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EBC Trek Distance, Difficulty, Altitude

It can be quite a challenge to tailor the perfect Everest Base Camp Trek itinerary according to your needs, preferences and time frame, but don’t sweat it, we have prepared this guide to help you get to know the area better. We hope this guide will provide you with proper information about the distance, difficulty and altitude of Everest Base Camp Trek which will help you plan your trip for the famous Everest Base Camp Trek.

Distance:

The total distance for Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla – Everest Base Camp – Lukla) is about 127 kms excluding the distance of custom treks at Namche and Dingboche. Please note that there are different approaches and itineraries for the EBC trek. 130kms distance via Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche and Everest base camp based on standard itinerary.

127 km sounds like a lot of trekking, but don’t sweat it as you will cover this distance in 12 days. A daily trek will cover a distance of 12 km on an average with 6-7 hours of walking. Due to the increasing altitude, the approach towards the base camp will take several days while maintaining a suitable environment.

Trekking to Everest Base Camp requires an average of 12 days after proper rest and acclimatization. Stay in Namche and Dingboche for 2 nights. We advise you not to shorten the itinerary as it may cause altitude sickness. If you are short on time and still want to trek, we recommend you to take a helicopter flight back to Kathmandu from Gorkshep or any place as per your schedule.

You can tailor the itinerary according to your schedule, but shortening the itinerary is not recommended.

LOCATION DISTANCE HOURS
Kathmandu-Lukla 138km/85.74miles 30 mins flight
Lukla – Phakding 9km/5.6miles 4-5 hrs
Phakding – Namche Bazar 12km/7.45miles 6-7 hrs
Namche Bazar – Tengboche 12km/7.45miles 6-7 hrs
Tengboche – Dingboche 12km/7.45miles 6-7 hrs
Dingboche – Lobuche 12km/7.45miles 6-7 hrs
Lobuche – Gorkshep 4km/2.48miles 3 hrs
Gorkshep – Everest Base Camp 3km/1.86miles 2 hrs
Gorkshep – Kalapathar 1.8km/1.11miles 2 hrs
Gorkshep – Pheriche 13km/8.07miles 6 hrs
Pheriche – Namche 22km/13.67miles 6-7 hrs
Namche Bazar – Lukla 21km/13.05miles 6-7 hrs

Itinerary Overview

The above itinerary is the most common and standard itinerary for the Everest Base Camp trek. The standard approach to Everest Base Camp is via Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorkshep and Everest Base Camp. A few days can also be added by taking the less traveled route via Namche, Khumjung, Fortse, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorkshep and Everest Base Camp. It also helps in the acclimatization process as you will spend a few more nights at 3000m before hitting 4000m. This is exactly the itinerary we followed on our Everest Base Camp trek. Above Dingboche, the approach to Everest Base Camp is the same for everyone unless you want to cross Khongmala Pass, the 5,535m/18,160ft high pass in the shadow of the Lhotse South Face.

If you want a more exciting alternative route to Everest Base Camp, perhaps a combination of Everest and Gokyo Chola Pass could be an ideal itinerary for you. This itinerary offers the best view of Mount Everest in one trip and the view of Gokyo Ri and Cho La Pass can be a moment of joy for you.

Trip Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu 1,350m/4,430ft
Day 02: Fly to Lukla and trek 2,600 m / 8,531 ft. to Phakding
Day 03: Trek to Namche Bazar 3,440m/11,319ft
Day 04: Rest and Acclimatization Day 3,450m/11,319ft
Day 05: Trek to Tengboche 3,860m/12,665ft
Day 06: Trek to Dingboche 4,412 m/14,475 ft.
Day 07: Rest and Acclimatization Day 4,412 m/14,475 ft.
Day 08: Trek to Lobuche 4,910 m/16,109 ft.
Day 09: Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp via Gorkshep 5,140m/16,864ft.
Day 10: Climb Kalapathar and return to Pheriche at 4,371m/14,340ft.
Day 11: Trek to Namche Bazar 3,440m/11,319ft.
Day 12: Trek to Lukla 2,800m/9187ft.
Day 13: Kathmandu 1,350m/4,430ft. flight
Day 14: International Departure

