Everest Base Camp Trek
Stand face to face with Chomolungma — the Goddess Mother of Earth
On this Everest Base Camp Trek you’ll be enchanted by Nepal, a country of hospitable people, beautiful scenery, and a large variety of cultural traditions. This blend of outdoor adventure and cultural exploration is a great way to experience the Himalayan Mountains — perhaps the world’s most impressive mountains.
Our carefully crafted itinerary ensures proper acclimatization, allowing you to fully enjoy one of the world’s great treks and the non-technical ascent of 18,450 foot / 5624 meter Kala Pattar. Discover why this has become one of our most rewarding journeys and a Mountain Madness Classic, developed by our founder Scott Fischer. You’ll enjoy our decades of experience in Nepal with the best possible service and a time-honored connection to Nepal.
Open your tent door in the morning at base camp with a cup of hot milk tea in hand to start the day. Then enjoy the spectacular views and rays of morning sun beaming down over the shoulder of the highest mountain on the planet. There are few places like this in the world. Take it all in.
The adventure starts with a full day tour of Kathmandu’s famous Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas. With seven United Nations World Heritage Sites in the valley, you can step back in time to the Golden Age of Nepal’s art and architectural history, as well as see the richness of its modern daily life.
After exploring Kathmandu, you’ll fly into the remote mountain town of Lukla and begin your trek, following an ancient Sherpa trade route to the area’s famous Namche Bazaar. Beyond it, you will find traditional villages, rhododendron forests, terraced fields, and summer pastures for yak grazing, before moving into the stark landscape of glaciers and ice.
Our route will enable you to visit monasteries in the heart of Sherpa country, where you can observe the monks in their daily prayers. You’ll also hike out onto the Khumbu glacier to visit the iconic Everest Base Camp, where climbers, following the steps of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, prepare for their summit attempts. You’ll stand at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall, where modern day climbers begin their own odyssey.
During climbing season (April/May), Mountain Madness offers you the special opportunity to spend one night at Everest Base Camp before beginning your descent. Outside of climbing season, we will use the extra time to divert from the main trail for a stunning hike to an off-the-beaten-path village on an ancient trade route.
You then return to Kathmandu for a day of shopping, rest, or walking the Old Quarter before a farewell evening celebration with a delicious multi-course meal of Nepal’s finest cuisine.
Dream of standing on top of the world? Join us for our full-blown Mt. Everest trip which guides you all the way to the summit of the world’s tallest peak.
UNESCO Sites to Discover
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Sites:
When you’re back home, you’ll think about this trip in so many more ways than just the spectacular peaks you experienced. Take today, for example. You’ve just seen Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, a World Heritage site with an astonishing 50+ temples, shrines, and palaces — and the home of the Kumari, Kathmandu’s very own living goddess. Now, you’re poised at the brink of a time tunnel. From Durbar Square, a walk in any direction will plunge you into a tangle of alleyways that will take you back to Kathmandu’s medieval roots, with tiny, hole-in-the-wall shops, timeless crafts, and the pervading smell of incense and spices.
Next, you can take in another of the seven World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley: Swayambhunath, an iconic 5th century Buddhist temple that overlooks the city. After a 365-stair climb (hello, acclimatization!) and many, many monkeys (its nickname is the Monkey Temple), you’ll reach the sacred stupa, with its white dome, gilded spire, and the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha. Some of our clients also elect to visit Nepal’s oldest and holiest Hindu shrine, Pashupatinath Temple, which draws worshippers from across the Indian subcontinent, along with an assortment of painted sadhus (Hindu ascetics).
Later, while you’re considering your next adventure in culture-rich Kathmandu, nothing refreshes like some delicious Nepali cuisine (hello, momos!), washed down with locally-brewed beer!
Sagarmatha National Park
It’s dawn and a beehive’s strong, rhythmic droning has woken you up — no, wait… It’s horns, played in unison, and punctuated by the occasional crash of a cymbals. The sound is winding its way to you from a nearby monastery, where Buddhist monks are greeting the day with morning prayers. You are not in Kansas anymore. You are in Namche Bazaar, and today is a very special day: The day you’ll see Mount Everest for the first time!
Home of the world’s highest peak and encompassing the majestic Great Himalayan Range, Sagarmatha National Park has it all — dramatic mountains, glaciers, deep ravines, and rare species, including the snow leopard and the red panda. Balancing all this grandeur are the friendly Sherpa people, 6,000 of whom make the park their home, as Sherpas have for the last four centuries. Their cultural and religious traditions include a reverence for all living beings and a restriction of animal hunting, practices that have helped to conserve the park. As you journey through the park, you’ll understand why UNESCO listed it as a World Heritage Site.
Trekker's First-Hand Account
Late March 2013, trekker Krista Means joined us for our Everest Base Camp Trek. Krista’s daily reflections will give you an insider’s view of the trek and the nitty-gritty details of the day-to-day schedule, food, culture, and coping with the high altitude!
