Ultimate Everest Base Camp Itinerary

Last updated on April 10th, 2020

Everest Base Camp – The gateway to Mount Everest. Sitting at 5 380 m, it’s one of the most iconic treks in the world and tops any adventurer’s bucket list!

Trekking over 130 km in 12 days is tough – Mentally, emotionally and physically, every day of your Everest Base Camp itinerary will push you to your limits.

From the terrifying flight into Lukla to the long trekking days, freezing cold tea houses, weeks with no showers, dealing with altitude sickness and all the aches and pains that come along with it. It’s brutal.

But, despite having done no training (my fault completely and I highly recommend that you arrive more prepared than I was), I made it to the finish line. If you haven’t read my post about EBC trek difficulty and how hard it really is, I suggest you check it out!

When you’re on the mountain it’s not about your fitness levels or your age, it’s about how your body deals with the altitude. Some struggle, others don’t. Most important is the acclimatization schedule in your Everest Base Camp itinerary.

So, before you attempt to conquer the Himalayas, check out this detailed guide on trekking to EBC. It includes step-by-step details of the best route to take, including the trekking time, the highlights, the best tea houses, how to deal with altitude sickness and so much more!

Psst… Looking for epic adventures to add to your bucket list? Check out my other posts!

Everest Base Camp trek itinerary for 12 days
Yes! I made it to Everest Base Camp after 10 long and hard trekking days

Should you plan your Everest Base Camp Itinerary with a tour or not

This one’s debatable!

In 2014 I summited the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, and for this trek, you have to book a tour through an organized trekking company. I thought the same would apply to Everest Base Camp and wrongly assumed that attempting to conquer EBC independently was only for broke backpackers or highly experienced hikers.

I was wrong! You can totally navigate around the Everest region without a guide and many trekkers do so.

However, I don’t regret booking through a trekking company, Mountain Monarch. Here’s why.

Firstly, I added Island Peak to my Everest Base Camp itinerary. For this extra section of the trek, a guide is required. Whilst Everest Base Camp requires no technical climbing, Island Peak does and it’s intense. If you’re up for the challenge, I highly recommend you add Island Peak to your Everest Base Camp tour. You can read about my climb here!

Secondly, I had previous experience with high altitude climbing and if it wasn’t for my skilled guide, I wouldn’t have made it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. As with Kili, getting to Everest Base Camp is tough and reality is that it can be fatal. You need to pace yourself. Many people are put on oxygen and need assistance and those who trek independently don’t have immediate access to these emergency services.

And lastly, the fellow trekkers that I met on my EBC tour were the best teammates anyone could ask for. I loved the support, the humor, the motivation, and having a small group of people who were there for me through thick and thin. As you get to the end of your Everest Base Camp trek, you’re going to need all the support you can get!

Everest Base Camp tour itinerary
The best trekking team

When to plan your Everest Base Camp itinerary

April to May (Spring) and October to November (Autumn) are the most popular hiking months in Nepal offering perfect trekking conditions.

But these months also attract scores of travelers looking to take on the Himalaya mountain ranges and so the trail does get busy.