Walking Hours

On an average, your daily trek should involve 6-7 hours of walking at increased altitude. Some days will be a bit longer and be prepared to walk an average of 6-7 hours a day with your backpack for some parts. Rest and recovery days, trekking will be clock time. The trekking hours each day may vary depending on your fitness level, but don’t worry, you will have enough time to cover the day at your own pace. You start the trek at 8 am and reach the overnight destination by 4 am with 1 hour lunch break. There are many tea shops and rest stops along the trail so you can always relax and drink a cup of ginger honey as a booster for the journey of discovery.

Altitude

The maximum height of the Everest base camp trek is 5545 meters at Kalapathar and the maximum height of the Everest base camp trek is 5160 meters. The starting and ending point of your trek is Lukla which is at an altitude of 2800 meters.

Altitude is a concern for anyone trekking to Everest Base Camp. The high altitude involved in the trek makes it more challenging. You start the trek at 2800m and over the course of 8 days, you gain altitude each day, eventually reaching Kalapathar at 5545m.

Rapid altitude gain against the recommended guidelines of 400m-500m per day can lead to acute mountain sickness and ultimately HAPE or HACE.

Difficulty

Everest Base Camp trek is considered challenging in terms of difficulty level due to the long duration of trekking at high altitude. The trek ranges from a maximum of 5364m at Gorkshep to a maximum of 5164m overnight. Also the maximum height that Kalapathar climbers can reach at the top of Kalapathar is 5545 meters. As the trek starts from Lukla at an altitude of 2800 meters, this trek is considered difficult in terms of altitude. Reaching the base camp is not that difficult as there are good paved trails and trading villages along the way. Rocky terrain and moraines on the approach for the previous 2 days to reach the base camp make it a bit difficult. The level of difficulty also depends a lot on your experience and fitness level. The fitter you are, the more enjoyable the trek will be. This can be beneficial if you have trekked in other high altitude areas before.

For trekking to Everest base camp, you don’t need to equip yourself with any technical gear. Quality trekking gears with sturdy and waterproof hiking boots will suffice. But remember that it can get very cold so it is essential to pack warm clothes.

Prerequisite

The trek is challenging but fear not as it is totally doable. People with no prior trekking experience have successfully completed the trek. However, you should be well prepared and trained before hitting the trail. Train yourself at least 3 months before the trek. A specific training program may not be suitable for everyone but regular mountaineering with a 5-6 kg bag will be very beneficial.

The fitter you are, the more enjoyable your hike will be. So, train well in advance and be mentally prepared too. For a more detailed training guide, see Training for Everest Base Camp.

Lukla Flight Changes (updated 2020)

In 2019, the Kathmandu Airport (TIA) runway was renovated and extended to handle all flights from Ramechhap Airport to Lukla. Although this new change in Lukla flight has been announced as a temporary arrangement for 3 months, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAN) has started using Ramechhap Airport from today due to ease of operation of Lukla flights from Ramechhap Airport.

Ramechhap Airport is a STOL airport located 150 km east of Kathmandu, 4 hours away. The flight time from Ramechhap Airport to Luka Airport is only about 12 minutes and the possibility of flight cancellation and delay is very less compared to Kathmandu Airport. However, having contingency days for any delays can prevent you from missing your international flights. Someone said, ‘There is nothing like that in Nepal. Prepare for the worst and leave room for the worst when it happens.”

Find out: how safe Lukla Airport is for flying

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(1) Comment

  1. Ram Tamang

    AlpineTrav Treks & Expeditions is an adventure travel company in Kathmandu, Nepal founded by local alpine experts with experience in Himalayan trekking and mountaineering.

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