Solo Trekking to Everest Base Camp

Chander Kaher

New Member
In this post, I will share details of my solo trek to Everest Base camp and Kala Patthar Trek which I did in the months of December and January. In the end, it turned out to be one of the best treks I have done in my entire life.

If you are into hiking, have done a few other high altitude treks, and want to take things up a notch, trekking to Everest base camp will well serve the purpose. Hopefully, my travelogue below can help you plan your trip better. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

Solo Trek to Everest Base Camp

Around the months of November and December, I started my solo EBC trek plan. The first step was to consult the most experienced, free-of-cost consultant, Google. As you can imagine there are tons of blogs and YouTube videos on EBC.

Browsing through a few, I got the required information. Trust me, after reading and watching, I was transported there already. Thanks to all the bloggers and you-tubers for providing this information and efforts they put in to help people like me.

How to Prepare for Mt Everest Base Camp Trek

As per my research, this is all that one needs for the trek

Typical Trek Duration is 2 weeks. This includes 8 days for Lukla to EBC and 3 days from EBC to Lukla.

1-2 days will be needed to fly in/out from Lukla to Kathmandu; assuming that weather and health are on your side.

Guide and porters are highly recommended

The trail is well marked. But as you get closer to EBC, the quality of the path deteriorates

The trail remains open all year long.

The best season to travel is from March to May and September to Mid November.

Very few trekkers attempt it between December and February.

It is difficult to find accommodation during peak season if you are going solo; unless you are trekking with a group/guide/potter.

Kathmandu-Lukla flight has a 10 kg check-in weight allowance. It is a small plane so no scope of extra payment.

No conclusive answer on the fitness level required for this trek. Basic good fitness would be okay, you do not need to be a marathon runner. Acclimatization is important.

And with the above information, I planned my trip

The start date of the trip was 27th December from India. I did not have a set return date and left it dependant on how the trip would unfold.

To enhance the adventure of this trek, I decided to go solo, without a porter or a guide.


EBC: Planned TREK MAP


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Chander Kaher

New Member

Day 1- Delhi to Kathmandu


I boarded a morning flight, from Delhi to Kathmandu which landed in Kathmandu at 1 pm.

I booked a hotel in the Thamel area via Airbnb. The hotel was reasonable for Rs. 1000 /night. Thamel is a good place for food, buying trekking equipment, and any other last-minute purchases. I bought here some necessary items that I was missing.

A SIM card for Rs, 320 with 30 days validity, and 1 GB data. Call rates were Rs. 3/min for India.

Water purifying tablets for Rs. 350. It was a pouch of 50 tablets for 50 liters of water.

In the evening, I walked around the street of Thamel to get the feel of the place. It was not very different from Indian cities.

My flight to Lukla was at 7 am so I retired a little early.


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Chander Kaher

New Member

Day 2 - Kathmandu to Lukla


The flight to Lukla is an adventure in itself. Depending on the weather conditions in Lukla, the flight could be delayed or canceled at any time. So I was keeping my fingers crossed anyway.

To my good luck, it was a sunny morning in Kathmandu. It got my hopes high of reaching Lukla the same day.

I chose Yeti Airlines. Each plane carries 10 persons and each person is allowed 10kg.

It is a unique experience to fly on these planes. The landing at Lukla Airport (2800 meters) is one of the most dangerous landings in the world. The very skilled pilot (as you would hope) is flying literarily sitting next to you. In other words, the EBC adventure starts as soon as you board the flight to Lukla.

My flight was on time. After 35 minutes of air, we landed at Lukla around 9:30 am. It was a beautiful sunny day and I collected my luggage.

At Lukla, I got my permit and I immediately started my trek after a cup of tea.

I was carrying a backpack of 10-11kg. Other items only included a 1 kg Camera and a 1 kg refillable water bottle. So a total of total 12-13 kg of total weight.

Today’s trekking plan was to go as far as possible and stay before it gets dark.

The trek was easy at the beginning as I moved from Lukla to Phakding. It was all 6-7 km of downhill walking, from 2850 meters to 2550 meters. It was a beautiful walk with numerous carved scripts, beautiful small villages, teahouses, rivers, and mountains.

At Phakding, after 2hours of trekking, I refilled my water bottles. It was around 12 pm and I was excited to go ahead. I planned to stop at the next available tea-house for a break.

After Phakding, it was all uphill. Though I was tired, the beautiful views of villages, peaks, and prayer carving on stones along the river made me forget all about my fatigue and kept me charged.

At around 2 pm, I reached Monjo (2850 mt) and got my ticket for Sagarmatha National park. Till this point, I was in reasonably good shape and targeted to reach Namche Bazar (~3500 mt) which was a 6 km and 4 hours long trek.


After trekking for about an hour, I had the first glimpse of Mount Everest. It was simply beautiful. As I was getting closer to Namche, the climb kept getting steeper, 10%, and 15% incline at some places.

This climb is called Namache steps. It was difficult with a 12kg backpack which felt like 20 kg at that time. The reduced oxygen levels at that height and the cold weather made things even more difficult.

