Everest Base Camp

Mt. Everest is the main destination that travelers in Tibet go to. The Tibet-side of Everest offers an amazing view of the world’s highest peak.

Everest Base Camp

For a reputable and affordable travel agency recommendation for going to the Tibet-side of Everest, please email me at: thelandofsnows@gmail.com

For many people, the main reason that they go to Tibet is to see the amazing view of Everest’s famous North Face. The view of Everest from the Tibet side gives a clear, sweeping view of the mountain. I receive more emails about the Everest region that any other region of the Tibetan Plateau. I have been fortunate enough to go to the Tibet-side Everest Region around 15 times over the years. In this post, I will answer some of the most common questions I receive regarding the world’s highest peak.

Everest viewed from Rongphu Monastery at an elevation of just under 5000 meters.

sunset

The sun setting over Everest

SONY DSC

Tibetan woman spinning a prayer wheel at Rongphu Monastery

1. How do I get to Everest Base Camp?

As everyone should already know, the only way that foreigners can go to the Tibet side of Mt. Everest is by arranging an organized tour through a travel agency. There are NO exceptions. In order to go to Everest, you need to contact a travel agency, preferably owned by Tibetans and based in Tibet, and have them arrange the required travel permits, tour guide, private vehicle and driver. You cannot use public transportation (ie. buses) to travel to Everest. For recommendations on which travel agency to use to go to Everest or other regions of Tibet, send me an email at thelandofsnows@gmail.com.

2. How long does it take to get to Everest from Lhasa? 

Everest Base Camp (EBC), elevation 5200 meters, is nearly 800 kilometers (500 miles) southwest of Lhasa. Because of the distance and the high elevation of EBC, 3 or 4 days are normally taken to drive there from Lhasa. Most people prefer to visit the many amazing sights along the way to EBC such as Yamdrok Lake, Gyantse, Shigatse and Sakya Monastery. For a suggested itinerary from Lhasa to the Nepal border via EBC, read the following link:

Lhasa to Everest itinerary

3. How long is the hike to Everest Base Camp?

Unlike the Nepal side of Everest, no hiking is required to reach the Tibet side of Everest. You can drive all the way to Everest Base Camp. If you wish to trek there, I recommend starting from Old Tingri and going to EBC from there. The trek normally takes 3 days.

SONY DSC

Tibetans doing work on the road to Everest Base Camp

4. What types of accommodations are available at Everest Base Camp?

During the high season (May through mid October) there are 3 main places to stay in the Everest Base Camp area. The first place is the Rongphu Government Hotel. This ugly looking hotel is way overpriced for the services it provides. It is located about 350 meters away from Rongphu Monastery and about 8 kilometers north of Everest Base Camp.

The second option is the simple guesthouse run by the monks of Rongphu Monastery. They offer simple rooms for a very minimal price. The advantage of staying at the monastery is the excellent view of Everest viewed from just above the monastery.

The third place to stay in the area is at the “tent hotels”, which are about 4 or 5 kilometers past Rongphu Monastery and about 3 kilometers before Everest Base Camp. This is the closest to the mountain that you can sleep without having a climbing/trekking permit. The “tent hotels” are a group of about 30 traditional yak wool tents that local Tibetans turn into guesthouses. The tents are all basically the same with beds, lots of blankets and serving hot drinks and simple Tibetan and Western food. These tents are not available during the low season.

Without a climbing or trekking permit, it is not possible to actually stay at the official Everest Base Camp. The “tent hotels” are the closest place you can stay. The elevation of Rongphu Monastery (4950 meters) and the “tent hotels” (5050 meters) are both very high. If you feel ill due to altitude, an alternative to staying in the Everest region is to stay in the lower elevation villages of Tashi Dzom or Basum. Both of these villages lie below 4300 meters, considerably lower than the places near base camp. Both villages offer simple Tibetan style guesthouses with meals. Tashi Dzom is more popular because it is bigger, but Basum is also a nice place to stay. From Tashi Dzom and Basum, it takes about an hour to reach EBC.

Basum

Overlooking the village of Basum. This is a good place to spend the night if you feel the elevation of EBC is too high.