Overview of my Everest Base Camp trek itinerary

  • This Everest Base Camp route allows for 2 acclimatization days (Namche Bazaar & Dingboche).
  • Total trekking days are 12. You will reach Everest Base Camp on day 9 which is enough time for your body to adjust to the higher altitude, and return to Lukla on day 12.
  • My Everest Base Camp itinerary is slightly different from the standard EBC routes. I’ve explained the diversion in detail within this trek itinerary but here’s an overview: When you hit Namche Bazaar, the most common route is to go on to Tengboche, before reaching Dingboche. But, on my Everest Base Camp itinerary, you don’t go to Tengboche after Namche Bazaar. You go to Khumjung and Phortse which are on the other side of the river. Thereafter your trail meets with the other in Dingboche.
  • This route diversion is two-fold. It’s less crowded and incredibly scenic and allows you to explore a different part of the Everest region that many trekkers don’t get to experience. Secondly, you go past Tengboche on your way back down from Everest Base Camp anyway, so skipping this stop on your way up ensures that you don’t walk the same route twice.
  • I walked slowly, extremely slowly – probably the slowest anyone’s ever walked to EBC! The trekking time in this Everest Base Camp itinerary allows for a slow and steady hike, with lots of breaks as well as longish lunch stops.
  • Your trekking days usually start with breakfast at 7 am and you should aim to be on the trail by 8 am.
  • Pictures speak a thousand words! After going through my EBC itinerary, check out my photo diary with includes all the highlights of my trek to Everest Base Camp.
  • I did not take altitude sickness medication such as Diamox. This 12 day Everest Base Camp trek itinerary offers the best acclimatizing schedule to allow your body to naturally adjust to the higher altitude.
  • I’ve retraced my steps and emotions in this guide. But remember, I had just come from a 5-month backpacking trip and had done no training whatsoever! If you’re more prepared than I was, expect the hike to be less difficult.
14 Day Everest Base Camp trek itinerary
The scenery between Dingboche and Lobuche

The start of your Everest Base Camp itinerary: Kathmandu

Your first few days in Nepal will be in the capital city, Kathmandu. Sitting at 1 400m above sea level, it’s recommended to spend at least 2 days here.

This allows your body to get used to the higher elevation, especially if you’re coming from sea level.

Kathmandu is a dynamic city with a rich culture and tradition, and you can easily spend a few extra days exploring if you have the time. Most trekking tours include a day excursion to the nearby sights and temples within the city.

Make sure you stay in Thamel. It’s the hiking hub of Kathmandu with scores of eager trekkers choosing to base themselves here before and after their trekking.

You can buy all your hiking gear in Thamel so don’t worry if you’ve forgotten something behind, or if, like me, you arrived in Nepal with zero hiking gear – only a pair of hiking boots! Thamel has got you covered.

Lukla Airport in Nepal
Tenzing Hillary Airport is one of the most dangerous airports in the world

Day 1: Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding

  • Altitude: Kathmandu (1 400m) – Lukla (2 860m) – Phakding (2 610m).
  • Trekking time: 3-4 hours | 7,4 km.
  • Difficulty: Easy with only a few uphill sections.
  • Highlight: Flight into Lukla.
  • Overview: The first day of your Everest Base Camp trek itinerary will start bright and early with a flight out of Kathmandu to the infamous Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla. From there, you’ll hit the ground running and hike just over 3 hours to Phakding, your stop for the night.
  • Tea house: Royal Sherpa Resort.

What to expect on day 1

The day has finally arrived – The first day of your Everest Base Camp itinerary!

The flight to Lukla is only 36 minutes but it relies heavily on the weather. Even if there’s slight cloud cover, the flights are delayed or worse, canceled. My flight with Summit Air was due to leave at 9 am, but we only left after 3 pm due to the weather conditions.

I hate flying so I’d psyched myself up for this notorious flight – it is one of the most dangerous airports in the world after all. And this is no exaggeration! The planes are tiny, and you’re allowed no more than 15kg of luggage – in total!

The flight itself was thrilling but not as frightening as I anticipated. Although I did freak out every few minutes when there was a slight bump.

Everest Base Camp trek itinerary day 1
After a quick lunch in Lukla, we set off on our Everest Base Camp itinerary

Lukla to Phakding

Once you’ve arrived in Lukla, grab a quick bite to eat before starting the afternoon trek to Phakding.

This section from Lukla to Phakding is an easy one and it’s the perfect introduction to the Himilaya mountain range. It’s an incredibly scenic trail that hugs the mountain and runs alongside a stream. You’ll pass through several villages and will set your sights on the first yaks and mules.

Before you know it, you’ll have reached Phakding where you’ll spend the night in your first tea house. Don’t get too used to these comfortable conditions though. The further up you go, the more basic they become!

