The Himilayas have some of the biggest mountains in the world! Everest itself towering over the Khumbu valley with extreme hurricane winds and temperatures hitting as low as - 36 degrees celcius! But how cold is it down at Base Camp?
For most of you, it is likely that you will be trekking to Everest Base Camp pre-monsoon (March, April and May) or post monsoon (late September, October and November) which have been notoriously the best months to trek, with the highest success rates. This is partly because of the lower average rainfall and the more stable temperatures. Here are a few graphs we have put together, because everyone loves a graph right? Or maybe i have just been spending too much time with my boss!
Ok, so let’s start in Kathmandu. The temperatures here can hit highs of 30 degrees Celsius during the trekking seasons, so I tend to go with shorts, t-shirt, sandals and a tonne of sun cream. The main thing to note is that it can get really sticky, with humidity often getting as high as 85 – 90%. It’s a good idea to wear breathable clothing
Items worn: Sandals, T-Shirt, Shorts, Sunhat, Sunglasses
Breathable clothing whilst still respecting the local culture
For those of you heading to the mountains, you will notice a slight drop in temperature upon arrival in Lukla. Although I still trek in my shorts and t-shirt, it can get quite chilly in the evening so having a few extra layers such as a fleece and some long trekking trousers is a good idea. It is worth mentioning that once you start trekking, you want to avoid cotton and heavy weight trousers e.g. jeans. You will start sweating and get abit smelly when you trek. When wearing cotton (non-breathable) there is nowhere for that sweat to go, so you may find that you are not so popular amongst your trekking buddies!
Items worn: Walking boots, light trekking socks, Performance T-Shirt, Trekking shorts, Sunglasses, Sunhat, Hiking poles, Waterproofs in my day bag, Fleece and trousers for the evening.
It is still quite warm at the lower altitudes. Breathable clothing is a must!
We are up at 3,440m now! Although we are getting to higher altitudes, it is still warm during the day. Having said that, the weather can change in an instance so you may benefit from having some extra layers in your day sack just incase. Most people will spend some time acclimitising at this altitude so often people will go on small treks or spend the time exploring.
Items worn: Walking boots, light trekking socks, Performance T-Shirt, Trekking shorts, Buff, Sunglasses, Sunhat, Hiking poles, Waterproofs in my day bag, Fleece and trousers for the evening
The weather can change quite quickly at the higher altitudes. Prepare for everything!
Namche to Gorak Shep
As you slowly make your way higher and higher along the trails, passing through the small villages and local communities, you will start to feel that the air is getting thinner and the temperatures drop slightly. Don’t let this fool you though; Sun cream is still very much needed! Whilst your body is moving and trekking, you will still sweat and feel quite warm. However, once you stop and the sun goes down, it instantly gets cold. Most of the tea houses have a log burner which keep you relatively warm in the communal area. I really benefitted from my warm down jacket and wool hat in the evenings. The bedrooms were quite abit colder. A good warm sleeping bag is definitely advisable. Temperatures during the evening are dropping to well below zero.
Items worn: Walking boots, Medium thickness walking socks, Performance T-Shirt, Fleece, Trekking trousers, Buff, Sunglasses, Sunhat, Hiking poles, Waterproofs in my day bag, Long Johns, down jacket, heavy weight wool socks and wool hat in the evenings.
The sun has gone down and there is another power cut in the Tea House. Time to get the down jackets on!
Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar
Base camp is pretty similar to Gorak Shep in terms of temperatures. However, it can feel a lot colder as it is located in quite a wide open space which can quite often experience high winds. Fun fact: The summit of Everest is the windiest place on Earth! Kala Patthar is a great mountain to summit for the best views of Everest. At 5,644m it can get quite cold. Often people will leave before sunrise with cloud covered skies. Don’t be disheartened though as there is a good chance they will disperse after sun rise.
Items worn: Walking boots, Medium thickness walking socks, Windproof jacket, Performance T-Shirt, Fleece, Trekking trousers, Buff, Sunglasses, Sunhat, Hiking poles, wool hat, gloves, Waterproofs in my day bag
A good windproof is recommended for Kala Patthar