If you are looking forward to embarking a challenge of trekking to Everest Base Camp in January, get set and prepare for it. It is absolutely possible but does require some preparations to stand safe in cold.
January is winter and off-season for Everest Base Camp trek because of the cold weather. So, the route remains less crowded and noiseless.
Thus, the Everest Base Camp trek in January will be a quiet and peaceful trek.
You can enjoy the mesmerizing view of the Himalayas and diverse flora and fauna in the less crowded trail.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp in January has its own perks. It offers you the most attractive views. Despite the cold, you can witness the clear blue skies with breathtaking mountain views and beautiful sceneries.
Weather During Everest Base Camp Trek in January
January is the coldest month of the year. During this month, the Everest region dips in the snow.
The temperature in the night is much colder and freezing. However, the daytime is quite sunny.
Even in January, the temperature in the daytime in the Everest region is around 8-12 degrees. And in the night it drops down to -17 degrees.
There might be snowfall but, you can continue your trek as soon as the snowfall stops.
Average Sunshine Per Day
The sun shines for an average of 5-7 hours per day in January. You will feel warm and comfortable while the sun shines upon your head.
The temperature during the day rises up a little bit after sunrise.
The daily wind speed in January is about 8-12 mph, in general. It is quite windy. So, you will experience the cooling effect of blowing wind.
Note: The weather in the higher altitudes is quite unpredictable. You may have to face different weather conditions on a single day. So, be physically and mentally prepared for this trek to face any weather changes that may follow.
Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek in January
- An amazing and clear view of snow-capped Mount Everest
- Clear and cloudless skies, beautiful lakes, monasteries, and icefalls.
- The joyful hospitality of Sherpas
- Indigenous culture and lifestyles of the locals
- Panoramic views of the Himalayas
- The best sunrise view in the morning at Kala Patthar (5,643 m)
- The ancient Buddhist Monasteries
- Sagarmatha National Park covered in snow
- Adventurous trek routes
- Peaceful trek with the less crowded trail.
Benefits of Everest Base Camp Trek in January
- View the best sceneries: The skies are clear and cloudless during January, which provides a magnificent view of mountains. Besides mountains, places like Kala Patthar, Khumbu Glacier, and Namche Bazaar have the best scenarios in the world.
- Experience the perfect winter world: The Everest Base Camp route makes a flawless winter world. The view of mountains and nature dipped in clear white snow is mesmerizing.
- Encounter the life of native Himalayan Sherpas: The life of Himalayan Sherpas is inspiring. Accommodation in such weather and climate is tough. January is the best time to explore the winter life of Himalayan Sherpas.
- Getting special treatment: When you are one of the few travelers, the lodges and tea houses can provide you with special treatment.
- Less crowded trails: Being an off-season month, there will be very few travelers who undertake this trek. So, you will have the most peaceful journey to Everest Base Camp.
- Cheaper flights and accommodation: You can get the flights and the hotel rates much cheaper than in other peak seasons.
Challenges of Everest Base Camp Trek in January
- Shorter days: Winter season have shorter days. Therefore, you need to start your trek early in the morning so as to reach the lodge before darkness settles in.
- Difficulties due to piles of deep snow: The trails in the higher altitudes fade in the snow. In some places, you may have to walk through the snow covering your waist.
- Freezing temperature: The temperature is below freezing point and sometimes it drops down to -17 degrees. So, if you are not aware of it then there are chances that you get frostbite.
- Chances of losing the track of paths: All the routes are densely piled up with white snow. You cannot see any distinct tracks. So, there are chances that you might lose track of paths.
- Hurricane wind and wind chill: Sometimes the trekkers might have to fall back as a result of blizzards and hurricane winds while trekking.
Packing List for Everest Base Camp Trek in January
You need to trek for 5-7 hrs per day. So, make sure you wear comfortable and breathable undergarments.
The best base layer sits tightly on the skin reducing the airflow. Wear the best base layer to protect from the wind and cold.
Get the breathable trekking shirts that made from the high-wicking material. And it is also recommended to bring 5-6 trekking shirts.
Warm Trekking Trousers
January is the coldest month of the year. So, make sure you get the most comfortable and warm trekking trousers.
Fleece jackets are the second layer that sits over the base layer. These jackets made from fleece material which are very light-weighted and breathable. Thus, fleece jackets are great for trekking.
Insulated Jacket/ Trousers
The insulated jacket/ trousers are the third layer or outer core layer of your clothing. It is warm and waterproof at the same time which you will use on the upper reaches of your trek.
Headgear must be included in Everest Base Camp Trek in January as it is the sensitive part of the human body.
