Everest Base Camp trek in January

Tips for Everest Base Camp Trek

Just after autumn, a busy season in Nepal, winter season sets in. The Everest Base Camp trek in January is generally quiet and peaceful compared to other months. And, adventurous at the same time.

Everest Base Camp trek in winter is not the peak trekking season because of the holidays and a cold weather. But it has the most attractive views. However, trekking to EBC in January has its own perks.

Despite the cold, the daytime at Everest Base Camp is warm with bright sunshine. And, though the night time temperature can get low, it should not bother much because you will be indoors.

Trekking in January means you will get great views of the mountains. You may not get to experience such glorious and scenic views in any other season but in winter. Hence if you want to choose trekking in Everest Base Camp in January, there are a few things to consider.

Everest Base Camp trek in January

Everest Base Camp Weather in January

As it barely rains, the EBC weather in January is mostly dry and stable. However, the temperature changes drastically from day to night.

During the day, the sunshine is warm and the temperature remains around 4℃ (39℉). Whereas during the night, the temperature drops to -17℃ (1℉).

There might also be occasional snow that won’t last for a long time (a day max). You can continue your trek after the snow stops. During this particular time, the trekking poles will come in handy.

Basically trekking in January is for those who want to avoid the crowd and can handle the cold.

Here’s a detail of the Everest Base Camp Trek Temperature in January

Place Elevation Avg temp Min temp Max temp
Lukla 2829m -2.8°C -2.8°C 8.5°C
Namche 3463m -6°C -10°C -3°C
Dingboche 4483m -7.3°C -15.3°C -1°C
Lobuche 4910m -9.7°C -18.3°C -1.1°C
Gorak Shep 5180m -10.9°C -19.6°C -2.1°C

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Altitude of Everest Base Camp

All the trekker who treks in Nepal will witness a great range of altitude. And Everest Base Camp altitude is no exception. The capital city of Nepal i.e Kathmandu itself lies at an altitude of 1345 meters.

From Kathmandu airport when you get to Lukla, you will be at an elevation of 2800m. At the base camp, the elevation will be 5365m.

Further, you will also get to an elevation of 5600 m at Kala Patthar. Here you will get the best views of the magnificent Mt.Everest.

Down below are some of the places and elevation you will pass through if you take extended EBC trek that lasts for about 3 to 4 weeks,

Place Elevation
Namche Bazaar 3441m
Phortse Thanga 3680m
Maccherma 4479m
Gokyo 4790m
Gokyo Ri 5483m
Everest Base Camp 5365m
Kala Patthar 5600m

Monastery and mountains, Everest Base Camp trail

Note that, with the change in altitude the weather and temperature also varies. Such is the condition of the Everest Base Camp trek in January. As you start ascending to the altitudes, you will feel much colder. The dense snow and fog may obstruct the vision. You may feel snow storms and frequent drops in temperatures in the high altitudes.

Packing tips for Everest Base Camp trek in January

  • January is a cold month and hence packing and gearing up well plays a vital role. It is very important to take care of your clothing which will determine your comfort.
  • Some important things you should not miss out are windproof and waterproof jackets. They keep away the snow as well as keep you warm.
  • Similarly, you need windproof and waterproof trousers as well. It keeps you warm even when the temperature goes below freezing point.
  • One of the important packing essential is the toiletries and first aid box in case of emergency. For the cold weather, especially during harsh wind, you need lip balms, sunscreen lotions, winter gloves, hats, and a pair of warm socks.
  • During winter, since you need more clothing, you will need a comfortable and spacious backpack. Since the EBC trek is quite long, you will require enough space to accommodate all the necessary items during the trek.
  • And most importantly you will need a good pair of trekking shoes that will either make or break your trek. Since there will be snow in the trails, water and snow resistant shoes will come in great use.

Advantages of EBC Trek in January

  • With few trekkers trekking in January, there are various benefits of trekking in this month.
  • In January, the air is dry and the precipitation is very less. The skies are almost clear and cloudless offering a spectacular view.
  • This is also an advantage for the flights, they don’t cancel that frequently due to the weather conditions.
  • Being an off season there will be very few people on the trail. This means that you will have the path to yourself. You can enjoy the peaceful trail and spend some solitude with nature.
  • During this time due to fewer people, you won’t have a problem hiring guide and porter.
  • When you are one of the few travelers, the lodges and the teahouses can give you special treatment.
  • Rooms will be more available and you won’t have a problem with other services like solar charging etc.
  • In other months like October and November, there will be a high number of tourists, queuing up for charging. This is, not at all, a problem in January.
  • Due to the few numbers of trekkers, you will get plenty of opportunities to click beautiful pictures of mountains and places.

Disadvantages of EBC trek in January

  • In January due to the risk of snow storms and harsh temperatures, the high passes like the Cho La Pass trail and Mera Peak climbing remain closed.
  • Sometimes the trekkers might have to fall back as a result of blizzards and hurricane winds in other passes.
  • Trekking to EBC in January i.e in winter means the days are going to be shorter. Therefore, you need to start your trek early so as to reach the lodge before darkness settles in.
  • January trekking at the EBC is quite pleasant with moderate temperature during the day. However, at night it can get to a freezing point sometimes -20 to -30 degree Celsius.
  • Not having proper acclimatization can lead your body to take a lot of time to adjust to the cold at higher altitude. Hence, this can make you susceptible to AMS (Acute mountain sickness).

