10 Days Everest base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return

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Starts at: Lukla Ends at: Lukla
Trek Region: Everest Transport: Flight
Duration: 7 days Trip Grade: Strenuous
Max Altitude: 5,545 m/ 18,192 ft Accommodation: Teahouse

Trekking to Everest Base Camp is one of the adventures that should be on your bucket list! 

And if you can add a helicopter ride to that trek, we think it is something that should be pretty near the top of anyone’s bucket list.  Sensibly we all require a certain level of good fitness, stamina, and time to trek to EBC.  If you are short on these things we can point you to our Everest Base Camp by Helicopter Tour or can we recommend some of our shorter treks to base camp, which also include a helicopter ride over the mountains and then back to Kathmandu. Cutting out retracing your steps in the final days of the classic EBC trek and giving you a whole new viewpoint (literally) of Mount Everest. 

For this trek, you will need 8 days, which includes the arrival into the region and departure out of it.  Also included in this trek and helicopter tour is accommodation the night before your trip (Arrival Day) and the night at the end of your trip (Day 8) The accommodation in Kathmandu is in a three-star hotel in Thamel.

Over these 8 days, you will witness the glories of the Himalayas, experience trekking through the land of  Sherpa communities (and the Yeti, if you believe the legends), through different types of landscapes, and encounter Tibetan Buddhism through the local people and the monks at Tengboche Monastery.  

The mountains are, of course,  the other main reason for the EBC Trek to be at the top of your bucket list.  For more highlights, read on.

Highlights of the 10 Days Everest Base Camp Trek

  • Fly into the high-altitude airport, named after Hillary and Tenzing, the first men to summit Everest, at Lukla. A thrill in itself.
  • Fly out of the region by helicopter – adding another dimension to your trip. This is something not many visitors have experienced.
  • Gaze at Mount Everest, almost able to touch the mountain, from the top of Kalapattar, a high ridge sitting in prime position for views of Everest and the surrounding mountains.
  • Meet Buddhist monks at Tengboche Monastery and soak up the spiritual atmosphere while also getting a great panorama of the surrounding mountains. 
  • Laugh with Sherpas you meet on the trail or in the trekking lodges – their smiles are infectious! 
  • Have plenty of time to really get to know your own body’s abilities.  You can do it! 
  • Cross-suspension bridges, rocky paths, and up-stone steps created by both nature and man.
  • Enjoy the lively market town of Namche Bazaar where you will meet other trekkers and mountaineers. 

A Typical Day on the Base Camp Trek

On any trek in the Everest region, we wake up early to prepare for whatever the day brings.  And hopefully, the day brings clear blue skies, clear mountain views, sunshine, and a great experience! 

Breakfast is eaten in the lodge before we head out on the trail.  The porters will have left earlier, carrying your bags.  All you need to carry is your day pack with water, snacks, a camera, and anything you feel essential for the day ahead.  Your guide can advise you on what is good to carry depending on the time of year and the weather you are likely to encounter i.e., suncream and/or a rain jacket. 

Since this is the Himalayas, for every downward path there is an upward path!  In general, we are gaining elevation as we trek from Lukla to our final destination at Pheriche.  On that note, we take care not to travel too fast and stay well hydrated to minimize any risk of altitude-related problems.  Again, your guide will advise you.

Lunch is taken on the trail.  This is a fun and interesting experience in itself.  Whether you feel ravenous or not hungry at all will depend on your body, but we suggest you try to eat something to give you more trekking power for the afternoon.

Evenings follow a pattern of arriving at the lodge, perhaps enjoying a cold drink or cup of tea while ordering dinner and before washing off the day’s dust.  Then dinner is spent discussing the day and perhaps comparing notes with trekkers in other groups before heading to bed at an hour which would seem very early in your home daily life but is the norm on the trek.

Important Notes for the 10 Days EBC Trek

As with all treks in the Everest Region, there are some things you need to know before you go. 