Sun Protection Hat
Even in January, the temperature in the daytime is quite sunny. So, the sun protection hat is a must to protect your face and neck from the sun.
Beanie or Headband
It starts to get really cold in the late afternoon/ night particularly as you get closer to Everest Base Camp. A warm fleece beanie or fleece headband is absolute musts.
Balaclava or Neckband
Temperatures get really cold and the air is usually very dry in January. Thus, a neck warmer is a highly recommended piece of kit.
Like base layer clothing, inner gloves is the base layer for the hands. So, it is highly suggested to wear light-weight, quick-drying inner gloves made from fleece material.
Wear the outer glove which is super warm, waterproof, and very durable.
Hiking boots are the most important thing while trekking to Everest Base Camp. And make sure your boots are light-to-mid-weight and have high tops for ankle support, rubber soles with deep lugs for good traction.
Trainers or Trekking Shoes
It is also good to take a basic pair of lightweight trainers. So, that you can wear in the teahouses after a long day of trekking.
Socks made from merino wool are great for trekking. As they allow the foot to breathe and can also reuse multiple times. Do not bring cotton socks as they absorb water and will only lead to nasty blisters.
It is also recommended to bring a pair of thermal socks which are super warm and have flat seams.
If you are hiring a guided tour with porters who will be sharing your load then you should bring with you an 80-90L duffle bag. These bags, made of waterproof laminate material which have strong and sturdy zippers. And also have shoulder straps that make it easy to carry.
If you are trekking independently or without a porter then you will need to take a 45-65L backpack. A top opening mountaineer rucksack style is best.
A warm sleeping bag is an absolute must as it can get extremely cold at night. So, it is highly recommended to bring a duck/ goose down sleeping bags. But if you are able to stretch for cash then a synthetic bag will be better.
Equipment and Gears
Good trekking poles will be a great help in your trekking. It will reduce the impact on your knees and other leg joints by up to 20%. This is particularly beneficial when descending as the load on your joints increases. It is good to bring the adjustable light-weight trekking poles that are easy to store, durable, and versatile.
The UV rays are intense at higher altitudes. Please ensure you bring a good pair of 100% UV protection sunglasses (minimum of 80% light reduction).
You will not be trekking at night, but might need a headlamp for the early morning trek to Kala Patthar. Also, many of the lodges are poorly lit. Your headlamp will be a great help to go to the toilet at night or if you want to read after dark.
Other Personal Accessories
- Trekking towel
- Water bottle
- Small locks for bags
- Camera/ video camera
- Portable battery charger
- Water purification tablets
- First aid kit
- General medicines
- Sun creams/ Lip Balms
- Hand sanitizer
- Blister Plasters
Tips to Consider while Trekking to Everest Base Camp Trek in January
- Wear warm clothes to keep yourself warm and avoid the harsh winter cold. You can do this by dressing in layers.
- Proper acclimatization is a must as you climb to higher altitudes. So, make sure you get the proper rest and acclimatization to avoid altitude sickness.
- Drink plenty of water. Water intake also plays a significant role in keeping altitude sickness away.
- Avoid alcohol consumption as alcohol dehydrates your body. And this 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 it is highly suggested to hire a guide or porter while trekking to Everest Base Camp. This is important in case of any misfortunes.
- 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 you time as well as you won’t have to go through the extensive trek.
- There are high chances of getting sunburns quickly. Because of the white snow, 80% of the sun reflects back. Ensure that you apply high SPF sunscreen along with sunglasses to protect your eyes, hat to protect your face and neck.
- 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 the trail can turn difficult and do not assume that the flight will always run on time.
Do tea-houses or lodges remain open in the Everest Region in January?
Yes, it will remain open all year round in the Everest Region. Due to the off-season, there are few trekkers who undertake this trek. So, you will most likely receive better service During this time.
Is it necessary to hire a guide porter while trekking to Everest Base Camp in January?
It is highly suggested to hire guides or porter with you. Trekking in winter is challenging and includes risk because of cold and snow.
The trails can be tricky and challenging 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.
Is travel insurance necessary while trekking in EBC in January?
Yes, travel insurance is a must for the 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 at 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.
And you will need to get it from your home country.
The journey to Everest Base Camp trek in January is tough due to cold and dense snow. Yet, it will be a rewarding and thrilling trek with the mesmerizing view of snow-covered Mount Everest.
With proper preparation and determination, you can successfully complete this EBC trek even in January.
If you love peaceful trails with a little thrill to your trekking then, January is the right month. The Everest Base Camp trek in January will definitely be a lifetime experience for the trekkers.
For further questions or information, don’t hesitate to contact us.