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Everest Base Camp Trek in December

everest and lhotse

With sunny days, non-existent rainfall, and empty trails, December is one of the most underrated months to do the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Weather for Everest Base Camp Trek in December

December is the driest month in the Everest Region. But to be fair, it is usually a tight competition between December and November. Parallelly, you are also looking at the month with the highest number of sunny days. Also, given that winter rains/snow hasn’t started yet and summer monsoon is a distant memory, there is very little snow on the ground. In a lot of ways, December is one of the best months to trek to Everest Base Camp.

Evening and nights are chilly, but the daytime temperature is fantastic. But please remember that daylight is shortest in December. And given that temperature will plummet quickly after sunset, you have to plan your days conservatively.

  Lukla (2,860m) Namche (3,440m) Lobuche (4,950m)
Max Avg Temp 12° C 9° C -1° C
Min Avg Temp 0° C -4° C -13° C
Precipitation 5 mm 5 mm 2 mm
Precipitation Days 1.2 days 1.2 days 0.5 days
No. Sunny Days 27.1 days 27.1 days 28.1 days
Sunrise (Dec 15) 6:40 am
Sunset (Dec 15) 5:05 pm

Hazards, Gear and Planning Tips for EBC Trek in December

Tengboche Monastery, Everest in winter

In addition to the usual Environmental Hazards and Altitude Illnesses that the Everest Base Camp Trek poses, you need to be careful about the temperature and possibility of snow. These factors are especially relevant if you are trekking in the latter half of December when snow is more likely, and temperature can be an issue. A good down jacket is a must, and a four-season sleeping bag can be a welcome addition. This is, of course, in addition to the usual gear that you might want to consider for a trek like this.

Three High Passes of Everest in December

Himalaya Tahr
Himalaya Tahr

December is one of the better months to do the treks that involve high passes. While you need to be on a lookout for snowfall during the second half of December, you will generally find that the clear weather makes the high passes enjoyable. We highly recommended having an experienced guide, microspikes, and a few extra days. It is also essential to factor in the fact that daylight is shortest this time of the year. What this means is that you need to start real early during the day you are doing the passes and waste no time to get to camp. It is also advisable not to attempt the passes if clouds are building up.

We highly recommend going through an excellent discussion on winter trekking in Nepal.

How crowded is the Everest Base Camp Trek in December?

December consistently sees around 6% of annual trekkers in the Khumbu. In 2018, approximately three thousand trekkers entered the Everest Region in December. What this means is that you will have just enough company to keep things exciting but not so many that it starts to feel like a circus. The second half of December, with Christmas and New Year, usually sees a lot more people on the trail than the first half.

Number of Trekkers in Everest National Park (2018)

Lukla Flights in December

Flights to Lukla take off from Kathmandu itself, saving you the hassle of traveling to Ramechhap. Given the weather, chances of cancellations are as low as it can be.

Hotels in Everest Region in December

Sherpa food in Everest- Rikikur and Syomar
Sherpa food in Everest- Rikikur and Syomar

Hotels in the Everest Region either start closing or winding down operations from mid-November onwards. However, at least a few lodges will remain open through the winter in every village. Price, unfortunately, doesn’t fluctuate much in the Everest Region even during the low months. However, lodge owners are more willing to talk and cook you local delicacies now that they have more time.

Attractions in the Everest Region in December

December is excellent for stellar mountain views and beautiful sunsets. It is also an excellent time to see the national bird of Nepal, Himalayan Monal, congregate in huge flocks around villages. Gokyo Lake is starting to freeze, so feel free to give ice skating a go!

Happy trails!

This post is part of the Best time to trek to Everest Base Camp Series. Here are some other posts from this series:

Renjo La
Best time for EBC
Himalaya Tahr
Seasons in EBC
Trekkers in Khumbu Glacier, Everest Base Camp
Health and Safety
Trekker in Everest
EBC in January
Ama Dablam from Khumjung
EBC in February
EBC in March
EBC in April
Everest Marathon
EBC in May
EBC in June
Dwarf Rhododendron
EBC in July
EBC in August
Cholatse
EBC in September
Everest as seen from Kala Pathhar
EBC in October
mount ama dablam
EBC in November
Mount Everest
EBC in December

 

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’Going to the mountains
is going home.’
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men and mountains meet.’
- William Blake
‎’There is no such thing as bad weather,
only inappropriate clothing.’
- Sir Ranulph Fiennes