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17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek

Our 17-day Everest Base Camp trek has a fantastic mixture of high-altitude trekking and cultural exploration of the renowned Sherpa people.  This trip also includes extra time in Kathmandu for sightseeing and a spare day at the end in case of bad weather or flight delays.  It will definitely exceed your expectations in every way.  With carefully attention to detail, the planned itinerary follows centuries old trails leading through the villages of Namche, Khumjung and the spectacular monastery at Tengboche.  Ascending Kala Patthar, at 5643m, puts you at the centre of a spectacular 360-degree panorama of Everest and her siblings.  The return route follows quieter trails and passes through villages that are seldom visited allowing you a further insight into local culture and presenting the opportunity to catch glimpses of rare Himalayan wildlife.

You will need 19 Days UK to UK for this trip.

Price: £1295 per person.

What You Need To Know

Difficulty Rating

The Mountain.

  • Mount Everest, at 8848m is the highest mountain in the world, as such it holds a great deal of historical and spiritual significance for locals and foreigners alike.  Ever since the first successful ascent of Mount Everest, known locally as Chomolungma (Goddess Mother of the World), was made by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay the mountain has attracted immense interest from scientist, geographers, mountaineers and, more recently from trekkers.  To climb to the top of Everest takes commitment, fitness and courage combined with a good weather window however, you don’t need to climb it to see it and marvel in its magnificence.

The Route.

  • Trekking to Everest Base Camp takes you on a well-worn trail that slowly winds its way up through historic villages such as Namche Bazar and Khumjung and the spectacular monastery at Tengboche bringing you right into the heart of the Everest region and finally into Base Camp.  Standing in Base Camp, looking up at the Khumbu Ice Fall you suddenly realise how insignificant we are compared to the wonder of nature and our mighty mountains.  Leaving Base Camp behind and making an ascent of Kala Patthar (Black Rock) provides you with an unrivalled 360 degree view of the mountains.

Monkey Mountaineering's Approach.

  • Maximise Chances of Success.  At Monkey Mountaineering we recognise the difficulties involved in completing the Everest Base Camp trek, that's why we do everything we can to help you achieve your goal.  To improve your chances of success our groups on the Everest Base Camp trek are never more than 8 people.  We use local guides who are professional, fully qualified, experienced and have in-depth knowledge of the route and surrounding area.  They will immerse you in the local culture and, being extremely client focused, will manage the whole trip to maximise your chances of success.
  • Minimise Environmental Impact.  In keeping with our core values of sustainable adventure travel we take steps to ensure our impact on the environment is kept to a minimum.  We always respect the environment we operate in and we plan all trips with this in mind.  Our group sizes are never more than 8.  Our guides encourage responsible behaviour whilst on the trail and we encourage you to manage litter and ensure nothing is left behind except of course, footprints!

This is a 19-day itinerary but due to the fragile nature of domestic air services in Nepal which are impacted by the weather as well as other problems related to developing countries, we strongly advise travellers to add an extra couple of days at the end to allow for delays.  Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this further by email: info@monkeymountaineering.com or phone: 01765 773015

Day 1:  Depart UK.  Board your international flight from the UK (International Flights are not included in the price).

Day 2:  Arrive in Kathmandu.  Once you have collected you luggage and made your way out of the airport terminal building you will be met by one of our local representatives and transferred to your hotel in the busy Kathmandu district of Thamel.

Day 3:  Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour.  After breakfast you will be collected for your sightseeing tour.  Highlights include:

  • Durbar Square – This ancient location has been the home to Kings throughout different dynasties and is also the home to some of the finest Hindu and Buddhist architecture in the region.
  • Swayambhunath – Set on a hilltop to the west of Kathmandu, Swayambhunath is one of the oldest religious sites in Nepal.  The site itself is a collection of small stupas and a pagoda temple built over different periods by a succession of kings and noblemen.  The main structure of is made of a solid hemisphere of brick and clay supporting a conical spire of copper gilt.  Painted on the four sides on the base of the spire are the “All Seeing Eyes” of Lord Buddha.  Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple.
  • Bouddhanth - This colossal and ancient Stupa is one of Nepal’s most unique monuments and is said to be the world biggest Stupa.  Baudhanath Stupa is said to hold the remains of Kasyapa - the Buddha of the previous time.  One hundred meters in diameter this Stupa is 36 meters high.  Its pinnacle represents the stages of enlightenment, symbol of royalty, compassion, knowing and nirvana.
  • Pashupatinath – With its two-tiered golden roof and silver doors this temple is famous for its superb Newari architecture.  Situated near the banks of sacred Bagmati River only Hindus are permitted to enter, however visitors can clearly see the temple from the eastern bank of the river.

After the sightseeing tour you can relax before we take you to a traditional restaurant for a welcome dinner and live Nepali cultural show.

