Once the preserve of hardy adventurers and brave explorers, trekking to Everest Base Camp is still no walk in the park. At 8848m taking on the ascent of Everest is too tough a challenge to ask of most ordinary folk, however tackling the classic route to Everest Base Camp is one of the world's top treks. Reaching a very respectable 5,545 metres, it shouldn't be taken lightly, but with enough pre-trip training, the right gear and support from the ever-dependable Sherpas, it really can be within your reach. As well as spending time at the base camp, the starting point for summit expeditions from the Nepalese side of Everest, there is a chance to stand atop the neighbouring peak Kala Pattar, which offers stunning views across to Everest’s North Col and the famous Khumbu ice fall.
Most treks begin from the mountain airstrip of Lukla, however for those wanting to truly follow in the footsteps of Hillary and Tenzing the trek to Everest Base Camp begins just outside Kathmandu in the small village of Jiri and gradually ascends from the lowlands aiding acclimatisation.
Almost every trekker in the region spends some time in the lively market town of Namche Bazaar, perched on the side of a hill and the gateway to the main Everest trails. The town is the main trading centre for the Khumbu (Everest) region and there is a weekly food market as well as a daily Tibetan market which are well worth a visit.
Whilst the trek to Everest Base Camp is the most famous trail in the region, there are plenty of other options to consider too. If you are short on time but still want incredible scenery you could opt for a trek to Thyangboche Monastery. Located at 3867m, this is the largest monastery in the Khumbu. Alternatively it is possible to extend the trek from Everest Base Camp and follow a tough circular route crossing the Kongma La (5530m), Cho La (5430m) and Renzo La (5345m) passes on the High Passes of Everest Trek.
For an experienced trekker there is the option to climb Mera Peak, which at 6654m is Nepal’s highest trekking peak. With no technical climbing involved it is the ultimate trekking challenge. Standing at the summit you will be surrounded by Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu - five of the world’s 8000 metre peaks.
With impressive scenery, challenging trekking and friendly Sherpas you are sure to come back with treasured memories of this unique region.