Everest Base Camp Trek in November

Everyone loves the mountains.  The Himalayan mountains are particularly well-loved for their height, majesty, history, and location.  The Everest Base Camp Trek is therefore one of the best and most interesting treks in the country and is extremely popular with trekkers from around the world. 

It is a trek not to be taken lightly as it is challenging with strenuous sections to overcome.  But for those who are able to take up the challenge, the rewards are huge.

Over a 12 days period, trekkers venture into the Sagarmatha National Park with its pine forests and raging rivers in the lower sections and its rough, rocky landscapes at higher altitudes.  Here we find many mountains over 7,000m, as well as a few of the highest mountains in the world over 8,000m.  Not to mention, Mt Everest, the world’s highest. 

Accommodation along the trails is in what is known as teahouses.  Simple family-run trekking lodges that provide basic accommodation, good food and friendly faces at the end of a long day. On the lower parts of the trek, there are some more comfortable guest houses, which you could perhaps explore at the end of your journey.  

Depending on the season, the weather can be extremely cold or quite warm and sunny during the day.  Similarly, depending on the season, the trails can be busy with other trekkers and climbing expeditions, or quiet and empty of visitors at times. 

Overview of Trekking to EBC Trek in November

November is arguably the best month for trekking in Nepal.  The air is dry, giving some of the clearest mountain views.  With temperatures in Namche Bazaar around a high of 9oC (48oF) and a low of -3oC (26oF) hiking during the day at this and lower altitudes is very comfortable and if you come well prepared, nights are not too bad inside the lodges.  Higher altitudes will of course be colder, but you are prepared, right? 

Temperatures will drop from mid-November onwards into winter so for the best in terms of weather, early November is recommended. 

On the other hand, because it is a popular time to visit, the lodges will be very busy.  It is also climbing season so there will be movement around base camp with climbers and their crews. 

Again, we suggest booking early if you wish to come to EBC or any of the other trails in the Everest Region in November. 

Weather and Climate in November in the Everest Region

The temperature continues to drop from October until mid-November, but for both months the skies are clear, and it is not too cold. As November continues it will get colder heading into winter.  Temperatures in Namche Bazaar in the first half of the month will be around a high of 9oC (48oF) and a low of -3oC (26oF).

Pros and Cons of Trekking to EBC in November 

The biggest pro is the clear mountain views!  The weather is not too cold, and the air is crisp, dry, and clear.  

The biggest con is that it is very busy on the trails and in the lodges/ teahouses.  You might have to wait half an hour longer for your dinner and you may get frustrated by the number of other trekkers walking in front of you.  On the other hand, many people enjoy meeting fellow trekkers and taking pleasure in their company. 

Preparing for the Everest Base Camp Trek in November 

Autumn is a fabulous time to be in Nepal and in the mountains. But you should prepare in advance because it could be warm, or it could be very cold.  You need to prepare for both.  And of course, you need to prepare your body. 

Physical Fitness and Training for Everest Base Camp

Even if you are very active normally, unless you are a regular trekker you probably need to ‘practice’ hiking up and down hills (if possible) and for hours on end.  Add this into your normal routine of the gym and/or fitness classes.  Don’t forget, hiking at altitude is very different (by that we mean harder) than hiking at altitudes closer to sea level. 

Acclimatization and Altitude Sickness for EBC Trek

On the topic of altitude – acclimatization is required of everyone doing this trek.  You might see local Sherpa folks getting off the plane and striding off to Namche Bazaar the same day.  This is because people born at altitude, science believes, have a certain gene or at least a capability to adapt more quickly.  For the rest of us, we take two days to reach Namche and once there we need to acclimatize by spending two nights in this vibrant market town.  There is another acclimatization day in Dingboche also.

But why do trekkers need to acclimatize, even those who are very fit and young?  There is less oxygen in the air the higher in altitude you go.  Bodies need time to adjust to that fact or be susceptible to altitude-related illness. 

Altitude problems are with a simple headache. This is something most people will get by the time they reach Namche, but the majority will also adapt, and the headache will go.  However, if you ignore the signs, do not acclimatize fully and push on at speed you are opening yourself up to altitude problems.  The worse outcome of this is death.  It is something easy to avoid, but something to be taken very seriously as we will explain below. 

  • Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.  Even if you are drinking a lot of tea, soft drinks, and sports drinks, water is the key to health in the mountains. 
  • Eat a good breakfast and dinner – eating well gives you the energy and power to hike in these challenging conditions. Do not try to save money by skimping on meals.  If you don’t want to eat the lunch available at teashops on the trails, then bring plenty of healthy snacks and chocolate to eat during the day.  
  • Do not go too high in altitude without acclimatizing.  Acclimatization days are built into the itinerary for a good reason. 
  • Do not go so fast as to get dehydrated. The faster you move the faster your body will dry out.  Yes, you could drink even more water but there are other factors also which say to not travel too fast. Besides, you came to see the mountains, not just rush passed them, right? 
  • Pay attention to any headaches.  It can be the start of something more serious.  Let others know if/ when you have a headache that is not going away when you take paracetamol or equivalent. 
  • It is quite usual to go down to a lower altitude if you feel unwell.  This often helps your body to adjust and the next day you can continue upwards again.  If you still feel unwell after a night at a lower altitude, you should seek medical help. 
  • Anyone can suffer from altitude – it is not a reflection of your age or fitness level. 

Essential Gear and Clothing for Everest Base Camp Trek in November

Here is an all seasons round list of gear.    Although it is autumn and relatively warm at lower altitudes it will still be cold at night, in the early mornings and in the evenings and you should layer up when dressing in the morning. 

  • Four-seasons sleeping bag
  • Trekking boots which you have been wearing before arrival 
  • Trekking trousers 
  • Thermal leggings and tops 
  • Trekking tops that are easy to put on and take off
  • Jackets (both down and fleece).  You can rent a down jacket in Kathmandu.
  • Warm socks
  • Gloves and a warm hat for the evenings. 
  • Sun hat for during the day
  • Trekking poles 
  • Sunscreen for the high altitude sun
  • Lip balm
  • Moisturiser
  • Water bottle or flask
  • Water purifying tablets or straws for drinking water 
  • Sunglasses – big and/or wrap around
  • Camera
  • Whistle (in case of emergencies)
  • Medical kit (including extras of your essential medicines in case of delays)
  • Personal hygiene kit: toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, sponge, towel, toilet paper 
  • Washing soap for your clothes or just carry them down to Kathmandu
  • Notebook and pen for when there is no WI-FI
  • Phone charger and power pack

Obtaining Permits and Documentation for Everest Base Camp Trek

You need two main permits to trek in the Everest Region:

Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit: Nrs 2,000 per person.

Obtainable in Lukla or Monjo.  Not available in Kathmandu.

Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit: Nrs 3,000 per person

The parking permit is obtainable at the Nepal Tourism Board Office in Kathmandu or in Monjo at the gate entrance for Sagarmatha National Park. More convenient at Monjo. 

Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit is required if you are hiking in from Jiri at Nrs3,000 per person.  Only obtainable at the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu.

Required documents for trekking permits: you will need a copy of your passport for all.  For the Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit, you will also need to provide two passport-sized photographs.  Pay in local currency.

Itineraries and Routes for Everest Base Camp Trek

All the routes in the Everest Region will be open in November.  There will be no problem with the trails or high passes. 

Trekking with Helicopter Tour to EBC  in November

It is an ideal time to trek but for those who don’t want to spend 12 days on the trails, there is now the option of 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 days trek to EBC with the return journey back to Kathmandu by helicopter.

As it is busy season, book any of these options well in advance to secure a seat on the helicopter. 

Modifications Due to Weather Conditions in the trek

No problems on the trails during this season.  All trails are open and available!

Major Stops and Highlights Along the Way in Everest Base Camp Trek

This is a busy month on the trail with trekkers, climbers, and their crews.  There are many things to see that you should not miss, however. 

Spending two nights in Namche Bazaar for acclimatization purposes gives you the opportunity to explore the town and its surroundings. 

Visit the Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Heritage Centre newly opened at the Sagarmatha National Park Visitors Centre to celebrate 70 years (in 2023) since the first summit of Everest. Learn about these amazing early climbers. 

Drop into the  Irish Pub for Guinness or a soft drink and a night out! 

Explore the best bakeries in town.  You may not be desperate for cake on the way up to EBC, but we think you will want to know the location of the bakeries on the way back. 

• If you are here on a Saturday, visit the Saturday market for local goods and handicrafts. Or simply to enjoy the atmosphere of the market – unique at this altitude. 

Hiking to Khumjung where Hillary set up a school for Sherpa children. The best way to acclimatize is to keep moving. 

Go bird watching. Yes really!  You may spot Nepal’s national bird, the Danphe. 

