Mount Everest Advance Base Camp (EABC) not to be confused with Everest Base Camp is approached from Tibet and is the highest that one can go on Everest without a climbing permit. It’s also the world’s highest trek on an established trail. The same route is typically used by climbers attempting to summit who continue on past Advanced Base Camp and follow the North Col and then the Northeast Ridge to the summit. The route has to Mount Everest Advance Base Camp is a challenging but beautiful trek through a stunning mountain landscape.
The journey to EABC starts in Lhasa (11,975ft/ 3,650m) the capital of Tibet where it’s best to spend a few days acclimatizing before heading out towards Everest. Lhasa is amazing destination itself with the majestic Potala Palace, the great three monasteries of Sera, Ganden and Drepung as well as the Barkor Square and Jokhang Temple. It’s 627km by road from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp and the Rongbuk Valley that’s best taken over three days both to enjoy the sights but also to assist in the acclimatization process. A possible itinerary is to spend the first day visiting Yamdrock Lake, a beautiful turquoise lake, before crossing the passes of Kamba La and Karo La which are just both just under (5000m /15500 ft) and have an amazing view of the imposing 7000m+ peak of Nojin Kangtsang. Stop for the day at Gyantse a small village famous for its massive and ancient hilltop fortress. The second day takes you the village of Shigatse, home of the Tashilhunpo Monastery, and onward Babar where you can spend the night and your guide must purchase entrance tickets to the Everest Nature Reserve. It’s only another 122km/70 miles to Rongphu Monastery and the Everest Tent Hotels where you will spend the night. Before reaching Rongphu the road crosses over Pang La Pass (5200m / 17062 ft) offering amazing views of Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyo, Makalu and Shishapangma. Unlike on the Nepal side you can drive right to Everest Base Camp on the Tibet side and its just a couple of miles pass Everest Tent Hotels where trekkers without a permit are required to stay.
A couple of days should be spent in the vicinity of Rongphu Monastery and Everest Base Camp exploring and preparing before the trek to Advance Base Camp. It’s a beautiful location with an imposing view of Everest just up the Rongbuk Valley. Its approximately 22km (12miles) of trekking from Everest Base Camp to Advanced Base Camp but you gain (4300 ft / 1310m) which is substantial at this already high elevation. The trek is usually divided into two days with an intermiddate camp being setup in between the two base camps.
If you have trekked the Everest Base Camp Route in Nepal you will notice that the Tibet side is colder and winder so come prepared. If your desire is just to get our and trek this trip offers substantially less hiking since the actual trekking portion is only 4 or 5 days depending on the itinerary and the rest is spent touring and driving. Keep in mind the culture of Tibet is unique, the scenery is fantastic and the hike up to Advanced Base Camp is certainly challenging so it’s a trip worthy of any bucket list.
The first attempt on Everest via the North Col route was pioneered by Mallory in 1921 who again returned in 1922 and 1924. The 1924 expedition is surrounded with mystery and the debate continues whether George Mallory and Andrew “Sandy” Irvine made it to the summit. If they did they would have beat Hillary and Tenzing by 29 years. New evidence came to light in 1999 when Mallory’s body was located but did not shed any light on the mystery. Irvine’s body has never been found and with it the camera he was carrying which might solve this mystery as it would likely contain pictures of the summit if they made it to the top.
Everest has been climbed by a handful of approaches but the two most popular are the South Col (Nepal) and North Col (Tibet) routes. The North Col route was off limits to foreigners between 1950 and 1980 but has become increasingly popular for climbers since it was reopened in 1980 due in part due to the lower cost of obtaining a climbing permit. In fact, the North Col Route is now almost equally as popular as the South Col route but has a slightly higher number of independent climbers as well as fatalities. Records from Ms. Hawley who maintains the Himalayan database show that 2455 of total