Greetings, fellow adventurers and wanderlust souls!
For over 17 years, I have lived a life absorbed in the enchantment of the mountains, their towering presence calling out to the spirit within me. I have explored the Himalayan region’s lengths and breaths, embraced the air’s chill, and scaled 6000+ meter peaks that tower like giant sentinels in this vast, icy wilderness as a former support staff member, a trekking guide, and now an entrepreneur; I have had the privilege to lead trips across Nepal, each journey engraving unforgettable memories in my heart.
Now, a question I often come across is, “Is Everest Base Camp Trek in December doable?” Well, in my years of trekking this majestic region, I’ve learned that the Himalayas have a unique rhythm of their own, a rhythm dictated by the changing seasons. December, in particular, presents a fascinating blend of challenge and beauty.
So, are you ready to explore the possibilities of the Everest Base Camp trek in December? Let’s find out.
- Merits of Trekking Everest Base Camp in December
- Difficulty Factors of EBC Trek in December
- Accommodation Facilities in December
- Is a Permit Granted for the EBC Trek in December?
- Is a guide/porter required for the EBC trek in December?
- Is it safe to do the EBC trek in December?
- Our Everest Base Camp Trek Packages
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Merits of Trekking Everest Base Camp in December
Indeed, with December comes the first whispers of winter in the Everest region, a time of year that is known for its harsh and demanding conditions. Yet, as the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Despite the potential difficulties, the winter season also brings with it a unique set of perks and advantages.
1. Less Rain
Nepal says goodbye to its rainy season when December rolls in, leading to much less rainfall. This means the paths are drier, making your trek safer and allowing you to really appreciate the magnificent and unspoiled surroundings.
Walking these familiar paths without the steady rain pattern on your headgear is a peaceful experience you’ll hold dear.
2. Stunning Views
In December, as the chill of winter sets in, the Everest region turns into a visual treat. Yet, at the same time, it blankets the scenery in a breathtaking layer of fresh snow. The majesty of the tall peaks, glistening in their icy decoration against the deep blue skies, paints scenes that make you feel like you’ve stepped into a living work of art.
3. Quiet and Peaceful Trails
When winter arrives, so does quietness. The paths leading to Everest in December see fewer footprints, providing tranquility seldom felt during the busy trekking seasons. It’s as though you have a majestic outdoor theater all to yourself, with the gentle rustle of the wind and the soft crunch of snow beneath your boots as your cozy companions.
4. Better Accommodation
In the peaceful stillness of December, you have a better chance of finding cozy lodging as the paths become more serene. The lodges and tea-houses along the route see fewer visitors.
It feels like discovering a welcoming haven in the midst of a broad, frosty wilderness, a pleasant surprise after a day full of exertion. Plus, with fewer guests, you get more personal attention, making your stay even more delightful and restful after a long day’s trek.
5. Easier Flights
The transparent skies of December are kind to flights heading to Lukla, reducing the chances of unexpected delays or cancellations. Setting off on your trek without the stress of flight schedule hiccups feels like a gentle preface to the peace that lies ahead on your journey.
Honestly, it’s a peaceful start to a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Plus, the clear weather offers an unobstructed view of the majestic mountain range from the plane, making the flight itself a thrilling part of the journey.
Even in December’s frost, the Everest area buzzes with life. Many creatures, such as the robust yaks and lively Himalayan tahrs, adapt and flourish despite the chill. The rare snow leopard may even make an unexpected appearance. Birds such as the colorful bearded vulture and Himalayan monal scatter vibrant colors across the snow-blanketed landscape.
In the vegetation, resilient plants like the Rhododendron and juniper bushes push against the snow, demonstrating their toughness. Even under December’s frosty touch, the Everest region highlights the diverse and persistent life of the Himalayas.
Everest Base Camp Trek is a classic trekking adventure in the foothills of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. Trudging along the rugged trails of the Himalayas, decorated with mountains and landscapes, this trek is undoubtedly one of the best walks on earth. Regarded as the most popular trek in Nepal, Everest Base Camp Trek extends for 15 days. Along the way, you’ll get to marvel at some of the world’s highest massifs, including Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Cho Oyu, Pumori, Nuptse, and Makalu. Not…
Difficulty Factors of EBC Trek in December
Now, let’s talk about the difficulties you may encounter during the Everest Base Camp trek in December. Picture you and me facing these challenges head-on and conquering them along the way.