Tashi Dzom

A Tibetan-style guesthouse in Tashi Dzom

Tent Hotels

The “tent hotels” with Everest rising above. Without a climbing permit, this is the closest to the mountain where you can spend the night.

EBC

Everest from the Tibet-side

5. Is Rongphu Monastery located at Everest Base Camp?

No, Rongphu Monastery is located about 8 kilometers north of Everest Base Camp (EBC). The road to EBC goes right past Rongphu Monastery so the monastery is impossible to miss. All travel agencies will make a stop at Rongphu along the way to EBC.

6. When are the best months to see a clear view of Everest?

The best months to see a clear view of Everest are from mid/late September through early June. During these months, the weather is usually clear offering excellent views of the mountain. I have been to the Everest Region more than a dozen times during this time frame. Only once (January 2004) have I not had a crystal clear view of the mountain.

Though the peak high season for travel in Tibet is during the summer months from June through early October, the views of Everest are often not good in the middle summer time. Don’t expect clear views of the mountain in the summer, especially in July and August.

7. Is Everest Base Camp going to be covered in heavy snow?

Though EBC sits at 5200 meters, it is relatively rare to see heavy snow on the ground in the area. While snow does fall in the region, the strong rays of the sun quickly melt away the snow. In all of the times I have been to EBC, I have never seen more than 100 mm (4 inches) of snow on the ground there. Most of the times I have been there, there hasn’t been any snow on the ground. However, do keep in mind that you are in the Himalayas at very high elevation, so anything can happen! In October 2013 there was an unexpected heavy snow storm that dropped nearly 1 meter of snow in some places on the Tibet side causing a large group of travelers to become stuck at the Everest Base Camp region (these travelers were completely safe at base camp, but the road leading out was closed). This group was not stuck for too long as the government cleared the road the best they could to get all the travelers out of the region. I contacted many of the travel agencies who had clients there and all of them did an excellent and professional job in assisting their clients.

8. Is it possible to go to Everest Base Camp in the winter?

Yes, you can go to EBC in the winter months. The road to EBC usually doesn’t receive heavy snow, so getting there is no problem. The “tent hotels” are not open during the winter months and the Rongbuk Government Hotel is also usually closed. The Rongphu Monastery guesthouse usually remains open as do the guesthouses in Tashi Dzom and Basum (both a little over an hour north of EBC). Tibet is closed each year in February and March so it is not possible to go to Everest or any other area of Tibet during that time.

Expedition tent

An expedition tent at Everest Base Camp

Rongbuk Monastery

Overlooking Rongphu Monastery, the highest monastery in the world, with Everest rising in the background.

Rongphu Monastery

9. Can you see Everest from the main road that connects Lhasa to the Nepal border?

Yes, there are a few places that you can see Everest from the main road, but none of the views are amazing. In order to really get a good view of Everest, you will have to take the cut-off from the main road. From the main road, the road to Everest Base Camp is around 100 kilometers. The road is dirt, but is in good condition.

Many people ask me if it is worth it to take the 170 kilometer detour (100 kilometers to EBC and another 70 kilometers along the back road to Old Tingri) to see Everest. If it is during the months when the weather is clear, it is absolutely worth it! The views of Everest from base camp are so much better than the views from the main road.

10. Is it possible to trek to EBC?

Yes, trekking the Everest Region is quite popular. The best time to go is in late April and then from mid-September to late October. There are 2 main routes to take. The first is from the village of Baber (often referred to as “New Tingri”) to Everest Base Camp going via the villages of Chay, Tashi Dzom and Basum. This route usually takes about 4 days. In my opinion, this is not a very good route as the views of Everest and the rest of the Himalaya’s are not that good until you get closer to Rongbuk Monastery (the exception being the amazing sweeping view of the Himalaya’s from the Pang La pass).

A more interesting route in my opinion is trekking from EBC to the small town of Old Tingri. This route is about 70 kilometers long and can be done in 3 or 4 days. There are several small villages along the way and in addition to seeing good views of Everest, you can also get excellent views of Cho Oyu, the 6th highest peak in the world.

