What it takes to reach Everest Basecamp and climb a Himalayan 6,000 meter peak

Paying a visit to Everest is a bucket list adventure for many mountain lovers. Watching the sun rise over the tallest mountain in the world is a sight to behold, and the trek to Everest Basecamp (EBC) is now a well-established and heavily-supported trade route that welcomes thousands of trekkers each season.

David Breashears photographs the famous mountain view of Ama Dablam and Thamserku from above Namche/Khunde

Overview map - click for larger view

That is not to say that an EBC trek is an easy vacation - particularly not if you do what we do: couple the Everest pilgrimage with a 20,000ft (6000m) alpine climb of neighboring Island Peak.

If you’re curious what the day-to-day effort of an EBC looks like, keep reading.

For the most part, you can expect a gradual ascent with four to five hours of trekking each day - but there are some harder, longer days right from the get go. Climbing up to Namche Bazaar on Day 2 includes a veritable ascent of ~4,000ft for example; and for many days later on during the trek, a vertical gain of 2-3,000ft is standard.

The real work, though, begins once we reach Pheriche after roughly four days of trekking. From here on out, you are sleeping near or above 17,000ft (4500m) for a full week while we visit Everest Basecamp, hike up neighboring Kala Pattar of 18,514ft (5643m) for sunrise views of Everest, and eventually launch a summit bid on Island Peak from Island Peak basecamp.

Summit day on Island Peak is ‘only’ a little more than 3,000ft of climbing, but the peak offers a taste of a little bit of almost everything that makes mountaineering interesting: rock scrambling, crevasses crossings, a steep headwall, and finally an exposed knife-edge ridge to the summit. In short, Island Peak has everything to keep you on your toes.

Take a look below if you’d like to get a first-hand taste of what each day on the trail tends to entail. And subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates from the field from this year’s AWExNepal expedition as we’ll be sharing stories and images on the blog as connectivity permits.

Happy climbing!


Typical day-to-day itinerary with estimated distances and daily ascent / descent stats for our Everest Basecamp & Island Peak expeditions


Sunny Stroeer