Everest Base Camp Trek: A Journal From the Field
March 28, 2013
Got up early two days ago to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla which is where the trek begins. Unfortunately, the weather in Lukla was very poor and the airport wasn’t planning to open for planes all day. So after 6 hours of waiting in Kathmandu (after a 5:00am hotel departure) we were forced to either fly by helicopter or reservations for our entire trip could be in jeopardy. After Deana, our guide, made all the last minute arrangements, we were off. The ride was good, yet terrifying to some, but ultimately successful!
We landed in Lukla and after a quick lunch, immediately started our trek. We hiked an easy 3 hours to Phakding, had dinner and hit the hay. Sleep has not come easy so far on this trip but last night in Phakding was the best so far with 5 hours.
Early wake up and set off for Namche Bazaar after breakfast. The first couple of hours the trail started out gently enough, rolling up and down until we reached the last suspension bridge of the day. Then the trail quickly became a wicked, ruthless ladder of steep steps. Mile after mile of straight up, as in, straight up a hill, dodging mules, yak’s and Nepali men and boys who carried twice my weight and then some ‑on their heads, no less. These porters work harder in one day than I have in most of my life. I will never complain again. (Ok, I’m pretty sure I will but maybe I’ll complain less?) Unfortunately, this lasted for a good three hours until the entrance to Namche brightened our weary eyes.
All in all it took us 7 hours (breaks included) to make it to Namche Bazaar. This is much longer than it would have taken had it been a simple hike back in the states due to the elevation gain. I haven’t felt exhaustion like that in a while, but a hot shower and a Nepali massage later I am feeling pretty good.
My altimeter now reads 11,290 feet up. Only another 7000 feet to go!
We woke up to Day Two in Namche. At two points during the trek we will stay for two nights in a village instead of only one to help with the acclimatization process. This however does not mean we get a day off from trekking. This morning we got up and had a delicious breakfast of warm muesli, and omelets. The food here is very good! Traveling on this entire trek with us is a staff of 18 ‑comprised of porters/Sherpa’s and cooks. Not to mention 16 cross breeds ‑which is an animal mix of yak and mountain cow. To say that we want for nothing would be an understatement.
After breakfast we headed out for an acclimatization hike. ‘Hike high and sleep low’ is how the adage goes, with the belief that if you hike high and come back down to sleep your body adjusts better to the rise in altitude. This is what the climbers do for weeks in preparation of an Everest summit day. Today we climbed somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 feet in just about 1.6 miles to the Mt. Everest View Hotel. As the name would suggest, we got our first peek of Everest (Sagarmatha as the Nepali call it) although it was just the very top and the rest was obscured by another mountain ridge. However, stunning views of Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Taboche were all visible. After a quick cup of tea on the deck, we headed back down and were back to our guest house by lunchtime. Another great meal followed by some shopping and some key downtime before dinner.
Tomorrow we rise early and depart Namche for Tengboche.
March 31st-April 2nd
Arrived in Tengboche two days ago around 2:30pm after another punishing day of trekking. The first part of the day started out innocuous enough with a flat trail contouring the mountainside. But by lunch we had dropped completely down to the river and were beginning our ascent again. It’s demoralizing when the trail drops down so far, in essence wasting all the altitude gain we have made. To make matters worse, the forecasted sunny weather decided to take the day off and windy/cold weather took her place.
After arriving in Tengboche, we were freezing but needed to hurry up and walk over to the famous monastery of the chanting monks. As expected there would be no heat in the building but we took our place on the floor, careful to not point the bottoms of our feet towards the altar. The monks had already begun when we arrived and continued for another 10 minutes or so after our arrival. While listening to them chant the person sitting next to me, pointed out a huge rat underneath the cabinet next to us playing with a small broken piece of a ceramic bowl. Amazingly, I wasn’t fazed and instead chuckled. If this trip has done only one thing for me, it has stripped me (hopefully for long past the trip end) of my pampered self. I had hoped for this. The conditions we are currently living within are so far removed from my luxurious American life at home. We may have a roof over our head, but we haven’t had heat since Kathmandu except for a couple of hours at dinner, and it snowed last night so that tells you how cold it. As painful as this extended period of discomfort is, it’s weirdly the best part of the trip.
The next morning we awoke to a white Nepal…a half inch of snow everywhere. It made the morning trek a little treacherous but the sun was out so it burned off quickly. We then spent the morning walking to Pangboche so that we could meet and be blessed by Lama Geshe, a very famous lama that blesses all the Everest climbers. It was such an emotional experience and I had a hard time keeping it together. Undoubtedly, one of the best moments of my life.
After our blessing we walked another hour to lunch and then another two hours to Dingboche, our home for the next two nights. The altitude here is around 14,000 feet so some people often start to feel very bad. True to form four people were very sick last night. This is such an inhospitable environment that it is truly a wonder anyone makes it to base camp, let alone the top of the mountain. (Not to mention the amazing people who live here!!) It’s really one day at a time as illness can befall you at any time.
We also see many helicopters flying past us on a pretty regular basis. I knew the answer to my question before I asked it, but hoping I was wrong I asked our guide, “Why so many helicopters…the climbers haven’t even started climbing yet”. “They’re rescuing Trekkers” she said. Awesome. It really dawned on me at this point that this is a serious undertaking. Most of us are not seasoned alpine climbers used to hostile conditions. Instead most Trekkers are people just like me who simply enjoy hiking.
