Why start my trek from Jiri?
A Sense of Accomplishment:
-Starting and completing the EBC trek from Jiri gives you a great sense of accomplishment and allowed us to challenge our mental and physical limits. In addition, the people and villages along the way stay with you long after you leave the trail. It's truly life altering
-The low cost: You will spend as little as 800-1000 Rs per day per person from Jiri to Lukla route. From Lukla and above you are going to spend at least 3000-4000 Rs per person/per day, although if frugal can spend a bit less..
-The Camaraderie: Although trekkers are friendly above Lukla we felt that fellow travelers were more willing to talk and share stories in the lower route. Perhaps it's the low numbers of trekkers or lack of large groups that "take over" lodges, but we made friendships on the lower route that will last a lifetime.
The Nepali People & Villages:
-The villagers & lodge owners/staff we met on the trek from Jiri-Lukla were gracious, friendly, and extraordinarily hospitable.
-You will be treated to incredible hospitality and the best food on the entire trek. Many of the dishes they can make you are regional specialties grown from backyard gardens and not on menus above Lukla.
-You will be contributing to the village economy and providing much needed income to local families.
-You will get insight into Sherpa, Rai, Tamang, Thakali, & Gurung culture and daily life.
-You will not have to deal with the crowds that can appear on the EBC trek above Lukla & Namche Bazaar
-Ignore any guidebooks that tell you the views from the Jiri-Lukla section are not worth the time. The views (seen in pictures to the left) are absolutely spectacular and give you a sharp contrast to the giant high alpine scenery above Namche Bazaar.
-Starting at 1950 meters (6200 ft) in Jiri you climb as high as 3530 meters (11, 581 ft) at the Lamjura Pass, which is the highest point of the lower route until you reach the village of Khumjung, slightly above Namche Bazaar.
-You will be surrounded by greenery and a high jungle landscape and climate. Many of the houses and villages farm on terraced fields growing Cardamon, Bananas in the lower elevations and millet, rice, potatoes and other Fall/Winter crops in the high elevations.
-Although challenging and at times a slog, trekking from Jiri will allow for proper acclimatization for the higher elevations. We met lot's of trekkers flying into Lukla that were in excellent shape but did not properly acclimatize and could not make it past 5000 metes.
-Hiking from Jiri will get you in amazing shape and allow you to properly acclimitize as you will ascend nearly 8000 meters and descend around 6800 meters by the time you reach Namche Bazaar. The trail often takes the "Nepali Way" (shortest way between two points no matter how steep) cutting across several valley's and mountain ranges so make sure to bring trekking poles to alleviate pressure on your knees.