At 4:45 pm, I finally reached Namche Bazar. Only a few places were open. I stayed at the Kamal hotel. I was one of only two guests staying there that night.

Bukhari (non-electric, wood/dung fueled heater) in the hotel’s restaurant was keeping that place warm and cozy. I went to bed around 9 pm after dinner which was Rice-Dal-vegetables.

I had a wonderful day with beautiful views. A glimpse of Mt. Everest & rarely seen Himalayan deer, steep climb to Namche, 18 km trek, 2850 meters to 3450 meters incline made it all worth it in the end.

I wasn't sure what my plan was going to be for the next day. Should I stay in Namche for acclimatization or move forward, I didn't know. I thought to decide it in the morning and went to sleep.

Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. It was an experience of its own; both exciting and a bit scary. I was sitting right next to two pilots.



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Lukla Airport

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Baggage collection at Lukla



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Lukla Bazaar


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Chander Kaher

New Member
The steep climb to Namche Bazar


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Himalayan Deer


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Reached Namche Bazaar. Almost empty. Namche Bazaar


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Kamal Hotel and Resturant


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Bukhari

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Chander Kaher

New Member

Day 3 - Namche Bazaar to Shomare / Somare / Soumare


I slept well and woke up around 6:30 am. I was feeling good with no sign of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). At around 7:30, it was blue skies with bright sun and I was feeling fresh. Within a few seconds, I decided to continue my trek to the next destination.

A lot of people stay at either Kathmandu, Lukla, or Namche Bazaar for acclimatization before pushing to the base camp. For more details, please take a look at . But since I did not feel any symptoms of AMS or fatigue, I decided to move on.

I had Tibetan bread with jam, butter, and tea for breakfast. It was cold outside at -4°C but the sun was giving enough warmth.

I started the trek around 9 am.

I was waiting for another glimpse of Everest and there it was after 30-45 min of trekking. It was a wonderful view of the Everest and Tengboche Monastery.

Visually, you can make out that Tengboche Monastery is at a similar height from where I was standing. Then I realized that the trail is going down (400 mt ) to a river crossing and then up (~600mt) to the Monastery and that looked tough.

On the way, there were several nice cafés (Tea-Houses) serving good coffee and Italian foods. It was a steep walk going downhill towards the river ( Dudh Koshi) crossing and then all the way up. The trek condition was not good. It had deep steps, bad stoned patches, and loose dust. I could imagine the problem in rain/ heat and crossing yak/horse during the season.

Around Midday, I reached Tengboche. It is a scenic place with a view of Everest, Nuptse, Ama Dablam.

After resting & having lunch, I was back on the trail. It was beautiful amidst trees and alongside the river ( Imja Khola). I planned to stay at any available tea house after 4 pm before it was dark.

By 4 pm, I reached Shomare and started to look for a place to stay. Nearly all teahouses were closed. I noticed an activity at a tea house but they had packed all stuff to close for winter.

It was not a good situation, it was getting dark and cold and I was not sure if I will be able to find anything beyond Shomare before it got dark.

Finally, I got a bed and food at Tashi Lodge. I had a cup of tea in front of Bukhari before it was dark.

I enjoyed my dinner and went to bed at around 8 pm. It was another good day that ended at Shomare (4100mt). It was 16 km trek today with 1300 mt ascent and 830 mt decent.

The next destination was to be decided in the morning.


Namche Bazzar... Bright & wonderful day


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Towards Tengboche


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Beautiful Teahouses on the way...


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Very steep



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Hardworking Locals .... Life is tough there...



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Crossing River towards Tengboche climb


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Chander Kaher

New Member

Day 4 - Somare to Gorakshep



After another good night's sleep, I woke up around 7 am. Being at 4100 mt, I was expecting some headache but it was good so far. That day was another sunny day. Breakfast was served in the form of egg-toast and tea.

The plan was to skip Dingboche and trek toward EBC via Periche and stop around 4 pm. I was hoping that I should reach Lobuche.

At 4100 mt and going up, my 12-13 kg backpack started to seem heavier. It was getting difficult to carry it. The landscape had changed completely as well. There were no trees or grass. if there was water, it was frozen.

I reached Periche around 11 am and continued till Dughla. Dughla (4600 mt) is a place with 3 teahouses along a river crossing. This river is the outlet of Kumbu Glacier.

At 12:30 pm, I reached Dughla and had a good lunch. There are good food choices in teahouses on the EBC trail. Food is not a problem.

Around 1:30 pm, I was back on the trail. I filled my bottles with normal water and added a few purification tablets which takes 30 minutes to sanitize the water.

At Lukla, one water bottle was Nepalese Rs. 100. It was Rs. 400 at this place and kept on increasing with altitude and distance along with food prices.

After Dughla, it is a steep climb (300 meters) to Everest Memorial. It is a place with prayer flags to honor Everest climbers and Sherpas who died while attempting to climb Everest.

From Everest memorial, a bit of decent then steady climb to brings you to Lobuche. It was getting cold at this height with winds. My backpack seemed heavier than before without adding anything.

