Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Everest Base Camp, where you land on the lap of Mt. Everest.
Many of the travelers dream of mounting the highest peak in the world but only a few get to the peak. But, over 40,000 people reach the Everest Base Camp every year to face the Everest from near!
January is the “off-season” for Everest Base Camp trek. However! This is why you should go to EBC in January.
It is quiet and peaceful!
Yes, many people would like to trek during the season making the road and the lodge crowded! Not in January!
If you want to avoid the crowd and can handle the cold, January is a good time.
Clear blue skies, beautiful lakes, monasteries, and breathtaking sceneries ascend you to the base camp.
Do not let this month fool you! There are various benefits for trekking Everest Base Camp in January.
Why trek Everest Base Camp in January?
Even though many people try to avoid this mid-winter month, there are many perks to trek in January.
In January, the air is dry and the precipitation is very less. The skies are almost clear and cloudless, providing a magnificent view.
This is also a plus point for the flights, they don’t cancel that frequently due to the weather conditions.
Quiet and peaceful journey
Being the off-season, there will be very few people challenging the journey. This means that you will have the path to yourself.
No more of people getting in your perfect shots!
The lodges will have better rooms for you.
Getting special treatment
When you are one of the few travelers, the lodges and tea houses can provide you special treatment. They would have time to listen to your requests and cater and even may provide you extra.
This might not be the case at other times, though.
During the peak season, they would be too busy to listen to your personal requests. They would have to cook in bulk and the food might not taste that great at times.
Cheaper flights and accommodation
The lodges usually have fixed price but the other things will be cheaper. You can get the flights and the hotel rates cheaper than in other seasons.
Everest Base Camp Weather in January
As it almost never rains, the weather is mostly dry and stable in January.
However, the temperature changes drastically from day to night.
During the day, the sunshine is warm and the temperature could reach to 4℃ (39℉). At night, the temperature falls rapidly and may reach -17℃(1℉).
There might also be occasional snow that won’t last for a long time (a day max). You can continue your trek after the snow stops.
- Sleeping Bag
- Trekking Boots (Waterproof)
- Trekking Trousers
- Trekking Tops
- Jackets (Down and Fleece)
- Warm Socks
- Gloves (Thin insulating)
- Warm Cap
- Trekking Poles
- Lip Balm
- Thermal Flask
- Water Purifying Tablets
- Sun Hat
- Medical Kit
- Personal Hygiene Kits: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Shampoo, Sponge, Towels, Toilet paper.
- Washing Powder
- Notebook and Pen
Tips for Trekking in January
Sunscreen, Sun hat, and Sunglasses
The sun is scorching high up. Because of the white snow, 80% of the sun reflects back so you’ll get burned very quickly!
Take a high SPF sunscreen and apply it every 2-3 hours whenever you take a rest.
Special hiking sunglasses are preferable for the snow and sun. If you are not planning to get it, at least carry dark black sunglasses.
Light and breathable sun hat is a must!
Do not travel alone
It is always advised to travel with a guide. They know the way better and can help you when in trouble.
As already mentioned above, the route would be quiet. If something happens to you, there might not be any passerby for a couple of days!
Imagine being alone and hurt on a freezing winter night!
Do get a guide or even a porter if you need one.
Layer your clothes
Layering your clothes has two benefits:
1. It keeps you warmer
When you wear in layers, the air gets trapped between those layers. The trapped air works as an insulator, so you will be warmer than wearing only one big jacket.
2. You don’t need to carry different clothes for the day and the night.
Take off layers in the day and wear at night or in a very cold day. Simple!
Start early mornings
Since the day is really short in winters, you should start your expedition early in the morning and reach the lodge before the sunset.
It will become dark and cold promptly after the sunset.
Do you have a travel insurance? Does it cover the altitude of 5000m and more?
You must have a clause in your insurance to cover for the altitude.
Call your insurance company up and ask them if the policy covers trekking in Nepal up to 5545 meters. Some might not.
Alternatives to Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest View Trek
Do you want to view Everest but don’t have the time or don’t want to go at a higher altitude? No problem! You can choose a different route, Tengboche Everest View Trek (3956m).
In a total of 7 days, you pass through alpine forest, Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers, and famous Tengboche Monastery to watch Mount Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Ama Dablam and Thamserku.
Gokyo Lake Trek
Another alternative to Everest Base Camp Trek is Gokyo Lake Trek (5357m).
This 11-day expedition will take you to Gokyo lakes in Gokyo valley. With the view of largest glacier in Nepal, Ngozumpa, you will also enjoy Mt. Everest, Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Makalu.
Other treks you can do in January in Nepal
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
If you have only a week to spare, Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is the best way to go! You can enjoy a stunning sunrise with the snow covered mountain range (Annapurna to Lamjung Himal) from Poon Hill (3210m).
Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek
You can take a 10 days Trek route to Mardi Himal Base Camp (4450m). You can watch the amazing range of mountains like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, and Manaslu.