View Full Version : Everest Base Camp in December

9th May 2009, 12:04 AM
Looking to make a trek to Gokyo and EBC between December 12th and 26th. Any comments on the feasibility and other helpful hints will be immensely appreciated.

9th May 2009, 05:25 AM
Prepare for very cold weather above Namche Bazaar. At Gokyo and Gorak Shep you might expect -20 deg C at night and maybe just hovering around 0 during the day. We've had -7 in the lodge room during the night.

So a good sleeping bag and warm clothing is a must.

Take good care of batteries (camera/torch/videocamera/companion doll/vibration device, whatever...). Like, have them with you in the sleeping bag when you go to sleep. As a rule, have two sets of each (should be Lithium Ion rechargeables - nothing else will probably be that efficient in the cold).

Visibility should be very good, as the cold brings very dry air. No humidity = good visibility.

If you are into taking pics, and have an SLR, take a UV and maybe a polarizing filter. Definitely UV.

9th May 2009, 10:00 AM
It will be a great time of year for a trek. Less tourist, crystal clear skies and nice day-time temps in the strong sun. However, you will experience increasingly cold night temps at higher elevations and you will likely experience a few days of clouds and or wind which will make for some bitter day-time trekking. While it is a dry time of year you may see some snow and will definitely find some spots of tricky ice on the well established trails.

Showers above Namche will be impractical and evenings will be spent huddled close to the yak dung stove in the dinning room or if the lodge is empty you may be invited into the kitchen. The rationed fire will not last nearly as long as you would like - forcing an early retreat to your sleeping. Water bottles, batteries, snacks, boots and anything left out of your sleeping bag at night will be frozen solid in the morning. Your water bottle, filled with boiled water from the yak dung stove at bed time, will be your closest friend until morning when it will provide much needed hydration until you are able to remove yourself from the comfort of your (hopefully) very warm sleeping bag. The squat toilets will be surrounded by ice from those with less aim, or if used as the showering facilities, providing for some memorable late night trips to the john.

If you are considering Cho la or one of the other high passes you will need to inquire as to the conditions and determine if the smaller lodges are in operation. Given the decreased traffic on the high passes you should exercise additional precautions. Never travel alone, be prepared for a night out, weather and difficult trails.

A good down coat for the evenings and a winter rated down bag for are a must. As with all seasons, be careful of AMS and keep an eye on your fellow travelers and Nepal friends. Don’t miss the AMS lecture in Dingboche/Pereche, if offered that late in the season, as it may save a life.

10th May 2009, 03:03 PM
I agree completely with yakshaver and James. I have been in the second half of December in the Everest region and it was a marvelous trek.

10th May 2009, 06:09 PM
I agree completely with yakshaver and James. I have been in the second half of December in the Everest region and it was a marvelous trek.

Things ok in Weinheim?

11th May 2009, 04:37 AM
Of my three trips to the Khumbu the one last December was the best (great weather & no crowds). The above advice is all good, but I'd add that 14 days for EBC and Gokyo is only just enough. You must allow for safe acclimatisation and if there happens to be bad weather over Cho La then you'll maybe not get to both. If you go to just one then I'd recommend Gokyo.

12th May 2009, 07:18 AM
If you go to just one then I'd recommend Gokyo.

I have to respectfully disagree with Oli. If I could only do one valley, I'd want to do the Khumbu. Gokyo is beautiful, but the lakes will most likely be frozen in December, so you can't see that lovely turquoise color. How could anyone get so close and not visit the Khumbu? It was my lifetime dream to see it, and now I've been there twice in three years, and I'm planning to go back a third time. Check out my photos:


13th May 2009, 12:40 AM
Fair enough - Gokyo vs EBC is a matter of personal choice. But it is one that might have to be made if time doesn't allow both.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3299/3232408028_7bbe6918bb_m.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/oliphant/3232408028/in/set-72157612904674273)
Gokyo, Dec 23rd '08. You can see there is only a little ice on the lake, but a week or two later it'd probably freeze right across and be dusted by snow.

Michael Sunkist
13th May 2009, 01:44 AM
:rolleyes: Nameste, Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Daytime quite nice if sunny and you are moving keeping that blood flowing. Nights are nippy to say the least. Make sure you have a good sleeping bag, at least -20F. If you have a water purifier sleep with it or your filter will freeze and crack and best of luck finding a replacement anywhere in Nepal. Down coat is a nice plus especially after dark. Happy trails

29th May 2009, 06:56 AM
Thank you all for the input. The clear skies are luring but I think my I Pod won't last very long.

Yes, the choice between Gokyo lakes and EBC will be a tough one.