Tips to consider while trekking to EBC in January

  • Wear warm clothes to keep yourself warm. You can do this by dressing in layers.
  • In cold, your body tends to burn more calories. Hence you should keep up with your food intake. This is the key to avoid the body of other altitude concerns.
  • Since you will be climbing to higher altitude, to avoid altitude sickness proper acclimatization is a must.
  • Drink plenty of water. There is more chance of skipping or forgetting to drink water in cold weather. Water intake also plays a significant role in keeping altitude sickness away.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption as alcohol dehydrates your body. And this further will add the risk of altitude sickness.
  • Always maintain a connection with your family or friends and let them know about your whereabouts.
  • Always walk in a group and have the support of a guide or porter. This is important in case of any misfortunes.
  • Explore the option. There are several ways to experience the Everest Base Camp. You can try out the Helicopter tour to EBC if January is too cold for you. This will save your time as well as you won’t have to go through the extensive trek.
  • The sun is scorching high up. Because of the white snow, 80 % of the sun reflects back so there are great chances of getting burned quickly. Take and apply high SPF sunscreen along with sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Since in winters, the days are shorter, it is wise to start your trek early in the morning and reach the lodge before the sunset. It will be dark and cold immediately after the sunset.
  • When trekking in winter in January, allow space for delays. Be aware that trail can turn difficult and do not assume that the flight will always run on time.

Hikers climbing the renjo la pass everest region, Everest three pass trek

FAQs on EBC trek in January

Will the tea houses in the EBC region remain open in January?

Yes, the tea houses remain open in the Everest Base Camp trek all year round. Moreover, due to fewer trekkers during this time you will most likely receive better service.

Normally in peak season, there is a shortage of mattresses and blankets in the tea house. This is not a matter of concern in January.

However, the tea house in the high altitude like Gorak Shep may remain closed due to harsh weather condition. Besides, you will not have trouble finding tea houses in other places of the trek.

Are guides/porters necessary for EBC trek in January?

Since trekking in winter is challenging and includes risk, hiring guides are close to compulsory. As the trekking trails to EBC are less crowded with few trekkers, it is good to hire a porter/guide for Everest Base Camp trek in January.

The trails can be tricky during winter due to snowfall. Hence having a guide will give you both physical and mental assistance.

As for porter, it is wise to hire them. Because the trek will certainly be much easier without having to carry heavy baggage.

Do I need a travel insurance while trekking in EBC in January?

Any insurance you have is a good as you can never prepare fully for misfortunes. Different insurance policies cover different items. And, you definitely need a travel insurance for Everest Base Camp trek in January.

Some insurance policies cover only up to 3000m. Hence, make sure you have a clause in your insurance to cover for the altitude up to 6000m.

This is because in high altitude there is a risk posed by acute mountain sickness and other altitudes related illness.

So, having insurance that covers up to 6000 m will cover you up for the entire course of the trek. This way you will not have to worry about expensive evacuation or medical assistance.

Also, you can get insurance for incidents like accidents, flight delays, and baggage loss etc.

Some Alternatives to Everest Base Camp trek in January

The Everest Base Camp trek is not only the trek that you can take in January. There are other treks that you can consider in the Everest region:

Everest Panorama Trek

If you want to view the Everest but do not have enough time to complete the classic EBC trek in January. Then you can try the Everest Panorama Trek.

This trek will take 10 days and will give you amplified time to get familiar with the Everest region.

In this trek, you will come across Lukla, Phakding, Namche Bazaar as well as Tengboche. This short trek will offer you spectacular views of the Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse, Mt Thamserku and many more.

With this time you will get a glimpse into the Sherpa lifestyle as well as their culture.

Everest Base Camp Helicopter Trek -11 days

Since trekking in January is challenging, some people may not have the physical capacity to trek to and from the EBC.

Hence Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return provides this option to trekkers who prefer to take a helicopter back to complete it in shorter time or to skip the descent.

With this, you can experience the Everest Base Camp trek in an easier way. Moreover, this will take a shorter duration to complete and will be great for those who are running short on time.

Jiri to Everest Base Camp Trek

If you are doubtful about the fact that you may or may not be able to acclimatize with the cold January weather. Then Jiri to EBC trek will make sure that you do.

This is a long trek to the Everest region. Here you will take small gains in altitude every day. This way, there is lesser chances of altitude sickness. This trek is possible for those who have close to 3 weeks of trekking days.


There is no denying that January is cold and can be quite challenging. It is also difficult especially for those who don’t prefer the cold season.

Yet, the cold is not so extreme that trekking becomes impossible. With proper preparation and precaution, you can complete the trek successfully.

If you love peaceful trails and want a little thrill to you trekking January is the right month. The Everest Base Camp trek in January will definitely be rewarding.

For further question and queries, please feel free to contact us. Also, it is our pleasure to guide and assist you to the best of our ability and plan the trip for you.

Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.

About Author

Madhav started working as a porter in 2001 and then moved on to work as a trekking guide. After working in the trekking and tourism industry for eight years, he co-founded Mosaic Adventure in 2009.

Madhav has trekked to most of the trekking destinations in Nepal, including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Poon Hill Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Indigenous Peoples Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, and all of the day hikes around Kathmandu.

He has also extensively traveled to other countries such as Australia, the USA, the UK, France, Hong Kong, Japan, China, the Philippines, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Thailand, Turkey, and India. Madhav is the one who answers most of your questions about trekking and tours and helps to plan your trip by giving a personal touch.

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