1. Harsh Weather Conditions
One of the main concerns during December is the cold weather, and it’s no secret that temperatures can drop to bone-chilling levels.
In December, you will encounter heavy snowfall, strong winds, and sub-zero temperatures, making the trek challenging.
Additionally, the cold weather increases the risk of frostbite and hypothermia, requiring you to pack appropriate clothing and gear to stay warm and protect yourselves from the harsh elements. Therefore, in such extreme weather conditions, you’ll need to bundle up in warm layers, donning insulated jackets, thermal clothing, and sturdy trekking boots.
|Avg. High Temp.||-1.5°C||-1.5°C||-8.9°C||-8°C|
|Avg. Low Temp.||-11.8°C||-11.8°C||-18.9°C||-18°C|
|Rainfall Days||1.3 days||1.3 days||1.5 days||1 day|
|Snowfall Days||3.7 days||3.7 days||4.8 days||5 days|
|Sunshine Hours||7.5 hrs.||7.5 hrs.||7.3 hrs.||7 hrs.|
2. Shorter Daylight Hours
December experiences shorter daylight hours, with the sun rising later and setting earlier. This means that you have fewer daylight hours to complete your daily hikes. Therefore, planning the trekking routes carefully is essential, considering the reduced daylight and allowing ample time for rest, acclimatization, and reaching the desired destinations before nightfall.
3. Slippery and Icy Trails
During December, the trails to Everest Base Camp can be covered in snow and ice, making them slippery and hazardous. The presence of ice can make it challenging to maintain balance while walking, especially on steep sections. You must exercise caution and use trekking poles or crampons to enhance your stability and prevent accidents.
4. Altitude Sickness
As you ascend to higher altitudes, the air becomes thinner, and the oxygen levels decrease. This can lead to altitude sickness, which includes symptoms like headache, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. In December, the chances of experiencing altitude sickness are higher due to the cold weather and reduced oxygen availability. Therefore, you must acclimate properly, take regular rest breaks, and stay hydrated to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.
|Lukla||2,860 m||0 Km|
|Phakding||2,610 m||9 Km|
|Namche Bazaar||3,440 m||7 Km|
|Tengboche||3,870 m||10 Km|
|Dingboche||4,410 m||12 Km|
|Lobuche||4,940 m||8 Km|
|Gorak Shep||5,160 m||4.5 Km|
|Everest Base Camp||5,364 m||3 Km|
5. Higher Risk of Avalanches
The winter months, including December, are characterized by increased avalanche risk in the Everest region. Heavy snowfall can lead to unstable snowpacks on steep slopes, making avalanches a significant concern. You must stay updated on weather forecasts, consult with experienced guides, and exercise caution when crossing potentially dangerous areas. Avoiding avalanche-prone slopes and following recommended routes can help minimize the risk.
Prioritize your safety and take necessary precautions. Explore our comprehensive guide on “Travel Insurance for Everest Base Camp Trek” to ensure you have the right coverage in case of any unforeseen events.
Accommodation Facilities in December
In December, the most notable difference you will find is the reduced number of trekkers. During the off-peak period, fewer people embark on the EBC trek compared to the busier seasons like spring and autumn.
Consequently, you’ll find that there are generally more rooms available in tea houses and a lesser chance of overcrowding. This can be advantageous in terms of finding accommodation without advanced reservations and enjoying a quieter trekking experience.
However, the winter weather conditions can affect the facilities provided by tea houses along the EBC trail. In higher altitudes, some tea houses might have limited amenities due to colder temperatures and reduced visitor numbers. For instance, common areas and dining spaces might be smaller, and the availability of hot showers could be limited. Electricity can also be irregular.
Therefore, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure your comfort and safety during your stay at tea houses. The rooms may feel colder, and it’s advisable to carry a high-quality sleeping bag to provide adequate insulation and warmth.
If you’re planning to go on the Everest Base Camp Trek but want to know more about it first, we have a detailed Everest Trekking guide that can help. It has all the information you need to know, from routes to necessary permits and so on. Check it out and learn from our expertise to make your trip a success.
Is a Permit Granted for the EBC Trek in December?