Hike to Hotel Everest View for lunch and/or coffee with the most fantastic view of Everest and surrounding mountains. 

Meet the monks at Tengboche Monastery.  Visitors can join the pujas (religious ceremonies) in the morning or evenings.  Donations are welcome and normal at all monasteries.  

Lobuche is a small settlement at 4,940m/ 16,210 ft. which is the last settlement on the way to base camp which makes it interesting, if not very pretty!   

Everest Base Camp. Take fabulous selfies and photos as proof!  And now you can seemingly get a tattoo while you are there.  We are unsure how this works as demand must surely be high, but you can check it out.  

Kalapattar is the best place to get fantastic views of Everest. Climbing up to almost 5,500m height is hard but doable.  And so worth it for the panorama of mountains. 

Major Highlights of the Month for Everest Base Camp

There are no local festivals this month but if you are planning to come at the start of November, you might want to try to be at Tengboche Monastery on 28, 29, 30th October 2023 (date change with the lunar calendar so these are 2023 dates only).  Here the Rimdu Mani Festival is celebrated to mark the founding of Tibetan Buddhism by Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava in the 8th century.  

Autumn Expeditions to Climb Mount Everest are well underway in November.  On Mt Everest, the main windows of good weather occur in November so the climbers will already be in place and waiting.  You will be able to see their base camp set up a little ahead of the base camp that trekkers reach.  The climbing base camp is different so as not to disturb them in their preparations or bring in colds and flu etc. 

Tihar Festival Dashain festival will just have finished in the rest of Nepal (15 – 28 October) which you might have witnessed in Kathmandu on your arrival.  Now the country is waiting for Tihar to arrive.

In fact, between Dashain and Tihar it’s a bit like between Christmas and New Year: not a lot is happening as people reluctantly go back to work, or don’t.  

In 2023 the dates for Tihar are 10 – 15 November, with the main days happening 12 to 15th.  On these days dogs are celebrated, cows are celebrated,  Goddess Laxmi (of wealth) is worshipped, and brothers are worshipped by their sisters.  While this is a Hindu festival, many Buddhists will celebrate part of the festival by default.  So, you may witness dogs with garlands of flowers around their necks, or see tiny footsteps outside people’s homes so that Laxmi can find her way in.   If you are in other parts of the country you will see children going around their neighbourhoods singing and dancing in exchange for goodies. 

In 2024, this festival is celebrated in the first week of November. 

Other Highlights of Trekking to EBC in November Include:

  • Stand at 5,545m on Kalapattar to see sunrise or sunset – glorious at any time but more so against the clear autumn sky. 
  • See expedition tents set up at base camp as you catch your breath and take in the views at the trekker’s Everest base camp. 
  • Learn more about the mountaineers of the past in the new Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Heritage Centre in Namche. As well as following their footsteps on the trail. 
  • Converse with other trekkers over dinner.  
  • Take fantastic photographs and videos for friends and family back home.
  • Simply being here, in the Himalayas, is a major highlight of your journey to Nepal.

Accommodation and Logistics in November for Everest Base Camp Trek

Teahouses and Lodges During the Trek for EBC trek in November

Teahouses, as they are known in Nepal, are family-run guest houses/ trekking lodges and provide accommodation and meals.  Most are basic, consisting of twin beds, shared bathrooms, and cold water.  There are some more comfortable lodges lower down the mountains which are usually full of luxury group tourists in the peak seasons.  You may be able to get a great room at a reasonable price in the winter and monsoon seasons. 

Meanwhile, the teahouse will charge you for hot water for your shower, and for charging your electronics.  Around $3 for each. Some, but not all, have Wi-Fi.  You can purchase a Wi-Fi card when you arrive in the area. 

Food and Water Availability in Everest Base Camp Trek

You will need to pay Nepali rupees for water, food, and extras.  If you are booked on a tour through an agency, you will have your meals and accommodation paid for.  This does not include drinking water, soft drinks, snacks etc.  We suggest you bring enough Nepali rupees to cover at least your daily intake of drinking water.  Around $1 to $2 per litre, which will soon add up.  Bringing drops/tablets or a Steripen will reduce the cost. 

Food is plentiful on the trek, but most lodges have similar menus.   Nepali, Sherpa (Tibetan), Chinese, Continental – which will consist of things like pasta, omelette and toast.  For lunch, you will eat at the small teashops on the trail, and it will likely be noodles and curry items. It’s handy to carry some snacks with you.  In Namche, you will find a wider range of restaurants and cafes but do note that it is expected you eat where you sleep on the trails as rooms tend to be very reasonably priced and the lodge owners make their money more from the meals.  Snacks and coffees etc taken outside are fine as long as you eat at your lodge also. 

