Nepal is no longer an autumn destination. You can trek to the highest mountains of the Earth in almost any season. Summer is one of the finest seasons of all for outdoor adventures.
And, Everest Base Camp trek in May is a simply awesome experience. If you are a summer person, May guarantees warm weather, lush green forests, and wildflowers along the trail to Everest Base Camp.
Gone are the days when you had to wait till September/October to plan a trek to Mount Everest. The Himalayas is now ready to welcome guests throughout the year. Tourism business runs as usual even in winter or summer months. Summer is one of the safest times to trek due to weather conditions.
The warm weather of May invites mountaineers to ascend to the highest peaks including Mount Everest. Trekking to the base camps of all mountains is equally feasible for a trek. Even if you have already trekked one of the popular routes before, trekking in summer promises a fresh look beautifully painted by the summer.
Summer peaks high in May with hot and humid weather in the low altitudes. However, high altitudes are warm and cool. This is also the pre-monsoon period. So, you can expect some brief rainfall with the thunderstorm. However, the views of the mountains are usually clear. The pre-monsoon clouds can add a bit of drama to the mountain weather.
May is also one of the months for the Everest Marathon. You can join this adventurous marathon starting from Everest Base camp if you have been dreaming of trail running. It was in May when the Everest was summitted for the first time.
Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek in May
- Warm and sunny weather of summer makes high altitude trekking easy and enjoyable. High altitude activities are fun when you do not have to worry about the weather. May has a lot of greenery in the mountains which means more oxygen and less chance of altitude sickness.
- In the summer, there are some chances of pre-monsoon rains. However, the surrounding will quickly clear offering clean and crisp mountain views. Brief clouds create a dramatic atmosphere in the mountains creating beautiful photo opportunities.
- Major highlights of the Everest regions like Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumori, Amadablam, Thamserku, Cholatse, Island peak, Lobuche peaks are visible. As the snow line recedes higher, lower areas are lush green creating a beautiful contrast.
- You can participate in the increasingly popular trail running Everest Marathon competition. Runners across the world participate in this annual marathon. Who knows, the trophy for the coming season is written in your name!
- May is one of the flowering seasons in mountains. Variety of Rhododendron flower cover the forests of Everest National Park. Mountain slopes, meadows, and forests are green and covered with wildflowers, unlike in Autumn.
Weather During Everest Base Camp Trek in May
Even the high altitudes are warmer during May. The day time remains sunny and warm. So, expedition teams prefer summer to climb the peaks.
Up to the altitude of 2000 meters, the daytime temperature is higher than 22 degree Celsius (71 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature during the night at these altitudes is around 7 degrees Celcius (45 degrees Fahrenheit). Usually, the temperature does not go below freezing even in high altitudes.
Since May overlaps between spring and rainy season, weather is sometimes unpredictable at the higher elevation. May marks warm, vivid and sunny weather with brighter and longer days opening majestic views of the mountain. Average wind speed is 15 Km/h so you can even camp out under the stars.
Weather is conventionally warm and dry with least chances of rainfall in early May. Usually, the weather remains stable with low precipitation. So, you will get to enjoy the clearest views during this time of the year. However, there are some chances of showers in mid and late May. Brief rainfall with thunderstorm can occasionally obstruct the views.
However, higher altitudes can still get colder. There are fair chances of rain, thunderstorm, hailstorm and snow in high altitudes. So, warm clothes, waterproof shoe, rain cover for backpacks and raincoats are required.
High passes and base camps remain cold throughout the year with the cold wind blowing. We recommend you not to skip your warm clothes even though the winter is gone further north.
Alternative routes to Everest Base Camp Trek in May
Summer being one of the best times of the year to trek, you can try more routes than the most popular trail to Everest Base Camp. Depending on your time availability and fitness, you can choose one of the following routes or combine one or more of them. Each of these routes takes you to Everest Base Camp.
