Usually, when the topic related to death arises people tend to disregard it. This has been a sensitive topic since ancient times. Moreover, Mt. Everest is considered one of the places where a lot of unfortunate accidents happen.
Every year many climbers make their way to reach the top but very few don’t make it back. However, the Everest Base Camp trek deaths are pretty rare which is nice to hear.
Mt Everest is the world’s tallest mountain above sea level with a height of 8848 m. The mountain lies in between the international border of Nepal and China.
To climb the world’s tallest mountain is a dream for many mountaineers. But due to personal reasons, only a few get to fulfill that dream.
Thus an alternative option to trek till the Everest Base camp has been provided to satisfy them.
Everest base camp trek is one of the famous and most visited trekking routes of Nepal. The Base camp is in the Himalayan region and the trek lasts for about 2 weeks.
There are various routes to reach Everest Base camp but the most used routes are from Lukla. You begin your trek from Lukla and end it there. It usually starts by flying over to Lukla airport.
You don’t need to carry any special trekking gear to reach Everest Base Camp but you shouldn’t be too careless.
There is no actual statistical data for the toll of deaths on Everest Base camp trek. However, it is estimated that minimum deaths reach around 3 to 5 people each year.
You shouldn’t panic because these are assumptions only. Every year more than thousands of people make the climb and the chances of accidents are very rare.
Nowadays, more safety precautions have been added to ensure your security. Thus the Everest Base Camp Trek deaths are relatively low.
Trekking routes of Everest Base camp are considered less dangerous. But still, there are a few risks you can face along the trails. Such as altitude sickness, extreme weather conditions, avalanches, hypothermia, etc.
Inaccurate Information – Everest Base Camp Trek Deaths
Nowadays important information is just one click away, you can find the answers for absolutely anything.
But the information provided by some sources might not always be correct or true. So you should be aware and check other sources as well before coming to a final conclusion.
You have heard and read about many casualties that occurred while summiting Mt. Everest. But you should know that Mt. Everest and Everest Base Camp are completely two different things.
Before going on a quest to reach the summit of Mt. Everest you have to go through training from mountaineering institutes. You will also be needing special gear to make the climb.
However, to reach Everest Base Camp you won’t be needing any gear. And the trek is quite easy compared to it. Some families even take their children along with them to EBC.
So, the no. of deaths on Everest Base Camp trek is very low. You can pretty much relax and plan further for this trek.
Deaths during the trek to Everest Base Camp
As you read above, the minimum death toll is around 3 to 5 people. And the cause is usually altitude sickness or underlying heart diseases.
As you climb higher in the altitude it tends to get worse. Because you will be reaching an elevation above 5545 m.
A Royal Navy Scientists named Rachel Burke died in 2014 while trekking down from the base camp. It was shown in the reports that she had a heart condition and it got worse as she made the climb. Her fellow companion said that she was having quite a hard time coping with that altitude.
Another incident of 2014 was during the month of October when a British woman, Debra Wilding (49 yrs old) passed away. She was traveling with her daughter and left this world as she was descending from EBC. Altitude sickness was the reason for her demise.
The latest casualty was in 2017, March 6 when a father of two and travel enthusiasts from Melbourne was reported to have demised in this trek.
To reduce altitude sickness acclimatization day is planned while going on a high elevation. So during that day, you need to let your body rest and adjust with the climate before traveling higher in elevation.
Everest Base Camp trek death toll is not reported in the news. So, the other causes haven’t been determined accurately yet.
Avalanche in Everest
One of the highest death tolls that occurred in this region was during 2015. This was the year when Nepal was hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 Richter scale.
Due to the shaking, a huge avalanche had struck the Everest region. The death toll had reached around 17 people and 37 were injured.
The earthquake also wrecked the Hillary step that declined from Pumori to the Base camp. It was a miserable incident that had occurred in Nepal.
Everest Base Camp Trek Deaths – Reasons
While trekking in this region you will find various ways to reach the base camp. Such as Three Passes Trek, Jiri to EBC trek, Gokyo lakes trek, etc. However, these routes are riskier than the normal routes that you will be taking.
Some of the reason for deaths on Everest base camp trek is given below:
Most of the deaths are a cause of altitude sickness in high elevation. The oxygen is thinner in higher altitudes which causes altitude sickness. Such as Acute mountain sickness, Pulmonary Oedema, etc.
If you are suffering from symptoms that are similar to altitude sickness then you should inform your guide. The guide will tell you whether to climb down or remain where you are for the day.
You have to carefully listen to the instructions your guide tells you and follow them. These are important instructions that can help save your life.
Most deaths happen because people try to neglect the symptoms and make the climb not following the instruction of their guide.
Whatever happens, don’t act stubbornly and push yourself hard to make the ascend. It might not feel like anything but the dangers of altitude sickness can grow rapidly.
If anyone in your group suffers from altitude sickness and can’t move then you have to immediately call for help. Many Helicopter arrangements are made in this region so you can book them for evacuation.
Also before going on this trek, you should also consult your doctor to see if you have any underlying heart diseases. Many people are not aware of this which later on becomes a huge problem for them.