Beer and soft drinks are available on the trail.  Do not drink – that’s our recommendation based on years of experience! It simply dehydrates you too much. 

Hiring a Guide and Porter in Everest Base Camp Trek

If you chose not to trek through an agency you can look for a guide and/or porter once you reach Lukla.  Remember November, especially the first half, is the busy season and it is also the Nepal festival season when almost the whole country is on holiday away from their place of work.  You may have more luck when groups or individuals are leaving from Lukla as their guides/ porters may then be free and looking for a business.  Check out Lukla on arrival.  But, again based on years of experience, it is always safer to trek through a reputable agency. 

Safety and Travel Tips for EBC Trek

Monitoring Weather Conditions in November for Everest Base Camp

Weather in November is ideal for trekking weather, and it is hard to get an accurate weather report in Nepal.  But you can check out National Geographic’s own weather centre – the Everest Weather Station Network.  This is primarily for very high altitude locations, specifically on Mount Everest itself – designed for mountaineers.   Through your phone set the site to its lowest setting, which is Base Camp, and you get an idea of what it is like there.  If you’re interested you can check out the weather on the mountain itself. https://everest-pwa.nationalgeographic.org/  

Coping with the Weather and Altitude in EBC Trek

Most of all, follow the tips on acclimatization above to avoid altitude problems. Stay hydrated and be responsible for your own health and that of your travel companion if travelling with a friend.  Remember although it is always wise to go down in altitude if you are unwell, it may be hard to find a bed at this peak season, particularly if you are not travelling with an agency.  You will have to accept that for what it is. 

Weather-wise, it is not too cold in November although you should bring warm clothing and a good sleeping bag for at night.   As for all seasons, layers are recommended. 

Travel Insurance and Emergency Services for EBC Trek

Everyone who is planning to trek should be carrying travel insurance which must include trekking and must include trekking up to a minimum of 5,000m.  Helicopter rescue is available, but they will want proof of payment i.e., insurance coverage, before they come out.  Otherwise, it’s a bit undignified to be carried out in a basket.  Which you would also have to pay for. 

Health Posts Along the Trail in Everest Region

Himalayan Sherpa Hospital, at Phakding, opened in November 2022 offering outpatient and emergency services to locals in its 15 beds. More information can be found here http://www.himalayansherpafoundation.org/project/himalayan-sherpa-hospital-in-phakding/

Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), is at Pheriche and is manned during the busy spring and autumn trekking seasons by volunteer doctors.  Operating since 1973, this non-profit organisation aims to reduce casualties in the mountains. Their main task is to prevent altitude-related deaths among visiting trekkers and among locals.   They give a talk on altitude-related problems every day at 3 pm which you are welcome to attend.  Please also donate if you can when you pop in. More information is found here https://www.himalayanrescue.org/

The Mountain Medical Institute (MMI) clinic is found at Namche and Dingboche.  Please note the Dingboche branch is closed in the winter months.  Staffed by doctors trained in the unique needs of people living and travelling at high altitudes, the clinic in Namche has a basic lab, EKG, and ultrasonography. Call: 985-2850021/ 981-3933179 / 984-1936205.

Any of these health posts will be able to say whether your headache etc is due to altitude or not and recommend you carry on or go down. 

Be Responsible

Be a responsible trekker.  The locals see thousands of trekkers coming through annually.  They will help when and where they can but cannot be expected to be responsible for your health.  So, you help yourself by going slowly, keeping hydrated, and going down if you feel unwell but can still walk. 

Embracing the Challenges of Trekking in November

There are not many challenges in the early half of November.  Difficulty in getting a flight seat, accommodation, a guide or a porter may be the worst of it if you are travelling alone.  By the end of November, the weather is getting colder, and you should prepare for that. 

Tips for Trekking in November 

  • With the dry crisp air, the mountains are looking their best.  
  • It’s reasonably warm in the daytime and not too cold at night.  For the Himalayas.  
  • Flight delays are less likely this month but it can still happen so have a Plan B in place. 
  • Planning is always important.  Having Plans C and D is also good if travelling alone.  
  • Check your insurance well.  
  • Have a great time! 

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Article by Pradeep Guragain

Pradeep is the co-founder of Magical Nepal. He was born and bred in Nepal and is a seasoned hiker and rider.

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