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Everest in Winter: Can I Climb, Trek, or Visit Everest in Nov., Dec., Jan., and Feb.?

Traveling to Mount Everest is a dream for many tourists coming to Tibet, and while most take this journey during the milder seasons, visiting Everest in winter offers a unique and breathtaking experience.

Fewer tourists, stunning snow landscapes, and cheaper tour costs make this an ideal winter tour in Tibet. However, the cold temperature and strong winds in winter require your journey to be well prepared, especially if you plan to trek or climb Mount Everest in winter.

Here, we offer valuable tips for planning a winter trip to Everest Base Camp, ensuring you are well-prepared for an extraordinary Everest adventure in winter.

What is Mount Everest like in winter?

From the Tibetan side, when winter brings snow, the scenery on Mount Everest changes to one of a pristine white wonderland. Under the clear sky, the already majestic peak looks more vivid and appears closer to the base camp.

Visit Tibet Everest Base Camp in winterVisit Tibet Everest Base Camp in winter.

On the way to the base camp, especially at the Gawula Pass, you can enjoy breathtaking winter views of Mount Everest and surrounding Himalayan peaks. Also, the stark contrast between the white snow and the dark roads creates dramatic and visually striking scenery.

If you are lucky to meet the sunset or sunrise, you will be amazed by the stunning view with the light casting a warm, golden glow over the icy landscapes.

Mount Everest Weather and Climate in Winter

The weather and temperature of Mount Everest are extremely cold in winter. However, the temperature at Everest Base Camp at 5,000 meters above sea level is not as harsh as the weather at the summit.

Generally, the temperature of Everest Base Camp is between -22℃ and -5℃ from November to February. The weather is mainly sunny and snowy. The low temperature is accompanied by strong winds. While keeping warm, you should also pay attention to preventing dry weather during your daytime visit to the base camp.

At night, the temperature around the base camp can drop as low as minus fifteen degrees, and with wind speeds of more than 14 kilometers per hour, this temperature can seem much colder. Due to the freezing weather in winter, tent hotels at Everest Base Camp are all closed in winter. Instead, you can spend the night at the newly renovated Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse or live in a local village near Everest Base Camp.

Visit Tibet Everest Base Camp in Rongbuk Monastery GuesthouseThe newly renovated Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse at Everest Base Camp

Travel Tips:
The best times to visit Everest Base Camp are April, May, September, and October when the temperatures are pleasant and rainfall is minimal. During these months, you can enjoy clear views of the mountain peaks and stay at the tent hotels to catch the sunrise early in the morning.

Is It Possible to Climb Everest in Winter? Yes, but Extremely Challenging and Dangerous.

Yes, it is possible to climb Mount Everest in winter, but it presents extreme challenges and dangers. The harsh winter weather includes freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, and powerful winds, making the climb much more difficult and perilous than in other seasons. The thin atmosphere at such a high-altitude area becomes even less hospitable in winter, making the physical demands on climbers much greater. That’s why only a few climbers have successfully reached the summit of Everest in winter.

For most mountaineers, the best times for climbing Everest are April, May, September, and October. During these months, the weather conditions are more favorable, with milder temperatures and more stable weather patterns. These periods fall just before and after the summer monsoon season, providing a window where climbers have a better chance of reaching the summit safely.

Can I trek Everest in winter? Be Cautious from December to Early February

The climate in Everest trekking areas remains suitable from late October to early December. However, trekking Everest in January and February is not recommended because of the freezing weather in the coldest months of the year.

Trek from Old Tingri to EBCOur clients have successfully trekked from Old Tingri to EBC in early November.

If you plan to take an Everest trek in Tibet in winter, it’s crucial to check the weather in advance and make thorough preparations to withstand the harsh, cold conditions of the mountainous terrain.

The trek to EBC from Old Tingri may not be the most demanding trek in Tibet, but the winter does make it more physically demanding than in the summer months. The trek is 70 kilometers over some of the most inhospitable landscapes in Tibet during the winter, and the area is mostly uninhabited with the exception of a few small local settlements. You should also be aware that nights are well below freezing, and care should be taken to remain warm during the night with good arctic sleeping bags and windproof tents.

Feel free to contact our local travel consultant for more details about Everest trekking in winter.

Travel from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp: The Best Winter Option

If you are planning to visit Mount Everest in winter, then the Everest Base Camp tour is the best choice for you, which can be done throughout the year and offers a completely different experience in winter.

You will appreciate a much more spectacular landscape along the way from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp. The turquoise Yamdrok Lake turns to freeze over with an icy coating. The snow-covered mountains surrounding the lake enhance the color of the water, creating a scenery that is even more majestic.