Tip: There are ATM’s in Lukla (and Namche) but draw cash in Kathmandu as a back-up.

Tip: There’s cell reception (NCell) in Phakding and most tea houses offer free power to charge up your phone or camera here.

Tip: Try to eat well during the first few days as you’ll start losing your appetite from day 3 of your Everest Base Camp itinerary. Remember: “Dal Bhat Power – 24 Hour”

Day 2: Phakding – Namche Bazaar

  • Altitude: Phakding (2 610m) – Namche Bazaar (3 440m).
  • Trekking time: 7-9 hours | 10,4 km.
  • Difficulty: Easy for the first section, steep and difficult for the second half.
  • Highlight: The views from the suspension bridges.
  • Overview: Day 2 is when the real hiking starts! You’ll begin with a slow hike before climbing a steep section leading to Namche Bazaar, one of the most iconic stops on your Everest Base Camp itinerary.
  • Tea house: AD Friendship Lodge.

What to expect on day 2

You’ll want to leave Phakding by 08:00 as you have a long day of hiking ahead of you. The first part is an easy trek alongside pine forests and the excitement will begin to set in as you pass fellow trekkers making their way back down from Everest Base Camp.

Day 2 is one of the most picturesque days of your trek. The glacial rivers are an impressive sight and you’ll cross several suspension bridges throughout the course of the day. These offer gorgeous views but they’re also terrifyingly high! Take in these beautiful surroundings as the landscape changes dramatically over the week.

After lunch, there is a sharp gain in elevation and the easy path suddenly becomes steeper. Take it slow and steady to allow your body to adjust to this higher altitude.

En route to Namche Bazaar, you’ll also get your first glimpse of Mount Everest (If the weather conditions are on your side) and you’ll also need to sign in at a checkpoint.

Day 2 Everest Base Camp itinerary
Day 2 starts off easy, before you hit the section leading to Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar is a picturesque village with a lively atmosphere. It’s the main trading center of the Khumbu region and a sherpa village. From Namche Bazaar it starts to get chilly but luckily there are scores of tea houses with fireplaces to warm you up.

Tip: After you’ve arrived in Namche, pop into Hermann Helmers for their chocolate carrot cake. It’s life-changing!

Tip: Take a warm shower in Namche ($5) as it’s the cheapest you’ll find for the next 10 days!

Tip: Avoid eating meat after Namche Bazaar. Just think of it being carried up the mountain, during the heat of the day with no refrigeration. Don’t do it!

Namche Bazaar
Namche Bazaar is one of the most iconic stops on your Everest Base Camp trek

Day 3: Namche Bazaar (Acclimatization day)

  • Altitude: Namche Bazaar (3 440m) – Everest View Hotel (3 880m) – Namche Bazaar (3 440m).
  • Trekking Time: 3 hours | 2.5 km.
  • Difficulty: The path itself isn’t too difficult, but with the elevation gain, you’ll begin losing your breath quickly.
  • Highlight: Watching Everest documentaries at Liquid Bar (3 pm or 7:30 pm).
  • Overview: A short hiking day to Everest View Hotel and back, followed by free time to explore Namche Bazaar.
  • Tea house: AD Friendship Lodge.

What to Expect on day 3

Day 3 of your Everest Base Camp itinerary is your acclimatization day, a supposedly “rest day” to allow your body to slowly adjust to the high altitude. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get to sit inside and relax all day.

To the contrary, you’ll take a walk to the famous Everest View Hotel. It’s important to get out and hike to a higher point, before coming back down to sleep at a lower altitude.

Here’s your second chance to get a glimpse of Mount Everest if you didn’t the day before. The trek is a tough one, and if you have not yet felt any symptoms of the higher altitude, you’ll soon begin to experience them.

Tip: There are many pubs and bars which show Everest documentaries. Make sure you watch one during your time in Namche (But don’t drink alcohol on your way up – save that for when you return).

