Many trekkers know that Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most desirable treks to conquer. But, is the trek really doable? Is it compulsory to hire a guide? I will clear out all of your queries in this article.
Trekking to the base camp of the highest peak in the world is in itself a moment of gratitude. You will the footsteps of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary, who were the first ones to conquer Everest. Isn’t this exciting?
Trekking to Everest Base Camp trek without a guide is definitely not a child’s play. But what if I told you that the trek is equally achievable even without a guide? Shocked right? Cause we have been only hearing trekkers sharing their views regarding the Everest Base Camp Trek difficulty.
Yes, trekking to Everest Base Camp is definitely possible. But this does not mean you can just start your journey without any preparations.
Hiring a guide is comparatively easier and more comfortable. But the experience you will gain by trekking alone is innumerable. Trekking without a guide means you will not have to walk according to anyone’s instructions. You can observe the scenic beauty of the Everest region according to your own time and schedule.
Everest Base Camp Trek without a guide also saves your cost for the trek. A guide usually charges 20-25 dollars per day for their service. So, if you are someone who wants a budget EBC trek, trekking without a guide can be a good option.
But, you should fully prepare yourself when trekking without a guide. There are a lot of challenges you may have to face when trekking without a guide. So, get ready to face all such difficulties. You should prepare yourself physically as well as mentally.
So, start packing your bags today and join us at Exciting Nepal. Our counsellors will provide you with enough knowledge for Everest Base Camp Trek.
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Best Time for Everest Base Camp Trek without a guide
You should be very careful when choosing the best time for EBC trek especially if you are trekking without a guide. Weather and temperature highly determine the difficulty level of your trek. So, for a less challenging trek, choosing the perfect time for the trek would be necessary.
The best time for Everest Base Camp Trek without a guide would be during the peak seasons. Autumn and spring fall into the category of peak season in Nepal. These are the best time for exploring the natural and scenic beauty of Nepal.
Autumn (September, October, November)
Autumn is one of the most preferred time of the year for Everest Base Camp Trek. It is the post-monsoon season in Nepal. So, you can expect minimum rainfall in the Everest region.
The weather and temperature of the Everest region become very suitable for trekking during the Autumn season. The weather and temperature in the lower elevations are quite warm and humid. As you head towards the higher elevations, you can feel the chills and decrease in temperature.
Most of the trails during the autumn season may not be covered with snow. So, independent trekkers may not have to worry about walking in the snowy trails.
As autumn is the peak season, you will find many trekkers along the way. So, you can have some companion throughout the trail. And also, there is a very less chance of getting lost on the way.
The average daytime temperature of the Everest region during autumn ranges between 8-12 degrees. The temperature might fall below minus degrees during the night and morning time.
Spring (March, April, May)
Spring is the second best time for trekkers who are trekking to Everest Base Camp without a guide. It is one of the most beautiful seasons in Nepal.
Spring is the king of all seasons. During spring the weather is usually clear and pleasant. It is the time when the natural beauty of the Everest region reaches its maximum height. Spring regenerates all its natural beauty due to which the surrounding becomes beautiful. It is the time when new plants grow and flowers bloom that makes your trek wonderful.
Spring give trekkers a chance to walk along the beautiful forest filled with rhododendron. The fragrance of the flowers will inspire you as you trek to Everest Base Camp.
The average daytime temperature of the Everest region during Spring is about 15 degrees Celsius. The temperature starts decreasing gradually as you move to a higher altitude.
You can expect minimum rainfall during the spring season as it is the pre-monsoon season. However, during the late May light rainfall may shower in the Everest region. So, it is better to carry rain gear with you.
Difficulties of Everest Base Camp Trek without a guide
The highest point of Everest Base Camp Trek is at Kalapatthar. It stands at the height of 5545 meters. The trek becomes more difficult as you move to a higher altitude. Most of the routes to Everest Base Camp Trek sits in a higher altitude. So, there are many chances for high altitude sickness.
Lukla is the starting point of the trek that just sits below 3000 meters. This is already high enough for Acute Mountain sickness. So, you can just imagine reaching up to the height of 5545 meters.
So, altitude sickness is very common when trekking to Everest Base Camp. As an independent trekker, you will have to look after the symptoms of altitude sickness. Some of the symptoms are headache, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, etc.
Usually, the amount of oxygen in the air lessens as you trek to a higher altitude. This will cause you shortness in breathing. Immediately descend to a lower height if you see any signs of altitude sickness.
The route to Everest Base Camp trek is quite simple in the lower elevations. But, in the higher areas, you will have to walk through snowy and rocky trails. Most of the trail involves walking along steep route and narrow ridges. You will cross several passes which are physically challenging and demanding.
Everest Base Camp Trek covers the total distance of 130 kilometers. So, you can only imagine covering the distance all by yourself. You will need a lot of patience and dedication to reach your destination without the company of anymore. Yes, trekking alone needs a lot of courage. But you will be rewarded if you stick to your purpose.