Hopefully all the blessings I have been fortunate enough to receive will be enough to carry me safely to EBC and back down. But luckily I am with a guide who honors safety first and in her I trust!
We woke up this morning in Dingboche ready to head out to Lobuche. First part of the hike was a moderate incline that turned into a beautiful expanse of rolling tundra. We long ago passed the tree line so the landscape is pretty barren. After two hours of that we came to Thukla — a small outpost in the middle of nowhere. From there we headed straight up to Lobuche Pass. At the top is where the memorial for Scott Fischer (Climber and Mountain Madness Founder) is, along with many other climbers who have lost their lives. I can only imagine how sobering that must be for the Everest climbers passing through on their way to base camp. The rest of the trek to Lobuche was a small, gradual incline and a pretty pleasant walk.
We arrived at the lodge in Lobuche (16,175 feet) pretty early, around 1:30pm. I was really having a lot of trouble breathing. Talk about an uncomfortable feeling. I just couldn’t get a full breath. Deana (our guide) told me to increase my dose of Diamox to the prescribed dose and within an hour I could breathe perfectly again.
Amazingly, the lodge at Lobuche was warmer than expected and packed with climbers and Trekkers. We’ve been leapfrogging with some Everest climbers for the past couple of days and they were hanging out in the lodge when we arrived. Turns out two of them are from Seattle!
The rest of the night included a shower (a religious experience!!), a partial game of Phase 10 with two of the Sherpas, dinner and a 7:30 bedtime.
We had a 5:30am wake-up call and were on the trail by 7:15. Of note: our room was so cold last night that my contact solution (saline) actually froze. How cold does it need to be for saltwater to freeze?
We are climbing to Gorak Shep where we will have a quick snack and then a two hour uphill slog to the top of Kala Pattar (18,500 feet — the peak for this trip) for the best views we’ll have of Everest. Then back down to Gorak Shep for the night. Tomorrow we will head to EBC for our final night before we begin our descent.
Climbed Kala Pattar earlier today. It was easily one of the hardest climbs on the trip. Luckily the weather held and when we finally arrived at the top, the views were beautiful beyond words. We had the best view of Everest we’ve had or will have (you can’t see Everest from base camp). Now that’s a hike with a view! We came back down after a ton of pictures were taken by our group, had lunch and I went to lie down until dinner. The Sherpas feed us SO much delicious food, almost too much. They are so hard working and a kinder, gentler group of people I have never met. Some of the meals we’ve had so far on this trip are veggie pizza (amazing!), apple pie, spring rolls, veggie kabobs, dal bhat chicken curry, amazing soups.…all made by a staff of 5 or so from a tent outside. The head chef, Dambar, is a true artist. He trained at Everest base camp under some of the head cooks up there and it shows. The biggest tip we can pay these guys will never be enough.
Tomorrow we head to EBC finally!!! One night there and we begin our trek back to Kathmandu.
April 5th — Everest Base Camp!
As usual, we got up early in Gorak Shep. I had woken in the middle of the night with a monster of a headache and it was no better upon my morning waking. Deana had said this might happen. It seems I had found my altitude limit. I had no appetite for breakfast and felt miserably nauseous. All signs of mild altitude sickness. I got my gear together and met the group outside after breakfast. The weather was beautiful ‑a bluebird day, as all the days before had at least begun. The hike to the entrance to base camp is approximately 3 hours of up and down in rocky gravel, on the edge of the Khumbu Glacier. It was sunny, but cold and windy, and my headache was making the trip anything but fun. But once we reached the ‘Everest Base Camp’ rock, emotion overcame me. For more than 13 years I have wanted to come to EBC and here I was. It was a surreal moment that I will never forget. My only regret is that my husband wasn’t there to share it with me.
We spent the next 30 minutes — at least — taking every combination of pictures. This is what we came for right?! When we were done we headed off to our camp which unbelievably was another hour walk within camp. It’s that big! I was in so much pain that when we finally got to our camp I went into my tent and slept for the next two hours. Unfortunately the headache was still with me. We had plans to go visit the group of Everest climbers we had met on the trail in the late afternoon, so I rallied and we wandered over to their camp. They gave us a tour — really cool — and it was crazy to think of these guys climbing Everest in the next month or so. We’ve struck up a friendship with them over the time on this trek so I’ll be watching their progress via blog when I return home.
We then headed back to our camp for dinner and tea. My condition continued to deteriorate so after I was able to get a bowl of tomato soup down, Deana asked one of the Sherpa’s to give me some oxygen so that my headache might go away long enough for me to fall asleep. It worked!
Breakfast brought the sun as well as the return of this cracking headache. I was so nauseous that I couldn’t bear the thought of eating but I took a couple bites of porridge to make Deana happy. The group was planning to head to the EBC hospital but she offered me the chance to just get on the trail as the only thing that would make this headache go away was heading down in altitude. I chose to head straight out so Nanga Sherpa and I left base camp straight away. Despite feeling sick while I was there Base Camp was still everything I had hoped. Sleeping in tents on the edge of the Khumbu Icefall was an amazing experience. Listening to the sounds and seeing avalanches fall all around us was simply awesome. Hearing the glacier pop at nighttime.…wow! At one point last night the temperature in our tent got to 12 degrees and outside it was 8 degrees. It made that midnight bathroom run a challenge! But I slept warmly and well despite the cold.