Acclimitization hike to EBC
Day 3 on your Everest Base Camp itinerary is an acclimatization day where you’ll trek to Everest View Hotel

Day 4: Namche Bazaar – Khumjung

  • Route: Namche Bazaar (3 440m) – Khumjung (3 780m).
  • Trekking time: 4 hours | 4 km.
  • Difficulty: Moderately easy as it’s a short trekking day but from today the cold sets in.
  • Highlights: Playing card games in front of the fire, wrapped up in my sleeping bag because it was so cold.
  • Overview: You’ll go off the standard trekking route from Namche to Khumjung.
  • Tea House: Hill Top Lodge.

What to expect on Day 4

This is where most Everest Base Camp itineraries differ. From Namche Bazaar, there are two routes you can take both of which link up again in Dingboche (Day 6 of your trek).

I chose the Khumjung route as it’s the less popular one. As a result, the hike isn’t as crowded, yet it offers the same sweeping views of the valleys below.

Coming back down from Everest Base Camp, I went the more common route which I’ve included from day 10 in this Everest Base Camp itinerary. I highly recommend that you do the same as you then get to experience both sides of the valley.

The first 2 hours of hiking to Khumjung involve a gradual incline. Today was the first day that I layered up as it did get quite cold. You’ll pass a small local hospital as well as the famous Sir Edmund Hilary School before arriving in the small village of Khumjung.

When you get to Khumjung you’ll notice the change in the landscape. It’s far more arid and drier, with very few green luscious trees.

Tip: Ensure you have a pack of playing cards and a book with you. They’ll come in handy on short trekking days like today.

Khumjung in Everest Base Camp itinerary
Not many people go from Namche Bazaar to Khumjung, but it’s a great alternative to the more common and busier route

Day 5: Khumjung – Phortse

  • Route: Khumjung (3 780m) – Phortse (3 900m).
  • Trekking time: 6 hours | 7 km.
  • Difficulty: Although there isn’t much altitude gain today, there are still many sections where you walk downhill, before climbing back uphill so this constant up/down is strenuous.
  • Highlights: Today was the first day I began to feel the effects of the high altitude and I lost my appetite.
  • Overview: The trail from Khumjung to Phortse is incredibly scenic and you’ll walk alongside all the Himalaya giants.
  • Tea house: Phortse Resort.

What to expect on day 5

Day 5 of your Everest Base Camp itinerary will start with a 2-hour climb to Mongla (3 975m) before going back down to 3 800m which is the elevation of your next stop, Phortse.

You’re still on the “quieter” route so enjoy this path as it gets busier from tomorrow when you head to Dingboche. Today is the day I started to feel the effects of altitude sickness and by the time I reached our lunch stop, I had lost my appetite and a terrible headache was setting in.

There is also a considerable drop in temperature – It was 4 degrees celcuis when we started walking today. The pipes in Phortse were frozen and the guides start to give you hot water in the evening which will be your drinking water from here on out.

Tip: When you’re given hot water in your drinking bottles, put one inside your sleeping bag to act as a hot water bottle.

Tip: I took a headache tablet at lunchtime and after a good night’s rest, I was feeling much better. If you’re not feeling well, don’t be afraid to take a headache tablet but make sure you communicate with your guide so that he knows to keep an eye out for you.

Day 5 Khumjung to Phortse Everest Base Camp route
On day 5 I got a huge headache and lost my appetite, but by the next day it was gone

Day 6: Phortse – Dingboche

  • Altitude: Phortse (3 800m) – Dingboche (4 360m).
  • Trekking time: 8 hours | 9 km.
  • Difficulty: Today is a long, tiring day and breathing is difficult. The first few hours are tough, followed by an easier trek as you get closer to Dingboche.
  • Highlights: Arriving in Dingboche – today was a hectic day and I was so happy when it was over!
  • Overview: You’ll trek the entire day with a constant gradual incline until you arrive in Dingboche, where our EBC itinerary will meet up with the others who are coming from Tengboche.
  • Tea house: Sonam Friendship Lodge.