As with all treks in the Tibet Autonomous Region, treks in the EBC region need to be arranged in advance through a travel agency. Even if you have an organized tour, you cannot decide to do a trek at EBC once you arrive there. It must be arranged prior to you arriving in Lhasa.

11. Is it possible to trek higher than Everest Base Camp?

Yes, though it is not often advertised on travel agency websites, many Lhasa-based companies can arrange treks up to Advanced Base Camp (ABC). ABC sits at 6400 meters. From EBC, it takes 4 days to trek to ABC and back down to EBC. Usually this route is free of ice and snow meaning crampons and ropes are not required. ABC, which requires an additional permit,  is the highest you can go on Everest without a climbing permit.

12. Can I go and talk to climbing expeditions while at EBC?

No, if you don’t have a trekking or climbing permit that allows you beyond EBC, you will not be allowed to interact with climbing teams. Climbing teams almost always base themselves 500 meters to 2 kilometers beyond EBC. Military personnel patrol the area and will not allow anyone beyond EBC who does not have the proper permits. Trying to sneak past the military will result in a fine of 1500 RMB ($240) or more and will cause your guide to get into serious trouble.

13. How much are the entrance fees for visiting EBC?

In order to enter the Everest Region, you not only need to purchase an entrance ticket, but you also need to purchase a vehicle entrance ticket. The price of an entrance ticket is 180 RMB ($29) per person. You (or your group) are also responsible for purchasing a ticket for your guide. In addition to this, you also have to purchase a 400 RMB ($65) vehicle entrance fee which includes the fee for the driver. Be advised that these prices are scheduled to be raised by summer 2016.

During the main tourist season (late April through mid/late October), vehicles can only drive to the “tent hotels”, which are located about 5 kilometers past Rongphu Monastery and about 3 kilometers before EBC. In order to get from the “tent hotels” to EBC during the tourist season, everyone must buy a ticket for the bus that travels these 3 kilometers. This “environmentally friendly” bus costs around 25 RMB ($4) per person for the roundtrip journey and leaves about every hour or so. You will also have to purchase a ticket for your guide, who has to accompany you to EBC.  During the low season, this bus ceases to operate. Your driver can drive all the way to EBC during the low season.

View from the Pang La Pass

Everest viewed from the Pang La Pass along the way to base camp.

Everest

The road from Rongphu Monastery to Everest Base Camp

14. Which travel agency should I use to arrange my tour to Everest Base Camp?

Send me an email and let me know how long you plan to be in Tibet and what areas you want to go to. I will gladly get back to you with a recommendation on which travel agency to use. My email address is thelandofsnows@gmail.com

Do you have a question about the Everest Region that I didn’t answer? Send me an email with your question and I will add it to this list!

Lobsang བློ་བཟང་

42 thoughts on “Everest Base Camp

  1. Indira Mullick

    I am very keen to do EC North from Tibet. I have most answers from your website. What will be the total cost and what will be the duration of the trek to base camp ?

    I am from India, Kolkata.

    1. Losang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Indira, the trek to EBC would only be a part of your overall journey. In order to give you any type of price estimate, I would need to know your ENTIRE itinerary. I would need to know how long you plan to take getting from Lhasa to EBC, what your travel plans after the trek are (going back to Lhasa or going to the Nepal border or somewhere else), what types of hotels you plan to stay at (5* or dorm-style), how many people will be traveling with you, etc. In order to give any type of price estimate, I need a lot more information.

  2. rudra Mandal

    Pl keep my name in your mailing list and inform your forth coming events/adventure activities. If you have any fixed departure/ conducted group trekking/expedition, also let me know. Personally myself and my wife is interested. But if you wish to have a group, we can do that (earlier we had done many such group trekking with various trekking agencies), but in that case please forward some of your best trips with day-wise itineraries brilliantly designed. We like to cover not only the specific trek, but enroute and nearby places also and don’t mind to make the trip 3 to 4 weeks. We wish to explore that areas sector wise, including general tour and travel.