An average Everest Base Camp trek covers a distance of 10 km a day. To cover this distance, you will have to walk for about 6-7 hours a day. Continuously walking for such hours alone might be very tiring.
Weather and Temperature
One of the things that independent trekkers should keep in mind is about the weather and temperature during winter and monsoon seasons. The weather conditions are usually unfavorable in the Everest region during these seasons. So, independent trekkers might have to face a lot of challenges during winter and monsoon.
Most of the trails to EBC remain muddy and slippery because of the monsoon rain. The route becomes wet and will make you uneasy to walk. As you will be trekking without a guide, you may also slip your way.
Similarly, heavy snowfall snowers in the Everest region during the winter season. Most of the passes remain block and closed due to snow. Walking in a snowy trail may not be easy as you think. The route becomes tricky and challenging.
So, for independent trekkers, it would be better to avoid trekking during winter and monsoon. However, if you want to have a thrilling experience, you can go for your EBC trek in winter and monsoon as well.
Advantages of Hiring a Guide to Everest Base Camp Trek
There is no doubt that hiring a guide to EBC is always advantageous. Everest Base Camp trek is one of the difficult treks you will ever conquer. Trekking to the base camp of the highest peak in the world scares most people off. So, hiring a guide would be best for any trekker, be it experienced or a beginner.
Most of the people hire a guide when trekking to Everest Base Camp. It is because trekking to EBC is a lot easier and comfortable with the help of a guide. A guide is someone who will be there with you throughout your journey. He/ she acts as a source of motivation and assures your safety and security.
When trekking alone, you might follow the wrong route to Everest Base Camp. But, with a guide, you will not have to face this problem. They have several experiences and will only take you to the easy and correct route.
A guide has a sound knowledge of several languages. So, he/she acts as a communicator between you and local villagers. You will get a chance to interact with the local people and know about their culture and tradition.
Finding a decent teahouse for accommodation might be the major problem when trekking to Everest Base Camp alone. The guide will always help you to find the best teahouse or a lodge for your comfortable overnight stay.
So, considering the benefits of a guide, it is always better to hire one when trekking to Everest Base Camp.
Tips for Everest Base Camp Trek without a guide
Proper training and Physical Exercise
Everest Base Camp Trek does not require a high level of physical fitness. An average level of physical strength and exercise will certainly help you to complete successfully even without the guide.
I have seen many trekkers giving up their dream trek because of their insufficient physical endurance. So, proper training and physical exercise play a great role in making your trek successful.
A daily short hike around your area will help you to boost your physical strength. It is better to prepare for your trek three before you start your journey. Daily exercises such as running, cycling, swimming, etc will make you physically strong and fit. If you are trekking alone to Everest Base Camp, you need to start your fitness regime now!
Squatting can also be the best way to tighten your thigh muscles. Joining the gym can be a great alternative to increase your physical strength. Gyms have a wide range of equipment which will help you to develop specific strength.
Acclimatization is the key factor to avoid the problem of altitude sickness. Even the local people face difficulty to cope with the climatic variation of the Everest region. So, proper acclimatization is very important independent trekkers.
During the Everest Base Camp Trek without a guide, take as much as time for acclimatization. The more time you will have for acclimatization, the more time your body will get to adjust in the surrounding.
So, when trekking alone, add a few more days to your daily itinerary. It will not only help you to cope with the environment but also keep your feet relaxed and less tired. It will make your trek easy and comfortable.
So, choose such an itinerary that has a number of days for acclimatization. You can customize your itinerary with Exciting Nepal if you want to.
Carrying appropriate trekking Gear
Backpacking is one of the most important things to do before you actually start your trekking journey. Carrying appropriate items in your bag will automatically make trek easy. It will you in case of an emergency.
There are many uncertainties that come along when trekking to the Everest Base Camp trek without a guide. So, finding every important thing in your bag would be just great!
Make sure that you do not carry many unnecessary things in your bag. It will only increase the load of your bag and will tire you easily. So, carry only such items which you will need the most.
Carry proper clothing items according to the time of the year you will be trekking. You can carry light trekking clothes if you are trekking during autumn or spring season. However, during the winter season, warm woollen clothes will protect you from the cold weather.
It is very important to keep yourself hydrated during high altitude trekking. So, you can carry a hot water bottle that comes with a filter. Drink plenty of water when trekking. You can refill your bottle from the teahouses or any natural water resources.
In conclusion, it is all up to you if you want to hire a guide or not hire one. But I would strongly recommend you to hire one. Trekking to Everest Base Camp trek without a guide might be very demanding if you have zero trekking experience.
For further details regarding your trip, you can contact us at Exciting Nepal. Call us if you have any queries. Looking forward to welcoming you to an exciting to the Everest Base Camp Trek.