Most travelers choose to trek to Everest Base Camp between September and November, when there are clear skies and great Himalayan views. After November is considered the off-season as temperatures get cold and there are high chances of snow. However, if you want to avoid the crowds of peak season and ensure good weather, doing the Everest Base Camp Trek in December is ideal.
In December 2017 I spent several weeks in the Solokhumbu region. Even though many hotels were already closed due to the decreasing traveler numbers, enough were open through the winter to accommodate tourists. Moreover, the chances of getting a seat on the flight to Lukla are much higher in December than in the middle of the tourist season. I had been unable to get a flight in October but did so easily in December.
Despite December being low season I was very surprised by how many people were still on the trail to Everest Base Camp. The skies were clear most of the time, and it only got really cold at higher places along the trail. I was coldest when making my way to Everest Base Camp from Lobuche before sunrise, when my water entirely froze, and only melted again after the sun came out.
Another perk of waiting until December is that accommodation can be found easily. From my conversations with travelers, guides and porters, everyone was pleased at how easily rooms were available compared to the previous months. The guides and porters were extra delighted as they were able to sleep in proper rooms, rather than in dining halls or even outside.
I felt that I was able to enjoy the wilderness and what the Himalayas have to offer in an intimate manner by traveling in December. When I was at Everest Base Camp and at the peak of Kalapatthar, I was the only one around for almost an hour. I could hear nothing but the sound of the wind blowing and the Khumbu Glacier shifting beneath my feet. Guides said that this is one of the best times to go to Everest Base Camp if you are looking for some quiet time. One even compared the scene in Gorak Shep during October to that of Kumbh Mela, the biggest religious festival in the world held in India, which attracts millions of pilgrims.
While the Everest Base Camp Trek in December is a great idea, the nearby Three Passes Trek is more treacherous at this time. People consistently warned me not to attempt any of the passes due to the bad weather and the lack of visibility on the trails.
Article by Shubham