Last Update May 25,2015: We have been getting lots of questions about the upcoming trekking season and the condition of the trail and teahouses along the Everest Base Camp Trek after the earthquake. That good news is that all the treks scheduled for next season September to November 2015 are going. The region did experience damage from both earthquakes (the 7.8 on April 24th and the 7.3 on May 12th), but the trail is in good shape and most the teahouses will be operational for the upcoming season. I got a firsthand look at the region after the first earthquake and several of our clients were trekking at the time of the second quake. This report is based on my observations, that of our guides living in the Khumbu and those of several clients who were on the trek after the second quake.
Several minor landslides have crossed the trail but the locals have been fairly quick to engineer alternative routes and the entire Everest Trek is currently passable without much added difficulty (conditions should continue to improve as the locals have more time to work on the trail). Many people live in the Khumbu and the trail to Everest is their only means to transport goods and conduct commerce so it’s important that it stay open and that it’s passable not just by porters but also by yaks and donkeys carrying supplies.
One of the biggest concerns of locals is the upcoming tourist season and whether visitors will come. One of the motivations behind this blog post is to create an accurate picture of conditions along the trail and dispel any potential concerns that visitors might have. If you are considering a trek the upcoming season is a good time to go and it’s a great way to support the local economy and help everyone get back on their feet and rebuild.
Here is a brief run-down village by village of the situation following the second earthquake. Some of this data is based on second hand information so if any one has any updates or corrections please email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can keep this updated.
Everest Trek Base Camp Trek Status Report (Updated May 25, 2015);
Lukla – The good news is that Lukla suffered minimal damage. The airstrip is fully functional and even the internet is working.
Phakding – Several tea houses were damaged in Phakding but there are still plenty of places to stay. The internet is not currently working but it might be by September.
Monjo – Numerous tea houses were damaged in Monjo mostly by the second earthquake. This is not an overnight stop and it might still be a good place to take lunch.
Jorsale – Several tea houses were damaged.
Namche – Several tea houses were damaged but there are still plenty of places to stay. The internet is not currently working but it might be by September.
Tengboche– Three tea houses were damaged and it might be better to continue another 30 minutes to Deboche which had virtually no damage.
Deboche – This small village had virtually no damage.
Pangboche – Five of the tea houses were damaged.
Dingboche – This small village had virtually no damage.
Periche – Lots of damage. Almost every house in Periche had considerable damage.
Lobuche – Three tea houses were damaged, but several are still in good condition.
Gorak Shep – This small village had virtually no damage.
Gokyo Trek Status Report (Updated May 21, 2015);
Phorse – Several tea houses were damaged.
Machhermo – Most of the tea houses were damaged and adjustments probably need to made to itineraries to account for this.
Gokyo – This small village had virtually no damage.
Dole – Some tea house was Damage.
Three Passes Trek Status Report (Updated May 21, 2015);
Thame – Extensive damage and adjustments probably need to be made to itineraries to account for this.
Marlung – Several tea houses were damaged.
Lungden – Several tea houses were damaged.
Thaknak – This small village had virtually no damage.
Dzongla – One tea house was damaged.
Chukhung – This small village had virtually no damage.
Day Hiking around Namche (Updated May 21, 2015);
Khunde – Many of the tea houses were damaged but several places left to stay.
Khumjung – Many of the tea houses were damaged but several places left to stay.
Most asked questions after the earthquake.
Is it possible to trek to Everest Base Camp Trek after the Earthquake?
Yes. This upcoming trekking season in 2015 and 2016 should be good times for trekking. Not as many visitors are expected and crowds should be less than normal. Some adjustments might be need to made in the standard stopping point to bypass the most damaged villages, but this should not have an impact on the overall experience.
Is it possible to trek the Three Passes after the Earthquake?
The Three Passes Trail is in some good condition although some adjustments will need to be made to standard itineraries to adjust for the damage in Thame.
Is it possible to trek to make the Gokyo Trek after the Earthquake?
Yes. The Gokyo Trek is in good condition. Some adjustments might need to be made to itienaries to account for damage in Machhermo and Dole.
Does the Everest Region still have electricity?
Yes. The Everest Region depends primarily on hydropower and solar power and this infrastructure remains intact.
What is the danger of landslides?
Some danger might exist in June as the monsoon rain starts. Although with drier conditions in September things should be back to normal.
What is the danger of another earthquake?
The change of another earthquake is slight. The probability of aftershocks will likely follow Omori’s law, a widely used empirical decay law for aftershocks. The principle in general states that aftershocks become increasingly less likely and weaker as the amount of time from the initial earthquake increases.
Is the internet still working in the Everest Region?
Its working in Namche and Lukla at the time of this report.
How can I help those impacted by the Earthquake in the Everest Region?
You can help us with our crowd raising campaign (see more) to support earthquake relief. Most important you can help by coming to Nepal and keeping the economy going in a region that is very dependent on tourism.