Everest Base Camp Trek vs Helicopter Tour – Things You Need To Know

Overview of Trekking and Flying

EBC Trek offers the opportunity to cross a beautiful uphill trail, and have a first-hand look into the famous Sherpa culture, mountainous villages, and plenty of awe-inspiring landscapes and wildlife. The fantastic journey leads you beneath soaring snow-capped peaks, then you follow the adventurous and challenging routes that cross deep valleys, beautiful monasteries, magnificent Mani walls, suspension bridges, and rhododendron woodlands.

Trekker approaching amadablam mount in khumbu valley during EBC trek.

On the other hand, a helicopter tour gives you incredible aerial views of one of the world’s most unique and spectacular landscapes from above. The helicopter tour offers unbeatable views from the air. This allows travelers to experience the incredible beauty of Mount Everest and other Himalayan peaks in just a few short hours. However, while it is certainly quicker and more comfortable than the traditional Base Camp Trek, it lacks the challenge of enduring a lengthy hike and will not provide such an in-depth cultural experience as trekking through villages along a route. Both offer a lifetime of memories, but it helps to understand the differences between these two experiences before making your final decision.

Helicopter at Lukla flying to Everest Base Camp

Route and Schedule

Everest Base Camp Trek Routes

There are three ways to trek to Everest Base Camp. The first flight leaves from Lukla, followed by a journey starting from Jiri and Phaplu (Salleri). The trek would require about 24 days to finish the full trek if you start at Jiri. Likewise, starting from Phaplu (Salleri), the journey takes 16 days. However, if you start from Lukla, the entire trek will require 12 to 15 days.

Everest Base Camp Trek is a classic trekking tour in which participants spend standard 15 days trekking through the Himalayan mountain range. The typical route follows a circular path, starting from Lukla at 2,840 meters above sea level. You will move through Namche Bazaar, Tengboche Monastery, Dingboche, and Lobuche before finally arriving at base camp at 5,364 meters.

Lukla Airport, Everest Base Camp Trek

EBC Trek Schedule

Usually, this trek starts the next day after you arrive in Kathmandu in a standard EBC trek package. You will take an eye-catching flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Then you will start the trek to Phakding which will take around 4-5 hours. On the next day, you will trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar. Resting the next day at Namche bazaar you will Trek to Tengboche and Dingboche simultaneously. You’ll have an Acclimatization day here in Dingboche the next day. The trek will continue from Dingboche to Lobuche the next day. Finally, on the 9th day, you will trek from Lobuche to Gorakshep and Reach Everest Base Camp from there.

EBC Helicopter Tour Route

Whereas, a helicopter Tour takes travelers from Kathmandu to Lukla in an hour via helicopter, then continues to Everest Base Camp (EBC). This journey is shorter than the traditional trek route due to the aerial transport and can be completed within 4 hours. Life Himalaya Trekking arranges the schedule of the helicopter tour in a very organized way. You will have an amazing experience and fully enjoy the trip if you choose us.

EBC Helicopter Tour Schedule

For this tour, you will get a wake-up call in the early morning. You will then be picked up from the hotel then will be transferred to Tribhuvan international airport. From there you will cruise to Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest enjoying scenic views of the lush hills and majestic mountains. After taking a short break in Lukla you will directly head out to Kalapatthar and land there.

You will experience 360-degree panoramic mountain vistas, and you’ll have 10-15 minutes to take pictures and catch a peek of the Mighty Mount Everest and other Himalayas here. from there you will take a flight to Syangboche(Everest View Hotel). After finally after having a nice view and breakfast at the hotel you will return to Lukla and then to Kathmandu.

Altitude sickness

Altitude Sickness in Everest Base Camp Trek

Handling the threat of high-elevation sickness is among the most difficult tasks for trekkers who are traveling to Everest Base Camp. The physiological adaptations your body experiences at high elevations are known as altitude sickness. You will not encounter the typical effects of altitude if you trek Everest Base Camp with the proper precautions. But if you move up the route too fast, you run the chance of getting severe mountain sickness. This is because your body won’t be able to adapt to the reduced oxygen levels at higher elevations. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is to climb steadily and to take acclimatization days.

Altitude Sickness in Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

The Everest base camp is located at a very high altitude. On this tour, you will be changing the location from Low to high altitude in a short amount of time. It may cause altitude sickness issues. That’s why you will spend a short period in Kalapatthar to enjoy the scenic view of the majestic mount Everest and other gigantic peaks. 15-20 min will be enough time to explore and capture the memories with your loved ones in this Place. But you’ll have enough time to see the breathtaking mountains that the Everest View Hotel offers while having Breakfast.

Altitude sickness only occurs when a person is above 2500 meters above sea level. Due to no exposure to the outdoor environment, a person won’t feel any kind of changes inside the body during flight time. When you come out of the Helicopter, you will start to feel changes inside your body. So for this reason you get only some minutes to explore the Everest base camp region.

Since there is a pressure differential between the interior of the chopper and limited oxygen at Kala Patthar, you face the possibility of experiencing altitude sickness when the helicopter lands there. If you experience breathing difficulties, you will receive supplementary oxygen immediately. To meet these scenarios, the helicopter is equipped with masks and bottles of oxygen.

Clothing List

Everest Base Camp Trek Clothing

The season you trek will determine which kinds of clothing you carry for the Everest Base Camp Trek. The typical length of the Everest Base Camp trek is 10 to 15 days, making it a somewhat lengthy trek. You must thus bring adequate clothing and the proper footwear for both the trip and the tea houses. To enjoy the journey the most, you should wear it as comfortably as possible. Light clothes will work at lower altitudes and when the altitudes increase gradually then warmer and more layers of clothes will be required.

Layering is a basic notion of the trek due to the wide fluctuation in height and temperature. It will be easier for you to adjust to the temperature and keep yourself safe and comfortable if you can keep and remove layers of clothes while trekking. Here is the Clothing list for Everest Base Camp Trek.

  • Warm hat
  • Neck gaiters
  • Beanies
  • Bandana or scarfs
  • Base layer shirts
  • Insulation Layer
  • Outer Layer
  • Rain jacket
  • Warm windproof/waterproof gloves
  • Glove liners
  • Shorts
  • Trekking Trousers
  • Underwears
  • Hiking socks
  • Thermal socks
  • Hiking gaiters
  • Slippers
  • Trekking Boots
  • House dress

Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour Clothing

Depending on the season, appropriate clothing is required for the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour. Since extremely cold and frigid winds start to blow after the afternoon one needs a down jacket and thick trousers. This helicopter excursion won’t require much luggage, unlike the Everest Base Camp trek. To warm it up at a high altitude, all you need are some high-quality clothing. Below, we’ve listed the clothing items that you must bring with you on the Everest base camp Heli Tour.

  • Down Jacket (windproof)
  • Windproof and Warm Trousers
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Warm hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Cozy trekking boots
  • Pair of warm socks
  • Warm gloves

Cost and Recommended Duration

The cost and recommended duration of the Everest Base Camp Trek depends heavily on the difficulty level and length of the trek. Generally speaking, it will take at least 8 days to reach Everest Base Camp and the average cost can range from US$600 to US$3000 per person depending on your chosen route, type of accommodation, and mode of transport. Conversely, a Helicopter Trek can take anywhere between 3-4 hours and is usually priced per trip with prices ranging from US$1000-US$2000.

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