Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Many trekkers want to learn about the Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty before planning their eventual booking in the Khumbu region. Veteran trekkers believe EBC is an easy to moderate level of trek in terms of difficulty. If you have experience in trekking or mountain climbing, then the trek in the Everest region might not be too challenging. Still, for beginners, certain factors will raise the trek difficulty, which we will discuss later.

Everest Base Camp Trek is a popular and commercially successful trekking spot in Nepal. On average, almost 50,000 people visit EBC yearly to seek the thrill of the mountainous adventure and immerse themselves in the new culture and tradition. There is no doubt that a trek to EBC will give everyone a sense of fun, adventure, and accomplishment. However, the trekkers should also not mistake that certain factors will make the trek more challenging despite being among the easy trek. This blog will discuss all those factors and how we can mitigate them to reduce the difficulty and make your trek more fun.

What is the overall Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty?

Trekking Everest Base Camp Trek at an altitude above 4000m in the middle of snowy and glacial moraines may make you think the trek is impossible. However, the EBC trek is among the easy treks in Nepal, especially if you have some experience. Even though you are a beginner, if you are interested in trekking and have decent physical stamina, this trek is not arduous.

Everest Base Camp Trek High Altitude

Despite claiming to be among the easy treks in Nepal, it has to be pointed out that there are certain challenging factors for EBC. Hence, having the proper knowledge, dedication, and discipline to complete your trek and know the factors that increase the trek difficulty would be best.

Factors Affecting EBC Trek Difficulty

Certain factors affect the trek difficulty. These factors affect some treks more than others. Factors affecting the trek difficulty are high altitude, long distance and duration, rough trails, changing terrains, weather and temperature, and more. So, let’s learn about them in a bit more detail.

High Altitude

High altitude is a common factor that makes trekking more challenging. During your EBC trek, you will reach an altitude of over 5500m. For most of the trek, you will be hiking at a high altitude of over 4,000 m. The highest elevation you will reach during your Everest Base Camp Trek is Kala Patthar, above 5500m. So, the trek’s difficulty arises as you keep climbing the altitude. The level of oxygen starts to decrease as you keep increasing the altitude.

Eventually, the low oxygen level starts taking a toll on your body as it invites altitude sickness. Altitude or Acute Mountain sickness leads to some simple and mild to severe symptoms. The mild symptoms of Altitude Symptoms are headache, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath etc. However, acute mountain sickness, called HAPE (High-altitude pulmonary edema) and HACE (high-altitude cerebral edema), can be severe. Every day, you will climb an altitude of almost 800m, so the less experienced trekkers are more susceptible to the sickness.

Distance and Duration

The EBC trek is inaccessible by roads, so the only way to get to the mountains is by walking through the Khumbu region up to Base Camp, starting from Lukla. The journey from Lukla to Everest Base Camp covers 65 km (40.38 miles) and must be covered on foot. Trekkers return via the same route, covering a total distance of 130 km (80 miles).

This journey takes 12-14 days, depending on your itinerary and the number of acclimatization days included. Spending two weeks in the challenging conditions of the EBC trail demands good physical and mental preparation from the trekkers. It’s essential to be mentally prepared for the days required to reach Base Camp and return to Lukla. Gradual ascents, a moderate pace, and enough breaks are crucial in tackling the daily long walks necessary for the EBC trek.

Rugged Terrains

The Everest Base Camp Trek length is over 65 km, so trekkers have to cover lots of distance. The trails of this base camp trek will take the trekkers to different types of terrains distributed across the Sagarmatha National Park. You can see the subtropical terrains at the lower altitude, where you will cross lush jungles, forests, and broader barren landscapes. As you climb altitude and reach Phakding, you will start seeing upper temperate terrains, and if you time your trek in the perfect season, you will see rhododendrons, pines, and firs forests.

From this point onward, you will be trekking in the rocky uphold, so it is crucial to trek and be careful of the proper footing. As you climb the altitude, you will keep figuring out that the trek to the base camp involves various landscapes. There are icy paths beyond Gorak Shep, and as you go higher, you’ll need to be extra careful to avoid injuries on the rocky ground. While the climb is gradual, there are some steep parts, like the ascent to Kalapatthar and the climb to Namche Bazaar and Tengboche monastery. These steep sections require strong legs and good cardiovascular fitness.

Dynamic Weather

Everest Base Camp Trek is open all year round; however, some seasons are better for trekking than others. The weather is dynamic at high altitudes, especially during the off seasons, such as monsoons and winter. On the other hand, the ideal trekking seasons, like Spring and Autumn, are more attractive due to the stable weather conditions. If you are a first-time trekker, you will find it strange that the sun shines brightest during the day, and the temperature can reach 25 degrees Celsius. The unpredictability of the weather will be visible when the sudden bright sunny day turns into a heavy downpour or snowstorm within a few minutes. The winds at higher altitudes also blow at high speed, making it hard for trekkers to see and navigate the trails.

The nights are way more complex than days because the temperature decreases below freezing. Sometimes, in the winter, the temperature falls to -20 degrees Celsius, with constant snowstorms, blizzards, and avalanches blocking your path. So, if you plan to trek the EBC, be wary of the weather and pack all the necessary clothing and gear.

Preparation for Everest Base Camp Trek

Since certain factors affect the difficulty of the Everest Base Camp Trek trek, it is wise to prepare for the trek beforehand. Here are some ways you can prepare yourself for any treks in Nepal.

  1. Acclimatization is an essential concept for any high-altitude trekkers. Furthermore, proper acclimatization is necessary to minimize the chance of altitude sickness.
  2. Prepare your high-altitude trek by engaging in physical fitness to increase your stamina and practice breathing exercises.
  3. One major obstacle for the trekkers who want to complete the EBC trek is the mentality. You must be mentally prepared for any known or unknown challenges to complete your trek successfully.
  4. Many trekkers believe you must pack everything for high-altitude multi-day treks, which is untrue. You have to pack lightly but also carry essential clothing items. For gear and equipment, you can contact your trekking agency and even rent them instead of buying, which will cost less.
  5. Before booking your EBC trek, it is wise to consider trekking them in the best seasons. Spring and autumn are best for hiking in the region, so book your trek to avoid overcrowding in the teahouses.
  6. When trekking, consider hiring a porter along with a guide. If you can carry your luggage, you may only need a guide. But if you can’t, hire a porter. Ensure both understand your language and can communicate in emergencies.


Everest Base Camp Trek is an entertaining and thrilling adventure, but there are some challenging factors that every trekker must be wary of. These factors will affect the Everest Base Camp Trek’s difficulty, so it is essential to consider them before booking your trekking destination. Some factors, like terrain, weather, etc, are influenced by the ideal trekking seasons, while others, like high altitude, distance, and duration, are not influenced.

So, if you plan to trek EBC, make sure you are prepared for it. The most preparation has to go to your physical and mental fitness, enabling you to tackle every common or rare difficulty you may face during your trek. Also, be wary about acclimatization and hire guides and porters to make your trek more fun and less challenging.


  1. How many permits do you need for the EBC trek?

You need two compulsory permits for Everest Base Camp Trek: the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu municipality permit and the Sagarmatha National Park entry permit. You can issue them in Kathmandu or at the entry point of the national park.

2. Can a beginner trek Everest Base Camp?

Yes, a beginner can trek Everest Base camp if they have decent physical stamina and some knowledge of acclimatization, etc. It will be easier to trek if they choose the ideal trekking seasons and hire guides or porters.

3. Do you have to hire guides to trek the EBC?

Initially, the Nepal Tourism Board made it compulsory for every tourist to hire guides; however, after protests from local communities, the tourism board revoked the rule for its highest-demanded trekking destination. Despite the rule, hiring guides and porters for proper navigation and safety is crucial.

4. What is the success rate of Everest Base Camp?

The average success rate is 90% for trekking Mount Everest Base Camp, meaning 9/10 trekkers complete the EBC trek. This is also the primary reason why the EBC trek is regarded as an easy to moderate-level trek.

5. Do you need travel insurance for the EBC trek?

Although Travel Insurance is not mandatory, protecting you from unforeseen medical and rescue expenses is imperative. Especially in high-altitude trekking, certain factors there will be times when you might need specific medical help or even helicopter rescue, which will cost north of $5000. So, having travel insurance will help you cover these extra insurance expenses if you need them.

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