What to expect on day 6 of your Everest Base Camp itinerary

Today is a big trekking day!

When I woke up on day 6 I was feeling fit and strong (unlike the afternoon before). I was extremely aware of how sick I had felt yesterday and despite feeling better, I took precautionary measures and walked extra slow with many breaks.

The first 5 hours involve constant uphill climbs, followed by downhill treks, before going uphill again! You’ll eventually pass the tree line, and the entire landscape becomes bare and rocky and resembles a desert.

Today you’ll be surrounded by all the Himilayan giants: Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Cholatse, with unspoiled views of Mount Everest.

Throughout the day you’ll hear the sounds of helicopters making emergency rescues as trekkers begin struggling with the higher altitude and need to be taken back down to Namche Bazaar. It’s quite scary to see how frequently people require this emergency assistance!

Luckily, the final stretch to Dingboche after lunch isn’t as tough as the section before.

Tip: There’s no cell reception as you get closer to Dingboche so enjoy the next few days going off the grid.

Tip: On day 6 of our Everest Base Camp itinerary, a few trekkers started taking altitude sickness medication as a precautionary measure. I didn’t take Diamox but my guide had in case I needed. As always, be cautious of the altitude.

Tip: You’ll lose your appetite, but order boiled potatoes to get some food into your stomach.

Day 6 walking to Dingboche
Day 6 was an incredibly scenic (& very tough) trekking day. View of Ama Dablam

Day 7: Dingboche (Acclimatization day)

  • Altitude: Dingboche (4 360m) – viewpoint (4 900m) – Dingboche (4 360m).
  • Hike time: 3 – 5 hours | 3 km.
  • Difficulty: Short, but steep climb so take it slow and steady.
  • Overview: Today is a short acclimatization hike to a viewpoint and back.
  • Highlight: Views of the Chukhung Valley and Island Peak.

What to expect on day 7 of your Everest Base Camp itinerary

I woke up on day 7 feeling terrible and the Khumbu cough had really set in! I was freezing cold; my nose was constantly running and I was beginning to lose my voice.

The luxuries of warm water, comfortable beds and flushing toilets are long gone, and this is when the mental challenge begins and you’re really put to the test. But listen to your body and be honest with your guides about how you’re feeling.

During my time in Dingboche, a porter from a different tour group (who’d hiked to EBC many times before) had gotten sick and had to be airlifted back to Lukla. This was a harsh reality of the effects of high altitude climbing and how it can happen to anyone, no matter your experience, fitness levels, or age.

Today you’ll go on an acclimatization hike to a viewpoint overlooking the Chukhung Valley. Going to this higher altitude, and then returning to Dingboche will make you feel so much better (like it did for me). So, gear up, pack your day bag and head outside for a few hours.

The walk to the viewpoint is pretty steep and rocky, but you’ll be hiking at a much slower pace than the previous days. All around you, you’re surrounded by towering mountains and peaks, and it’s a sight you won’t easily forget!

Once at the viewpoint, you’ll have the best views of Ama Dablam and Island Peak, as well as the symbolic prayer flags.

I added Island Peak to my Everest Base Camp itinerary (and I HIGHLY recommend you do the same). It’s 4 extra days of trekking after you’ve reached Everest Base Camp, and it was one of the best, and most thrilling experiences of my life! You can read about it here!

Tip: After returning from your acclimatization hike pop into Cafe Himalaya Bakery to watch their daily Everest movie.