Ah, the question of permits for the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek in December! It’s a matter that can evoke a sense of curiosity and confusion among trekkers. So let’s dive into the details.
Yes, a permit is indeed required for the EBC trek, regardless of the month you plan to embark on your adventure. The Nepali government issues a necessary document, the Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit. This is your golden ticket to gain access and marvel at the awe-inspiring landscapes within the Sagarmatha National Park, home to the esteemed Everest region.
The twist in the tale lies here. Considering the harsh conditions in December, you might think the rules would change, but the permit requirements maintain a steady course throughout the year. They stand identical in December as they would in any other month. Therefore, there is no specific prohibition or restriction on obtaining a permit for the EBC trek in December. However, it’s important to note that the availability and process of getting the permit can be subject to local conditions and administrative procedures.
To obtain the permit, you must visit the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu or the Sagarmatha National Park office in Monjo along the trekking route. There, you will need to provide the necessary personal information, pay the required fee, and comply with any additional requirements outlined by the authorities.
Is a guide/porter required for the EBC trek in December?
While you don’t officially need a guide or porter for the trek, it’s strongly suggested to have one, especially in December when the trail gets a bit trickier. Having an experienced guide around can be a real boon as they help you find your way, ensure your safety, and share interesting facts about the region. Moreover, they come with a wealth of knowledge about the landscape, the weather, and any potential dangers you might encounter during the chilly winter months.
In December, harsh weather, extremely cold temperatures, icy trails, and potential avalanches can affect the Everest region. Navigating these conditions can be daunting, even for experienced trekkers. However, a guide who is familiar with the region’s variation can offer crucial expertise, helping you choose the safest routes, navigate tricky sections, and make informed decisions to adapt to changing circumstances.
Moreover, having a porter can greatly ease the physical burden of carrying heavy backpacks, allowing you to focus on enjoying the trek and immersing yourself in the awe-inspiring surroundings. They are accustomed to the rugged trails and can help alleviate the strain on your body, especially when navigating through slippery or icy sections.
Additionally, traveling with a guide or porter in December can provide a sense of reassurance and companionship, particularly if you encounter any unexpected situations or emergencies along the way. They can offer assistance, support, and local knowledge that may prove crucial during challenging times.
Is it safe to do the EBC trek in December?
The question of safety during the Everest Base Camp trek, particularly in December, is a paramount concern for many of you. After all, the seduction of adventure should never compromise one’s safety. However, here are some reasons why the Everest Base Camp trek can be considered safe in December:
1. Proper Preparation and Planning
Being well-prepared significantly increases the chances of a safe trek. This means having the right equipment, like cozy clothes, tough shoes, and hiking sticks, and also understanding the route and any obstacles that might pop up along the way.
2. Guides and Porters
Hiring experienced guides and porters who are familiar with the region’s terrain and weather conditions can significantly enhance the safety of your trek. They can help you navigate through slippery trails, carry your gear, and provide valuable insights into the region’s culture and climate.
3. Weather Forecast Monitoring
December generally offers clear skies, making it easier to predict the weather. By keeping an eye on weather forecasts and adjusting your plans accordingly, you can minimize the risks associated with sudden weather changes.
4. Acclimatization and Physical Fitness
Maintaining a high level of physical fitness and ensuring proper acclimatization are crucial to preventing altitude sickness. You should allocate enough time to acclimatize, follow a well-paced itinerary, and prioritize rest and hydration.
5. Healthcare Facilities
Despite the cold weather, healthcare facilities like health posts at Namche Bazaar and Pheriche remain open and operational in December. This ensures that you have access to medical assistance in case of emergencies or health issues related to high-altitude trekking.
Embarking on an Everest Base Camp trek in December is indeed a doable journey. However, it requires a good amount of courage, preparation, and an undying spirit of adventure.
December in Everest is all about finding beauty in the harshest conditions, enjoying the tranquillity of the quiet trails, and witnessing the majesty of the snow-laden landscape. Furthermore, this trek can offer the possibility of less rainfall, striking views, peaceful paths, easier flights, better accommodations, and vibrant biodiversity.
Nevertheless, one must recognize the challenges that come along with this trek. These include freezing temperatures, shorter daylight hours, icy trails, altitude sickness, and the increased risk of avalanches. Not to mention, some of the lodges and teahouses might be closed due to the off-season, making prior planning crucial.
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