Although this trek is not your standard EBC trek, there are some things it is important to take note of. 

  • Flights to the Everest Region now depart from Ramchhap airport due to congestion at the Kathmandu airport. Being that  Ramchhap is several hours’ drive from Kathmandu we leave Kathmandu at 1 am.  It is about a four-hour drive through amazing landscapes of foothills and lowlands, but hard to see until the sun comes up.  All flights in and out of mountainous areas are in the mornings, as there are often high winds in the afternoons.  
  • Planes can be delayed or cancelled due to bad weather in the Himalayas but in general, helicopters are able to fly so there are fewer delays for those taking helicopter flights.   But in case of delays, going either way, we suggest you ensure there is one or two days between landing in Kathmandu and your international flight home. Just to be on the safe side. 
  • Please give us a copy of your passport when you book. This is so we can arrange the domestic flight ticket – a copy of the passenger’s passport is required for booking. 
  • Porters are included in our package price.  Usually, one porter carries the luggage of two clients and can safely carry 20kg.   We request you pack a maximum of 10kg for the porter to carry – we will give you a suitable bag for your luggage.  Your day pack should contain only what you need on a daily basis and again we suggest you keep it light as you will be carrying it! .   
  • Airlines have a weight limit of 15kg per person, so again please ensure you pack light. 
  • Included in the price of your trek are the meals on the trail.  But this does not include hot or cold drinks, snacks, or alcohol.  
  • The lodges charge for hot showers ($3 to $5) and charging your phone or camera battery ($1 to $3). Please bring enough rupees to cover these costs and the costs of any drinks and extra food.  As it is pretty cold in the mornings and evenings, you might want to re-think your usual daily shower! 
  • Please exchange your foreign currency in Kathmandu before leaving for Everest.  We suggest you change around $20 to $30 for one day, depending on how much you drink/ charge/ shower! Beer is around Nrs700 to Nrs 1,000 and cold drinks around Nrs 400 per bottle. Mostly you will drink water but do bring some money for those luxury drinks like cola. 
  • We recommend that our clients, and other trekkers, do not drink alcohol on the trek.  Dehydration is a real worry at altitude.  And lack of judgment can be fatal. Be sensible and kind to your body.  
  • Boiled water is available in the teahouses/ lodges, but they will charge for this.  Bring sterilizing drops or tablets.  Do not drink from the streams! 
  • There are some bakeries in Namche and one in Dingboche if you have a sweet tooth!  Or bring your own snacks from Kathmandu or Namche.  
  • A Wi-Fi card in Lukla or Namche Bazaar http://everestlink.com.np/  will cost you $25 for 10 or 20 GB of data for a 30-day period only in the Everest Region.  Quality of reception is not guaranteed, however.  The weather will have an impact. 
  • Weather can change very quickly in the mountains.  This can cause delays to flights and to hikes.  Please follow the advice of your guide if he needs to change the itinerary in any way due to the weather. The weather is out of his control! 
  • Drones are not permitted.  It is very hard to get permission, so we suggest to our clients to not try to do this unless they have a lot of patience, and time and really really need to bring one.  
  • Remember your trekking insurance with coverage for over 5,000m. 

