This blog is about how I did the Everest BC Trek in 8 days. Actually 7 and a flight back to Kathmandu on the 8th. This was NOT a race or intentionally fast trek. I simply didn’t take any ‘Rest Days’ or waste 2 hours a day with lunch stops. Also, rather than stopping early in the afternoons, I walked casually until around 5 pm each day. In the post I provide details on this is self-guided adventure on a shoestring. Follow the links to dig deeper into the adventure.
Let me first point out that the actual trek duration was 8 days plus 2 attempted flight days. What does that mean? I visited the Kathmandu Domestic airport early on March 5th and spent half the day cuing up for my Sita Air flight to Lukla. At 11.30 I boarded the tiny plane and we flew for 40 minutes to Lukla (zig-zagging around clouds and mountain passes), only to be turned back to Kathmandu due to poor visibility at the Lukla airport. I repeated this process on the following day (yes we flew to Lukla and turned back again). On the third day (March 7th) we actually landed and the trek began. See Maps & Facts for Itinerary details.
I did this trek independently and in only 7 days and a wake-up without a plan. And due to the two days lost on false-start flights I felt a bit impatient to get on with the trekking. So rather than lose a lot of time with the standard daily lunch stop I simply purchase prepared cold Samosas or ate from my large stock of chocolate and granola bars. This added a minimum 2 hours of walking time a day (locally prepared lunches take forever in Nepal).
Plus, when it came to recommended ‘Rest Days’ in standard itineraries I skipped them. Not for speed but because I felt bored sitting around the small mountain towns alone. I was trekking independently and found very few other independent trekkers on the Everest route (compared to my Annapurna experiences). So rather than wander in circles around Namche Bazaar, Tengboche or Lobuche I skipped the suggested rest days and moved on.
I also prefer to walk slowly and long rather than fast and short. So I took my time, rested often and kept walking until around 5pm each day.
So the standard 12-day Everest Base Camp trek, minus 3 Rest Days put me at 9 days and my skipped lunches and long days reduced that further to 7 trekking days and a wake-up flight out. Not something I recommend to those unaccustomed to mountains and high altitude.
Total Cost Range of this Activity is: $$$
See Maps & Facts for cost details.
Rather than discuss the trip in minute detail I will stick to the points I feel are need-to-know. See Maps & Facts for the actual Itinerary details.
Everest BC Trek Time of Year
I’ve done the EBC trek two other times in Nepal (plus once in Tibet) and both previous times I found the weather pleasant or tolerable. Those treks were done in April/May or early June. Yes Gorak Shep and EBC were cold but nothing extreme back then. This time I was trekking in early March and it was freezing cold from Tengboche north at night (frozen water bottles, toilets and my body fully dressed under two heavy but ineffective quilts). So I strongly recommend you trek in April or later in the Spring season or anytime in the Fall season.
Further there were no actual climbers at EBC in mid-March, just local porters and builders setting up the camp facilities.
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New trekking Rules for Independent Trekkers
The Nepal Tourist Board has effectively eliminated independent trekking in Nepal with their new rules starting April 1, 2023. I do have a legitimate work-around for these restrictive measures. See Maps & Facts for details.
Photos Of the Everest BC Trek
From Lukla flight to Dingboche
From Dingboche to Gorak Shep
From Gorak Shep to EBC and Back
Note that the trekker EBC hike now ends at a large boulder spray painted with EBC and the altitude. This was not the original hike end in the old days (that I did in the past). This boulder is before the actual base camp and offers only limited views of the ice fall (you will have to do the Kala Pattar hike for that view).
Historically you could hike to the actual stone marker (where pujas were held) in Base Camp. Since I was doing the EBC hike in the morning I was the only trekker in sight (99.9% of trekkers do the EBC hike in the afternoon and the Kala Pathar hike in the morning) so I decided to make friends with a porter and follow him into Base Camp. I then found my way to the new stone marker and puja site. Took pictures and then retraced my steps back to the boulder.
By this time the boulder was swarming with hikers and an endless conga line of additional trekkers were on their way. I was glad I had reversed the natural order and got to wander around EBC by myself.
Photos of Kathmandu Before & After the Everest BC Trek
Visit Maps & Facts for more Everest BC Trek Details
Download the Everest BC Trek GPS gpx track file from the GPS Tracks page.
Download the free mobile Trekking Nepal App for more route and trek options.
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