About Everest Base Camp
History, the region & weather ..
Mount Everest is the World’s tallest peak, and attracts people from across the globe. It is located in the Khumbu region of Nepal, and is known locally as Sagarmatha in Nepali, and in Tibetan as Chomolungma. The mountain is surrounded by many other formidable and scenic mountains. It’s not easy to access the region, surrounded as it is by the world’s tallest summits, so we take a short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla – a breathtaking mountain airstrip sitting at 2,850m.
From here, you will trek on foot through small mountain hamlets, along ancient trading routes that have carried goods & people through the high mountains of Nepal for centuries.
Everest Base Camp History
Outside of Nepal, very few people were aware of Everest, until 1802. The British undertook the Great Trigonometrical Survey with the purpose of mapping the Indian subcontinent. Up until this time, it was believed that the Andes Mountains were home to the tallest points on earth. Each peak surveyed was given a number, and it was peak XV that was eventually crowned the tallest. Using very basic methods & equipment, the survey team pegged Peak XV at 29,002 feet above sea level. Using more up to date methods susch as GPS technology and satellite scans, modern geographers have concluded that this original measurement was impressively close to the true measurement of 29,029 feet above sea level!
What is now known as Everest Base Camp is close to the village of Gorak Shep. This is where Edmund Hillary & Tenzing Norgay, the first successful summiteers, launched their summit attempt. This settlement is only inhabited during the trekking & climbing season on Everest & the wider region, as it can be very inhospitable during the harsh Khumbu winter. Nearby, a more modern base camp has been established for contemporary climbing groups aiming for the top of Everest and its neighbour peaks.
The Khumbu Region
This region is famous for its peaks, but you will remember the warmth and friendliness of the inhabitants also. This region is home to the Sherpa people, hardy mountain folk celebrated for their knowledge and skills at high altitude.
The unofficial capital of the region is Namche Bazaar. This village is situated on crescent-shaped slope, which offers wonderful views of the valleys below. An historic trading post, used by caravans travelling north to south between India and China, the town is now a hub for trekkers and climbers visiting the Khumbu region for adventure. Namche also serves as a good staging point for acclimatisation on the trekking routes, situated as it is above 3,000m, in the zone where AMS can begin.
Trekking is possible in the region throughout the year, however due to the monsoon seasons, it is best to visit between March & May, and from September to the end of November. Summer months tend to be wet and cloudy, which doesn’t make for pleasant trekking conditions or good views of the Himalayan summits!
Between April & May, you will be treated to the blossoming Rhodendrons which line the pathways. Autumn months offer clearer skies and cooler days for trekking.