So Nanga and I headed out. The hiking was painful with this awful headache but we hustled along, back through Gorak Shep and on to Lobuche (16,175ft).
When we arrived at Lobuche, the lodge was as warm as it had been the last time, something unusual on this trek. I popped two Excedrin and lay down to take a nap, while Nanga stayed close. When I awoke 90 minutes later, the headache was finally gone. My appetite had also mostly returned and when lunch was served a bit later, after the others had arrived, I ate well. We all then had to hurry and get going, for our final destination was still miles away. We arrived in Pheriche around 5:45, making it a 9 hour day of trekking. We were all exhausted.
We have 3 more nights in sleeping bags before our final flight back to Kathmandu. Everyone just wants to get home at this point and I’m no exception. I miss my family.
I made it. I am now back in Lukla and ready to catch my flight back to Kathmandu tomorrow. Despite the trail being an easy trek of rolling ups and downs it was a grueling hike back. The days were long and we needed to cover in 4 days, what we went up in 9. In addition, a combination of exhaustion, temperature and camping-like hygiene have taken their toll. I’m ready for our hotel in Kathmandu with a cozy bed and warm temperatures. The only thing that stands between me and comfort is our dinner this evening, which I’m really looking forward to. My fellow climbers and I will have the honor of getting to serve dinner to all the amazing people who have taken care of us for the past two weeks. I hope we can do as good of a job as they did!
We all had a wonderful time at our going away dinner last night. For the first time, we were given the opportunity to serve dinner to the people who have cooked and served us for the past 13 days. It was a pleasure and they were very patient with us. We then all had homemade chocolate cake (I don’t know how he bakes a cake from a tent at this high altitude!!) and danced and drank. I think it’s safe to say everyone had a great time. We then caught a morning flight back to Kathmandu and checked back in to the Yak and Yeti. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a shower as much as I did today. Wow. It is great to be back. I now feel like I can enjoy Kathmandu a little more now that the trek is behind me. I have a full two days before my flight leaves for home and I look forward to eating, shopping and sleeping — a great way to end an amazing journey.
I don’t know how to even begin summing up this amazing experience. It was exhilarating and brutal all within the same labored breath. I wouldn’t change a single thing about any of it. We were so incredibly taken care of and only had to focus on putting one foot in front of the other. We had beautiful blue skies every day and despite the cold, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I have a very special place in my heart for all the kind people of Nepal who have fed us, guided us, healed us, blessed us, hauled us and cheered us on our journey.
~ Trekker Krista Means
Frequently asked questions about the trek
Can I rent gear through Mountain Madness? Will someone check my gear?
Mountain Madness doesn’t have rental gear in Nepal. There are some gear shops in Kathmandu but they are often out of popular sizes and very hit or miss in making reservations. Therefore, it is important that the equipment guidelines are followed and all required gear is brought with you. We will do a gear check in Kathmandu to make sure you have everything and that it is packed correctly.
How heavy will my pack be?
Your Everest Base Camp Trek will be a fully supported trek with porters and pack animals. You will be carrying a daypack on trekking days, which contains snacks, camera, water and extra clothing and weighs between 15 – 20 lbs.
Is it possible for me to store clothing I will not need on the trek?
Yes, if you have a small bag of extra clothing, you will be able to store it safely in Kathmandu for the duration of the trek.
What is the average temperature during the trek to Everest Base Camp?
The trips get progressively warmer from March through May. Day time temperatures can be in the 50s or 60s F (10 to 20 C) when the weather is calm and clear. Night time temperatures at the higher elevations may be below freezing, especially if the weather is windy. You might expect a little bit of snow at the higher elevations and temperatures in the 20s (around 0 C). Temperatures during the fall season are a bit colder and you may see more snow near the trail.
What kind of lodging can I expect?
Your hotel in Kathmandu is the 5‑star Yak & Yeti. This hotel offers luxurious accommodations, cafes with regional and continental meals and an outstanding breakfast buffet. While on the trek, you will stay in traditional Nepali teahouses, hand-picked based on their cleanliness, facilities, and comfort. Guest rooms have good mattresses, clean sheets, locking doors, and western style bathrooms including flush toilets and hot showers. The teahouses feature private sleeping arrangements with two ‑four people in a room. For the spring trekkers who stay at the base camp for a night, you will stay in tents there.
Can I request single accommodations?
All accommodations are based on double or triple occupancy. If you are traveling solo and wish to share accommodations, we will pair you with another traveler. Singles are available in Kathmandu, but more difficult to secure in teahouses. If you prefer single accommodations in teahouses, we will do our best to arrange it, however, there are some situations where it may not be possible. If you request single accommodations, you will be responsible for paying the single supplement fee.
Can Mountain Madness customize trips?
Mountain Madness loves to customize personal trips for you, your friends, or organization. Our published land costs are typically based on 5 – 10 individuals, so the number in your party may affect your land costs. Just give us a call and let us know what you’re interested in, and we’ll do our best to Make It Happen!