Day 4:  Fly to Lukla (2840m) and trek to Phakding (2610m).  After breakfast in your hotel you will be transferred to Kathmandu’s Domestic Air Terminal for a morning flight to Lukla[1].  On arrival you will meet your Sirdar and the rest of the crew.  We will take lunch in Lukla whilst your baggage is being sorted into loads before trekking above the Dudh Kosi to our overnight accommodation in the village of Phakding (2610m).  Flight Time: approx. 35 mins.  Trekking Time: approx. 3 hrs

Day 5:  Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440m).  Leaving Phakding we follow the banks of the Duhd Koshi through pine forests and across suspension bridges to the village of Monjo and the entrance to the Sagarmartha National Park.  After the formalities of park entry, we continue our journey to the junction of the Duhd Koshi and Bhote Koshi before the final ascent, which provides you with your first brief glimpse of Mount Everest, up to Namche Bazaar (3440m), the gateway to Everest and a bustling ancient trading centre.  Overnight accommodation in Namche Bazaar.  Trekking Time: approx. 6 hrs.

Day 6:  Acclimatisation day around Namche Bazaar.  To help with your acclimatisation today will be spent on a gentle walk to the Everest View Hotel, Khumjung (3780m) and Khunde (3840m).  Lunch will be taken on the trail and we will return to Namche Bazaar for dinner and overnight stay.  There will also be an opportunity to visit the Sherpa museum.

Day 7:  Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3860m).  As trekking days in Nepal go, this is up there with the best of them!  Spectacular views and beautiful rhododendron forests are the order of the day as the trail cuts its way around huge hills.  We’ll take a lunch break at Phunki after crossing the Imja Kohla before climbing steeply up to the meadows that are home to the impressive Buddhist Monastery at Tengboche.  There is an opportunity to visit the Monastery before we take the short journey down-hill to finish our day in Deboche.  Trekking Time: approx. 5 hrs

Day 8:  Tengboche to Dingboche (4410m).  A day of steady ascent with stunning views of Everest, Lhotse, Kantega, Thamserku, Ama Dablam and Nuptse.  That said, we start with a short descent to cross the Imja Khola which we then follow on a steadily rising trail first to Pangboche at 4000m, where we will break for lunch, and then on to Dingboche (4410m).  Dingboche sits to the edge of a large flat area containing a mosaic of small fields for growing barley, buckwheat and potatoes, all protected by stone walls.  Trekking Time: approx. 6 hrs.

Day 9:  Acclimatisation day around Dingboche.  This is our second acclimatisation day and it is important that we rest and allow our bodies to get used to the altitude.  That said, it is also of enormous benefit if we take a gentle walk and gain some additional altitude – climb high sleep low as the saying goes!  To achieve this, we will take a steady walk up the ridge to the north of Dingboche towards the summit of Nangkar Tshang, stopping at a viewpoint at just over 5000m.  Descending back to Dingboche the remainder of the day is free for you to explore the village.

Day 10:  Dingboche to Lobuche (4910m).  Getting close now.  After breakfast we start with a short climb up the hill to the north of Dingboche before reaching a fairly level plateau that takes us all the way to Dughla with views of the Chola Lake and Pumori. After lunch we climb up to the Thokla Pass, an eerie place full of monuments to those who have perished whilst attempting Everest.  After some moments of contemplation, we continue along the trail to Lobuche (4910m) and a well-earned rest.  Trekking Time: approx. 6 hrs

Day 11:  Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5144m).  The actual distance covered today isn’t that far.  The trail takes us from Lobuche on a gentle climb up to the Lobuche Pass (5110m) before dropping down to cross the terminal moraine at the end of the Changri Nup and Changri Shar glaciers and then gently climbing up to Gorak Shep.  Trekking Time: approx. 4 hrs.

Day 12:  Morning ascent of Kala Patthar (5644m) followed by a visit to Everest Base Camp before returning to Lobuche (4920m).  With a very early start we will head out to climb Kala Patthar.  This is a tough climb in the cold and dark but more than worth the effort to witness the splendour of sunrise over the highest mountains in the world.  Surrounded by giant mountains of Pumori (7,145m), Lingtren (6,697m) and Khumbutse (6,623m) separating us from Tibet and just over the Lho La pass, the huge rock of Changtse (7,750m) in Tibet itself.  But Sagarmatha, or Mt. Everest the queen of them all towers over everyone.  This is the roof of the world.  After a short time to take in the splendour of the views we retrace our footsteps down and head towards Everest Base Camp before picking up the trail back to Lobuche for our overnight stay.

