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The Road Conditions to Mt Everest Base Camp Tibet

Last Update: March 25, 2020

The road conditions to Everest Base Camp have been greatly improved along with the boost of tourism in Tibet in recent years. Since many tourists come for an Everest Base Camp tour, road to Everest has been reconstructed to welcome visiting guests. Mt. Everest road is the only way to connect the Mt. Everest Base Camp in China side of the peak; along the road, you could see beautiful natural landscapes and rich cultural heritages as well as many religious monasteries.

The road section crossing part of Mt.EverestThe road section crossing part of Mt.Everest

The present day Mt Everest road

Mt Everest Road was reconstructed in the middle of 2015 as more and more tourists come to Tibet for an Everest Base Camp tour. The previous “washboard road” was replaced by flat asphalt road. The newly renovated Mt Everest road connects the whole distance from the holy city Lhasa to Mt Everest Base Camp. It crosses many mountain passes more than 5000 meters above the sea level; along the road, tourists could have a panoramic view of five mountain peaks over 8000 meters above the sea level including Mt. Gosainthan, Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt. Makalu and the Lhotse. At present, it just needs two hours’ car ride from Tingri county to Mt Everest Base Camp.

Everest RoadEverest Road

Upon the completion of the renovation of the road, cars could drive directly to EBC; this makes a big difference between climbing Everest from the north side versus the south side. Here in Tibet, cars could go directly to EBC with much convenience while at Nepal side it takes a lot more days to trek to EBC.

Road section from Tingri to EBC

The main detail of the road from Tingri to EBC is like this. From the starting point at Tingri for about seven kilometers, there is a border check-post, and then travel for 8 kilometers you will see a ticket barrier. (Tourists must buy ticket in Tingri town, for each car including a driver the fare is 400RMB and 180RMB for each passenger). Then you will uphill for 17 Kilometers to Jiawula Mountain Pass followed by 23 kilometers’ downhill road. The route followed becomes flatter for the next 55kilometers and then you finally arrive at the Everest Base Camp.

Road conditions from Tingri to EBCRoad conditions from Tingri to EBC

Along the Everest road at Zhaxizong village, the closest village to the EBC, has built tourism complex that formally started operation since 2015. It provides local Tibetans and tourists medical support, ticket information, tourists’ service, logistics and entertainment so as to better help locals and tourists both from home and abroad.

Road condition at Zhaxizong village near EBCRoad condition at Zhaxizong village near EBC

Changes made to the old Everest road

The main changes made to the former Everest road in 2015 are that the road base was broadened and guard rails were built to protect the drivers and the walkers in case of rainy days. The new road is also a renovation of the old one as the surface of the old “washboard” were flattened and broadened. This will not bring any harm to the surrounding environment, but instead it would protect the environment. The renovation is a great engineering feat in many people’s eyes when considering the harsh geographic conditions for constructions.

Praises on the new Everest road

"If this path were located at some other parts of the world, it must make the best section for road bicycle race you could ever imagine” said Adrian Ballinger, a tourist received by Tibet Vista. He is a mountaineer from California. “As a path to Mt Everest Base Camp, it is the coolest path I have ever seen”, he added.

A big turn in Everest RoadA big turn in Everest Road

Mt Everest road at former times

To better improve the living conditions of the local people and help tourists have a tour around Mt Everest and its surrounding areas, a level-four highway was built under the instruction of Tibet government in 1978. The first Everest road lasts only 110 kilometers with a width of 3.5 meters. It starts from No.319 Sino-Nepal national road and ends at the Mt Everest Base Camp (EBC). The road was thus named as Mt Everest Road. The path surface was made with gravels and pebbles and is very irregular, so the road is also ribbed as “washboard road”.

 Everest Road conditions at former timesEverest Road conditions at former times

Upon the completion of the road in 1978 to 2015, because of the harsh geographical conditions, the road was often frozen in winter and eroded by rains in summer. It is seldom carefully maintained so the road condition is not very ideal to some tourists. There are totally 170 big turns and twists along the road making it unsafe for both driving and walking.

Join our team and have a nice EBC tour

Now the road condition to EBC Tibet is easy and convenient. You can arrive at the camp simply by car or SUV or by bus provided by our travel agency. Join our EBC program and you will surely reap an unforgettable tour. Among our customized tour programs there is always one that you will find fit for you most. For more information please click Exploration to Everest Base Camp.

Information on driving to EBC

There are generally 3 types of vehicles we often use in Tibet:

a. Bus tour to Everest
Tourist buses in Tibet normally have 19-28 seats. Based on the tourist number we will arrange the bus for group tour for size of 9-22 Pax. Bus Tour vs 4WD Car the price for the tourist bus group is cheaper than the 4wd cars. Yet, it takes longer time to reach EBC than the 4wd because tour bus is slower than the 4wd and on the bus are more people. Besides, from new Tingri to the Rongbuk monastery there are about 100 km, all the road condition is very bad, so that’s why it will took longer time than the 4WD. As to the heating in the bus , it is not very effective because of big space in the bus.

b. Minivan tour to Everest
There are 7-14 seats in the car. Base on the tourist number we will arrange the minivan for group tour for size of 5-8 Pax. Starting from April to November you can choose this kind of vehicle. And about the price of the minivan tour it is between the 4wd and the bus because of its smaller group size. And the heating system is more batter than the bus.

c. 4WD tour to Everest
Most 4WDs in Tibet are perfect vehicles for Tibet plateau environment, no matter how bumpy the road is and how high the elevation is, it works very well. A 4WD can offer 4 seats for travelers at most. The 4WD Tour is normally much more expensive than bus tour in Tibet. And the heating systems can work when outside is very cold. In winter time (from mid November), only 4WDs are able to go to Everest Base Camp.

What to pack for an EBC tour

Permits and certificates
There are certain permits and certificates needed for travelling to EBC and you should get them before you travel to EBC. Take your ID card, Tibet Entry Permit, Aliens’ Travel Permit and Mountaineering License issued by the Tibet Mountaineering Association. They are very important and without them, you will not be allowed to travel to EBC.

Clothes and shoes
A down coat is necessary even in summer when you travel to EBC. If you travel to EBC during summer, you will need to take both summer clothes and winter clothes. As the altitude of EBC is above 5000m, it is cold even in summer. And some windbreaker and sweater can be quite good as well. But, it is not so cold before getting to EBC, so you will need some thin clothes too, and they should be able to absorb sweat well so as to avoid getting cold. As for the shoes, it’s very important to have a pair of strong and comfortable boots. Lightweight boots are fine and you should make sure your shoes fit well and can work well in cold or puddles.

Drugs and equipment
Take an adequate supply of any prescription medication you use regularly, including medicine for cold, headache, stomach ache, and insect bite, diarrhea, high altitude sickness and so on, and you can ask doctors for advice. Take some oxygen bags in case you don’t feel well at EBC. Take a light down-filled sleeping bag as it can be very cold at night.

Food and drinks
Take some high-calory snacks such as chocolates and dried beef meet. They may help you feel better at high altitude. You are also recommended to take some drinking water and bottled mineral water is quite good. Water purification tablets can be useful during trekking if you would like to trek to EBC.

Skin protection and others
Sunglasses and sun cream are necessary for the solar radiation is quite strong in the high altitude. And sunglasses can also protect your eyes from the white snow covered on Mount Everest. Don’t forget to take a camera, enough films or a large memory card and some spare batteries. You will love the scenery on the highest mountain and I believe your camera can be very busy all along the way to EBC.

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