I’d like to travel with my younger son or daughter. Is there a minimum age requirement?
No, however, we’d like to talk with you about the trip you are interested in and whether it’s right for someone under age 18.
Who will be picking me up and where?
A Mountain Madness guide or representative will pick you up at the airport on the scheduled arrival date. We can help you arrange accommodations if you arrive earlier, and are happy to make suggestions for transportation, restaurants and sightseeing.
What if want to arrive earlier or depart later than the scheduled trip dates?
Mountain Madness is glad to help you arrange accommodations before and after your trip and can recommend side excursions and restaurants for the extra time.
Should I tip my guides?
Tipping is always a personal choice, but is greatly appreciated by your guides. Check your departure packet for details. If you decide to tip your American guide (and want to avoid carrying extra cash), you might consider bringing a blank check that can be made out to your guide.
What kind of food will we be eating? Can you accommodate a vegetarian or vegan diet?
All of the meals served at teahouses are a combination of the local and regional fares along with some Western-style meals. There are vegetarian options available at the teahouses. If you are vegan, you will need to bring some supplemental food along to accommodate your needs. Please call our office if you have further questions about this.
What if someone on my trip feels sick or wants to stop?
During a trek, if someone becomes ill or feels that they do not wish to go any farther, the guides decide whether the person requires an escort to descend (with local staff or assistant guide) or if he or she can stay put until the group returns.
How soon should I reserve my place? How quickly to the trips fill up?
There is no way to know how quickly our trips are going to fill up. Many of our trips fill up months in advance. So send in your application and a deposit as soon as you have decided which trip date you want.
Do I need to purchase travel or evacuation insurance?
Mountain Madness highly recommends the purchasing of trip cancellation, travel insurance and medical evacuation policies. Once we have received your application and have confirmed your spot on a trip, we will send you information about the various types of insurance and insurance companies we recommend.
Everest Base Camp Trek
$4,650 – 21 Days / Includes travel time
Single Supplement (I want my own room in Kathmandu) – $500
- Guide(s) and staff
- Park fees
- Roundtrip airfare from Kathmandu to Lukla
- Kathmandu city tour
- Four scheduled hotel nights in Kathmandu (double occupancy)
- Scheduled restaurant meals in Kathmandu
- All teahouse accommodations and food while on the trek, except lunch on Day 7
- All support staff including cooking staff, porters and pack animals
- Ground transportation and airport transfers
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare
- Nepal entry visa and airport fees
- Personal equipment and clothing
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, room service, extra hotel nights, extra meals, etc.)
- Personal porter
- Alcoholic and bottled beverages
- Travel insurance with trip cancellation, medical and evacuation policy
- All expenses associated with non-scheduled departure
- Guide/Staff gratuities
- $700 deposit at time of registration, which includes a $300 non-refundable registration fee
- Balance due 120 days prior to departure
- The balance may be paid by check, wire transfer, ACH or credit card with a 3% convenience fee
Everest Base Camp Trek 2021
- Apr 3, 2021 — Apr 23, 2021
- Apr 24, 2021 — May 14, 2021
- Oct 23, 2021 — Nov 12, 2021
Custom Dates Available — Contact Us
Cancellation / Refund Policy
- MMI strongly recommends trip cancellation/interruption and evacuation insurance for all trips. Our insurance partner, Ripcord, offers comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation, as well as rescue/evacuation policies and can assist in answering any questions. In addition, Participant is expected to have sufficient medical insurance as prescribed by their country of origin. Participant understands that MMI does not include any type of insurance with the cost of the trip.
- If you decide to cancel your trip or change your itinerary, MMI must be notified in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date written notice is received. If proper written cancellation notice is not received, amounts paid and reservations made will be forfeited.
- Non-refundable fees may apply for certain trips in order to secure permits and other services. MMI must strictly adhere to cancellation policies outside MMI’s control.
- Due to the personalized service we offer on our trips, MMI reserves the right to waive any fees. We will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations, waiving certain fees when feasible.
- Full refund, less the non-refundable registration fee, will be provided 121 days or more before the departure date
- No refunds will be provided 120 days or less before the departure date
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel cancellation insurance to protect you from the unexpected. You aren’t likely to think of it now, but people do get ill, break a bone, have a family emergency or get assigned to a last-minute business trip. If you are in remote areas, please note that emergency rescue & evacuation can be very expensive.
We also strongly urge you to consider rescue and evacuation insurance if your own policy does not provide the coverage needed. Services available may include, but are not limited to, helicopter evacuation, medical care, etc.
If you choose not to purchase insurance, you assume full responsibility for any expenses incurred in the event of a medical emergency and/or evacuation, as well as for trip cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, etc. We are not the experts and therefore ask that you please consult our travel insurance partner directly with any specific questions.
To protect against losses due to illness, accident, or other unforeseen circumstances, Mountain Madness strongly recommends the purchase of travel insurance as soon as possible after making a deposit. Mountain Madness has partnered with Redpoint Resolutions as our preferred travel insurance provider. Redpoint’s Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ is designed for adventurers.
