Everest Base Camp Trek advice

Hi
I'm off to EBC in April and would really appreciate tips from anyone who has been especially anyone who did the trip since the earthquake last May as I suspect things on the trek will have changed
Interested in what was good/ bad for you
Tea houses- what to expect
Is the Lukla flight kilo limit still 10 kilo hold 5 kilo daypack
Do your poles need to go in the hold and if so came you get them from your main bag before setting off from Lukla
Thanks in advance
Ann

I did the EBC trek in April before the Earthquake, so some of this may have changed:

Tea Houses - generally better than in the Annapurna region, though that may not be terribly helpful. Most have showers (which you generally have to pay for - average of £2, but more expensive the higher you go. Most (but certainly not all) have western style toilets, though not western standards of cleanliness. Take hand sanitiser. Most have somewhere to charge cameras and phones (usually about £1-2 an hour) and some have (very slow) wi-fi.

Lukla flight - the weight limit is 10kg + 5kg. On our flight, the limit was enforced and if you were over you had to pay the excess of about £1 a kilo. There are scales in the Royal Singhi hotel in Kathmandu so you can check before you leave for the airport. It is possible to come in within the weight limit if you're careful, but most of our group didn't. I can't comment on poles (I don't use them) but you should have access to your luggage after landing in Lukla - after landing we all went to a tea house for a drink while the luggage was sorted out and loaded onto yaks.

Other tips?

Most people will feel the effect of altitude at some point on the trek and there's not much you can do about this other than drinking plenty, taking it slow and listening to the guides.

We had a big dump of snow while at Gorak Shep, so had to descend the glacier through thick snow. Not too much of a problem, but if I were going again I'd take some Yaktrax.

Hope this helps. Enjoy it!

Hi Ann,

I did the trek in Nov-Dec 2014, just over a year ago, so also pre earthquake. I'm kind of repeating Matt here but here goes.

The whole expericece was absolutely fantastic for me so nothing stands out that I can describe as bad about the trek.

The tea house lodges were fine, some surprisingly good all things considered. It's amusing how quickly you find yourself talking about toilets with people who were strangers only days before. The first to use the facilities would often be asked with a grin if it was a sitter or a squatter. I didn't bother with the showers which on the whole were quite unappealing to me. You can manage surprisingly well with wet wipes and sanitiser gel and contrary to what we thought before setting off those of us that stuck it out to Kathmadu didn't stink. My socks did, but I didn't! The rooms are often only divided by thin plywood walls so even if your room mate doesn't snore etc. if a person next door does, you're getting it full on too. Earplugs! People typically sleep on the bed in your sleeping bag, the bedding was clean and fresh enough at all lodges apart from Gorak Shep where it smelt a little well used. The first tea house/lodge menu you see will be 90% the same you will see everywhere else for the entire trek. The food is adeqaute but lacking a little in variety. Sometimes the Mars bars sold at the lodges were out of date but who cares! Need sugar!

As Matt says, there is a good set of luggage scales at the hotel for some tweaking to get your kit bags as close to the limit as you can for the Lukla flight. I remember my main kit bag was 10.6kg and there were no issues. Our group was collectively charged for 20kg excess luggage, which to this day I am convinced was just a "tip" for the airport staff. We were not that overweight.

If you use poles and put them in your main kit bag, you can get at them before the trek starts for real. Upon arrival at Lukla you first make your way to a tea house to meet your assistant guides if they didn't travel from Kathmandu with you, have a drink, toilet break etc and you have the opportunity to get what you need from your main kit bag before it is loaded up onto the "yows"... a cross between a yak and a cow, that do the grand job of hauling your kit bags to Gorak Shep and bag. I don't use poles myself and can't remember if people had them with their cabin luggage or not but It doesn't really matter.

Take plenty of tissues and maybe even a dust mask or something more effective than just a buff pulled up over your nose. Some of the lower parts of the trail are very dusty and the irritation caused by it contributes to the infamous Khumbu Cough brought on by the dry high altitude air. I'll forever thank my trek mates for pointing out that some of that dust is dried donkey and yak poo trodden into the trail.

Hi Ann
Been to E.B.C 4x and back to Nepal since earthquake. Really waterproof boots - on one trip we walked whole way in snow . Wet feet lethal. Only(!) problem I've had each time is altitude sickness which wrecks appetite. Lived off mars bars Coca Cola and ibuprofen. Don't fret about kit - all is available in first few hamlets. It's a different world,different values. Bodily hygiene disappears and no one cares! Awesome iconic and spiritually uplifting experience.. I shall return.....

Magic, thank you all for your advice, really kind and informative
Ann

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