Everest Base Camp is the most projecting snow-filled land from where Everest looks like heaven. This snow-filled landscape makes you encounter with ancient Sherpa and Tibetan culture and locales’ lifestyle. Climbing Everest Base Camp has become a lifetime dream that one wants to fulfill. It is a trekker’s paradise and is one of the most sought-out trekking destinations in the world. It offers an exotic view of mountain ranges surrounded by the mesmerizing view of the Himalayas, exotic wilderness and evergreen vegetation. This expedition of the Everest region is done by people to carve their name in the Himalayan Record and stay alive in history. Some try it to gather experience and pass to their upcoming generations too.
There are two main routes, Southeast and Northeast, for climbing Mount Everest. Southeast route refers to the Nepalese side and the northeast refers to the Tibetan side. Southeast route is the most frequently-used route because it is generally considered safer and has easier access at all. Everest Base Camp from Nepal side is the most recommended and desired one but the flow of tourists to climb base camp from Tibet side is not lesser. The elevation of South Everest Base Camp is 5,380m (17,600ft) and North Everest Base Camp is 5,200m (17,056ft).
Seracs, crevasses and shifting blocks of ice make the icefall which is one of the most dangerous sections of the route for the climbers. Icefall doctors are there for setting up ropes and ladders in the unstable Khumbu icefall. To reduce the risk, climbers will usually begin their summit well before sunrise when the freezing temperatures glue ice blocks in place. Above the icefall, there is Basecamp I at the elevation of 6,065 m (19,900 ft). Camp 1 is mostly a temporary camp for the climbers just spending one night at this camp for warming up and after boosting up they start climbing according to the situation.
South Base Camp is in Nepal. It is the most popular trail which leads towards the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. This route is the most frequently-used route because it is generally considered safer and has easier access at all. Everest Base Camp from the Nepal side is the most recommended and desired one. The trek towards it starts from Lukla. At first, trekkers fly to Lukla from Kathmandu. There is not even a roadway to Lukla from Kathmandu, so all the goods and necessary kinds of stuff are sent there through flights. Trekking can also be done from Kathmandu to Lukla (if wished). But usually, trekkers heap their energy and endurance for moving upward towards the base camp. According to the survey, approximately 45,000 people trek to Everest Camp from Lukla.
From Lukla, the trek starts and it goes to Namche Bazaar which is also known as Sherpa capital. It is situated at 3,440 meters (11290ft) from sea level. It takes two days to reach the center of a village. At this point, trekkers are allowed to take rest for a day. Further 2 days are needed to reach another stopping point, Dingboche (elevated at 1,260 meters / 13,980ft), where acclimatization is offered for a day. Another 2 days of the trek will finally take to Everest Base Camp via Gorakshep (5,545 meters / 18,192ft) and Mt. Pumori. Gorakshep is a small village inhabited by Sherpa people who are famous for their guiding and mountaineering skills. It lies inside Sagarmatha National park and is the final stop on most common treks to EBC from Lukla.
The major attraction of Everest Base Camp through this route are spectacular mountain ranges like Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Pumori, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and Gauri Shankar. Forest of rhododendron, pine, oak, and rare cum exotic wilderness, add more spark in the beauty of Everest Base Camp. It completely proves that ‘Way to home to more beautiful than reaching home’. Similarly, the trekking distance attracts visitors the most.
On 25 April 2015, an earthquake of 7.8 Richter hit Nepal which caused severe damage to the physical property of the country. The effect of it was also adverse to the Everest Base Camp. According to a survey, at least 19 people were said to be dead. Despite huge earthquake and its aftershocks, the Everest region is safe and enjoyable trekking till the date if proper preparation and precautions are taken.
South Everest Base Camp includes several Camps where climbers take rest and boost up there body and start there climb to the summit. The basecamps on Nepal's sides are mentioned below.
Basecamp 1 at the elevation of 5,400 m. Base Camp I is mostly a temporary camp for the climbers just spending one night at this camp for warming up and after boosting up they start climbing according to the situation.