I was carrying two water bottles. One was inside my backpack, insulated with my clothes, and the second one within my jacket. By now, my water bottle inside my jacket was frozen solid as the temperature was well below 0°C at 3 pm.

At 3 pm, I was at Lobuche with two options. I could either stay at Lobuche or continue till Gorak Shep. After doing some strange calculations, I decided to move forward to Gorakshep.

As I got closer to Gorakshep, the trek got tough. I got lost a few times (not for more than 50meters though).

Finally, slightly before 5 pm, I reached Gorakshep (5200 mt). It was damn cold. I entered the first visible teahouse called “ Snow Land Highest Inn”. Bukhari was on. I sat next to the Bukhari with a hot cup of tea. After dinner (8 pm), I went to bed, which was a small plywood room with two beds. It was cold in there but much better than outside at -18 to -20°C at night.

With a sleeping bag and additional quilt (provided by tea house), I kept myself warm enough. Inside the cabin, the temperature was below -4°C. A fresh warm bottle of water froze solid in two hours.

What is the plan for tomorrow?

Generally, trekkers go to Kala Patthar during the early hours at 3-4 am. It is done to see the sunrise through beautiful mountains and also to avoid high winds during the day. Later they trek to EBC and come back to Lobuche.

I decided to stick to my schedule. I planned to start the trek in the sun (8-9 am) to Kalla Patthar and then Everest base camp and be back in Gorakshep by 4 pm. So I was going to stay at Gorak shep another night.

It was again a wonderful day with 17 km trek from 4100 mt to 5200 mt (1300 mt ascent and 200 mt descent)

While sleeping, I kept the water bottle and batteries inside my sleeping bag to keep those warm enough.

My Stay at Somare


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Life Saver Bukhari and Drums of Local beer.


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My Bed...


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Looking Back at Temboche ...


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Trekking along with my Shadow :), few trekkers on the trail at this time

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You can enjoy an Italian cafe on the way .... at Periche


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Towards Dughla...


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The menu is Nepali's Rupee Dughla


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Looking Back at Periche...


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Periche far at the bottom



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Chander Kaher

New Member
Periche far at the bottom


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One of the easiest ways to reach EBC



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Everest memorial after Dughla.



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River Crossing near Dughla.


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Dughla



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Close to Lobuche

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No more pictures after this due to time pressure and cold. Reached Goarkshep(My stay at Goarkh Shep, Picture from 1st Jan)
 

Chander Kaher

New Member

Day 4 - Gorakshep to Kala Patthar - Everest Base Camp to Gorakshep


Last night was very cold. I had good sleep but slightly less comfortable than previous nights due to the cold and altitude.

In the morning, I did not have a headache, which was a good sign. I believe that my yearly pilgrimage to Ladakh helped me in avoiding AMS.


Around 8 am, I had a hot cup of coffee and biscuits and started my trek towards Kala Pathar. It was a 2.5 km climb, uphill all the way from 5200 meters to 5620 meters. From there you get a beautiful view of Mount Everest, Nuptse, Pumori, and other peaks around.

I was carrying my DSLR camera and water bottles (2-3 kg). It took approximately 2 hours to reach the Kala Patthar summit.

The view from Kalla Pathar was worth all the time, energy, and effort. It was simply breathtaking. Mount Everest was standing tall and beautiful with Nuptse on the right, Pumori on left, and Kumbu icefall. The view cannot be expressed with words. You need to be there to experience it.

I wanted to spend more time there. But after 30 minutes at Kala Patthar summit, cold and strong winds convinced me to come back to Gorakshep. Trekking down was a matter of 30-40 minutes.

On the way down, I stopped multiple times to see and absorb that beauty. Looking at majestic Everest, I was wondering about its Summiteer’s motivation, willpower, strength, and passion. For sure its is not an easy task.

Around 12 noon, I was at Gorakshep. I had lunch at the teahouse and started the trek towards Everest Base Camp. It was a 3.5 km walk, climbing from 5200 mt to 5300 mt. It was a relatively easy trek along Kumbu Glacier and 8000+ peaks around you.

To be honest, it is too difficult to express in words the beauty of mighty Everest and around. (Everest is not fully visible from EBC)

I reached the Everest Base Camp around 2 pm. After spending 30 minutes at the camp, I started on my way back to Gorakshep and reached there before 4 pm.

Bukhari was heating up. I had a cup of coffee and sat next to the Bukhari. It was 31 December, New Year's Eve. I celebrated with a few fellow trekkers at 9 pm before going to bed.

It was THE DAY, seeing Everest so closely.

At night, it started to get cloudy and it seemed that tomorrow morning may not be a sunny day.

With my fingers crossed for the morning, I went to bed

Last Night was very cold, frozen Bottle


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Way to Kalla Pathar


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Easy option available at a cost


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View Of Goarkshep while going up to Kalla Pathar.


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Kalla Pathar Sumit, Pumari at Back...


Following are Views, I had been waiting for and it was worth all the effort.


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The Kumbu Glacier


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View from Kalla Pathar Sumit towards Lobuche and view of Kumbu Glacier


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A close-up


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