Everest Base Camp Trek Best Time of Year

“Everest base camp trekking” is one of the most adventurous and fulfilling treks you can choose in Nepal.  The very first reason itself is being in the abode of the highest mountain peak in the world!, majestic Ama Dablam to the south, the heart chilling Khumbu glacier with gigantic tunnels like snow caves and its fearsome openings. Surrounded by peaks and mountain ranges, there are beautiful valleys with intact traditional villages and Sherpa Buddhist culture thriving in their own world of high land surrounded by Himalayan peaks.  

Recently, I met an experienced hiker Mr Eric Swithin here in Houston TX United State, who highlighted the subject of this article. He had a lot of question for me which was extremely necessary to know before embarking on a trail. When I get back home and I realised, the same questions I answer to him, why not share with you all. I have all of his questions on my list to answer but particularly in this article, I am going to talk about EBC trek best time throughout the year. Indeed, this is the first question that comes up with everybody who wishes to take this journey to the region that embodies the highest mountain peaks in the world, 

While some global leader(s) around the world still argue that climate change is but merely “theoretical”, people who are living with nature in the high mountains, along river banks and basins knows how much has already changed in the decade?  God willing! if melting glaciers could hold up for controlled discharge, warming has preceded the snow cover area in the Himalayas.  Both the impacts of climate change (positive and negative) are felt in the Himalayan region depending on the subject under discussion.  For trekking in the high altitude frequently harassed by heavy snow cover, receding snow fall is increasing the window of trekking seasons which is not updated (for technical reasons) in the standard itinerary.  Keeping intact the regular trekking season in Nepal which is available online, I would like to bring to light the impact of weather changes due to global warming specifically pertaining to Everest Base Camp trek Itinerary   

High season (September – November)

During this period from September till November, Nepal offers a clear cloudless sky to see a stunning view of the Himalayas from any corner of the country. In addition, this also is the perfect time to visit Nepal as there are several important cultural festivals held such as Teej, Gaijatra, Dashain, Tihar, Chaat etc. The temperature range is just perfect in between 15-25-°C (59-77-°F).

My opinion:

If you are planning any of the major trekking routes Everest base camp, Manaslu, Annapurna or Kanchenjunga during fall, I would recommend a slightly varying window from Mid-October till Mid December although all online available reference insist from Sept to Nov.  The rainfall in the Himalayas during summer due to heavily moisture laden Monsoon wind from the Indian Ocean moving north to the Himalayas in reality is following a “shift” in timing due to which the month of “September” which according to many references and standard guidelines consider “ok” after monsoon which in my opinion cannot be taken up as receding monsoon rain continues till the end of September.
   Meteorological Forecasting Divisioneport of Nepal reported that the monsoon of 2016 has withdrawn      from the western and central region of Nepal on the 12th October. The normal withdrawal date of          monsoon in Nepal was supposed to be on the 23rd September but this year it has withdrawn late by 22      days from its normal withdrawal date. 
The weather has direct impact on flights to Lukla where about 500 tourist travels by flight daily during peak season.  Clear sky and warm sunlight continue till mid-December and consequently, the traffic on the trail is much reduced during this time.

High season (March-May)

Spring sees the second highest number of trekking tourist arrivals in Nepal.  The temperature is mildly warm in the lowland and moderate in the high altitude. The average temperature of the capital Kathmandu is 15-20-°C (59-68 °F) during this time.  After a long winter in the higher altitude, spring is welcomed by various types of flowers blooming not just at homes and in the parks but whole mountain slopes covered by varieties of rhododendron amongst others which is also the national flower of Nepal.

My Opinion: 

Everest base camp trekking during the spring season is best.  During this time the snow coverage on mountains and peaks is still substantial to capture your imagination.   It is also during this season that Everest expedition crew starts their onward journey and camping at the base for preparation.  Most online references and guidebooks specify the month of May as critical with regards to the beginning of monsoon season but in reality due to the weather pattern “shift” monsoon rainfall begins after mid-June.  Therefore, we recommend that you may quite comfortably plan your trekking without hesitation during the month of May and consequently take the advantage of less traffic on the trail.

Low season (June-August)

This period, also known as monsoon season is hot and humid.  The sky is mostly covered by clouds which obscure all the mountain views.  Pokhara receives the highest rain fall of 830mm and average rainfall throughout the country is 500-550mm.  Due to high mountains, the clouds moved by the wind that follows the valleys, rainfall and rainfall intensity varies with places.  However, the sky sometimes could be clear in the morning but clouds start to cover up during the day. 

