One of the remotest and mountainous regions on earth, the Khumbu Valley plays host to the tallest mountain in the world. Whilst some people seek to summit Everest, most trekkers simply enjoy the challenge of reaching base camp. But how difficult is that task? Below we have written a quick guide to help you understand.
The first and most important think to note is that the Everest Base Camp Trek requires zero technical climbing and can aptly described as a two week trek at altitude. Therefore in theory, almost anyone with some determination can potentially hike the trail. However, it is not a short hike and some basic level of fitness is required.
The Everest Base Camp Trek is a 130km round trip and hikers generally walk for about 5-7 hours per day. You’ll usually walk for 9 of the 14 days you are on the trail. Depending on who you are, this may or may not seem daunting. We have seen people from all walks of life and all shapes and sizes complete it though and you should never underestimate yourself. The trails are occasionally steep and there is a fair amount of uneven footing, so you’ll need to be steady on your feet. Make sure to take regular breaks along the route to avoid over-tiredness and take the right gear.
Altitude is the real killer on the Everest Base Camp Trek. Whilst the paths are quite regular and not overly tough, the altitude means that your body is getting far less oxygen that it is used to normally. This essentially means that you feel more tired an out of breath you would back home. To avoid altitude sickness you’ll need to ascend slowly and make sure you don’t over exert yourself. There is no cure to altitude sickness and your only option is to descend quickly should your body develop the symptoms. There will be several acclimatisation days along the route and your advised to see your doctor prior to departure. Altitude sickness literally effects anyone with no relation to age, gender, weight or fitness.
There is no question that trekking the Everest Base Camp Trek requires a basic level of fitness. However, you certainly don’t have to be superman or in peak physical condition. The key to success is determination and training. We advise taking regular long day hikes in the months leading up to the trek to acclimatise your feet and body to the long days of walking. If you can hit the gym and do some swimming on top of this then you’ll definitely make life easier for yourself on the trek. Remember, the fitter you are, the more enjoyable the trek will be.
We hope this article given you some context as to how difficult the Everest Base Camp trek is and how best to prepare for it.
For great information on trekking to Everest Base Camp check out this site: //ebctrekguide.com/