Get close to the world's highest mountain and soak up Sherpa culture. We tell you how...
Very few of us will ever get to stand on top of Mount Everest – expeditions to the top of the planet’s highest peak (8,850m) take around 70 days, costs in excess of £30,000 and require a special blend of fitness, skill and insanity.
However, the trek to Everest Base Camp (5,340m) is a much more achievable goal for those hiking in the Nepalese Himalaya – and almost as rewarding.
On the way to Base Camp (Shutterstock)
There are two parts to any Everest Base Camp experience: getting there and being there. Piers Pickard found the trek to Everest Base Camp was full of surprises. It wasn’t just about the mountains, he says. The Khumbu region offers a real insight into the Sherpa culture, ancient village communities and all-pervading Buddhism. Don’t just focus on getting to Base Camp.
Base Camp itself is surprising too, says Phoebe Smith. Look beyond the sea of brightly-coloured tents and take the time to chat to the Sherpas. Oh, and soak up the incredible views!
Hiking to Everest Base Camp – Piers Pickard
Everest: Base Camp and beyond – Phoebe Smith
Climbing with ice picks (Shutterstock)
As befitting a destination nestled on the slopes of the world’s highest mountain, Everest Base Camp has its own particular demands and requirements. Steve Wroe from Peregrine Adventures gives his five tips for reaching Base Camp.
Piers Pickard offers his advice too, on such questions as ‘Camping or teahouses?’ Make sure you check out our readers’ tips for Base Camp, particularly the one advising trekkers not to eat the yak!
Finally, Phoebe Smith has put together an essential Base Camp kit list.
5 tips for tackling Everest Base Camp – Steve Wroe
Everest Base Camp practical tips – Piers Pickard
Crowd-sourced Everest Base Camp – Jill Frazier
Everest Base Camp kit list – Phoebe Smith
Tents pitched at Base Camp (Shutterstock)
It’s the little things they don’t tell you about in the guidebooks that can make or break a trip. Like just how dusty it can get at Base Camp. With that in mind, Phoebe Smith has listed the things she wished she’d known about Base Camp – from bringing plenty of toilet paper to pacing yourself.
If you’re thinking of using a porter, make sure you read Any Cave’s piece about the things he wishes he’d known about porters. His last point that they sometimes need looking after too is particularly pertinent. The devastating 2015 earthquake has left a lasting legacy, so consider asking charities what you can do to help (whether that's donating money or bringing out supplies) – we've kept track of some of the most worthy local causes and funds.
5 things I wish I'd known about Everest Base Camp – Phoebe Smith
Buddhist Stupa, Mount Lhotse (Shutterstock)
Sitting 5,545 metres above sea level, the biggest threat to the success of your Base Camp adventure is altitude sickness. It affects everyone differently, of course, but as Roy McGregor explains in his article about combatting altitude sickness, there are a few key strategies you can employ to lessen its impact on you.
You will also have to deal with extreme cold. Thankfully, Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth is on hand with advice on staying healthy when things get very, very chilly.
Altitude sickness: what you need to know – Roy McGregor
Out in the cold – Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth
Climber facing Himalaya (Shutterstock)
Snow covered mountains look awesome, but bring photographic challenges beyond just chilly fingers. Our resident photographic guru, Steve Davey, is on hand with tips to help keep your mountain shots whiter than white – and keep your gear working in these extreme conditions.
If it’s inspiration you’re after, look no further than the photos taken by our readers on their journeys to Base Camp. Awe inspiring!
Cold snaps: photographing in the snow – Steve Davey
This way to Everest Base Camp (Shutterstock.com)
Ready to start planning your trip? Our Everest Base Camp Travel Guide is the place to start. Make sure you drop by the Everest Base Camp travel tips page as well, for more everyday (but equally vital) information. And we’ve rounded up the latest travel news about Everest Base Camp too.
If you have a particular question about Everest Base Camp, pop over to the myWanderlust Forum where our knowledgeable community are ready to spring into action and share all that they know. Or check out the questions that have already been asked about Everest Base Camp. The answer to yours might already be there.
Everest Base Camp travel guide – Wanderlust Team
Everest Base Camp travel tips – Wanderlust Team
Everest Base Camp Top 5 recommendations – Wanderlust Team
Contemplating in the Himalaya (Shutterstock)
Here's a fantastic selection of tours offered by our partners. From Base Camp lodge treks to more audacious tours that take in the Tibetan side of the mountain, there's something to suit every budget and level of ability.
Main image: Sign pointing the way to Base Camp (Shutterstock)