For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ or call +1 – 415-481‑0600. Pricing varies based on age, trip cost, trip length, and level of coverage.
Critical benefits of Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance include:
- A completely integrated program with a single point of contact for emergency services, travel assistance, and insurance claims
- Evacuation and rescue services from your point of injury or illness to your hospital of choice
- Comprehensive travel insurance for trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, baggage loss or delay, emergency accident and emergency sickness medical expense, emergency dental, accidental death and dismemberment, and more
- Optional security evacuation coverage in case of an unplanned natural disaster or other security events
- Waiver for pre-existing conditions (must be purchased within 14 days of tour deposit)
- Optional “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage (must be purchased within 14 days of tour deposit)
The total number of days for your trip includes all travel to and from your destination, with some exceptions. Dates listed on the website start with your departure date from the U.S. and include the day you arrive home.
For this trip you will need to arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal on Day 3 of the itinerary. You will cross the date line in mid-flight to Asia, thus losing a day. If you are traveling from outside the US. your itinerary may require less time to reach Kathmandu, so all that is required is that you arrive on Day 3 of the itinerary, where Mountain Madness services begin. If you arrive early, we can assist with extra hotel arrangements and activities. Otherwise, you can arrive at any time on Day 3. You will be met at the airport by a Mountain Madness representative and transferred to your hotel.
Your return flight home should be scheduled for the second to last day of the itinerary.
Please contact our office for any help needed with your flight schedule.
Everest Base Camp Trek Day by Day
Travel to Nepal takes several days coming from the US In order to provide you with the exact number of days needed for this excursion, we have included travel time in the itinerary. You will depart from the US on Day 1 and, by crossing the international date line, arrive in Kathmandu on Day 3, where Mountain Madness services begin. If you are travelling from somewhere other than the US, travel time may vary, however Mountain Madness services still begin on Day 3.
Please call to confirm with our office before booking your flights.
Elevation: 4,383 ft / 1336 m
Meals on your own: Breakfast and Lunch
Arrive in Kathmandu on Day 3, where a Mountain Madness guide meets you. We stay at the famous 5‑Star Yak-n-Yeti Hotel. Great food from all over the world, fabulous shopping, and Durbar Square with its numerous temples and markets are nearby.
Elevation: 4,383 ft / 1336 m
Meals on your own: Lunch and Dinner
While we wrap up last minute paperwork with the Nepali government, we arrange for you to enjoy a city tour visiting the palaces, Durbar Square, Hindu temples and shrines, Buddhist stupas — or you can just relax at the hotel. A favorite destination is the Monkey Temple, a Buddhist temple situated on a small hill that offers panoramic views of the city. Or you can join the thousands of Hindus who venture to the Pashupatinath temple, one of the most famous Hindu temples in Nepal and the most famous Shiva temple in Asia.
Elevation: 8,563 ft / 2610 m
Trekking Distance: ~4.5 mi / 7.2 km
We fly on a twin-engine Otter to the Himalayan foothills where we begin our trek into the Khumbu region. The sights from the plane are amazing, providing dramatic views of terraced hills and the distant Himalayan giants. After landing in the village of Lukla (9,350 feet), we meet the rest of our staff and porters and trek for about two and a half hours to Phakding.
Elevation: 11,286 ft / 3440 m
Trekking Distance: ~ 4.5 mi / 7.2 km
We continue trekking along the banks of the Dudh Kosi, crossing this majestic river many times on exciting suspension bridges laden with prayer flags. After entering Sagarmatha National Park, the trail climbs steeply with breathtaking views to Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the Khumbu region.
Elevation: 11,286 ft / 3440 m
Meals on your own: Lunch
Today is a rest and acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar. Namche is a colorful village with many wonderful and interesting shops and vendors, fabulous food, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. An early hike above town, before the clouds move in, reward climbers with a spectacular Himalayan sunrise and views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse (the 4th highest peak in the world), and the beautiful Ama Dablam. On the way down, we can visit the Sherpa Museum that houses an exhibit on traditional Sherpa lifestyle and a fabulous photography display by a local Nepalese naturalist. One room highlights the Sherpa traditions and in another, Sherpa high altitude climbers are presented.
Elevation: 12,664 ft / 3860 m
Trekking Distance: ~ 5 mi / 8 km
The trek continues along the rushing glacial waters of the Dudh Kosi with magnificent views of the mountains. We spend the night next to the Thyangboche monastery, the spiritual center of the Khumbu region. Inside the monastery are incredibly ornate wall hangings, a 20-foot / 6‑meter sculpture of Buddha, and the musical instruments and robes of the Lamas. With luck, our group will see the Lama perform a ceremony and hear the mystical chanting and music.
Elevation: 14,469 ft / 4410 m
Trekking Distance: ~ 5 mi / 8 km
From Thyangboche, the trail drops to Debuche, crosses another exciting suspension bridge on the Imja Khola, and climbs to Pangboche among thousands of mani stones. Our uphill trek continues, taking us to the quaint traditional Sherpa village of Dingboche with its exquisite views of Lhotse, Island Peak, and Ama Dablam.
