Mount Everest has attracted intrepid travelers since the 1920s. It is a very hard journey to trek the mountain at that time and many made huge sacrifices – some even with their lives – in their own attempts to the summit. But today, the trek to the Everest Base Camp has become an achievable goal for people from all works of life who want to glimpse the world’s highest peak. In 2012, about 35,000 to 37,000 persons have successfully trekked the mountain area.
When is the best time to trek?
In China, the Tibet travel permit can be obtained at the beginning of April so from April to May is a good time. It gets hot in May; just before the monsoon season, be prepared for possible rain. From September to December is another good time in a year there. December reaches below-zero temperatures but the days still beautiful and there area fewer trekkers. But you should consult the local relevant department to know when the mountain is closed in winter.
Do you need a guide?
When you plan to trek the mountain from Tibet, you should apply for a travel permit to be able to board a train or plane to Lhasa. For this, you need to pre-arrange an itinerary through a travel agent before arriving Tibet. You need travel permits to travel outside Lhasa and you can currently only get these by hiring transportation and a guide as part of your itinerary. When you trek the mountain from Nepal, you still need to hire a guide compulsory after the disappearances of some lone trekkers and death a Belgian trekker.
What to take?
Pack lightly – aim for 10 to 15kg. A fleece jacket, down jacket and thermal underwear are a must, because Himalaya gets cold above 3000 meters any time of a year. You should take two pairs of long pants, two T-shirt, warm jumper or light fleece.
As for footwear, you need broken-in boots, trekking socks, and sneakers. You also need a raincoat, gloves, woolen hat, sunhat and polarized sunglasses, a good sleeping bag. It is optional to take travel-size toiletry like sunscreen, lip balm, travel towel and tissues.
Stay healthy and safe on the trek
Altitude sickness can affect any trekker even those are very fit. So you should watch for those signs of altitude sickness: symptoms include headaches, dizziness, sleepless, loss of appetite and breathlessness. Bring a supply of the medication for treatment. After taking drugs, you should descend if symptoms persist.