Day 8: Dingboche – Lobuche

  • Altitude: Dingboche (4 360m) – Lobuche (4 930m).
  • Trekking time: 7 hours | 10.7km.
  • Difficulty: Hard! The section from the bottom of the ice fall to the Everest memorial is brutal. It’s steep, and it’s far.
  • Highlight: The climb to the Everest memorial. It’s painfully steep and I struggled!
  • Overview: As you leave Dingboche, the first part of your trek is relatively easy. Until you reach Dukla! This is where the trail becomes steep. From there it’s an excruciating 2-hour climb before the path becomes flat again. You’ll walk alongside the Khumbu Glacier, the longest glacier in Nepal.
  • Tea house: Sherpa Lodge.

What to expect on day 8

I kept a day-to-day journal of my Everest Base Camp itinerary, and in it, day 8 is highlighted (in capital letters with several exclamation marks) “The hardest day EVER!

And thinking back to this day, it really was!

The first 3 hours include a gradual incline before crossing to Dukla which will be your lunch stop for the day. Enjoy the break, because you are going to be hating life for the next 2 hours – it’s a killer of a climb and breathing at an altitude of over 4 500m doesn’t make it any easier!

You’ll pass many trekkers who are making their way back from Everest Base Camp. I was shocked to see the condition most of them were in. Many people were even getting carried down by mules! They looked like they had really taken strain – coughing, no voice, chapped lips and no energy. I was hoping and praying that wouldn’t be me in a few days (but unfortunately, it was – except I didn’t need to be carried down!)

At the top, you’ll reach the Everest Memorial for climbers who’ve lost their lives in their attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest. There is a somber mood, and I still get goosebumps thinking about all those climbers and their families.

From the memorial, it’s about a 1-hour trek alongside the Khumbu Glacier to Lobuche. This last section is far easier than the previous one. Again, take it slowly!

Tip: At this stage, everyone is feeling the effects of the altitude and the cold. You’re not alone! Just keep pushing through, it’s nearly over! (says me who wanted to turn back countless times).

Day 8 EBC itinerary in Nepal
After crossing this section, it’s a tough 2 hour climb to the Everest memorial

Day 9: Lobuche – Gorak Shep – Everest Base Camp – Gorak Shep

  • Altitude: Lobuche (4 930m) – Gorak Shep (5 160m) – Everest Base Camp (5 360m) – Gorak Shep (5 160m)
  • Time: 10 hours | 12 km.
  • Difficulty: Moderate with a steep climb towards Gorak Shep and an easy trail to Everest Base Camp. The difficulty lies in hiking time and the high altitude.
  • Overview: Today is the day you reach Everest Base Camp! You’ll arrive in Gorak Shep, drop off your bags and have lunch before departing north along the Khumbu Glacier to Everest Base Camp.
  • Highlight: It should be reaching Everest Base Camp, right? But to be honest, my most vivid memory is sitting in the tea house in Gorak Shep after returning from Everest Base Camp. There were no celebrations the atmosphere was not jovial. The common area of more than 60 people was quiet, and you could only hear the sounds of loud coughing. Everyone feeling sick and everyone looking worse for wear. People were being helivaced, others were on oxygen. You could see trekkers struggling to take a bite of their food. I was so emotional because I was just so incredibly exhausted. You could sense that everyone was at their breaking point and had been pushed to their limits. Including me.
  • Tea house: Buddha Lodge
Everest Base Camp trek difficulty
Half way between Lobuche and Everest Base Camp – Mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted

What to expect on day 9

Whilst the previous day’s hike to Lobuche was certainly the toughest and most physical section, getting to Gorak Shep, and then on to EBC and Kala Pattar were the most emotionally and mentally challenging sections of my entire Everest Base Camp itinerary.

Your day will start with a moderate trek leading to Gorak Shep from Lobuche. After about an hour into your hike, the path becomes steep with numerous boulders to pass. Whilst it isn’t a strenuous climb, the altitude will affect you and you’ll be walking very slowly.

You’ll reach Gorak Shep at lunchtime where you’ll drop off your bags and prepare for the afternoon hike to EBC. You don’t actually stay at Everest Base Camp. Gorak Shep is your base with the closest tea house to EBC.