Day 13:  Lobuche to Upper Pangboche (4000m).  Avoiding the crowds and making best use of little used trails, today we will make our way to Upper Pangboche.  As we descend you will start to feel the benefit of increased oxygen in the air.  The route, dominated initially by Taboche (a 6367m peak that is directly in front of you for the first part of the descent), takes us back down through Dughla and then on quieter trails passing through Pheriche, crossing the river and winding our way across the hillside on a little used trail to Upper Pangboche.  Trekking Time: approx. 6-7 hrs

Day 14:  Upper Pangboche to Namche Bazaar (3440m).  On-route today you will catch glimpses of the busy trail you followed on the way up including the village of Deboche as well as spectacular views of Ama Dablam, Kantega, Thamserku and the Monastery at Tengboche.  You might also be fortunate enough to see Himalayan Tahr or the mighty Lammegeier with its 3m wingspan and other wildlife before re-joining the busy trail and descending into Namche Bazaar.  Trekking Time: approx. 6 hrs.

Day 15:  Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2840m).  Our final day of trekking.  We retrace our steps back down the trail to Lukla stopping at Phakding for lunch and taking in completely different views and getting a different perspective than that gained on our way up.  We overnight in Lukla.  Trekking Time: approx. 6 hrs

Day 16:  Return flight from Lukla to Kathmandu.  After breakfast we make our way around to the airfield terminal building and catch our flight back to Kathmandu.  On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for your final night with us.

Day 17:  Contingency.  This is a spare day that we will use during the trek if required to cater for bad weather etc. or if not used during the trek it will be a free day in Kathmandu.

Day 18:  Departure.  A private transfer will take you to the international airport in time for your flight home.

Day 19:  Arive Back in the UK.

 


[1] Flights to and from Lukla are very dependent on weather and often delayed or cancelled.  We ask for your patience through what may appear to be a chaotic system when compared to airports in developed nations.  There is a system and we have a contingency which involves flying from a different airfield if it looks like our flight will be cancelled.  Your Guide will endeavour to keep you informed.

17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
23 October 2021 - 10 November 2021
Deposit: £325.00 Total Price: £1295.00
Places Available: 8 Number of Travellers:
17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
05 March 2022 - 23 March 2022
Deposit: £325.00 Total Price: £1295.00
Places Available: 8 Number of Travellers:
17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
15 April 2022 - 03 May 2022
Deposit: £325.00 Total Price: £1295.00
Places Available: 8 Number of Travellers:
17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
24 September 2022 - 12 October 2022
Deposit: £325.00 Total Price: £1295.00
Places Available: 8 Number of Travellers:
17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
17 Day Everest Base Camp Trek
15 October 2022 - 02 November 2022
Deposit: £325.00 Total Price: £1295.00
Places Available: 6 Number of Travellers:

Included in the price of this trip:

  • Private arrival and departure transfers to and from the airport in Kathmandu.
  • Pre Trek (2 nights) and Post Trek (2 nights) accommodation in the bustling district of Thamel, Kathmandu in the Thamel Eco Resort (http://www.thamelecoresort.com/) in shared rooms (twin) on Bed & Breakfast basis (single rooms available for a supplement).
  • Traditional Nepalese welcome dinner.
  • Kathmandu sightseeing tour (including Guide, private transport and all entrance fees).
  • Transfer to/from domestic air terminal.
  • Internal return flight to Lukla.
  • Sagamartha National Park and all other entry fees and all permits.
  • Tea House accommodation whilst on the trek in shared rooms.
  • All meals plus tea/coffee whilst trekking (see frequently asked questions for more details).
  • 3lts of boiled water for drinking per day.
  • Professional guiding and support team.
  • Portage of 15kg per client.
  • All wages, clothing and insurances for Guide/s and porters.
  • Access to satellite phone (all calls must be paid for).
  • High quality Monkey Mountaineering branded duffel bag for use on trek (you will receive this on arrival in Kathmandu).

The following are not Included:

  • International Flights from/to UK.
  • Personal clothing and equipment (see our clothing and equipment section for guidance about what to bring).
  • Additional accommodation in Kathmandu at the start or end of your trek.
  • Meals whilst staying in Kathmandu (hotel is Bed & Breakfast basis).
  • Drinks whilst in Kathmandu or trekking (water, soft drinks, tea/coffee, alcoholic beverages etc – see frequently asked questions).  Expenses of a personal nature such as telephone calls, laundry etc.
  • Tips for Guides, Drivers and Porters.
  • Personal travel insurance (to cover you for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects etc.)  You must ensure you have adequate cover for emergency medical treatment and rescue costs (including helicopter rescue costs) whilst trekking up to 5600m.
  • Lunch, dinner and drinks etc. whilst in Kathmandu (hotel accommodation is B&B).
  • Additional expenses incurred should there be a need to amend your itinerary or curtail your trek early for whatever reason and transfer you back to Kathmandu or a medical facility or hotel (it is essential that you have personal travel insurance that includes cover for trekking to Everest Base Camp).

Trekking to Everest Base Camp is a great experience but you need to be prepared for the weather and environmental conditions that you may experience whilst out on the trail.  The weather in Spring and Autumn in the Khumbu can be warm and dry with clear skies but as with most parts of the world there can be periods of rain and even snow as you get higher along with strong winds.  It is often possible to walk the trail in shorts and tee-shirt, but it is prudent to be prepared for all eventualities.

