Visiting Everest Base Camp in Tibet can be a life-changing experience, and is a main driver for tourism in Tibet. Mount Everest, one of the most photographed mountains in the world, attracts both local and global photographers to its beautiful slopes. It presents a great opportunity to take amazing photos of the peak covered with snow and ice all the time of the year. The larger Everest Region also has a significant number of high mountains. Four of the mountains are over 8,000 meters and 38 above 7,000 meters. The Everest Region is sometimes referred to as the Third Pole.
Mount Everest stands at 8,844 meters above sea level and straddles the border between Nepal and China. Mt. Everest has two base camps: South Base Camp which is in Nepal, and the North Base Camp in Tibet. South Base Camp has an altitude of 5,364 meters, and the North Base Camp is at 5,150 meters above sea level.
Perhaps the south side is more attractive to the climbers, but the north side of Everest is more appealing to photographers and those who want to enjoy the magic of the mountain. Did you know that the Everest Base Camp is the first base camp on Everest, opened in the 1920s? It is also known as EBC.
Best Time to Visit Everest Base Camp
There are two main periods for visiting Everest Base Camp, from April to June and the other period is from September to November.
You can trek during the winter, but it can be very challenging because of the harsh weather. The temperatures can go down from -20C to -30C, also it is a mountain, so it is very unpredictable weather, and it can dump snow at the trail any time.
During the summer from late June to August, there is a rainy season. The rainy season does not stop tourists visiting the Everest Base Camp although that is the peak season in Tibet. The weather is nice and warm and with moderate humidity.
However, the rains in Tibet are not so scary, and it is a light rain that is usually raining in the afternoon or at night.
What to Pack for Everest Base Camp
For trekking to Everest Base Camp, the most important thing is to carry layered and comfortable clothes. Because of the variation in temperature, you will often need to add or remove clothes, so layers of clothing is an ideal solution for this.
If this trekking to Everest Base Camp is your first trekking journey, you will have to buy clothes specially designed for this type of travel. Do not save money on quality clothes that I am sure will be of great use after the journey to Everest.
Footwear is also the most critical pieces that you must pack for trekking to Everest Base Camp. The shoes and boots must be comfortable. The socks must be breathable and moisture-wicking, without cotton.
Also, you will need to pack towels, small lockers for your bags, necessary medications like aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen, but also pack a Diamox.
First Aid Kit is a must. Do not forget the sunscreen and lip balm, and you will need extra protection from the sun. Pack all your basic toiletries and baby wipes. Water bottle or hydration bladder, because of altitude, dehydration is a common problem among travelers.
- Breathable underwear
- Base Layers
- Trekking Shirts
- Fleece Jacket
- Insulated Jacket
- Hard Shell Jacket or Rain Gear
- Trekking Trousers and Shorts
Keep in mind that all clothes must be high- wicking material like merino wool, that kind of material is good at wicking moisture away from the body. Do not buy trekking clothes that are made of cotton.
- Sun Protection hat
- Neck Gaiter
You will need two types of gloves:
- Inner gloves
- Outer insulated gloves
- Hiking Boots
- Trekking shoes or indestructible shoes
- Hiking socks
- Thermal socks
Bags and Backpacking
- Duffel Bag
- Backpack from 50-65L
- Daypack for your supplies and snacks
- A warm Sleeping bag
- Trekking poles
Prepare for Altitude Sickness
Traveling to Everest Base Camp may also have negative consequences if you do not prepare well for what is ahead.
First, you must be well acclimated before you start traveling to the EBC.
Tour operators make tours starting from Lhasa, where they usually stay for two days to acclimatize. With a two-day stay in Lhasa, you will be able to visit the attractive locations in Tibet as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Barkhor Street, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka Summer Palace.
How to prepare yourself for altitude sickness
Altitude sickness comes due to the high altitude of Tibet, and due to the low level of oxygen in the air. For full acclimatization, the body takes up to three months. Tourists do not have the time to get full acclimatization, so it is advisable to take medicine and follow the instructions from the tour guide to help you reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness.
When reaching altitude, travelers most often feel headache, nausea, fatigue, lack of appetite, or feeling difficulty breathing. Do not underestimate altitude, if you have any of these conditions you have altitude sickness.
Go slow, do not run, do some simple exercise and drink a lot of water. If you have a headache, you should take aspirin or paracetamol.
It is advisable to take Diamox upon arriving in Lhasa.
Diamox does not prevent altitude sickness, nether can’t stop the sickness, but it can help with passing the process effortlessly.
How to get to Everest Base Camp in Tibet from Lhasa
Everest Base Camp is located in the southwest of Tibet, around 620 km from Lhasa if you go overland and 450 km skyline.
There are several options to get to EBC from Lhasa. The first and hasty option is to travel by car, you can ride a bicycle, but you can even trekking, however, keep in mind that it is a great distance you need to pass.
No matter which option you choose for your trip from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp, the tour must be made through a travel agency, and a licensed travel guide must accompany you. Traveling to Tibet is not allowed for tourists without an organized tour, and there are no exceptions. So if you were planning to travel to Tibet by yourself, that would not be going to happen.
Traveling to Everest Base Camp in Tibet overland from Lhasa
The fastest and most popular way of traveling from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp is traveling by car or tour vehicle. This way of traveling will allow you to stop at attractive locations by the way, and this is an extraordinary opportunity to capture the exceptional beauty of Tibet.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp in Tibet
A great option for adventurers and for those who want to experience the beauty of spiritual Tibet truly. For everyone who is trekking beginner, consider joining a Tibet Tour to Mt. Everest base camp.
The trail from Lhasa to EBC is not entirely trekking, from Lhasa to Old Tingri you will travel by car, and from that point will start a trekking route with a length of 70 km to the EBC.
From Old Tingri, it is easy to shoot the sunset and sunrise on Mount Everest. It is a very attractive spot for taking magnificent photos.
Cycling to Everest Base Camp in Tibet
Cycling from Lhasa to EBC is one of the best adventures that you can have. Tours with cycling may be longer in terms of trekking or going by car, usually with a duration of about 18 days, so if you have enough time for an incredible journey, then cycling to the EBC is a unique opportunity for you to explore Tibet and Tibetan culture.
However, for such a trip, you must be perfectly healthy, a bicycle tour can be quite hard and challenging for cycling.
Whether you decide to travel by car or trekking, you will see the same beauty and breathtaking scenery of Holy Yamdrok Lake, Gyantse, Shigatse and Sakya Monastery.
The road passes through the beautiful valleys and passes that will be a great source of unique photos.
Mount Everest photography
Mount Everest is the most-photographed mountain in the world. The magical beauty that Everest has makes all the tourists turn on the camera and make several photos.
During your route, your group will stop on the highlight places to take a photo.
I mentioned Old Tingry, from the platform you can shoot of Mount Everest, but also you can visit and take a photo of the highest monastery in the world, Rongbuk.
According to photographers, the Hill near Rongbuk Monastery is the best spot for shoot Mount Everest.
Another great spot to shoot of the four peaks of the Himalayas: Mount Everest, Cho Oyu Peak, Makalu Peak and Lhotse Peak is Dregura Mountain Pass.
If you want to see more of what the landscape is like at EBC, check out Impulse4Adventure‘s post 10 Photos That Will Inspire You To Trek To Everest Base Camp.
Best time for photography
Even summer is the most popular time for traveling to Everest Base Camp and also Tibet if you want to make perfect photos, avoid the period from July and August. As I say, this is the monsoon period, the cloudy weather and the rain can prevent you from making beautiful photos.
The best time to shoot is between May and June, and the period from September to October when the sky is cleanest, but also the visibility is at the highest level.
During this period there are more sunny days, and you can capture floating clouds over Mount Everest, and you can get astonishing photos.
Do not miss the incredible sunrise and the sunset of Mount Everest. The photos with sunrise and sunset are the magical ones, the mountain is covered with a glowing orange color, and the contrast with the clear sky is just amazing.
Another best time for shooting incredible photos is at night, but you should consider the lunar moon. If the moon is smaller, you will see more stars, and if the moon is bigger than you will have more light for shooting. So, either way, you can have spectacular photos.
For entering Tibet, you must have a Tibet Travel Permit. There are no exceptions for this type of document, every foreign who come in Tibet must have Tibet Travel Permit. Getting a TTP is easy; you need a Chinese visa and a valid passport. You will send to the travel agency, and they will arrange TTP for you. The only thing is that you will receive the permit during check-in the hotel in China. Do prepared planning advanced for applying at least 20 days before arriving in Tibet.
For traveling to Everest Base Camp you will need another permit, that is Aliens’ Permit because EBC region is one of the “unopened areas” in Tibet. The Tibetan Local Public Secretary Bureau issues the Aliens’ Travel Permit. The tourists can apply for this permit after entering the Tibet, i.e. your travel guide will make the application on your behalf.
Due to the massive amount of rubbish that has been piling up, the Chinese government has closed Everest Base Camp, and it is not known when it will be opened in the future. The furthest the tourists can reach is the Rongbuk Monastery.
Helen Wang from www.windhorsetour.com : I started my travel career in 2005. It not only enriched my knowledge of tourism, but also inspired in me a love for traveling. Besides India, Nepal, USA, European and China; I have traveled to most of Tibet, including Lhasa, Tsedang, Gyantse, Shigatse, Everest Base Camp, Mount Kailash and so much more! I started working at WindhorseTour as Travel Advisor when it first opened in 2006. It has been fun to help grow our family – from specializing in Tibet travel tours to all over China.