Winter may not be an ideal season for trekking to the Everest Base Camp. While you may think it is not the right time to head on to the mountains during the coldest season, it has lots of benefits and offers unique experiences. Winter is dry, bringing in clear skies and views of the mountains but the temperature can get below -25°C.
Nearly 40,000 people travel to Everest Base Camp at different times of the year. Most of them prefer peak seasons such as Autumn and Spring which means the trails are going to be quiet during the winter. If you love peaceful trek then, trekking in the winter season is a jackpot. Going in the months of winter will let you experience an abundant amount of sceneries in a different yet beautiful way. Yes, there are going to be clear and breathtaking views.
Things to know before you trek to Everest Base Camp in Winter
Winter may not be feasible as the Spring and Autumn, but it won’t disappoint you. Trekking to Everest base camp is generally quite worthy at any time of the year. Let’s get into detail on what to expect from Everest Base Camp Trek in Winter.
Landscapes, nature and mountain views
The winter around Everest Region is generally dry, but there may be some moments when you need to face blizzards and snow falls. Actually, trekking to Everest Base Camp in winter may be one of the best experiences. The skies barely have any clouds which in result will give you surreal views. You should also expect some snowfalls and foggy weather but the views are spectacular.
Day and Temperatures
The days are shorter during the winter season, so you need to pace up with them during your trek. The weather cannot be predicted, so don’t be surprised if you are facing the stormy weather at unexpected times. The temperature ranges from 4°C in the day and -18°C in the night. Though it varies according to the altitude and places. The chilly winds can also be challenging so if you are planning to trek to Everest Base Camp in Winter, be prepared with proper gear and clothes.
Guides and Porter
Guides are really necessary when you go trekking to Everest Base Camp in winter. Particularly, guides have years of experience in the mountains and they know how to cope up with the changing weather. Backpack for the winter trek is going to get heavy, as you will need some extra layers of everything. So, getting a porter is also necessary for the trek. It is not hard to find the guides and porter for EBC Trekking in Winter.
Food is important as your metabolism is quick during cold weather. So, the food you eat should be of high nutritional value. You should also increase intake water and fluids to help you from getting acute sickness. Availability of the food decreases with increase in altitude and winter being off-season, may limit food availability. Traditional Nepali Daal/Bhat, Momos, Noodles, Bread, Tibetian Bread, Cereals, Pancakes and Pizzas are some of the common items on the menu.
During the off-season hotels and tea houses are comparatively cheaper as compared to other seasons. As there are fewer numbers of trekkers, you won’t have trouble getting rooms in the hotels and teahouses. You will also get some special treatments and you might also make some special requests from the teahouse owners with less crowd.
Festivals and cultural things during Winter
The winter season starts from December to February, which means the new year can be spent trekking. What’s a fabulous thing than enjoying trekking during the New Years. To get the festive vibe, you must be at Namche Bazaar and might as well enjoy the hill town. But keep in mind alcohol is not good for trekking. The other festival that falls during the winter season is Lhosar. The term Lho means new and sar means year meaning New Year of other tribes of the Tamang, Gurungs, Sherpa, and Tibetan people. Families clean their houses and prepare the feasts by inviting their close ones. As the people in the hilly and mountain regions are mostly Sherpas, you can witness the celebration and enjoy the festive mood.
If you want to know more, do read Winter Trekking in Nepal: Pros and Cons
Packing for Everest Base Camp Trek in Winter
You should be extra cautious while packing for this trip for the winter season. Staying warm is one of the most important things in the freezing weather. You should wear anything that blocks the freezing wind and keep you warm. As it is coldest at night, getting a good quality sleeping bag is recommended. Your footwear should be snow resistant, keeping your feet nice and warm. Anyways, here is the packing list:
- Shorts and Trousers
- Windproof Jackets
- Good artic quality down jackets
- Trekking pants
- Sunglasses, gloves, and hats
- Water Bottle and Purifier
- Sunscreens, water bottles
- Walking stick
- EBC Trek Map
- Medical Kit
- Hand Sanitizer and Toiletries
- Sleeping bag
Check the complete Everest base camp packing list: Packing list
Everest Base Camp Trek Temperature Averages in Winter
|Place||Average Maximum Temperature||Average Minimum Temperature|
|Everest Base Camp||4°C||-18°C|
Seeing the above table might have given you some idea of the temperature in the winter season. The cold might be an obstacle you will face during the phase, but the clear skies, amazing views are going to be worth it. Winter may not be quite the favorable season to trek, but if you have planned well, it’s going to be one of the best experiences.
Related Read: A Complete Guide to Everest Base Camp Trek
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