  3. BISWARUP LAHIRI

    Please suggest me name/s of local Tibetan tour companies who can take us to ABC. We are a group of 7 people, would stay at Lhasa for 2 days, would like to drive to Rongbuk in another 2 days, acclimatize at EBC for 2 days trek to ABC and come back to EBC in 7/8 days and drive to Kathmandu. Please let us know about approximate cost. We would lke to stay at mid range hotels.

  4. Ellie

    Hi, thanks for this article its really informative….. I am hoping to do a trip from Lhasa to EBC at the beginning of August, is it likely that the view of everest will still be possible in this season?

    1. Losang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Ellie….The worst months to see Everest are from June through early September. Very few travelers going to Everest during the summer months get a good view of Everest. In fact, few travelers in the summer see Everest at all! I recommend saving Everest for another time and trying to visit the mountain during the months from mid-September through mid-May.

      Losang

      1. Daniel Howard

        I am thinking about doing an advanced base camp trip in early January. What is the weather like then? Would I get a good view of Everest? How cold is it?

        1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

          It is doubtful you will be given permission to make the trek to ABC in winter. Night time temps can easily reach -40° along the trek from EBC to ABC with strong wind being possible. I recommend sticking to the normal trekking/climbing schedule for Himalayan peaks and doing this trek in April, May, September or October.

          Lobsang

      2. Thony Pagdanganan

        We are planning to do our trekking starting on May 29 – June 11 to EBC.. it is still good enough to go?

        1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

          Hello…I am not sure I understand your question. Are you going to the Tibet side EBC or Nepal side? Either way, both base camps of Everest are open. There has been nothing this year to close either base camp. Let me know a little more about your questions and I will be happy to answer it.

          Lobsang

  5. Selena

    Hello Losang!
    I follow your blog religously and keep my fingers crossed that EBC will remain open in 2013. Last year we postponed our trip to Tibet/EBC because the base camp was closed. Are you feeling positive that EBC will remain open to tourists from now until the end of the 2013 year?
    thank you,
    Selena

  6. Thomas

    Hi Losang,
    We are booked to tour Tibet on a 7 -8 day tour from 25 December 2013 with Great Tibet Tour Co. Lhasa. What is your opinion of this tour company. They appear to be ok in the booking stage but do you have any reviews or comments of their on ground reputation. We are still booked to go to Everest Base camp and stay one night at Rongbuk Monastery and believe the Everest area is still closed. If so …well that’s fate. Do you think it could open between now and late December 2013? Do you think we can still get to Rongbuk as a second option. Many thanks for your help it would be much appreciated. Thank you. Thomas.

    1. Losang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Thomas…In general. I recommend using Tibetan owned and staffed companies to ensure that your tourism money goes to the Tibetan people.

      As with all travel restrictions in Tibet, it is impossible to say if the Everest region will be open or not.

      Losang

  7. Thomas

    Thank you Losang we will have to leave it to fate to see if we can go there or not. Is the Everest region just the EBC and beyond, where is the boundary and is Rongbuk Monastery in or out of the Everest Region? We have asked our tour company that if we cannot get to the EBC can we still get to the monastery and still stay there, what do you think?
    Also we are very sorry that we should have used a Tibetan owned company our guide and driver are Tibetan locals. Next time we will make sure we use a local owned company.
    Thank you for your kind advice. Thomas

  8. Ward

    G’day mate, very interesting and informative reading. I am travelling to Kathmandu on 27/05/2014. I fly back to Australia from Kathmandu on 23/06/2014. I would like to travel to Tibet and I was wondering if there’s any trekking companies travelling to Advanced Base Camp or North Col during this period. I’ve experienced high altitude but I am an amateur hiker. Is it possible to trek to North Col without mountaineering experience?
    Any information would be appreciated.
    Regards
    Ward

  9. Betty

    Hi
    What do you recommend about cameras to take to ABC?
    Which Tibetan travel agency do you recommend for the advancd base camp trek from Lhasa. I want lots of time to acclimatize between each base camp and return to Lhasa via a different route for more sightseeing. What’s the maximum time I can spend in Tibet?
    Which kind of medicine do you advise for altitude sickness? Do I need to be very experienced for the advanced trek? What temperature to expect?
    Thanks for all your guidance.
    Betty

  10. Aynne

    How far is the bus ride to the real Everest Base camp from the tent hotels? I am planning to go next May 2015 and just want to see the real EBC for a short time… Where do you recommend I sleep (nicest possible please!) near tent hotels? Basum? Many thanks I love your website!

