You might think because it is Everest its going to be cold and snowing all the time! This is not true. It rains sometimes too! But seriously, there are a lot of times when the weather is glorious, and the skies are clear and blue.
As long as you are not restricted to a set time of the year then you can pick the best season for you in terms of your trekking experience, what you want to do there – simply trek, or take professional photographs, or even attend some of the colourful festivals they have in the Everest Region.
Best Seasons According to Most People
If you do a quick search of the best time to visit the Everest Region, mainly the Everest Base Camp, you will be recommended to go in the spring or in the autumn. Spring being March to May and autumn being September to November.
As far as weather is concerned, these are the best months to trek in the Everest Himalayas. Not only trekking, these are peak months for climbing. While there are plenty of climbing peaks, and trekking peaks (which is sort of like climbing for beginners), you may notice that those going for the big one – Mt Everest – are also coming at this time of year. The main window for summiting Everest falls in May and again in October/ November.
In short, these two seasons are the best for trekking. In terms of weather. But what most people won’t tell you is that spring and autumn is also crowded with like-minded adventurers making the trails busy and sometimes making it impossible to get a bed for the night!
So, let’s look at the plus and minuses of trekking in the spring and autumn
Trekking to Everest Base Camp in the Spring
Plus: Yes, it’s a beautiful time and not too cold. In general, you can expect from 50C to a lovely 20 C! Evenings and mornings are cool but in the daytime it can be very comfortable indeed. And, perhaps more importantly, there is less likelihood of flight cancellations due to adverse weather.
Minus: Everyone, just everyone, has heard how great the trekking is in this season. So, yeah, it’s crowded. Which is great if you are sociable and enjoy chatting around the dinner table in the evenings. Otherwise, it may not be the wilderness experience you expected.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp in the Autumn
Plus: Certainly, at the beginning of this season the weather is very similar to that of the spring: not too cold, and clear skies.
Minus: By the end of the season some snow may set in which, while making it more picturesque, also makes the trails slippery. And with the threat of rain in the lowland areas, by the end of autumn there may be flight delays due to this. It is also a busy time of the year with plenty of trekkers around. Mountaineers will also be making their way to and from Everest and other mountains.
Plus or minus? Interestingly this is festival time in Nepal. Festival with a capital ‘F’. Think Christmas and New Year kind of festival time. The whole country basically shuts down for a month around October/ November. While it can be exciting to experience, and people are in a jolly mood, many trekking guides will be at home for the festivities making it hard to get a guide and/or porter if you are travelling independently.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp During the Monsoon
Monsoon falls June to August. In case you don’t know, monsoon is the season when it rains in Asia. A lot. Nepal is no exception. While less rain does fall in the mountains than in the lowlands and hills, it does fall. And no one can predict when.
The main drawback is that flights can, and are, very often delayed or cancelled at this time of year so you may be stuck in Lukla (which houses the only airport in the region) for days or have to pay out for a shared helicopter ride back to Kathmandu.
That aside, its not very cold with a high of around 18oC, and if you come prepared for the rain with waterproofs or are from a country where it rains a lot (and we can think of several) you will be just fine! Added to that is the fact there are less trekkers at this time and accommodation is easy to obtain.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp During the Winter
Winter falls December to February and it will be extremely cold, particularly at night when it may drop below -20oC! This season is not for the inexperienced. Crampons may have to be worn and trails can be hard to spot after new snowfalls. With less trekkers around, if you miss the trail, it might be hard to find it again. In addition, many of the lodges close as the owners and their families/ staff head down the mountain to wait out the winter cold.
The only plus things we can think of are there are less people, making it an experience uniquely your own. And the mountains take on a whole new look when the winter snows land on them.
Unless you are extremely experienced in snow conditions, don’t mind the cold and are prepared to wait it out on snow days, we do not recommend winter. If you do decide winter is for you, definitely take a guide with you – someone who knows the terrain and has trekked in these conditions numerous times.
Same applies during the monsoon. However, it could definitely be exciting to have the lodges and trails to yourself. If you have plenty of time should your flight be delayed and are steady on your feet (think slippery rocks!) then this might be a time to push yourself.
Spring and autumn, as we have mentioned, have their own pros and cons.
Ultimately the decision is yours but do discuss with a reputable agency/ trekking guide before taking that final decision! And let us know how it goes!