FAQ Everest Region

A: Q: Exactly where is Mt. Everest?
A: On the border between Nepal and Tibet (China). It is in the Himalaya mountain range which stretches 1500 miles from Northeastern Pakistan to Bhutan. There are over thirty mountains higher than 25,000 feet. Of the fourteen 8,000 meter peaks, nine are located in the Himalayas making it clearly the top of the world.

Q:How High is Mt. Everest ?
A: 8848M Height from the Sea Level.

Q: How High is Everest Base Camp ?
A: 5,364 metres from sea level and in this Location  (17,598 ft) (28°0′26″N 86°51′34″E)

Q: Where we can see Everest Very good View ?
A: From Kala Patthar (5545m ) and Top of the Gokyo Ri ( 5360m )

Q: What is the most popular Trek in the Khumbu ?
A: The trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC) is by far the most popular. There are many variations to get there in addition to going straight up the valley. For example, you can go by way of Goyko for a great diversion. A side trip to Chhukung Valley is also well worth it.

Q: Is a trek dangerous?
A: Yes and no. Altitude can kill but it isn’t likely. If you take your time and acclimatize properly you should be fine. People have fallen off the trail either by accident or knocked off by a yak but this isn’t a serious concern if you are smart. Always give yaks and other animals the right of way and stay on the inside of the trail to be safe.

Q: Is the trek difficult or easy?
A: It is a moderate level hike. There are easy afternoons of rolling flats and difficult steep climbs but overall it is manageable for someone with little or no trekking experience. With proper training you should be able to complete the trek to EBC. However, even with proper training you can get altitude sickness which means you must return to a lower elevation.

Q: Do you need travel insurance for EBC?
A: Yes. Definitely purchase travel insurance and make sure it will cover you at high altitudes. If you need to be airlifted down you will want to be covered by your insurance.

Q: How likely is altitude sickness?
A: Unless you live at a high altitude it is impossible to truly train for the altitude. Altitude sickness (AMS) can strike anyone no matter your fitness lever. The key is to take your time and walk slow. A good rule of thumb is to climb high and sleep low to help with acclimatization. In groups of trekkers there are people who do not make it but my group of 6 all made it. Our most impressive trekker, Bob, was 70 years old and often leading the way. Anyone can make it but take your time on the way up.

Q: Should I take Diamox?
A: You should consult your doctor at home before you leave to go over the benefits. Many people chose to take it as a preventive measure against altitude sickness. you can took a half of a dose in the morning and at night. One side effect is it does make you urinate more than usual. This means there will be some cold wake up calls in the middle of the night to use the restroom.

Q: Should I hike in the Spring or the fall season?
A: Both seasons are a great time to make the EBC trek. Snow or rain can hit during either season. Pre-monsoon in March /April and post-monsoon in October/November are the best seasons to trek.

Q: How busy are the trails?
A: During the peak seasons the trails can get a little congested in some stretches. Many guided groups are around 10-15 people. You will pass yaks, porters, and locals along the way as well. However, there are plenty of stretches where it will feel like it is just you and the Himalayas.

Q: How should money should I bring on the trek?
A: If you are traveling with a group like I did you will not need as much money as those trekking solo. Your group should handle paying for meals. You will need to budget for snacks, water (bottled), WiFi and charging devices. Also, bring cash to tip your porters and guide at the end of the trek. You probably won’t see your porters after you leave Lukla and head back to Kathmandu so you will want to have cash ready for tipping.

Q: Can I drink the water on the trek or buy it all the way to base camp?
A: You can save money (and plastic bottles) by packing iodine pills to purify your water. This was my method of choice every morning before the trek. I used the tap to fill up my camelbak every morning and again at lunch/dinner. When I was close to Gorak Shep I was told to buy water since the tap water wasn’t quite as clean up there. I followed the instructions of my guide but resumed using tap water on the way down.

Q: How much water should I drink?
A: Water is very important while trekking and at high altitudes. Drink 3 liters before lunch and 3 liters after. I tried to drink less after dinner to minimize cold bathroom breaks in the middle of the night. Getting out of your warm sleeping bag isn’t fun. I recommend drinking at least 4 liters a day

Q: How do I train for trek?
A: Training should start well before you make the trek. See my guide: How to Train for Everest Base Camp

Q: What gear do I need for the EBC Trek?
A: See my complete packing list for EBC.

Q: Should I buy my gear at home or in Kathmandu?
A: Gear is cheap and fake in Kathmandu. There are some real products but for the most part everything you see in Thamel is fake. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy fake gear but there is gear  you will want to buy at home. You want to be protected from the elements and have warm sleeping bag at night. Check out my complete Packing List for Everest Base Camp for more details.

Q: How much should I budget for gear in Kathmandu?
A: Everything is negotiable in Kathmandu. Fake gear is cheap and they will happily tell you it is not the real thing. You can even sell back some of your gear when you are done with the trek for a little extra cash.

Q: Will I get cell service on the trail?
A: If you have international cell service you will have service on the EBC trek. There are two main cell companies and you find 2G and 3G service along the way. Base Camp and Gorak Shep have the best service but the most expensive WiFi.

Q: Is there WiFi on the EBC Trek?
A: Yes, most tea houses and bakeries have WiFi on the trek. Some will have free WiFi in Namche or free with a purchase of something to eat and drink. The WiFi prices go up with the altitude.

Q: Should I bring my laptop on the EBC Trek?
A: There is no problem with doing this if you have a lightweight laptop but it isn’t necessary. Namche has internet cafes if you must use a computer on the way up or the way down.Phone should get the job done for emailing and checking in with family back home if that is your main concern. Keep in mind a laptop is one more thing to charge and charging electronics costs money.

Q: How do I charge my electronics on the trek?
A: Tea houses have charging stations and they charge by the hour for the most part. This price goes up with the altitude just like the WiFi and everything else on the trail.

Q: What are the bathrooms like on the EBC trek?
A: These will vary a lot depending on your budget for accommodation. In Namche you are likely to have a nice modern bathroom. As you go up you will encounter everything from a hole in a shack to a frozen western toilet. Be prepared for it all and bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

Q: Are there bathrooms on the trail?
A: When you stop for lunch or tea during the day there will be bathrooms to use. However, most people go when they have to go on the trail and it is a very common sight.

Q: What kind of snacks are available on the trail?
A: Don’t expect protein bars to be available along the trail. Bring those from home if you want them. Snickers, Twix, and other candy bars are available as your energy source if you don’t pack any from home.

Q: Can I drink beer on the trek?
A: Everest beer is available all the to Everest Base Camp but I don’t recommend drinking it. Altitude and beer don’t mix well and it will only make your trek more difficult. I saved my celebration beers for my return to Lukla and it made the beer taste that much better.

Q: Should I bring my own food on the EBC Trek?
A: Nepalese food is great and you better get used to dal bhat. However, there is a lack of nutritious snacks or protein type bars on the trail. If you don’t want to eat Snickers and Twix for your daily energy boost bring snacks and bars from home.

Q: Are showers available on the trek?
A: Yes, but most trekkers don’t take them. Showers are mostly free in Namche but will cost more the higher you go up. Everyone smells together on the trek so don’t worry. Your biggest concern will be staying warm anyway. Waiting for a hot shower is very rewarding after days on end without them. It makes it feel that much better in the end.

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