With this in mind it is important that we set out wearing the right clothing and carrying the right equipment.  Listed below are all the items of clothing and equipment that you will need to successfully and safely complete the Everest Base Camp trek.  We have annotated some items as essential so please make sure you read this section and if you are unsure about anything, please give us a call or email us at info@monkeymountaineering.com

Essential Clothing (to be worn/carried)

  • Walking boots. A good pair of lightweight GoreTex lined walking boots which provide ankle support and are well broken-in.
  • Sports Sandals/Flip Flops/Crocks.  Or something similar for wearing in the evening.
  • Hiking socks. We recommend a good pair of proper hiking/trekking socks.  A minimum of three pairs but ideally you should have a pair for each day.
  • Shorts.  These are optional but the weather is often good enough for shorts.
  • Lightweight walking trousers. To wear on a daily basis if not wearing shorts and for evening wear.  Jeans or tracksuit bottoms are not suitable.
  • Long-sleeved thermal top.  Take at least 1 of these.  Can be worn during the day if temperatures dictate but most useful for wearing whilst sleeping at higher altitudes.
  • Tee-shirt. For wearing on a daily basis whilst trekking.  Should be a technical fabric – avoid cotton as it is slow to dry.  You will need 2 or 3 of these.
  • Fleece or Soft-Shell Layer.  This can be a fleece jumper or fleece jacket or a soft-shell jacket.
  • Insulated Jacket.  Can be down or synthetic.  Mainly for wearing at higher altitudes, on the ascent of Kala Patthar and in the evenings.
  • Waterproof Jacket.  Ideally this will be made from a waterproof, breathable material such as GoreTex and it will have a hood.
  • Waterproof trousers.  Ideally waterproof and breathable.
  • Sun Hat.
  • Wooly hat.
  • Buff.
  • Gloves.
  • Underwear.  Ideally these will be quick drying and moisture wicking.  Take 3 pairs as a minimum.
  • Sports Bra.  Ladies only, take 2.

Essential Equipment

  • Rucksack.  30l+ needs to be just big enough to carry the things you will need for the day (waterproofs and warm jacket, hat & gloves, water bottle, camera, money etc).
  • Dry Bags.  A selection of rucksack liners and dry bags as required to keep your clothing, sleeping bag and equipment dry and organised.
  • Duffle Bag.  This should be big enough to carry all the clothing and equipment you have with you.  It will be carried by a porter, so a soft duffle type bag is best – suitcases are not suitable.
  • Small Padlock.  To secure your bag and belongings whilst in transit.
  • Sleeping Bag.  This should be a minimum of three seasons and able to keep you warm down to at least zero degrees.
  • Head torch.  You may need this for reading in the evening (bring spare batteries).
  • Sunglasses.
  • Personal First Aid Kit.  This should include sun cream, lip balm, blister plasters (compeed), plasters, painkillers and any prescription medicines, insect repellent etc.
  • Water Bottle and/or Bladder.  Water is plentiful on the trail.  A 1lt Nalgene type bottle should be sufficient or, if you prefer, a bladder type water carrier such as a camelbak which will allow you to drink whilst walking with no need to stop to get out a water bottle.
  • Water Purification System.  Running water found along the trail will need to be treated to ensure it is safe to drink so make sure you pack some sort of purification system such as ‘water purification tablets’, filtration system or UV light purification system (recommended).
  • Toiletries and Travel Towel.  Include wet wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet tissues.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles.  Not essential but extremely useful, especially during descent.
  • Camera.  Make sure you have spare batteries or the means to re-charge whilst on the trek.
  • Mobile Phone.  You may be able to get a signal whilst on the trail.  If you need to make and receive calls or send texts, then it may be worth considering buying a Nepalese SIM card when in Kathmandu.  WiFi is widely available in the Everest region and can be accessed by buying a ‘scratch card’ from most Tea Houses.
  • Long Sleeved Shirt.  For covering up during the day or wearing in the evening.

Other Clothing & Equipment

  • Travel clothing.  Clothing that you will not wear whilst on the trek.  This can be packed in a small bag and left at the hotel in Kathmandu and will be delivered to you on your return.

Paperwork

  • Insurance Documents.  You must have insurance to cover you for emergency medical treatment and helicopter rescue whilst trekking up to 5500m.

 

Where is Nepal?

Nepal is a country in Asia.  It lies along the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountain range.  It is bordered by China to the North and India to the south, east and west.  Nepal has a diverse landscape, including fertile plains and subalpine forested hills.  It has eight of the world’s ten highest mountains, including Mount Everest which stands at 8848m, the highest point on Earth.

