Tibet Everest Base Camp vs. Nepal Everest Base Camp

There are 10 peaks that are 8,000 meters high or above in the Himalayas, among them is Mount Everest (8,844.43 meters) which is the highest in the world and attracts thousands of tourists and climbers. The most widely used name “Everest” is named after Sir George Everest. Andrew Waugh, the Surveyor-General of India appointed by Britain, came up with the name. The Tibetan name of Mount Everest is Qomolangma, which means Goddess mother of the World; while the Nepali name is Sagarmatha and means Head of the Sky.

As the natural border between Tibet Autonomous Region, China and Nepal, Mount Everest has been divided into the North Face (in Tibet side) and South Face (in Nepal side). Two Everest base camps have been established comparatively, also known as the Tibet Everest Base Camp and Nepal Everest Base Camp for the international tourists to distinguish. 

Tibet Everest Base Camp

Altitude: 5,100 meters
Latitude and Longitude: 28°8′29″N 86°51′5″E
Climate: continental plateau climate.

Documents Needed by Foreigners: the China Visa (Tourist visa Type: L) issued by the Chinese Embassy or Chinese Consulate General; the Tibet Travel Permit issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau; the Alien’s Travel Permit issued by the Tibet Public Security Bureau. While you should apply for the China Visa on your own, permits into Tibet for foreign tourists must be arranged by authorized local travel agency or tour operators, which takes around 15 to 20 days to process. Therefore, we recommend that you book your Tibet Everest trip at least 1 month in advance,  allowing your trip advisor enough time to arrange for permits, accommodation, etc.

The Best Time to Do Sightseeing and Summiting: Late April, May, October and November are the best times to see Mount Everest. There is a better chance of a clear view, thanks to the windless and rainless weather. Among the four, April and May are the most suitable for setting off the big climbing of the summiting Everest for climbers.

Tibet Everest Base Camp (North Face) 
Tibet Everest Base Camp (North Face) 

Access: The base camp in the north face of Everest is located in Tingri County, Shigatse City, Tibet, hereinafter as Tibet E.B.C. The route from Lhasa to Tibet E.B.C is all paved roads in good condition. Thus, it is easy to get to E.B.C either by private or public transportation and along the route, the supplies of fuel, equipment, commodities are all convenient. If you’re heading directly from Lhasa to Tibet E.B.C, this is normally a 3-day road trip consisting of three sections from Lhasa to Shigatse, Shigatse to Shelkar, and Shelkar to E.B.C. If you’re planning to see the scenic attractions or religious towns, you can take the typical 8-day Lhasa to Everest Base Camp tour, which includes the holy city Lhasa, the sacred Lake Yamdrok, the heroic town Gyantse, the second-largest city and the home of Panchen Lama Shigatse, and then E.B.C. Most tourists who visit Everest go there to see the mighty peak, and to admire it when the sun sets behind the pure snowy pinnacle and when the sun rises above it. 

Summiting Everest from Tibet Side: Tibet E.B.C is also used as the first campsite for climbers to hike to Everest. It is right across from Rongbuk Monastery, considered as the ideal sightseeing spot for seeing the panoramic view of Everest. Besides E.B.C, there is an advanced base camp (6,400m to 6,500m), Camp 1 (7,028m), Camp 2 (7,790m), and Camp 3 (8,300m), further into the core zone of Qomolangma National Park for those with climbing permits who finally reach the summit. Now that there are well-conditioned roads leading directly to the base camp, cargo shipments and passengers no longer need porters or yaks.

Nepal Everest Base Camp

Altitude: 5,364 meters
Latitude and Longitude: 28°0′26″N 86°51′34″E
Climate: Influenced by the Indian Ocean climate, ample rainfall occurs in the monsoon season of mid-June to August.

Documents Needed by Foreigners: Nepal visa; Entry Permit issued by Nepal Tourism Board.

Access: Climbers or trekkers should take a propeller aircraft or helicopter from Kathmandu to Lukla (2,823m). They can use any of these airlines: Tara Air, Summit Air or Yeti Airlines; and then start trekking from Lukla, which normally takes 6 to 7 days to reach the Everest Base Camp (E.B.C) of the South Face of Mount Everest. The other option is to take a 2-hour direct flight from Kathmandu to the E.B.C,which comes at a much higher expense: Around $4,500 to rent a helicopter during the high season, accommodating 6 passengers.

From Lukla to Nepal E.B.C, there are no available roads for vehicles. The supply stops along the trek route get the commodities delivered by porters and yaks.

South Face Everest Base Camp is set upon the Khumbu Glacier, spreading for one kilometer, with three facets surrounded by mountains. The Khumbu Glacier is called the“Glacier of Horror” because almost every day, various levels of ice avalanches occur. Apart from the E.B.C, at 5,364 meters, there are four camps along the way to reach the summit of Everest, which are Camp 1 (5,980 meters), Camp 2 (6,400 meters), Camp 3 (7,300 meters) and Camp 4 (8,000 meters), where climbers and their mountaineering teams can cook food, take a shower, and stay overnight.

Nepal Everest Base Camp  (South Face)
Nepal Everest Base Camp (South Face)

Trekking in Nepal Everest: The most popular trek route in Nepal is the one starting from Lukla and ending at the Everest Base Camp. It normally takes 12 to 14 days to finish, including the days of acclimatization. It is not recommended to trek alone, even for the very experienced climbers due to safety concerns. The Sherpa people who live in the Himalayas are the best guides there. If necessary, trekking in an organized group is the safest way. The best trek time is during the spring months of April and May and the fall months of October and November, which is when the days are likely to be clear. The trek routes may vary due to the different itinerary from different agencies; however, most of them include stops at Lukla, Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Pangboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, and Gorak Shep.

Summiting Everest from Nepal Side: The best time to attempt the Everest summit from the Nepal side is during the months of April and May. Besides professional and experienced climbers, normal people with sufficient preparation and assistance from a professional local climbing team can also make it. There are determined climbers who have disabilities such as blindness or amputation, and have still achieved their dream of summiting Everest. Nepal E.B.C is used for climbers to summit the Everest from the northern edge. However, the climbing routes from the North face and South face both lead to the same summit.

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