My Opinion

In general, Everest Base Camp trekking at this time of the year is not recommended.  A flight delay is normal, trails could be slippery, loose soil and the most critical of all are the land slides, falling boulders, trees, rivers and streams.  Officially, the monsoon this year (2017) started from 2nd week of June (theoretical arrival of the monsoon wind from the Indian Ocean to the land mass) and not May as per standard guidelines but in reality, the rain fall started much later.  This has been the general experience since a couple of years. Therefore, we recommended you to manage this trek before the second week of June as the trekking traffic is much lean during this time if you wish to trek with fewer people on the trail.

Low Season (December-February)

Winter in the Everest Base Camp is very harsh, temperatures constantly change between minus 10 to minus15-°C during the night to maximum 15 to18-°C during sunny days.  Besides extreme cold, strong wind is a major factor with wind speed fluctuating from 10 to 12 mph during January and February creating hurricane spiralling around the base camp and high passes.
Instead, this season is particularly good for trekking in lower elevations. The morning and night stay cold and the days are warm when sunny.  The sky is clear with occasional snowfalls at high altitudes.

My Opinion 

Trekking to Everest Base Camp till the 3rd week of December is good there will be less traffic.  However, from the last week of December heavy snow fall will start at high passes such as Chola Pass and Renjola. The local tea house remains closed for winter.  One of the attractions of Everest region the famous “Gokyo Lake” will be frozen. Often there are missing trekkers making a top story in the news headline and I do not want you to be one of them?  If you are trekking independent please gather enough information before heading into this high altitude and I highly recommend not to try high passes without a local guide during this time of the year. 

Conclusion:

1. The Best time in fall, start from mid-October until mid-December. 
2. The best time in spring, start from mid-March until Mid May. 
3. Best time to trek to EBC with less traffic along the way would be around first 3 weeks of December. 
4. The second best time to trek EBC with less traffic along the way would be May to until the first two weeks of June. 
I hope that this article will guide you on planning Everest base camp trek in the best time of the year.  If you have any questions about the content of this article, please do not hesitate to post a comment at the bottom of this page. or if you need a perfect suggestion you can contact us here. If you enjoy reading, we would also appreciate giving us a rating on the right side-popping box or sharing our article with your friends or family who is been waiting for the right time to come to visit EBC.  

My Story with Eric

Earlier in this article, I wrote how I was inspired to write this post and I realized my story was not complete. Here is my full story with Eric and our upcoming trip to EBC.
 
One sunny afternoon and all because of buying and selling items online, I had a privilege to meet a friend named Eric.  Our small business transaction turned into a newfound friendship and all because we shared the passion for outdoor and hiking.  He was wearing a t-shirt with ‘Outdoor Adventure’ written in front while I was wearing a shirt with camping gears printed everywhere. A former Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Recon Specialist at the United States Marines and also a father to the fatherless boys. He is the Executive Director and Founder of Outdoor Adventure a non-profit organisation. The team organises walkabout in a various program incorporates sports, life-skills training and Biblical discipleship. Essentially, they offer these boys positive adult male role models to help them grow into men.
I had a privilege to attend as a volunteer in one of their Boot camp held in San Antonio with Outdoor Adventure team. Eric introduced me with few other volunteers (Zack, Dave, John, Sam and Richard) also keeping Everest Base Camp as in their bucket list. It was an honour for me to be at that boot camp and a great opportunity to share my hiking and trekking experience to motivate them to see my country. The next year October 2018 we all agreed to Trek Gokyo Chola Pass EBC + Island Peak (20,305 ft) together and once again I am returning back to EBC after many years with this team.

About Rajendra Khanal (Raj)

Rajendra Khanal (Raj) Born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal, I am proud to call the Manaslu region my home! I have been in the travel business for over a decade from being a porter to being a guide to being a manager and finally a founder of NEST Adventure. So you could say, I know my way well enough in the Himalayas especially in some of the off-the-beaten trails in Nepal like Manaslu, Kanchenjunga or Mustang
I am passionate about travelling and I strongly believe that seeing the world shouldn't break the bank (at least not too much!).  I have been to over 15 countries in Asia, Central Americas, one-third of the Europe and just started Latin America, (Australia and Canada are on my bucket list..one day!) as a backpacker myself, I am happy to share the experience about Nepal Himalayas. If you think I can be helpful planning your trip to Nepal, then do not hesitate to contact me. at nestadventure@gmail.com. I am also available on Whats app and Viber +977-9851052042 Or direct phone call +1(702)456-9789. If you are interested to know more about me follow on  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
 
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