Nepal’s capital city is Kathmandu, it is also the largest with around a 1 million multi-ethnic population with Hindu and Buddhist the majority.  It is also known as the city of temples, it has been and remains the main city for arts, culture and history.  Kathmandu holds many cultural and religious festivals, and this is a way of life for the people who reside in this area.

Tourism is a big part of the Nepalese economy and Kathmandu is considered the main gateway for exploring the great Himalayas and world heritage sites which attracts 1.5million visitors a year.

Who are the Sherpa people?

The Sherpa people are an ethnic group who have lived at high altitudes in the Himalayan mountains for generations.  The main language is derived from Tibetan and the Sherpa people practice Nyingmapa which is an Ancient school of Buddhism, allegedly the oldest Buddhist sect in Tibet.  In addition to Buddha the Sherpa believe in deities and demons who they believe inhabit every mountain.  These beliefs are respected and are practices that have been woven into the Buddhist life.  Sherpa’s consider the great Himalayan mountains sacred, and rituals and prayers on the mountains are part of their beliefs.

Many Sherpa people are considered as elite mountaineers because of their experience in high altitude and expert knowledge of the area, because of this they became invaluable to the early explorers of the Himalayas.  Today Sherpas are an integral part of high-altitude climbs on expeditions to the 8000m mountains, especially Mt Everest.

Will I be met on arrival?

Yes – A Monkey Mountaineering representative will meet you at the airport to begin your trip.

What food will I eat on the trek?

Food is crucial on the trek and we use locally sourced fresh produce to provide you with the highest quality meals.  On our Everest Base Camp trek, you will stay in lodges locally known as tea houses.  The food is cooked on big stoves and ovens fuelled mainly by propane gas although a small minority still burn wood or yak dung.  A well balanced and nutritional diet can be a key factor in success and plenty of carbohydrates like pasta, rice and breads are the staples.  The menu gets a little simpler the higher we trek as every ingredient is brought up by porters or Yak.  For our lunchtime meals we normally eat at trailside restaurants.  Coffee and tea are also provided at mealtimes.  Additional snacks and drinks can be purchased from lodges, tea houses and small shops on the trail.

Do you cater for food allergies and dietary requirements?

Allergies and intolerances shouldn’t limit what you can do, so we make sure we cater for everyone.  We ask that you let us know at the time of booking about any dietary requirements so that we can make sure these are taken into account on the trek.  That said it is worth noting that kitchen conditions and facilities on the trail are fairly basic.  Standards of food hygiene are good, but we cannot guarantee against cross contamination of ingredients.  If you have a particularly serious allergy or are extremely sensitive to certain ingredients such as nuts or wheat for instance, then please get in touch with us to discuss options.

I’ve heard that meat should be avoided on the trail is that true?

We would advise that beyond Kathmandu you adopt a vegetarian diet.  Meat such as lamb, beef and chicken is available on the trail but it all has to be flown in to Lukla and then transported along the trail.  Refrigeration is not possible, and many trekkers experience severe travel illness after consuming meat on the trail.  This could put an end to your trip and so we advise against eating meat until you are back in Kathmandu.

How and when will I be provided with water?

During the trek we provide you with 3 litres of water per day.  We use locally sourced water for this which is then boiled.  This is made available to you before you check out of the Teahouse in the morning, at the lunch stop and again in the evening.  If you require additional water then bottled water is available for you to buy at most Teahouses and shops along the trail however, you might want to consider the environment and arrive with the ability to make your own, safe drinking water.  We would recommend you use a 1 litre ‘Nalgene’ type bottle and a steripen to treat locally sourced water making it safe to drink.

Maintaining good hydration is a key factor in the acclimatisation process so we make sure water is always available.  We suggest making sure you have a bladder type drinking container (see our kit list) which will be filled up in the morning at the tea houses.  During the lunchtime break this can be replenished should you be running low.

What accommodation will I stay in?

Throughout this trek we make use of Teahouses.  Teahouses vary in style and quality dependant on their location.  Most of them have a communal room with several bedrooms upstairs or outside in small annexes.  Most have shared toilet facilities; some have showers although there is normally a small fee to pay for their use.  The communal room is generally heated using a wood burning stove, but the bedrooms are mainly unheated.

Electricity is available at most of the teahouses during the early part of the trek however as we gain height this resource becomes increasingly scarce.  We recommend you take some form of battery pack with which to charge your devices and that you keep all electrical items warm at night ideally by keeping them inside your sleeping bag or by wrapping them in a warm jacket.

We suggest you change sufficient cash in Kathmandu to get you through the trek as there are no money changing facilities on the trail or in the Teahouses.  Your local guide or your Monkey Mountaineering leader can advise on this.

Will I have my own room?

As a rule, no.  This is because generally, symptoms of altitude related illnesses start to show during the night.  For this reason, we recommend sharing rooms whilst on the trek.  Clearly, if you are travelling with a friend or partner you will be sharing the same room.  For those joining a group, we always arrange sharing on a same sex basis and try, where possible, to match people of a similar age.  Unfortunately we cannot offer single occupancy rooms even if you paid a supplement, we cannot guarantee availability.

