Travelers seems concerned about the Everest Base Camp Trek after April 25th earthquake. The main concern was about the condition of the trail and teahouses along the way. Epicenter of the first earthquake was on the close southwest of Manaslu. The region suffers damage from both first quake of 7.8 magnitudes and its powerful aftershock of 7.3 magnitudes on May 12th.
USGS published a graphical representation of two powerful quakes and the region suffering very strong, strong, and moderate quake intensity. It showed both times Mount Everest had remained almost intact being in moderate quake intensity region.
At the first quake, one of our group was on the second day of their trip. i.e. On their way to Namche Bazaar from Phakding. Guide report somewhere from the middle of the uphill trail to Namche quake happens and luckily no one gets hurt despite of some rock falls. They returned back and after that we had collect possible information from the local hotel operators and local guides from Lukla. This is based on the information collected via telephone call with hotel owner from the trekking trail.
Damages in Jhorsalle after the second earthquake! @ Linley Stevens
As an aftermath of the quake, minor landslides had occurred along the trail. Locals seem quite energetic and fairly quick on clearing the trail. Without much added difficulty trek is doable. Trail from Lukla to entire Khumbu is the major source of locals, who are living there. Average elevation in Khumbu is higher than 3500 m from sea level. People need the trail for daily goods and business. Yak and mules are the major means of transport.
For them trail should be extra clear. And now even the mules and yak are transporting goods to the upper part of the Khumbu. From the mid of September monsoon stops doing its work. More beautiful onward from October!
Within a minute after the second quake May 12th @ Linley Stevens
Do you want to help local from Everest?
Go there on coming October and November for the trip. This is only the great way to support the local economy and helps rebuild Nepal.
Here is brief information about the villages. These villages are a part of major trekking routes in the Everest. Local guides and hotel operators provided most of the information. Few are collected from the secondary source. For any update and correction leave an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Villages in Everest Base Camp Trek After Earthquake
Intensity of damage remains minimal in Lukla. Tenzing Hilary Airport is fully functional. “Entire teahouses are safe for staying in Lukla,” said Dil Thapa Magar who operated Hotel The Nest in Lukla. Also, we are in daily contact with our porters and guides from Lukla. The situation is improving they said.
There are many teahouses on the Phakding. Several of them were damaged by the quake. But still they have plentiful teahouses in Phakding for overnight stay. Suspension bridge remained intact from the both quakes. However the Internet is not working there, but this is not a primary concern. The technicians said it will be active by the mid of September said the cook Bharat from Hotel Beer Garden in Phakding.
Very few trekkers spend a night in Monjo. Especially freelance trekkers spend a night here. This is a good lunch place, though. Teahouses had withstood the first quake. However, many of them collapsed as an aftermath of powerful May 12th aftershock. This is still a good place for the lunch.
It is the last village before Namche. From here to Namche is three hours. Majority of the trail is uphill and the elevation difference is approximately 750 meters. Similar to Monjo very few trekkers spend a night here, either on the way up or down. Several teahouses were damaged, but we are still ready to serve lunch for the trekkers said Bishal from Bishal Restaurant in Monjo.
Stores open in Namche after the first quake @ Linley Stevens
Biggest market and town in Khumbu. Around sixty hotels were operational in Namche. We had consulted with many people who are running a bar and café in Namche. Most of them said they would be fully operational from September. Also the Internet is working here said Ramesh. Ramesh is a guy who operates two hotels in Namche where one is The Nest at Namche and another is The Hotel Everest. Several teahouses were damaged, but the number of teahouses that remained intact is more. There are plentiful of places to stay in Namche. Gyalzen Sherpa, the owner of Café Danphe Bar told that his bar will be operate in a full swing from the upcoming season.
This is a small place with great religious importance. The monastery is the major highlight of the Tengboche. There are only five teahouses in Tengboche. Accommodation used to be a problem in the past. Now, after earthquake three teahouses were damaged. Better not stay in Tengboche, instead head down a little to Debouche. (Secondary Information!)
