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How Difficult is the Everest Base Camp Trek?
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19th Nov, 2023 by: EBC Trek

How Difficult is the Everest Base Camp Trek?

Before the trip confirmation, everyone should know how difficult is the Everest Base Camp trek? The Everest base camp trekking difficulty level is strenuous one. So trekking to Everest Base Camp needs safety and prevention but not so difficult.

Everest Base Camp Trekking

Mount Everest (8848m) is the world’s highest peak. It is famous for mountain expedition for adventure seekers and base camp trekking for mountain lovers to see the Himalayan range. This mountain is located on the border of Nepal and China. However, the entire part of the mountain lies in Nepal. So, Everest Base Camp trekking from Nepal side is most popular in the world.

The world famous trekking route to the base camp of Mount Everest is not easy by walking for everyone. The altitude raises up to 5555 meters from the sea level is not digestible for all. For the successful completion of Everest Base Camp trekking, some preparation is necessary.

The first thing to make clear is that the Everest Base Camp trek requires no technical climbing and is essentially a long hike. We therefore strongly believe that anyone with determination and a basic fitness level can trek the route – and all of our successful clients attest to this! We have seen overweight, underweight, old and young do this trek and all of them enjoyed it thoroughly.

Everest Base Camp Trekking Difficulty

On the basis of length, altitude and physical fitness level, you can determine how difficult is the Everest base Camp trek for you? The trekking season (time) also makes the trekking difficult or easy. However the major factors for difficulty for trekking is describe here.

EBC Trekking Length

The walking trail to Everest Base Camp from Lukla is about 65 km. which is not so long route but trekking in the altitude area following the slope route is difficult. The trekking route with return back is about 130 km is easy to complete within 9/10 days of walking. If you walk average 15 km per day, this route can be easily complete.

Although 130km does not sound very long but walking along the terrain can often be steep, rocky, slow going and, depending on the season, icy and snowy. It is important to remember that this is a wilderness trek and at no point is the path paved. As with most paths in the Himalayas, the trek is very up and down and you will need to make sure you stop and rest often to prevent over-tiredness.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude is the most difficult side of the trek and what makes the relatively short length of the trek appear quite far. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a serious situation that should not be underestimated or taken lightly by anyone, especially when trekking a route of this altitude.

Starting just below 3,000 meters at Lukla, the trek steadily winds its way upwards to Everest Base Camp at 5,364 meters. At 3,000 meters, Lukla is already very high and you will need to take the trek slowly if you are to reach Base Camp safely. The highest point of the trek is at Kala Pathar on the return section – a beautiful view point at 5,554 meters.

So the difficult part of the trekking is altitude, be aware of altitude sickness. If you walk by enough acclimation, Everest Base Camp trek is not so difficult to achieve.

Physical Fitness

If you are walk half an hour a day about 3-5 kilometers. You will find the Everest Base Camp trek not so difficult. Basic preparation of walking in the hills makes you fit for trekking in the altitude.

It is  recommend everyone planning for the Everest Base Camp trek to make a training plan that encompasses several long walks a week (preferably carrying a heavy load), strength training at the gym (particularly your legs) and some form of aerobic exercise like jogging or swimming to build up your long distance fitness.

If you are well prepare for the long trekking in best season and you are physically fit for long days walking. You will have no difficulty on the Everest Base Camp trek.

Tackling the Everest Base Camp Trek: A Challenge Worth Conquering

The name alone, Everest Base Camp Trek, may send shivers down your spine, but fear not – it's not as daunting as it may sound. In fact, it's a trek that most adventurers can undertake with the right preparation and determination.

While only a select few brave souls dare to summit Mount Everest each year, a staggering 30,000 individuals embark on the journey through the breathtaking Khumbu Valley to reach Everest Base Camp. People of all ages, fitness levels, and backgrounds have successfully completed this trek, proving that almost anyone can fulfill this bucket-list dream.

The beauty of the Everest Base Camp Trek lies in its accessibility. Unlike mountaineering expeditions, this trek doesn't demand technical expertise or advanced mountaineering skills. It's essentially a challenging hike at high altitudes, making it accessible to those with a reasonable level of fitness.

One of the primary factors that can be off-putting for some is the duration of the trek, which typically takes around 12 days to complete (or 14 days if you include a pre and post-night stay in Kathmandu). The reason for this extended timeline is the need for a gradual ascent and acclimatization to the high altitudes. Rushing through the trek in fewer days can increase its difficulty substantially.

Now, let's delve into the Everest Base Camp Trek's difficulties in more detail:

1. Length: Covering a total distance of approximately 130 kilometers (round trip), the trek may seem extensive. However, on a guided trek, you'll only be walking for about 9 out of the 12 days, which translates to an average of 15 kilometers per day. Considering that the typical walking pace is around 5 kilometers per hour, this figure doesn't appear overly strenuous.

But, here's the catch – the terrain is far from easy. The path is often rocky and, depending on the season and altitude, can even be covered in snow. Additionally, you'll be ascending as you trek, which adds an extra layer of challenge. Fortunately, most tour operators provide porters or mules to carry your bags, allowing you to focus solely on conquering the trail.

2. Altitude: The Everest Base Camp Trek's most significant challenge is undoubtedly the altitude. As you embark on this adventure, you'll experience altitudes that put you at risk of Acute Mountain Sickness and other altitude-related illnesses. The trek begins with a hair-raising flight to Lukla, situated just below 3,000 meters. From there, it gradually ascends to Everest Base Camp at around 5,400 meters. At its highest point, Kala Pathar, you'll stand at just over 5,500 meters, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the entire region.

Thankfully, most guided tours incorporate two days of acclimatization into the itinerary. These breaks allow your body to adapt to the higher altitudes and offer opportunities to explore the surroundings without trekking.

Before embarking on this adventure, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of altitude sickness and proper acclimatization techniques. Consulting your doctor is advisable, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

3. Training: While you don't need to hire a personal trainer or quit your day job to prepare for the Everest Base Camp Trek, some physical conditioning will undoubtedly enhance your experience. Consider spending time in the gym, focusing on leg strength through exercises like squats, as your quadriceps will be put to work during the trek.

Additionally, engage in aerobic exercises such as jogging, sprinting, and swimming to improve your endurance and oxygen circulation, crucial at higher altitudes. It's advisable to undertake a few 4-6 hour treks at home to prepare your body for the duration of the trek.

In conclusion, the Everest Base Camp Trek is challenging but achievable with adequate preparation and determination. It doesn't require mountaineering expertise, and individuals of various fitness levels can conquer it. So, put in a bit of training and embark on the adventure of a lifetime, ticking this remarkable trek off your bucket list!