How are problems dealt with on the trek?

We believe that prevention is better than cure and all our trips are planned and structured to reduce the likelihood of problems arising.  That said, things can go wrong.  Our mountain crew are experienced and work hard to prevent problems however, if a problem does arise then our first aid trained Guides will deal with it in the first instance.  If the problem is beyond their abilities, there are a number of medical posts on the trail often with western Doctors stationed there for help, support and advice.  Failing that, and for serious medical emergencies there is a well-established helicopter rescue service available to fly you straight to a medical facility in Kathmandu.  Please make sure you have insurance that covers you for helicopter rescue.

What is AMS and will I get it?

AMS is short for Acute Mountain Sickness, an illness caused by being in an environment where the body needs more time to adjust to the low levels of oxygen.  Symptoms of AMS include headaches, nausea, loss of appetite and poor or disturbed sleep.  Whilst we can’t promise you won’t experience these symptoms, we will carry out checks twice per day (at breakfast and again at evening meal) to make sure we monitor your resting heart rate and blood/oxygen saturation levels, helping us to recognise any symptoms and take action to help reduce the risks.  Whilst AMS might sound scary, it is really easy to avoid.

How can I avoid getting AMS?

The best way to avoid AMS is to follow these five simple steps:

1 – Go slowly.  Trekking up to 5600m should be done at a snail’s pace.  Be first out on the trail in the morning and last into the teahouses in the afternoon, take your time, keep your pulse and breathing rate down, enjoy the views and take plenty of breaks to take photos.  Going slowly means that your body can focus on acclimatising rather than keeping you moving at a fast pace.

2 – Stay hydrated.  Make sure you drink plenty of water whilst on the trail.  Being hydrated helps with the acclimatisation process.  As a guide, you should need the toilet more than normal and your urine should be clear.

3 – Eat.  Trekking to Everest Base Camp requires lots of energy and so does the acclimatisation process.  Eat well at each meal.

4 – Keep Warm.  If you start to get cold your body will need to use extra resources to keep you warm.  This slows down the acclimatisation process so make sure you put that fleece on when you stop and that you take a 4-season sleeping bag to stay warm at night.

5 – Get good rest.  Sleep and rest are extremely important and also part of the acclimatisation process.  Don’t be up chatting all night, get an early night and make sure you are warm and comfortable so that you can get a good night’s sleep.

What are HACE and HAPE?

HACE stands for High Altitude Cerebral Edema which is essentially a swelling of the brain due to excess fluid.

HAPE is High Altitude Pulmonary Edema or fluid in the lungs.

These two conditions are fairly rare and can be prevented by careful management of any symptoms of AMS whilst ascending to Everest base camp.

I’ve heard that Diamox helps prevent AMS – should I take it?

Diamox has been shown to reduce the chances of getting AMS, but it does not replace proper acclimatisation.  We don’t recommend you take or use Diamox whilst trekking to Everest Base Camp and would encourage you to properly acclimatise during your trek.

What happens if I am unable to complete the trek due to ill-health or AMS?

If this happens for any reason don’t worry our Guide will make all the arrangements.  If you need emergency attention you will be accompanied by one of our experienced Sherpas.  You will be responsible though for any additional costs, such as transport, hotels, meals etc. so make sure your insurance covers you for trekking up to 5600m in the Everest region and that it includes emergency evacuation and medical treatment.

Do I need to take Malaria tablets?

Mosquitos don’t generally survive above an altitude of 1500m and so it is very unlikely you will get malaria whilst trekking to Everest Base Camp.  There is a risk however in lowland regions of Nepal or India, so we recommend taking advice from your GP before you travel.  Further information including advice on bite prevention can be found on the travel health pro website.

Do I need to take my own first aid kit, or will this be provided?

Yes, we recommend you carry a small first aid kit in your day pack containing the following items:

  • Blister plasters
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Personal medications
  • High factor sun protection
  • Ibuprofen
  • Imodium

Your first aid kit should be small and light so as not to add too much weight to your day pack.  Our Guides carry full group first aid kits for dealing with more serious injuries.

Do I need any vaccinations?

Yes, you are likely to require vaccinations to visit Nepal and we recommend you book an appointment with your GP to discuss your trip so they can provide you with specific advice.  More information can be found on the travel health pro website.

What clothes do I need for my Nepal trek?

A comprehensive list of clothing and equipment required for your trip to Everest base camp can be found on our kit list tab.  If you are short of any items, then there are plenty of shops in Kathmandu selling suitable clothing and equipment at very good prices.

What about climbing Kala Patthar - will it be really cold?