Table of Contents
Three passes trek
EverestThree Pass Trekking is one of the most challenging and adventurous routes in the Everest region. It involves three high passes as the name suggests and couple more points over 5000 meters. If you wish your next trek to be the most strenuous and touching the skies, this is the best route for you.
Three passes in this route are Kongma La pass (5,535 meters), Cho La pass (5,360 meters) and Renjo La pass (5,385 meters). To make through these passes, you need a good level of fitness and some pre-trek physical preparations.
Remember to acclimate well for this trek. It is recommended to go with a guide in this challenging route than daring to go solo.
Three passes trek is an ultimate trek of a lifetime. It is both challenging and magically beautiful. You will tick a multiple bucket list when you complete this single trek.
Gokyo- Cho La – Everest Base Camp Trek
If three high passes are too much to imagine, you can easily skip one or two and still have a close experience. The trek to Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Cho La Pass is unique, beautiful and less strenuous than the three passes trek. It is still challenging, adventurous and beautiful.
Trekking to Gokyo lakes and surrounding area is magical. You will make to Everest Base Camp via Cho La pass (5,420 meters). You will not miss any highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek like Kalapathar (5,400 meters), Khumjung village and Gokyo Peak (5,360 meters).
Gokyo-Renjo La Pass Trekking
If you want to conquer more than one high pass and do not want to strain yourself with three passes, you can choose this two-pass trek. Gokyo-Renjo La pass trekking is easier than crossing three passes, yet, with similar experiences.
The adventure lovers and high altitude junkeis will absolutely love it while an average trekker can also easily make this trek possible with some additional efforts.
You will cross two of three high passes, Cho-La pass, and Renjo La pass and miss the most difficult one – Kongma La Pass.
This is no less beautiful than the tree pass trek. And, you do not have to strain your body by crossing all three highest trekking passes.
These alternative routes are less crowded than the regular route to Everest Base Camp. If you have that adventurous soul lifting legs to ascend higher, these routes will be perfect for you in May. And, if you have already made to Everest Base Camp through regular route, why not challenge yourself with more thrilling trek this summer?
Packing for Everest Base Camp Trek in May
You will not need as many warm clothes like trekking in Autumn and Winter. However, high altitudes and high passes are cold. Night time temperature is still cold. The basics of keeping your body safe and warm are dressing in layers. Although daytime is warm and sweaty, while you trek you need to prepare for cold morning and evenings.
You may pack the following for your EBC trek in May:
- Warm jackets and fleece for nights and early mornings.
- Strong waterproof shoes.
- Rain jacket, rain cover, and a windproof jacket.
- Quick drying and light clothes
- Trekking shirts short sleeve
- Trekking pants convertible to shorts
- Down jacket
- Warm hat
- Headlamp with extra batteries,
- Sleeping bag
- Sunglasses ( UV protection )
- Diamox – for altitude sickness
- Vicks vapor rub
- Diarrhea medicine
- Nasal moisturizer
- Your prescribed medicines
- Anti-bug sprays and ointments
- Foot powder
- Toilet paper
- Microfiber towel
Tips for Everest Base Camp Trek in May
- Dress up in layers. Nights in high altitude still gets cold. Dressing up in layers protects you when the weather gets worse than you expect. Read more about clothings for trekking
- Trekking in May can get sweaty due to hot and humid weather. So, pack light and airy clothes.
- Put on waterproof hiking shoes. It protects your feet from getting wet while walking immediately after rain or over trails with flowing water.
- Take precautions if you are allergic to pollens. May is a flowering season.
- To protect yourself and your gear, carry a rain jacket, poncho, or an umbrella
- You lose a lot of body fluids through sweat. Drink plenty of water. This helps you also with acclimatization.
- Start trekking early in the morning and avoid midday sun.
- Always carry sunscreen and sunglasses
- Purchase travel insurance.
- Hire an experienced, professional and licensed guide.
- Prepare your trek in advance with simple work out. Read more about pre-trek training or contact us for guidance.
- Carry insect repellents.