After lunch, you’ll continue to Everest Base Camp. The path is made of rocky sections and loose stones. You’ll be exhausted at this point. But the adrenalin rush will keep you going and the excitement to finally reach Everest Base Camp will get you to the end.

Arriving at base camp is surreal. You can see the Khumbu Icefall in the distance, one of the most notorious sections leading up to the Everest summit. It’s an eerie feeling reaching Everest Base Camp but absolutely gorgeous standing at the foot of the highest mountain in the world.

Tip: Don’t rush! Remember that you’re breathing in air with 50% oxygen. Many trekkers get excited as they’re so close to Everest Base Camp, but you still need to be careful. From what I saw, several people got sick and had to be put on oxygen AFTER they’d successfully reached EBC, perhaps this is because they’d taken it too fast.

Everest Base Camp hike in Nepal
I made it to Everest Base Camp!

Day 10: Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar – Pheriche

  • Altitude: Gorak Shep (5 160m) – Kala Patar (5 643m) – Pheriche (4 370m).
  • Trekking time: 7 hours | 13 km.
  • Difficulty: This day is difficult, only because of Kala Patthar! The rest is easy as you’ll be going down the mountain to a lower altitude.
  • Highlight: Everything about the trek up to Kala Patthar. The 5 am wake up call, the ice-cold temperatures, the steep trail, the incredible view!
  • Overview: The day starts with an early morning trek to Kala Patthar for the best views of Mount Everest. After returning to Gorak Shep, you’ll head back down to Pheriche.
Kala Patthar in Gorak Shep
Kala Patthar is a peak near EBC where you can see Mount Everest

What to expect on day 10 of your Everest Base Camp trek itinerary

You can’t actually see Mount Everest from Everest Base Camp or Gorak Shep as Lhotse sits in front of it and blocks the view. This is why people trek to Kala Patthar, which is a nearby viewpoint next to Gorak Shep.

Be prepared for a long and tiring day! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any tougher, day 10 of your Everest Base Camp itinerary will really push you to your limits.

Sitting at 5 643m, Kala Patthar is a small, rocky peak with a rewarding view of Mount Everest, Changtse, Lhotse and Nuptse.

Your morning starts with a 5 am wake up call as you prepare to hike to Kala Patthar. Some trekkers choose to skip this part of the itinerary because they’re too sick and just do not have the energy to make it to the top. The main goal is Everest Base Camp, right? You’ve made it!

You don’t have to climb Kala Patthar. Listen to your body and if you’re not feeling well, don’t do it!

But, unlike most trekkers, my Everest Base Camp itinerary wasn’t coming to an end after reaching base camp. I still had to climb to 6 200m and summit Island Peak!

So, I saw this trek up to Kala Patthar as an acclimatization hike and good training for my Island Peak summit, which was a few days later. So, I soldiered on.

I was incredibly slow, fatigued, and sluggish and only got about ¾ of the way to the top before our guide advised that we turn back. If we didn’t, we’d fall behind on the days schedule.

You can still see Mount Everest from about halfway up Kala Patthar so if you want to turn around, you should as the views are pretty much the same.

We arrived back at our tea house at Gorak Shep at about 9 am, had a quick breakfast then began our long trek past Lobuche and on to Pheriche.

My day hadn’t got off to a good start and I was feeling very weak hiking Kala Patthar, but as soon as we began our downhill climb, I regained my strength and felt like a different person!

Tip: If you’re feeling sick at Gorak Shep, make sure you monitor this but the moment you go to a lower altitude, you will feel stronger.

Tip: If you’re continuing to Island Peak, you can check out my Island Peak guide. Basically, from Gorak Shep, you’ll go to Dingboche (and not Pheriche as this route goes). After spending the night in Dingboche, you’ll go in a different direction to Chukhung and Island Peak Base Camp.

