The word Everest has such undeniable gravitas. It’s a place that has such an aura about it, and will sound impressive to almost anyone you mention it to. But what about Everest Base Camp? While we all know that climbing Mount Everest is a monumental challenge, how hard is it to trek to Everest Base Camp, the place where the summit begins?
If you’re contemplating the expedition but worried about how fit you’ll need to be, worry not. Here’s everything you need to know…
How hard is it to trek to Everest Base Camp?
We give every one of our expeditions a level. The trek to Everest Base Camp is a level 4. That means you can expect…
An average of 5 to 7 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 5,500 metres. Some days may be up to 12 hours long but that is not typical. Typical elevation gain per day would be 400 – 800 metres, with some days as much as 1000 metres. As a rough guide, you should be comfortable hillwalking for 6 to 7 hours per day for two days in a row.
What is the route like?
Our route takes you on the beautiful and historic trek through the Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp sitting at the foot of Mt Everest. We want to really take the time to appreciate all of the incredible sights that we pass along the way, so we take it at a leisurely pace. Slow and steady wins the race!
While the expedition in total is 18 days long, our trek to Everest Base Camp takes 8 days, allowing for 2 rest and acclimatisation days. In total, including the descent, we spend 13 days trekking (including those rest days). This pace is a really important part of our expedition. It means that we acclimatise gradually, which greatly increases the chances of reaching our goal comfortably and safely.
How fit do I need to be to trek to Everest Base Camp?
All of our expeditions require a good level of fitness, which is very achievable if you train in the months leading up to the trek. We’ll advise you as to the best way to do this, and you can read up a little more about training advice for Kilimanjaro, a level 5 trek, here.
Make no mistake – for many people, this will be the toughest trek of their lives. Although this is not a technical climb, it is very steep in places and you will be gaining height very quickly. So it’s vital to train properly beforehand, to increase your chances of getting there successfully.
Don’t forget, we are the only company in the world who send an international guide and doctor on all Everest Base Camp (5,364m) expeditions while keeping group sizes sustainably small.