If you are suffering from altitude sickness then some of the common symptoms are headaches, nausea, dizziness, lack of sleep, etc.
However, if you keep ascending ignoring this symptom then you might face serious problems such as inability to walk, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, intense fatigue, etc.
The medications might not be of any help if the condition has worsened. So it is better to stop if you reach your limit.
Natural Calamities are always unpredictable, you can never know what game nature might play on the way.
One of the best examples can be the earthquake of 2015. Noone had any idea of it. It came by surprise and took many lives with it.
So you have to be prepared with the mindset that anything can happen at any time.
This trek might have its own risk but you should know some risks can be prevented. Some safety measures are written below:
You can take safety measures to avoid altitude sickness. Some of them are:
- If you are a beginner it is better to hike several times at an altitude of 3000 m in this region. It gives you experience for coping at higher altitudes.
- Before starting your trek it is better to do some physical training such as cycling, swimming, etc. You can start these exercises two weeks before
- While making a climb it is better to pack limited things. You should only carry things that are necessary for this trek. If you overpack then your body can get tired faster
- You shouldn’t hurry to reach your destination. It is better to walk for about 5-6 hours a day. It gives your body time to adjust with the climatic changes
- The trek might excite you all the way but don’t forget to take your beauty sleep. Sleep is essential as you climb higher
- Carry many bottles of water and foods that have carbohydrates and protein in them. You should keep yourself hydrated.
- Avoid any consumption of alcohol, smoke or Sleeping tablets
- If anywhere between the trek you feel uncomfortable, inform your guide and climb down to lower altitude. If your body is fit you can make the climb again
- Consult a doctor to check if you have any heart diseases
You know calamities caused due to nature can’t be avoided but there are some ways to protect yourself during those times.
- Never decide to trek alone. Even if you are a solo traveler it is better to find companions on the way
- Always carry a compass, map, torches, and other things that are compulsory during the trek
- Always carry a whistle as it helps you when you are exhausted.
- While trekking you will see many yaks along the way. It is better to see them from afar and not interfere with their activity
- People have GPS in their handheld devices so don’t forget to charge your device.
Why is Acclimatization Important in this trek?
In an earlier point, you have read that altitude sickness is one of the major causes of death in EBC. To prevent altitude sickness acclimatization day is held.
Acclimatization day is a rest day to help your body adjust to the climate in Higher altitudes. As you climb higher up in the mountains the air becomes thinner causing altitude sickness.
During this day you stop in one of the villages and explore it. You can also take a 5-6 hours hike if the village has a hiking point.
Is trekking solo possible for Everest Base Camp?
Solo treks are possible for Everest Base Camp but the routes are quite crowded during its peak season. So you won’t feel like you are traveling alone on these trails.
However, we would suggest that traveling alone can be risky as no one can predict the climate and nature up in the mountains. So, it is better if you travel with a companion.
Everest Base Camp Trek – Attractions
EBC is set on the feet of Mount. Everest. As you walk along these routes you get to view many mesmerizing things.
First, your flight all the way to Lukla Airport will be quite exciting. As the airport is famous for having a short and narrow runway. It gives you quite a thrilling experience.
The main attraction of this trek is Mount Everest which is right in front of you. The mesmerizing view of the world’s tallest mountain is remarkable.
Some other attraction point in this trek is given below:
- Namche bazaar
- Sagarmatha National park
- Tengboche Monastery
- The highest point – Kala Patthar
- Unique Landscapes of Khumbu Region and many more
Best time to visit the Everest Base Camp
If you wish you can trek during winter and monsoon too but the routes are more challenging during this time.
This season usually begins in March and ends in May. The trekking routes are very popular during these months. Spring brings along a new chapter in nature with it.
This season tends to bring back the lost color along with it. The lush greenery of the hills, forests filled with blooming flowers, birds chirping, etc.
The weather is also warm and sunny making the mountain peaks visible from afar. You wouldn’t want to miss this moment.
This season usually begins in September and ends in November. These months are considered the peak season of the year.
The weather is just perfect for trekking under the clear blue sky. And plus point is the national festival Dashain also falls in this season making the environment lively.
However, a downside would be the crowded routes and pack hotels. There are few chances of getting rooms of your choice.
This season usually begins in December and ends in February. These months are the coldest time of the year.
The temperature drops below 0°C in higher altitudes. But the snow-capped mountains along the way will just astound you with its beauty.
While trekking in these months you shouldn’t forget to pack extra warm clothes.
This season usually begins in June and ends in August. During these months, heavy rainfall occurs making the trails slippery and muddy.
You can walk in these routes but you need to be extra careful not to hurt yourself. The benefits of trekking during these months are that the routes are less crowded.
You should carry raincoats and see the weather forecasts before planning your travel during this time of the year.
Despite these few risks, the trekking routes of Everest Base Camp are quite famous among trekkers.
Everest Base camp trek deaths are infrequent so you can trek these trails undoubtedly. But before going on this trek it is better for you to consult your doctor for any health-related problems.
You can easily avoid troublesome situations and finish this trek with proper information.
We hope the information provided above was able to clear any doubts you had in mind.
Please feel free to contact us for travel-related information.
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