  11. Sandeep Bose

    Dear Losang,

    I intend to pay a visit to Lhasa during Oct 2014 this year. I also intend to go to Rongbuk Monatery. I want to stay in Tibet maximum for one week. Is it possible to complete this journey from Lhasa and go back to Nepal border [Kodari] within this seven days! What may be the tentative cost for a group of 4 persons. We are having Basic Mountaineering training in India.

    Please provide some more information.

    Thanks,

    Sandeep
    Kolkata
    India
    Cell: 00 98311 78062

  12. Kumar

    Can you pls provide tour options and prices for visiting Rongbuk / EBC from Kathmandu and back. I believe it may be much shorter than visiting from Lhasa, if travelling from India. What is the best time for this tour – I believe October to May?

  13. Leah

    Thank you for the information in your article.

    How can you get from EBC to ABC? We are looking at going the last week of November 2014 or the first week of December 2014.

    Also can you stay at ABC at least one night if you are coming from EBC?

    We would like to see the ABC base camp but do not have enough time to trek.

    Thank you

    Leah

  14. Asha Narayan

    We are two senior ladies wishing to travel from Kathmandu thru everest base camp to Lahsa

    Lahsa–beijing train

    Beijing sightseeing

    We are keen on travelling end April/ early May 2015

    We request you to help put us up with a small group so that the costs can be shared

  15. patrick

    Im looking for a local agency to (walk) to EverestBase Camp and advanced base camp..
    I would like to go in December 2015. Is this a good time to climb?

    Thanks!

  16. Pingback: The World’s Highest Mountains | The Land of Snows

  17. Pingback: Nepal Earthquake Update | The Land of Snows

  18. Pingback: Tibetan Men from the Everest Region | The Land of Snows

  19. Pingback: 2015 Tibet Travel Regulations | The Land of Snows

  20. Pingback: Tibet Nepal border to remain closed | The Land of Snows

  21. Pingback: How to go from Nepal to Tibet | The Land of Snows

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Yes, Everest and all of Tibet is very safe. Remember, in Tibet all foreign travelers MUST have a complete organized tour that includes a tour guide, private vehicle and a driver. So, you will never be traveling by yourself as you will have a guide and driver with you.

      Lobsang

  22. Pingback: October 2016 Mt. Kailash Trek – The Land of Snows

  23. Vandana Saxena

    Hello Lobsang,
    I had the good fortune of visiting the EBC (Tibet side) in Aug 2013. I wanted to know the height of the hillock which one has to climb to get a better view of the Everest. It has lots of coloured prayer flags and somekind of building there is guarded by military personnel. This hillock is flat surfaced on the top.
    Thanks and Best wishes

  24. Telly Gabriel

    I am planning a Tibet-Nepal-Bhutan customized tour in 2017. I just started my research. I have altitude sickness. I got seriously sick in Lake Titicaca at 3,860 meters. Do you think I should not go to the Everest Base Camp? Is it possible to fly in & out to EBC and not stay there overnight? Do you think May is the best month to visit all 3 countries? Thank you.

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hello….if you have struggled with severe altitude sickness in the past, then EBC is probably not for you as EBC is MUCh higher in elevation. What type of acclimatization was involved when you were at Lake Titicaca? Most people going to Everest Base Camp take several days to slowly acclimatize to help reduce the risk of serious altitude sickness. Without acclimatization days, you run a very high risk of getting sick. I emailed more info to you.

      Lobsang

  25. Faqrudin Ismail

    Hi, appreciate your advise:
    1) May I know how much difference if I go all the way to EBC through car or trek to TBC starting from the Old Tingri?
    2) Since I’m a Muslim, if there any possibility of me getting a Muslim dish all the way for my journey from Lhasa to EBC (with the tours)?
    3) If I’m starting my trip from Xining, how long is the best duration for the overall my trip that I need to consider?
    Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *