Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty: What Makes EBC Trek Difficult?

Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most thrilling and satisfying treks in Nepal. Trekking towards the base camp of the world’s highest mountain is not free from difficulties.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty can be categorized into various parts. It can be the altitude, length, training, food and accommodation, and a few others. Though Everest Base Camp does not require technical/mountaineering skills, it is better if you have some basic understanding and knowledge of trekking.

The views you get from this trek are unbelievable. The 360° view of mountains like Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, and many more can be seen so close. If you want an even more precise picture of Mount Everest and surrounding mountains, places like Kala Patthar, Tengboche, and Gokyo Ri are excellent viewpoints.

Trekking to Everest Base Camp is one of the most challenging endeavors in Nepal, but with proper preparation and training, you can conquer it. The trip to Everest Base Camp usually completes within two weeks, or it can be customized according to your requirements.

It is better to have some earlier knowledge about the Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty. This article helps you to understand the challenges that you might get while on this Everest Base Camp Trek.

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty Factors

Length of the Trekking

The total distance you will cover in this Everest Base Camp Trek is approximately 130 kilometers. You have to walk for 5 to 6 hours daily, covering 13-15 kilometers per day.

If you are a first-time trekker, then it would be tough for you to cover these distances at such high altitudes. The trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp passes through different uneven, rough rocky trails. If you do not have a moderate level of fitness, it is tough to achieve this enormous task. If you can’t go far but yet want to see Mount Everest up close, you can also travel to Everest Base Camp by Helicopter.

The trek towards Everest Base Camp does not require ropes, stairs, ice axes, etc. Having a guide or porter makes your journey more comfortable and decreases the difficulty level.

High altitude trekking

One of the significant factors contributing to the Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty is high altitude. You will start the journey from Lukla at 2860m and reach Kala Pattar at 5545m.

Most trekkers consider the summit of Mountain Everest at 8848m difficult but not Everest Base Camp Elevation at  5380m. This attitude is also challenging to achieve because you may suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS). You always have a threat of altitude sickness while traveling anywhere from 2500 to 3000m.

Trekking without any acclimatization and ignoring the initial symptoms can lead you to severe cases of altitude sickness. In such cases, you should consult with your guide and follow the itinerary. Drink lots of water and keep your body hydrated. Don’t ignore the acclimatization day because it is there in the plan to make you adapt to the changing environment.

Training or preparing yourself

Before heading towards the journey of Everest Base Camp, you need to make yourself up for upcoming rough trails. At least you need to have a moderate level of fitness, and you need to start this in a couple of months.

Training helps you to develop both physical and mental strength so you can summit the Everest Base Camp. Exercise is a great way to train yourself and strengthen your body for this tough trek.

There are various forms of exercise, like running, swimming, cycling, jogging, and a few more. These exercises are better, but if you want to go to the gym for training, then it is fine too. You will have better focus, and you can also develop thigh muscles for the uphill trek.

Short hikes are another way of preparing yourself for the Everest Base Camp Trek. It makes you practical, you will have experience of hiking and you will better understand how your body functions in such situations.

Weather conditions

The weather condition also affects the level of Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty. The best seasons to travel are Autumn and Spring. It is the season of colors and greenery.

If you are planning to travel in the rainy or winter season, the trekking conditions might get worse. The Autumn season (September to November) and Spring season (March to May) are the most popular seasons for the Everest Base Camp Trek.

The days are long and shiny, whereas nights are chilly, but there is less or no chance of rainfall. You should carry functional trekking boots and warm clothes to protect yourself because the weather at this altitude cannot be predicted; it changes frequently.

In winter, the temperature can go below –25°C (Gorakshep), and the trails might be closed due to extreme snowfall. These are your options to trek in the Everest region, but it is best if you choose Autumn or Spring because these seasons provide you with a moderate climate and temperature.


Hiring a guide and porters is always a good idea because traveling alone carrying all those heavy bags can get you in trouble. You can also lose track of trekking trails; guides provide you with the necessary information throughout the trek to Everest Base Camp.

There can be medical emergencies or slippery trails that can create some extra trouble, so it is better to travel with guides. They provide you with medical assistance too; altitude sickness can get you sober.

Carrying your massive back for almost two weeks is not an easy task to accomplish. Dehydration and enervation can get to you suffer from altitude sickness, so bringing one porter helps you in this trek.

Why is it Difficult to Trek to Everest Base Camp?

  • You have to continuously walk for 5 to 6 hours daily for the next two weeks.
  • Uphill and downhill trek of 16 to 20 km daily is not an easy task.
  • You are carrying your backpack while walking these distances.
  • The oxygen level decreases drastically up to 60% less than the average sea level.
  • There is always a chance of altitude sickness.

Tips to Decrease Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

  • Keep your body hydrated.
  • Be confident and believe you can do it.
  • It is better to bring your own small first aid kit.
  • Be careful and watch the weather forecast for your trekking week.
  • Acclimatization day is essential in high-altitude treks, so don’t skip it.
  • You should not take alcoholic beverages because it causes dehydration.
  • Carry chocolates, snickers, and snacks, proper intake of food is beneficial.
  • Medical and emergency evacuation insurance helps in the worst-case scenario.
  • Early booking for accommodation because in the tourist season you may not find fitting rooms.
  • Having proper consultation with a genuine trekking company helps in fulfilling all legal requirements.
  • Do not eat uncooked or half-cooked food, as it can create problems.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Everest Base Camp?

Everest Base Camp lies in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal. Nepal is a small but beautiful Himalayan country between China and India.

What is the altitude of Everest Base Camp?

The Everest Base Camp lies at an altitude of 5380m (southern side, Nepal) and 5200m (northern side, Tibet).

How long does it take to reach Everest Base Camp?

It depends on your budget and timing, but you can reach Everest Base Camp in 1 day to 2 weeks and so on. Travel agencies provide you with a tour of 1 day, five days, 12 days, 14 days, etc. They will also offer you Heli Tour Packages to Everest Base Camp, which is a one-day trip. This time includes reaching the Everest Base Camp and returning from it. The itinerary can be customized according to your needs and priority.

What is the best season to travel to the Everest region?

The best time to travel around the Everest region is Spring and Autumn seasons. Spring season is also known as pre-monsoon, which starts in March and ends in May. It is the most popular season for trekking in Nepal. Greenery, with a clear view of the skies, offers you various flora and fauna in the Spring season.

Autumn is another successful season in Nepal from September to November. The skies are clear, but the greenery is almost gone. The trails are full of crowds, and if you want to avoid it, you must visit here in the Winter or Summer season.

Is there any age limit for Everest Base Camp trekking?

Everest Base Camp trek difficulty may include many factors, but this is not one of them because there is no age limit for this trekking. However, you must have decent physical fitness and a positive attitude regarding Everest Base Camp trekking. If this is your first trek, then it is going to be quite a difficult journey for you.

What is the shortest itinerary for Everest Base Camp?

If you are ready to walk for the whole day without much rest, then you can complete this trek in 12 days. This may be quite impossible for you so you can take the Helicopter tour too. The Everest Base Camp helicopter tour offers you a majestic view of the different Himalayan ranges. It will take nearly 4 hours to complete this tour of the Everest region. You can also trek to Base Camp and return in a helicopter, directly to Lukla or Kathmandu.

What kinds of Food and Accommodation are available during this trek?

The route towards Everest Base Camp is popular, so you should not worry about the food and accommodation. There are plenty of tea houses and lodges available throughout the route. Most of them are on a twin-sharing basis, and single rooms are quite expensive.

The menu offers you Tibetan, Indian, Italian, and a few others. But, the best is Dal Bhat, ordinary Nepali cuisine. You will get rice, pulses, spinach, pickles, papad, salad, etc. in Dal Bhat. Apart from this, you can also get bread, snacks, different drinks, hot chocolates, and many more. Food is available in the same place where you spend the night, and for lunch, you will find a convenient location accordingly.

Is there any luxury option?

It depends on how you define luxury. Luxury in a pure sense means comfort, and there is nothing wrong with wanting comfort in this long-high altitude trek. Many travel agencies provide you with the option for the Everest Base Camp luxury trek. This package offers you the best food and accommodation available.

What kinds of clothes and gear do we need on this trek?

Trekking is an adventurous journey that requires proper gear and clothes, so you complete the trek with happiness. The Everest region is colder, and the temperature changes frequently, so you have to carry layers of clothes. Basic clothes and gear include boots, socks, jackets, trekking poles, and so on.

If I get sick in the middle of the trek, what should I do?

One of the significant issues that you will face during this trek is altitude sickness. Drinking loads of water helps avoid this problem. Carrying a few medicines like Diamox is useful in case of an emergency. If you are traveling with guides, they will help you in case of any emergency. They are well experienced in these types of critical situations.

Traveling solo is always a risky job. If you have severe pain or your health continues to degrade, you should immediately trek back downwards about 300 meters below your current altitude. You will get better and again stay for the Everest Base Camp, or if it does not get better, you can return to Kathmandu.

How much cash should I carry while on this journey?

Trek toward Everest Base Camp is expensive, and you need a separate budget of $25 to $30 for food and accommodation per day. If you like anything other than this basic food and shelter, then it is better to carry $50 extra in your pocket.

Do I need to hire a guide or a porter?

There is no compulsion for doing this, but it is always better to trek with a guide and porter. The trails may be complicated and confusing, and you will have a companion with whom you talk and know various facts about the Everest region.

It is best if you hire a guide cum porter because it is economical to do so. Carrying those heavy bags for 12 days is not a cup of tea for everyone. Your guide and porter will also help you in any case of emergency.

Do I need insurance for Everest Base Camp Trekking?

If you have both medical and emergency evacuation insurance, it helps you in the long run. Your insurance company can confuse you with different terms-conditions and make various exemptions regarding countries like Nepal and adventure travel. If you are unable to understand, your travel company can help with this.

Is it possible to extend my trip?

Yes, it is possible, and you can. But, before making plans and decisions, it is better to update the travel company so they can manage accordingly. It can also happen without any planning or due to some medical emergency. You don’t need to feel awkward or uncomfortable before informing us.

What is the average group size for this Everest Base Camp trek?

The Everest Base Camp trek starts from a minimum size of 1 to a maximum of 20 trekkers. It will be more relaxed and comfortable if the group size is smaller. You get to know your group members personally, and it will be a great bonding. It feels like you are traveling with your old homies out there.

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