The original Everest Base Camp trek, starting from Jiri, was the only option for reaching the Solukhumbu region and Mount Everest in the early 1960s. Back then, air travel to this eastern Himalayan district was limited, making a five-day trek through rugged lowland hills the only path to adventure.
Jimmy Roberts, often regarded as the ‘father of trekking,’ established the first trekking agency, ‘Mountain Travel,’ in Nepal. In 1965, he guided his first clients, three affluent women, to witness Everest via this route.
By the late 1960s, Sir Edmund Hillary funded a project to construct an airstrip at Lukla. Initially, this airstrip was merely a leveled-out section of hillside. However, with increasing numbers of trekkers, it evolved, receiving a bitumen surface and a few lodges providing basic services for early trekkers to the Khumbu region.
Presently, a 35-minute flight can swiftly transport individuals to 2600m, initiating the journey to a remarkable trek. During peak season, up to 100 flights a day accommodate over 600 passengers between Kathmandu and Lukla.
For those with limited time, the Lukla flight is the ideal mode of transport. Nevertheless, if one has an additional 5 or 6 days, trekking in from Jiri offers a genuine pleasure, allowing time to immerse oneself in the lifestyle and culture of the lowland hills of the Solukhumbu region.
Grade: This trek is classified as challenging (Grade 4) due to its high altitude and demanding trail conditions. Physical fitness and acclimatization are crucial for a safe and enjoyable journey.
Style: This is a lodge-based trek, meaning you’ll sleep in comfortable teahouses along the route. This offers more comfort than camping but still requires carrying the necessary gear.
Minimum duration: 20 days are recommended to safely complete the trek, allowing for proper acclimatization and enjoying the sights.
Maximum altitude: You’ll reach 5,550 meters at Kala Patthar, offering unparalleled views of Everest and requiring good acclimatization.
Itinerary for The Original Everest Base Camp Trek
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu, the bustling capital city of Nepal. Settle in, adjust to the altitude, and prepare for your adventure.
Day 2: Explore Kathmandu‘s vibrant culture and history. Visit temples like Swayambhunath and Boudhanath, explore Durbar Square, and immerse yourself in the local markets. Make any final preparations for your trek.
Day 3: Embark on your journey! Drive from Kathmandu to Shivalaya, a small village near Jiri, marking the official start of your trek.
Day 4-10: Gradually ascend into the heart of the Khumbu region. Each day presents a new challenge with moderate to challenging hikes through diverse landscapes, from lush forests to rocky trails. You’ll pass through traditional villages like Bhandar, Sete, and Junbensi, experiencing the local culture and stunning Himalayan views.
Day 11-14: Reach Namche Bazaar, the gateway to Everest Base Camp, and enjoy stunning mountain panoramas. Take an acclimatization day to adjust to the higher altitude before continuing your ascent. Hike towards Deboche and Pheriche, further acclimatizing and enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
Day 15-17: Prepare for the demanding climb to Everest Base Camp. Spend acclimatization days in Pheriche and Lobuche, allowing your body to adapt to the thinner air and increasing altitude.
Day 18-19: Conquer Everest Base Camp! Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep, ascend the challenging Kala Patthar for the most iconic Everest views and finally reach the legendary Base Camp itself. Experience the unique atmosphere and celebrate your achievement.
Day 20-22: Begin your descent, retracing your steps through Thengboche, Monjo, and Lukla. Enjoy the changing landscapes and the satisfaction of completing your trek.
Day 23: Fly back to Kathmandu, carrying memories of stunning scenery, challenging hikes, and cultural encounters.
- This itinerary is a general guideline and may vary depending on weather conditions, pace, and group dynamics.
- Acclimatization days are crucial for preventing altitude sickness. Take it slow and listen to your body.
- Be prepared for diverse weather conditions with proper gear and clothing.
- Enjoy the unique cultural experiences and breathtaking scenery along the way!