Basecamp II so-called Advanced Base Camp (ABC) is established at the elevation of 6,400 m (21,300 ft) from the sea level. Basecamp 2 lies at the end of the Western Cwm, and the base of the Lhotse Face. After a few acclimatizations trip into the Icefall, we will continue up to Mount Everest Camp 2 at 6,400mand we will be moving our way up through the famous and breathtaking western Cwm, which moves gradually up to Camp 2 on Everest with the towering peaks of Mt. Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse all around. The Western Cwm is a relatively flat, gently rising glacial valley, marked by huge lateral crevasses in the center which prevent direct access to the upper reaches of the Cwm.
From ABC, climbers ascend the Lhotse face on set ropes up to Basecamp III, situated on small ledges at the elevation of 7,200 m to 7,400 m. From there, it is another 500 meters to Basecamp IV on the South Col at 7,920 m (26,000 ft). From Basecamp III to Basecamp IV, mountaineers are faced with two additional obstacles and problems. They are, The “Geneva Spur” which is an anvil shaped rib of black rock named by a 1952 Swiss expedition in which fixed ropes help climbers in scrambling and climb over this snow-covered rock band and The ''Yellow Band" is a section of huge sedimentary sandstone. The route from the base of the Lhotse face to the Summit is almost always completely fixed with the static line in which climbers have to follow it. On the South Col, climbers are very close to 8,000 m and can only spend limited time at those altitudes even with supplemental oxygen and have less time for the summit as clear weather and low winds are important factors when deciding on a summit attempt.
From Basecamp IV, mountaineers will start their summit with the hope of reaching the summit within 10 to 12 hours. Climbers will first reach "The Balcony" at the elevation of 8,400 m (27,700 ft), a small platform where they can rest and gaze at peaks to the south and east in the early dawn light. Continuing up the ridge, climbers are then faced with a series of impressive rock steps that usually force them towards the east along with the deep snow. At height of 8,750 m (28,700 ft), a small table-sized area of ice and snow marks the South Summit.
From the South Peak, climbers ascend the knife-edge southeast ridge, known as the "Cornice traverse" where snow covers irregular rocks and hills. This is the most exposed part of the climb, as a misstep to the left would throw one 2,400 m (8,000 ft) down the southwest face, while to the immediate right throw down to 3,050 m (10,000 ft) Kangshung face. At the end of this traverse is an imposing a 12 m (40 ft) rock wall called the "Hillary Step" at height of 8,760 m (28,750 ft).
Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary were the first mountaineers to rise to this step and they did it with early ice climbing equipment and without fixed ropes. Now, climbers will ascend this step using fixed ropes previously set up by Sherpas along with the best guidance. Climbers will typically spend less than a half-hour on "top of the world" as they realize they need to descend to Camp IV before darkness sets in, afternoon weather becomes a serious problem to climbers, or supplemental oxygen tanks run out before descending.
North Base Camp is in Tibet. As the South Base Camp, North Everest Base Camp also offers an appealing view of Tibetan countryside, prominent and ancient monasteries with thousands of monks, dense forests, lakes, and furthermore beautiful scenarios. The trekking to North Everest Base Camp starts from a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa. Furthermore, the trail passes through Gyantse (3950m), Shigatse (3900m), Rongbuk (4980m), and finally reaches the base camp at an altitude of 5200m.
The major attractions of the Everest Base Camp Tibet Trek are the passes (Kora La, Kamba La, and Gyatchu La), sightseeing in Lhasa (visiting Potala Palace, Barkhor Bazaar, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, and Sera Monastery), high mountains, Tibetan housings and settlements, monasteries like Pholkor, Kumbum, and Ronbuk, and the border sides. Climbing Everest Base Camp from Tibet side offers a full Tibetan environment in which you can have a memory for your entire life.
Visiting North Base Camp needs the permission of the Chinese government as the permission is needed to reach Tibet itself. Such sanctions are arranged by Trekking companies as part of a package in Lhasa that includes hiring chaperones, vehicles, and motorists. The vehicles hired moves 100 km to access North Base Camp through the Friendship Highway. From the Base Camp, visitors must take government vehicles to maintain the balance on road to Marked Hill at 5,200 meters above sea level before Climbers' Camp. Trekking up from tourists' camp can also be done (if properly adapted).