Kala Patthar is a viewpoint that offers fantastic views of Everest and the surrounding mountains.  At 5644m it is the highest point you will reach on the Everest Base Camp trek.  Kala Patthar means ‘Black Rock’ and it is located on the south ridge of Pumori (a 7000m+ peak just to the west of Everest) above Gorakshep.  Whilst it is not itself classed as a mountain it is very popular with trekkers due to the fantastic views gained from standing at its high point.

It can feel especially cold whilst climbing Kala Patthar and temperatures can fall to as low as -20oC.  This is pretty normal and so you need to be prepared.

To keep warm and improve your chances of reaching the viewpoint of Kala Patthar, we recommend you set out wearing:

  • Base layer top and bottom (2, dependant on how much you feel the cold)
  • Thick socks on top of a liner sock
  • Mid layer
  • Fleece layer
  • Down or synthetic jacket
  • Windproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Mittens – with liner gloves underneath
  • Warm hat
  • Walking poles (optional)
  • Head torch
  • A small hot drink
  • Quick energy/sugar snacks

What should I wear on my feet for the trek?

You need to look after your feet, after all it will be your feet that get you to where you are going.  Making sure you choose the right footwear, preferably boots and allowing time to break them in will help prevent injuries like blisters, which can be very painful and potentially prevent you from reaching your goal.

When choosing suitable boots make sure they are waterproof, insulated, have a good sole and provide ankle support and above all, make sure they are comfortable.  If you are looking to buy specifically for your Nepal trek, then the best advice we can offer is to pop into your nearest outdoor gear shop and speak to a store assistant who should be able to help you choose the most suitable pair.  This trek does not require crampons so technical boots will not be required.

What should I wear in the teahouses?

The teahouses are generally heated by a stove fuelled with wood or yak dung.  This will provide warmth and comfort in the communal and dining areas but not in the bedrooms.  A light down or fleece type jacket will keep you warm whilst inside the lodges.  A comfy pair of shoes like a trainer for the evenings will provide your feet with a break from your boots.  Don’t forget to take your headtorch with you in the evening as it can be dark trying to find your way back to your room.

What items do I need in my daysack?

The porters will be carrying your main duffle bag day to day, but you will need to carry your own daysack.  This should be about 30 to 40lts and have a good waist strap so that the load can be carried on your hips.  In it you should have only the essential items that you will need during the day.  These include any personal medication and your first aid kit as well as a fleece layer and a full set of waterproofs (jacket & trousers).  You should also carry at least 2 litres of water, some snacks, a head torch, hat and gloves and sunglasses if you aren’t wearing them – don’t forget your camera!

What weight can my duffle bag be?

Here at Monkey Mountaineering we take responsibility for our porters’ welfare and the weight they carry on the trek so your bag must not exceed 15kg (if it is over this weight you will likely have to pay an excess baggage charge when flying from Kathmandu to Lukla and again on the way back).

This should be more than enough to fit all your clothes and equipment in for the trip. The lighter the load the better as porters also have to carry their own kit and equipment.  It’s also important you consider a light duffle bag rather than a large rucksack as porters carry most of the load using a strap across their heads.  Having a rucksack that is shaped different and not so soft can make things difficult for them.

For more information about what is needed in your duffle bag please refer back to our kit list tab.

Does my jacket and sleeping bag have to be down?

Ultimately this is your choice, but we would say yes.  It’s important you keep yourself warm and down is without a doubt the best insulation.  You will really feel the difference when the temperatures drop and especially on Kala Patthar.  There are some very good synthetic brands on the market, and these have the advantage of still keeping you warm when they are wet but synthetic insulation is heavier and bulkier than down – you need a bigger, bulkier synthetic jacket for the same warmth as a lighter down jacket.

Sleep helps us to recover from our trekking and is an important part of the acclimatisation process.  Our recommendation for a sleeping bag would again be down.  Be sure to pick a bag with a comfort rating of -20 and 3-4 seasons.  You can buy silk or similar liners which will also enhance the warmth.  With all down sleeping bags, the best way for you to keep warm is to remember to wear as little as possible whilst inside it.  The heat from your body then warms the bag and the feathers retain the heat.

What clothes/gear do I need for my Everest Base Camp trek?

A comprehensive list of clothing and equipment required for your trip to Everest Base Camp can be found in our kit list tab.

Can I hire some gear from Monkey Mountaineering?

No, unfortunately we don’t provide equipment for hire but can recommend Expedition Kit Hire.  They can provide full sets of kit for your trek however, another option would be to buy anything you don’t have in one of the many shops in Kathmandu that sell clothing and equipment for trekking.

How much will I be out of my comfort zone?

You may be experiencing altitude for the first time, and the facilities at times will be basic, it may become difficult to sleep and eat so yes you might feel a little out of your comfort zone.  Our experienced team will be with you to help you through these moments and remember your trekking partners will be going through this too so you can help each other along the journey.

What time of year should I look to go?

