Thursday, December 21, 2017

Everest Base Camp Trek | The Best Season ?




I am often asked which is the best time to trek in the Everest region? Is it April and October? Interestingly things have changed a lot including the weather so this post covers the seasons and the pros and cons of trekking in the Everest region.


January 
This is peak winter -  temperatures at Gorak Shep (5150 metres) would be around -20C at night - water would be frozen but in all likelihood the weather would be clear but snow is on the cards. You need good warm down  jackets and a -20C sleeping bag to be comfortable. There will be few trekkers so you would have the lodges to yourself.

February
From mid February the weather would begins to warm up marginally but it can be uncertain - rain and hail lower down and snow above 4000 metres. Some days can also be sunny and exceptionally clear with low humidity. Few trekkers again so the lodges would be free. Not a bad time to go if you want to avoid the crowds and don't mind the occasional snow storm!

March 
The trekking numbers would increase by early March. Warmer weather would see possibility of occasional rain and snow. By end March the trekking season would have picked up and flights would start to become busy. If you want to go in spring then mid to end March is a good start.


April
This is considered to be the second best season after October. It is spring and the rhododendrons and other flowers are in bloom creating a spectacular display of colour. The mornings are generally clear with clouds rushing in by noon and rain and snow possible in the afternoons. The weather is of course much warmer than February- March. This month sees the maximum number of trekkers after October.
May
The numbers of trekkers start going down as the monsoon approaches. There can be regular pre-monsoon showers in May and mountains can be cloudy and foggy especially in late May. Flights to and from Kathmandu to Lukla also can be cancelled due to weather conditions. However, the floral spectacle especially above Namche is spectacular so if you want to see flowers this is the time to go!



June to September
These are the monsoon months. Flights to Lukla will often be delayed or cancelled due to rains and fog. Mountain views are few as the clouds dominate the valleys and peaks. On some days if you are lucky the sun will break through and you can see a peak floating through the clouds. There will be hardly any trekkers so no crowds. It's very green in the Khumbu at this time and flowers in the high meadows.

October
This is the peak season for the Everest trek. Flights are packed and so are the lodges. However for the last few years, it has been raining until mid October due to the delayed monsoon and the first two weeks have seen bad weather and many cancellations of the Lukla flight. I would avoid October if you can both for the weather issues and the crowds. Once the monsoon retreats you can be assured of clear skies and sunny warm days.

November
November in fact is the new October with clear days low humidity few clouds and mountain views every day - this  is the typical post monsoon weather which remains until mid December. It would be the first choice for Everest trekkers - the stability in the weather ensures that the Lukla flight can fly until 11 am on most days. Night temperatures at Gorak Shep would be between -10C and -12C,


December
It would be colder than November but until mid December the clear weather would continue. Crowds would be thinning as most people would be returning - flights would also not be so busy and tickets easy to get. Temperatures in Gorak Shep would be -15C at night. Recommended with a good down jacket and a four season sleeping bag!

The statistics at the entry point Jorsale for 2017 and part of 2018 is below:



For our fixed 2018 departure for the Everest trek in November 2018  do visit http://www.southcol.com/treks-nepal/everest-base-camp-ebc-kala-pattar-october-22nd-november-4th-2017/

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