10 days Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

Kathmandu – 1,300 m / 4,265 ft

Day 2: Kathmandu to Lukla (Flight) to Phakding

Phakding – 2,651 m / 8,697 ft – 4 hrs

Day 3: Phakding to Namche

Namche – 3,440 m / 11,286 ft – 5 to 6 hrs

Day 4: Acclimatization Day in Namche

Namche – 3,700 m / 12,139 ft – 4 to 5 hrs

Day 5: Namche to Tengboche

Tengboche – 3,956m / 12,979 ft – 5 to 6 hrs

Day 6: Tengboche to Dingboche

Dingboche – 4,380 m / 14,370 ft – 4 to 5 hrs

Day 7: Acclimatization Day in Dingboche

Dingboche – 4,380 m / 14,370 ft

Day 8: Dinboche to Lobuche

Lobuche – 4,938 m / 16,200 ft – 4 to 5 hrs

Lobuche to EBC on helicopter and fly back to Kathmandu

Kalapattar – 5,600m / 18,000 ft – 2 hours

Day 7: Departure

Departure from kathmandu

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu

  • Accommodation: Hotel

You will be collected from the Tribhuvan International Airport by someone from our office, and taken to your hotel where you have a chance to relax and explore the neighborhood. Your hotel is in the central tourist part of the city, so it is easy to walk around without getting lost!  

Today you will also get the opportunity to sit with your guide and ask questions about your trip.

Day 2: Kathmandu to Lukla (Flight) to Phakding

  • Flight time: 35 to 40 minutes
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 6.2 km/3.8 miles

We set off from Kathmandu at 1 a.m. in order to make the four-hour road journey to the new airport designated for flights to Lukla.  At the moment there is little accommodation around the airport, so we have to leave Kathmandu early.  We suggest you think of this road trip as part of the overall adventure! 

The flight itself is very short and once we land at Lukla your baggage will be handed over to our porters.  The airlines have a restriction of 15kg per passenger and our porters have a limit of 10kg per person (unless you are carrying specialist equipment, such as heavy cameras, and wish to hire your own porter just for your gear, which will be an additional charge). 

Then your guide will lead you through forests, over rivers, and down to Phakding.  It is a short, and relatively stress-free trek today and you are able to catch up with sleep in the lodge tonight.

Day 3: Phakding to Namche

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 7.4 km/4.6 miles

Today we enter Sagarmatha National Park proper.  We pass under the archway indicating the park – a great photo opportunity.  One of many to come.  Now we really feel like we are trekking in the Himalayas. 

On reaching Namche Bazaar we check into our lodge for the next two nights.  There is time to explore the town if you wish.  There is even a bar or two that shows films related to the region, usually every day at 3 p.m.   Dinner is taken in the lodge, over which your guide will explain the details of the next day’s acclimatization process. 

Day 4: Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazar

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

In order to acclimatize to the high altitude, everyone spends an extra day in Namche on their way up into the mountains.  Not only does it give the body time to get used to the thinner air, but it also gives us time to explore around the town.

Khumjung village is a short hike away and is home to the school and health post that Edmund Hillary set up for the Sherpa people.  We find many of our clients are interested in exploring this village and learning more about Hillary’s help.  Actually, Hillary was also instrumental in setting up Lukla Airport. 

An alternative hike would be to Hotel Everest View for fantastic views of Mt Everest while sipping coffee.  Please discuss with your guide what is the best option for you, remembering that the best way to acclimatize is to keep active. 

Don’t forget to look up: Thamserku, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse are on display along with Everest and many other mountains. 

Day 5: Namche to Tengboche

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 9.2 km/5.7 miles

Today we are off to Tengboche.  But first, a filling breakfast to keep us going.  Hopefully, you remembered to stock up on granola bars, chocolate bars, etc. the day before in Namche.  

On the way we pass chortans, stupas, prayer flags, and other Buddhist signs until we reach Tengboche Monastery. The highest monastery in the Everest Region, it is home to many monks who live a spiritual life in fantastic surroundings.  From the terrace, there are great views of the mountains.  This is truly a great place for the spiritual and non-spiritual alike.  

If you like you may be able to join a religious puja ceremony and light some butter lamps.  Giving a small donation to the monastery is common practice amongst locals and trekkers alike. 

We overnight at Tengboche. 

Day 6: Tengboche to Dingboche 

  • Trek time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 12 km/7.45 miles

After breakfast, we set off along the Imja Khola (river) and climbed up to Dingboche.  Dingboche is the highest Sherpa settlement in the region and is surrounded by fields of main potatoes.  From here the views of the mountains are spectacular – just the place to spend a lazy afternoon chatting, blogging, or in simple meditation. 