Elevation: 14,469 ft / 4410 m
Today we take another rest and acclimatization day. We will take a light acclimatization hike up the valley for a wider variety of photos of the valley and mountains of the Khumbu region.
Elevation: 16,109 ft / 4910 m
Trekking Distance: ~ 5 mi / 8 km
Today’s trail continues along the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier and passes by stone memorials for climbers who have perished on nearby summits.
Everest Base Camp
Elevation: 17,575 ft / 5357 m
Trekking Distance: ~ 2 mi / 3.2 km
After an early morning start, we hike over rocky moraine to the village of Gorak Shep. After a rest break and lunch we continue our trek to Everest Base Camp, located on the Khumbu Glacier, at the foot of the famous Khumbu Icefall. During climbing season (spring trips), we’ll spend two nights at Everest Base Camp, giving you a chance to meet climbers and explore the area. We’ll camp on the glacier overnight.
Elevation: 13,950 ft / 4252 m
Trekking Distance: ~ 7.5 mi / 12 km
In the morning we will enjoy tea and breakfast before our parting view of Everest and our descent. We head down the glacier and reenter the lush and beautiful valleys, surrounded by spectacular snow-capped peaks. Upon reaching the village of Pheriche, you will have the opportunity to visit the Himalayan Rescue Association Aid Post.
Debuche (spring) / Phortse (fall)
Elevation: 12,533 ft / 3820 m
We continue back down the valley, below the tree line and through the rhododendron forest to Debuche, a quiet and sparse village with a Tibetan nunnery. Fall trips will climb to the remote village of Phortse. Today will be a short hiking day with an afternoon to relax, shower, do laundry and prepare for the final days hiking out.
Elevation: 11,286 ft / 3440 m
Trekking Distance: ~10 mi / 16 km
Today we trek back along the Dudh Kosi River through a magnificent rhododendron forest and past brilliant waterfalls. Shortly before reaching Namche, the trek takes us through a pine forest, where musk deer often graze in the early morning. Arriving in town, we may see lowland porters, highland Sherpas, and Tibetan people trading food and supplies during Namche’s market time.
Elevation: 9,318 ft / 2840 m
Trekking Distance: ~ 9 mi / 14.5 km
Trek from Namche Bazaar to Lukla where we spend the night at the Khumbu Lodge. Hot showers are available.
Elevation: 4,383 ft / 1336 m
If the weather is clear, the morning flight back to Kathmandu will be a scenic and smooth farewell to the mountains.
Elevation: 4,383 ft / 1336 m
In the morning, we can watch Kathmandu rise in prayer along the banks of the holy river Bagmati at Pashupatinath, with burning ghats similar to the Ganges in India. Or we can visit the Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath and explore the temples in the city of Patan. Final celebration dinner!
Depart Kathmandu and fly home.
Note on Itinerary: Although we do our very best to follow the schedule listed, this itinerary is subject to change due to inclement weather, unsafe route conditions, or other reasons beyond our control and in the guide’s best judgement.
Equipment for Everest Base Camp Trek
Day pack (30-45L)
With padded shoulder straps and waist belt; used for carrying personal gear such as water bottle, extra clothing, snacks, camera, etc. Individual loads will be between 10 and 20 pounds. A climbing pack with a volume between 1800-2500 cu. in. (30-45 liters) serves most people’s needs well
Large duffel bag (22Lbs Max)
Your mountain gear will be kept in it and the entire duffel will go into the group mountain bag that will be carried by the porters. Limit loads to items on the equipment list. Your large duffel cannot exceed 22 lbs (10 kg) Approximate size: 28”x16”x16” No wheels or hard sides, please
Patagonia Black Hole
Small duffel bag
Large enough to hold everything you’re not taking on the mountain. Will be stored at hotel, to be used after trip
Patagonia Black Hole
Small padlock for duffel bags
Makes identifying your bags easy at airports or hotels
Expedition quality sleeping bag (0F)
Zero-degree F (Minus eighteen-degree C) sleeping bag and stuff sack. Night-time temperatures can be as low as 0°F (-18°C) so bring a warm enough bag
Marmot Never Summer, Feathered Friends Snow Bunting
Adjustable trekking poles
Three piece poles recommended
Black Diamond Trail Back Pole
Head and Face
Fleece or wool hat
It must cover the ears
Shade hat or baseball cap
A visor hat with a good brim is essential for protection from the sun
Mountain Madness trucker hat
Bandanas or neck gaiter
Various uses, i.e. cleaning glasses, sun protection when tied around the neck, etc. We have our own Mountain Madness neck gaiter available for purchase!