Trekking seasons in Nepal run from late March to early June and then again from mid-September through to December.  In the spring season, days tend to be quite warm with minimal cloud cover giving great views.  In the autumn the weather tends to be cooler in the day with clear skies however, later in the season cloud cover can develop in the afternoons and rain or snow showers are not unheard of.

Will it get really cold?

At the viewpoint of Kala Patthar temperatures can fall to as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius, but this can vary widely dependant on the time of year.  Sometimes it can be relatively warm and only a few degrees from freezing.  If the winds are low this makes the temperature feel less harsh.  If the winds come in this is when it can feel cold.  The main thing to remember is be prepared for the weather.  Our guides will advise you as to what to expect.

Do I need to have special insurance for the trek?

Yes, and this is a condition of booking with us.  Most insurance companies do not cover you for trekking at altitudes of more than 4000m. Kala Patthar sits at 5644m so you will need to make sure you have the appropriate cover.  This should also include medical and emergency evacuation from the mountain.  We request all insurance details from our clients before travel (8 weeks before departure).

How many months need to be left on my passport for this trip?

Your passport needs a minimum of 6 months left after the date of travel starts.  If you don’t have a valid passport you could be refused entry into Nepal.  For up-to-date advice please check on the Gov.uk website for passport advice.

Is a visa required for Nepal?

Yes.  Visas are compulsory for all UK citizens entering Nepal.  We highly recommend you obtain one before arriving at Kathmandu Airport as this reduces the amount of queuing on arrival and any potential problems that could occur.  Please visit the Nepal embassy for more information.

How fit do I need to be for this trek?

Being physically fit will help you take each day in your stride.  Fitness will make everything you do feel that much easier and, in theory, the fitter you are, the easier you will find the task in hand and the quicker you will recover from exertion and physically demanding tasks.  Being fit helps and the fitter you are the more likely you are to enjoy the journey, reach the viewpoint of Kala Patthar and enjoy the Everest Base Camp trek.

How long before my departure date do I need to pay my balance?

A deposit of 25% of the total cost of the trip is payable at the time of booking and the balance is due 8 weeks before the departure date.  If the booking takes place less than 8 weeks before departure, then the full amount is due at the time of booking.  If you would like to discuss payment options, then please get in touch.  Please refer to our booking conditions.

What is Monkey Mountaineering’s cancellation and refunds policy?

Please refer to our Booking conditions located on our website for full details. Alternatively, please feel free to contact a member of the team.

What currencies are accepted in Nepal?

We advise taking US dollars as these are readily recognised and can be easily converted into the local currency (Nepalese Rupee).  Generally, if you pay in US dollars the local currency will be given back to you in change.  We recommend you take lots of small denomination notes for purchasing small gifts or snacks as some shops struggle with the larger notes.  Larger bills are best for tipping your guides at the end of the trek.  Your lead guide will discuss how much should be taken with you before you travel.

How does the tipping work?

Our local team will be working very hard to make sure your Everest Base Camp trek runs smoothly and helping you to achieve your goals.  All monies will need to be with you at all times.  Tips are generally given to the crew on the last day before you leave Lukla.  Tipping is down to you but I’m sure once you see how hard the crew work and what they earn in comparison to our own wages you will want to reward them.  We suggest around $160 per client for the entire local crew, which will be shared amongst them.  However, you can tip more if you feel you have received exceptional support from individuals.

How much spending money should we take?

This depends on what you will be doing before and after the trek and if you are planning on buying gifts.  Nepal is a relatively cheap place and good value for money.  Your guide will be happy to point out the places for good bargains in the area.  Whilst you can purchase snacks before arriving in Lukla, we encourage you to support the local teahouses as much as you can.  Buying snacks along the way will also mean less weight in your pack.

How do I keep my phone and camera charged on the trek?

Some teahouses will offer a re-charging service for a small fee however, as a general rule, there are no plug sockets or recharging points.  We recommend you bring a battery bank (or similar) or a solar charger.  If your device has disposable batteries, then please take spares and make sure you carry the used batteries back down the mountain for recycling.  Keeping your devices warm at night by taking them in your sleeping bag is a good way to prolong your battery life.  If you are planning on staying in hotels before and after the trek the voltage is 230v similar to the UK and uses one of three types of plugs with round pins (Type C, D & M – see here for more info).

How safe are my personal items on the trek?

Our team does everything it can to make sure all your possessions remain safe, but we recommend a small padlock on your duffle bag for extra piece of mind.  Like any other trip we recommend things like passport, money etc should be kept with you at all times (in your daysack).  If you would normally wear jewellery, unless it is absolutely necessary or for medical reasons, we suggest this is left at home.  It is important that you take responsibility for your valuables whilst away as you would do on any other trip.

Where do we stay in Kathmandu?

Our base in Kathmandu is the Kathmandu Eco hotel. Please visit the link below for further information about the facilities.