Yamdrok Lake in winterThe frozen Yamdrok Lake in winter

Gyantse and Shigatse are also a little different in winter. With fewer tourists, these cities have returned to their natural tranquility. Against the backdrop of clear blue skies, the ancient stupas and the majestic Tashilhunpo Monastery appear even more striking.

The Everest Base Camp itself changes as well. Gone are the dusty roads and rough terrain, and in its place, a stunning white blanket that covers the entire base camp. Few footprints disturb the snow, as few people come here in winter. It is as if a man has never set foot in this new ethereal land. While everyone else is telling of how they visited Everest Base Camp in the bright summer sun, you get to boast about how you built a snowman at Everest Base Camp.

Visit Everest Base Camp in Winter at the Best Price of the Year

In winter, the cost of an Everest Base Camp tour is at its lowest of the year, about 200 USD less than during peak season. There are many discounts on flights, hotels, and even entrance tickets to many attractions in Tibet. These savings can significantly reduce your overall expenses, allowing you to enjoy a travel experience that exceeds your expectations.

Dining and Accommodation Options for Visiting Everest in Winter are Limited

Generally, the tent hotels at the Base Camp are closed from the end of October until mid-April. During the winter months, you can stay at the Rongbuk Monastery guesthouse or opt to spend a night in a local village at a lower altitude near the base camp, such as Tashizong Village. Local guesthouses typically offer shared dormitory beds, and no showers or private toilets are available.

For dining, you can order simple food like fried rice, noodles, or some other traditional Tibetan foods. A sip of hot Tibetan butter tea on a cold winter day can be especially rejuvenating and give you energy.

Warm Guest House for Everest TourEnjoy a hot drink at a local guesthouse when you visit Everest Base Camp in Tibet.

Packing Tips for the Tibet Everest Tour in Winter

First and foremost, you need to keep warm if you are planning to visit Everest Base Camp in winter.

Layers are still the best way to stay warm in winter, but you should add a good thick jacket for the colder weather around EBC. Down-filled thermal jackets, like those used in Europe and the United States when skiing in the winter, are ideal for staying warm in Tibet in winter. Thick fleece jackets are also good for staying warm.

Jeans are not a good idea in the winter, as trudging through snow can get them a little wet, making them heavy and uncomfortable. Instead, go for trekking pants or thick cotton pants with long thermal underwear to wear underneath, as getting too cold in your extremities can be dangerous.

Keep Warm when Visit Everest Base Camp in WinterKeep Warm when Visit Everest Base Camp in Winter

A woolen hat or fleece cap is much better in the winter, as it can keep your head warm. Most of the heat loss from the body in cold weather is lost through the scalp. Gloves are also an essential item in winter, to keep your hands from getting cold. Lined Gore-Tex is the best option, though any form of thermal glove will do. Boots should be lined and warm, and thick socks are a great way to keep your feet warm. Make sure the boots are waterproof, or your socks will get wet and leave your feet open to frostbite.

Taking a Tibet winter tour to Mount Everest does not mean you can forego the sun cream, though. Even in the winter, the increased altitude can mean the sun is strong enough to easily burn your skin. It's essential to use a good SPF 30 sun cream, wear sunglasses to protect against the glare from the snow and apply lip balm to prevent chapping from the wind.

Conclusion

Mount Everest is always one of the most popular destinations for Tibet tours. Although the temperature is cold and freezing in the mountain area, it is NOT a big deal for ordinary sightseeing to the Everest Base Camp in winter. You can still visit Everest base camp in winter and enjoy the stunning snow scenery by joining our group tour or customize a private trip to explore Everest at your own pace.

However, for more professional activities such as mountain climbing and trekking on Everest, the cold temperatures and strong winds at such high altitudes make everything significantly more dangerous and challenging. We highly recommend waiting for spring or autumn to ensure a better and safer experience when visiting Mount Everest in Tibet.

Master Kungga Dundruk

About the Author - Master Kungga Dundruk

Kungga Dundruk, often respectfully referred to as “Manager Kunga”, is the most revered and legendary Tibetan guide in our team.

Currently working as a customer service manager in Lhasa, Kunga used to study business overseas and got his Bachelor of Business in Nepal and India before moving back to his homeland. With pure passion for life and unlimited love for Tibet, Kunga started his guide career as early as 1997.

As a legendary Tibetan guide with 22 years of guide experience, Kunga was awarded the Gold Medalist of China’s Best Tour Guide in 2019, marking the pinnacle of his career. Today, Kunga loves sharing his wealth of Tibetan knowledge through travel articles and stands ready to offer prompt support whenever our guests need help in Lhasa.

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