trek during monsoon here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/nepal-during-monsoon-season/
MAR-APR: Spring brings warm weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. A popular time to visit and one of the peak times to trek.
OCT - NOV: Clear skies and warm days make autumn the peak season.
DEC - FEB: Winter brings cold temperatures and snow to the mountains. Good trekking, but remember to rug up.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our office responsible for trips in this region, which is located in Kathmandu:

Intrepid’s Local Operator: +977 980 112 3617

Accommodations

TEAHOUSES:
Accommodation at local lodges - better known as teahouses - are simple but comfortable. Toilets and washing facilities are shared and rudimentary, and the food is plain and filling. In a teahouse, travellers are provided with small twin share rooms with twin beds, mattresses and pillows. At times, in high seasons, and in places where there are limited number of teahouses, travellers may have to make do with dormitories. In some places, teahouses don't have access to electricity, depending on solar powered lighting instead. In more remote regions, teahouses don't have running water and toilets can mean just a hole in the ground. Hot shower facilities are available in some teahouses for a price but occasionally a hot shower means a bucket of hot water, enough to wash your body. Electricity to charge devices as well as WiFi is usually for an additional fee when available.

Transportation

LUKLA FLIGHTS
Flights going to and from Lukla may be operated out of Ramechhap Airport, in an effort to alleviate congestion at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal. Lukla is the gateway port to the Everest region and flights throughout Nepal – particularly in high mountain areas – are often delayed or cancelled due to poor weather conditions. In order to maximise our chances of boarding a flight to Lukla, any departures affected will need to wake up quite early on Day 2 to drive the 130 kilometres (approximately 5-hours) from Kathmandu to Ramechhap Airport. A private vehicle transfers will be provided at no additional cost. In addition, flights back from Lukla may also land at Ramechhap Airport, therefore sufficient time is needed for land transport back to Kathmandu. Travellers have on occasion missed international connections as a result of this. Ensure you have adequate travel insurance and contact numbers for your airlines before departure.

LUGGAGE LIMITS:
Domestic flights in Nepal have strict weight limits - 10kg of check-in luggage and 5kg of carry-on hand luggage per person is included with your flight ticket. Excess baggage (up to 5kg per person only) will be charged at your own expense.

TRAVEL BETWEEN KATHMANDU & POKHARA:
On itineraries that include road travel between these destinations, past travellers have often decided to fly this route independently to avoid the long overland journey (200km, approx 6+ hours). The flight takes around 35mins. Should you decide to fly, this will be at your own expense with no refunds for road travel available.

ROAD TRAVEL:
Roadworks and infrastructure projects can cause significant delays on major roads within cities and highways between destinations. Road travel can also be disrupted due to demonstrations and bandhs (strikes) without warning. Major roadworks are currently ongoing in and around Kathmandu and the roads to Chitwan National Park. Delays, heavy traffic, poor road conditions and dust are a reality of road travel in Nepal.

MONSOON:
The monsoon season is from June to September and weather conditions can disrupt travel during this time due to flooding and landslides. Disruption of air travel and airport closures are also possible. Be prepared that the itinerary may need to change at short notice.


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