Day 7: Acclimatization Day in Dingboche

  • Trek time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 12 km/7.45 miles

We get to spend another day in Dingboche as our bodies adjust again to the high altitude.   We take note (and photographs) of the surrounding mountains – Makalu, Everest, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam and Lhotse.  We get very clear views of these particular mountains when we actively hike to Nagkar Peak, about a 6-hour return trip.  Again, being active is the best way to acclimatize. 

Alternatively, you can hike through a windy valley to the nearby village of Pheriche where the Himalayan Rescue Association has a health post. Established in 1973, this health post provides information to trekkers and mountaineers about altitude-related sicknesses through lectures, etc. as well as helping people who are suffering from the same. 

It also provides help and assistance to ill porters, guides, and locals, and is run through a combination of donations, government money, and the work of volunteers. You can find out more information from their website.

Again, we overnight in Dingboche.

Day 8: Dingboche to Lobuche 

  • Trek time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 12 km/7.45 miles

Another filling breakfast to ready us for the day ahead and off we go – beginning with a quite gentle climb to the Pheriche Valley.  Walking above the floor of the valley there are yak pastures and alpine scrublands on our route today. While below is the valley, above are the mountains Ama Dablam, Tawoch, and Cholotse.  In fact, from this position, Ama Dablam looks like it is rising out of the valley itself. 

Then the path becomes a bit more challenging as we ascend to Thokla Pass.  What views are had from here?  Several mountains are on view including Lhotse Shar, Nuptse, and Lhotse.  Stopping on the way, we get amazing photographs from the past. 

We keep going after crossing over the pass and reach the village of Lobuche which is situated among dramatic and beautiful scenery.  

Overnighting here, we will also wake up to the stunningly dramatic views from this small settlement. 

Day 9: Tengboche to Everest Base Camp and Kalapattar by Helicopter and Kathmandu Return 

  • Flight time: 2 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Our final day is one of thrills, fantastic views, and an easy trip back to the capital city.

After breakfast, we board our helicopter and head over to Everest Base Camp. Below we can see the colourful tents of expeditions preparing to climb Everest (in the correct climbing season), the Khumbu Ice Falls which they all must cross, and other glaciers.  Due to the ground conditions, we cannot land our helicopter at the base camp but fly over and land at Kalapattar. 

Kalapattar is a high rock ridge located at 5,600m / 18,000ft from where we can land and from where you get the most amazing views of the mountains, including Mt Everest.  Although we can only land for a short period, there is time for you to take videos and photos and fix the scene in your head for future memories.  

Then again we board the helicopter and fly over the Himalayan landscape, out of Sagarmatha National Park, through the foothills of the Himalayas, and into the Kathmandu Valley and home.  Home today is a three-star hotel in the vibrant tourist heart of Kathmandu, which our staff will drop you off when you arrive at the airport.

Day 10: Departure

Our staff will drop you off at the Tribhuvan International Airport for your onward journey. 

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Includes for EBC Trek

  • Local transfers for your international flight x 2 (arrival/ departure)
  • Local transfers for your domestic flights x 2
  • Kathmandu Lukla Kathmandu flight
  • Sagarmatha National Park Entry Park and Local Entry Permits
  • Guide for 8 days
  • Porter for 7 days
  • 2 nights accommodation in a Kathmandu (Bodhi Boutique or similar)
  • 7 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • Staff insurance and necessary ground transport for support staff
  • 8 x set breakfast, 7 x set lunch and 7 x set dinner while on the trek
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Personnel expenses of any kind and travel insurance

Equipment Checklist for Everest Base Camp

The following PDF gives you a general idea of the trekking equipment and clothing needed for the Everest Base Camp trek.

Everest Base Camp Trek Map

After your trek, we would love to hear from you about how you enjoyed the trip and any suggestions on improving the experience for others.  

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