This is a small hotel area where recently many hotels have been built. In the lap of river it remained intact. You can have a good view of Ama Dablam and our hotel is safe said the owner of the Riven Dell Lodge in Debouche. This teahouse is little expensive comparing other teahouses, but services and food is great. If you are on tight budge, try some others there are plenty of them.
The climber’s village! After Thame Village, Pangboche is the home for many Everest Climbers. This is a big village with a large number of locals residing. Countable teahouses suffered damage from earthquake. Probably less than ten percent of teahouses were damaged here in Pangboche said Mingma Sherpa, who leads trips in Everest and organize peak climbing as well.
We are lucky that our village is intact from this devastating earthquake, and especially we are sorry for operators from Pheriche said Kul Bahadur Tamang. He runs The Sherpa Land Lodge in Dingboche and Annapurna Fast Food Kitchen in Somare. Somare is the lunch place in between Pangboche and Dingboche. There are so far no noticeable damages in Dingboche.
Umesh, manager Hotel Himalaya from Pheriche told us that damage level is high comparing to other villages and hotels in Khumbu. He also told that, it is better to bypass via Dingboche. Maintenance and construction work is ongoing. Hope for their speed recovery!
Good numbers of teahouses exist in Lobuche. Kul Tamang from Dingboche had passed me the contact number of his relatives who is operating Alpine Lodge in Lobuche. I had contacted them and they reported collapse of three hotels in Lobuche. Other are still operational.
End of the road! The last settlement on the way to Everest Base Camp, Gorakshep is located on the small glacial basin. There are four hotels there and they are safe. There is no damages on teahouses said Kami Sherpa, the owner of Snow Land Highest Inn Lodge. Also the area is not congested. There is a big ground next to the hotels Gorakshep.
Teahouses in Khumjung following the first quake @ Linley Stevens
According to the secondary information, Machhermo and Thame faced intense damage. Also Marlung and Lungden face high intensity damage. This arises a question on possibility of Everest Three Pass Trek.
Chukung (Close to Island Peak Base Camp) had remained virtually intact. Kul Bahadur from Dingboche, pioneer in operating Island Peak Climb report us. They also have a big warehouse for climbing gear. They are planning to resume climbing activities from the end of the September.
Everest Base Camp Trek Frequently Asked Questions After Earthquake
What is the possibility of Everest Base Camp Trek after earthquake?
It is possible to trek, Everest Base Camp after earthquake. Expect few visitors and less crowded than usual. Teahouse trek is guaranteed. Also minor peak climbing can be added.
What is the possibility of Everest Three Pass Trek?
Nothing is impossible and the adventure begins out of your comfort zone. The village of Thame, Lungden and Marlung suffered from intense damages after earthquake. Trail is on the good conditions, however itinerary needs revamping to avoid overnight stays in Thame.
What is the possibility of Gokyo Lake Trek?
It is doable. According to the secondary information village of Dole and Machhermo had suffered damage. More damages in Machhermo. To cope with the situation of Machhermo some adjustment is needed on the itinerary. Gokyo remains almost intact from the earthquake. It is possible to make Gokyo in one day starting from Dole.
What is the possibility of Landslides?
Until mid September it is the monsoon in Nepal. However, in the past, there was no occurrences of landslide on the trekking trail of Everest. It is heavily trekked and quite stable trail. From mid of September with dry environment, it should be ok. Chances will be significantly low.
What is the possibility of another earthquake in coming future?
Earthquake can’t be predicted. Aftershock becomes less and weaker as the time pass by from the initial major quake. It will be almost five complete months from the end of September. A chance is very low for another earthquake.
What is the availability on electricity and communication facility?
They depend on solar and local hydropower for the electricity. Hydropower remained intact and there is electricity in Khumbu. Some of the places like Gokyo, Dzongla, and Thangnak depend on solar and they still have electricity. About the communication Internet in Namche and Lukla is working flawlessly. Satellite phone on teahouses are working. There is a good signal on mobile as well on the major portion of the trekking trail.
Also Tourism Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) had sent a team of expert to inspect the trail. A positive report was generated on favor of teahouses trek. Earthquake expert from Japan also states that suspension bridges were ok along the entire trail after inspection on cooperation with TAAN.
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