Mountain Madness neck gaiter
A thin balaclava will add significant warmth on that cold summit day
Outdoor Research, Marmot
Sunglasses or Glacier glasses (w/hard case)
Essential eye protection whether in the tropics, at high altitudes or by the water. Sun glare off the snow can be intense so polarized 100% UVA/UVB glasses work best. Consider bringing a spare pair
Lightweight gloves to use while trekking and hanging around camp
A shell system of a fleece liner and waterproof shell that handles cold
Outdoor Research Arete
Thin socks (2 pair)
Two pairs of synthetic or wool socks to wear under heavy wool socks to help prevent blisters and keep feet dry
Smartwool or Cool Max
Thick socks (3 pair)
Three pairs of synthetic or wool socks, medium to heavyweight. Check boot fit with thin and thick socks on
Smartwool or Thorlo
One pair of gaiters made of breathable material; keeps dirt and snow out of boots. Make sure they fit over your boots
Outdoor Research Verglas or Crocodiles
One pair light to medium-weight hiking/backpacking boots, waterproof, large enough to be comfortable with one thin and one thick sock
Salomon Quest 4D
Tennis shoes or sandals
Lightweight to wear in camp after a long day of hiking
Two synthetic or merino wool t-shirts. No cotton!
Long-sleeved Base Layer
Two lightweight to mediumweight, pull-over is best
Two, synthetic, no cotton!
Softshell Jacket w/ hood
This is what you will be wearing while hiking at higher altitudes or while kicking around camps at lower altitude. This jacket should be full-zip
Outdoor Research Ferrosi
Hardshell jacket w/ hood
A good jacket made of Gore-Tex (recommended) or waterproof nylon, roomy enough to fit over multiple layers
Outdoor Research Foray, Patagonia Triolet
Down or synthetic jacket w/hood
This is your most important piece of warm gear and will mean the difference between an enjoyable climb or a miserable one. A warm, full zip jacket with hood is recommended and ideal
Helly Hansen Vanir, Feathered Friends Volant, Marmot Guide’s Down Hoody, Outdoor Research Virtuoso Hoody
Sun hoody (optional)
This piece with a high SPF rating and lightweight fabric offers protection from high altitude sun
Adequate supply for the entire climb
Bathing suit (optional)
lightweight and packable
One pair of quick-drying shorts. Good for hiking at lower elevations on the mountain
Long base layer
Two pairs light or mediumweight
Softshell pants are water resistant, yet highly breathable and durable. Great for colder conditions over a pair of long underwear or tights higher on the mountain or summit day
Outdoor Research Voodoo, Mountain Hardwear Touren, Patagonia Guide
waterproof and breathable with side zips (minimum of ¾ zips recommended) Gore-Tex or equivalent
Outdoor Research Furio, Arcteryx Beta AR
Stuff sacks/ditty bags/plastic bags
To organize gear in your duffle and pack. All clothing should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large heavyweight plastic bags (trash compactor bags work great)
Toothbrush and paste, comb, tampons, biodegradable soap (small amount), etc. Bring enough for the entire trip
1 – 2 rolls stored in a plastic bag
Bring plenty of sun block with SPF of 40 or more. It's easy to underestimate the amount necessary for your trip!
Must have SPF rating of 20 or more. Bring two just in case!
To block out snoring and other noise to ensure a good night's sleep
Water Bottles/Water System (Trekking)
Two one-liter, wide-mouthed plastic bottles. If you use a collapsible water bottle or hydration system you are welcome to bring it along for drinking water. However, bring at least one hard plastic bottle.
Steri Pen, Potable Aqua, Polar Pure crystal iodine. Purifies drinking water while on the climb. this will only be necessary as a back-up.
Powdered additives like Gatorade or NUUN tablets make treated water taste better
Bring extra batteries!
Pocket knife or multitool
Simple Swiss Army type with scissors. Make sure you transport in checked bag, not carry-on!
Personal first aid and drug kit
See Health and Medical Information
Pepto Bismol tablets; Maalox, Gelusil M or Mylanta antacid tablets. Donnatal for stomach cramps. Probiotic capsules taken daily may help keep your gastro-intestinal system working smoothly
For wash up in camp
A small pack or two anti-bacterial are great for general hygiene
Trail snacks are important, and an assortment of candy bars are available at teahouses along the way. Bring some power/energy bars or if there is something else you particularly like to eat while hiking. You will be fed well throughout the trek, so this is just something extra
Spare contacts and glasses
Contacts can be a problem in dusty conditions, so make sure you have your back-up glasses with you. Glasses wearers should have a spare set
Protection from rain and sun; compact and light weight
A poncho is great for lower down on the mountain when it is raining. Rather than having to wear your hard-shell jacket and overheat, just throw the poncho over yourself and your pack and you will stay dry as a bone
Spare bottle for a pee bottle, and a pee funnel (Lady J or Freshette) for women
It can be a cold walk to the toilet at night
Phone with camera, and/or separate camera. Bring extra batteries and memory!
If you want to charge your electronics along the way, a small, lightweight solar panel to charge batteries or portable charging device may be a good addition
Travel power adapter
Most come in kits with all the plugs you need. Double-check to make sure you’re taking the correct adapter/plugs
Comfortable clothing for travel before and after the expedition
Everest Base Camp Trek
21 Days / Includes travel time
18,450 ft / 5624 m
Khumbu Valley to Base Camp
Trekking involves 5-8 hours per day with large elevation gains of 2,000+ feet / 610+ meters per day. It is likely the trek will have consecutive days of this difficulty in a row . You should be in great physical shape and participating in 5, 1-hour workouts per week before the trek. Leading up to this trip trekkers should be able hike both days on a weekend for up to eights hours each day with a small pack with altitude gain if possible.