Gorak Shep to Periche on your EBC itinerary
Day 10 and saying goodbye to the mountains

Day 11: Pheriche – Namche Bazaar

  • Altitude: Pheriche (4 280m) to Namche Bazaar (3 440m).
  • Trekking time: 14km | 8 hours.
  • Difficulty: Easy but a long day of hiking.

What to expect on day 11

You’ll be running down from Pheriche to Namche Bazaar as it’s so much easier to breathe as the elevation decreases. This day (and the next) are particularly long and all you will want is to get off the mountains ASAP! You’ll crave a hot shower, clean clothes, a proper meal, and a warm bed.

You’ll hit the tree line once again, cross over suspension bridges, and pass scores of mules.

After every corner, you’ll think you’ve reached Namche Bazaar, but it’s further than you expect, and the trail seems to go on forever. On your way down you still have sections where you climb up and down (yes, more climbing), but there’s no altitude gain so who’s complaining!

You’ll pass Tengboche, which is home to the largest monastery of the Khumbu region and the village where most trekkers stop on their way up the mountain (But we chose a different route on this Everest Base Camp itinerary).

Last day of my Everest Base Camp itinerary in Nepal
Feeling like a new person after moving from 5 360m to 3 440m

Day 12: Namche Bazaar – Lukla

  • Altitude: Namche Bazaar (3 440m) – Lukla (2 860m).
  • Trekking time: 18 km | 8 hours.
  • Difficulty: Same as yesterday! A long day of hiking.

You’ve made it to the last day of your Everest Base Camp trek itinerary! Today you’ll retrace your steps from Day 1 and 2 (except this time you’ll cover the same distance in 1 day, and not 2!)

You’ll also see other trekkers ascending to EBC looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. If only they knew what was in store for them over the next few days! You’ll smile at them, and offer words of encouragement, but deep inside, you’ll just thanking your lucky stars that it’s them going up, and not you!

Enjoy your last lunch on the mountains in the village of Phakding before taking on the last section to Lukla. Spend the night in Lukla where you’ll celebrate with a delicious meal and a few cold beers!

Namche Bazaar to Lukla
We basically ran down that mountain!

Last day of your Everest Base Camp itinerary: Lukla – Kathmandu

On the last day, you’ll be ready to say goodbye to the mountains! Once again your flight isn’t guaranteed to leave on schedule so one last bit of patience is required.

After I landed in Kathmandu, I went straight to my hotel, had the best hot shower EVER, ordered takeaways, hopped into bed and didn’t leave my room for 24 hours! Those 24 hours of doing nothing were absolutely incredible!

Final thoughts on Everest Base Camp

Trekking to Everest Base Camp is tough. Looking back, there are so many moments where I was thinking “Why the F$%# did I sign up for this” and “With this money, I could’ve spent an extra 3 months backpacking instead of putting myself through this torture“.

But, challenging myself, my mind, my body – and crushing my goal and STILL going on to summit Island Peak – man, you cannot beat that feeling!

Psst… Looking for epic adventures to add to your bucket list? Check out my other posts!

Pin this!
Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary - Torn Tackies Travel Blog

Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal - Torn Tackies Travel Blog

805 Shares

22 Comments

  1. Wow! Sounds like such an adventure. I loved reading your in depth post about your Everest base camp itinerary. It sounds like there is so much that goes into preparing but definitely sounds like you had the adventure of a lifetime.

  2. So interesting to read about your experience! I’m going to Nepal soon to do the Annapurna base camp and mardi Himal. They have a lower altitude but I’m still a bit nervous because of the altitude sickness 🙆🏼‍♀️

    1. It was tough, but everyone goes through a different experience. I thought about turning back so many times, but I’m so glad I stayed strong and kept going!

  3. BADASS! I love that you mentioned a longer itinerary to acclimatize (is that the right word? lol) naturally and a way to get off the beaten path for this popular trek! I hope to make the Everest Base Camp Trek in the coming years and this is definitely a guide I will come back to help plan (: AND CONGRATS on killing it on this hike! So epic!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *