- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
If your ambition is to walk amongst the highest, most majestic mountains on earth then this is the trek for you. The Everest area of Nepal is famous due to the exploits of mountaineers such as Hillary, Tenzing, Bonnington, Messner and Macartney-Snape.
The Sherpa people who inhabit Khumbu, as the area is called, are well-known for their cheerful hospitality. This trek visits their villages and monasteries and provides a wonderful opportunity for cultural interaction. The 5545m “hill” of Kala Pattar, is the highest point of the trek. You’ll stand in awe, inspired by breathtaking beauty. Mt Everest and a host of Himalayan giants will surround you in a 360 degree panorama that you’ll never forget. The following day, we plan to trek to Everest Base Camp. The views from here up the rugged Khumbu Icefall are simply awe-inspiring.
Meals included as indicated: B – Breakfast, D – Dinner
Day 1If arriving in Kathmandu today, we will be met on arrival and transferred to the Holy Himalaya Hotel. After hotel check-in, the trek leader will take us on a short orientation walk in the area around the hotel. In the evening, we will have a group dinner in a nearby restaurant. (D)
Day 2Time to walk through the old city and visit the famous temple complex of Durbar Square, or hire a taxi and visit the other cities in the Kathmandu Valley, Patan and Bhaktapur. A pre-trek briefing will be held in our hotel at 4.00pm. (B)
Day 3(35mins flying time, 3hrs walking) We begin the trek with a short but spectacular flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2,860m). The view from the aircraft gives us a tantalising taste of things to come. The flight path follows the length of the Himalaya from Kathmandu to Khumbu, an awe-inspiring display of snow peaks spread out before us. After landing at Lukla the trek begins. We have two easy, leisurely days walking a wide, well-graded trail along the Dudh Kosi Valley. Our lodge tonight is in the large Sherpa village of Phakdingma. (B)
Day 4(3hrs plus additional 3hrs acclimatisation walk) We pass many porters and yaks carrying local trade goods and expedition equipment. Numerous rest stops are taken to soak in the atmosphere of the villages along the trail. The pine and rhododendron forests that surround the trail provide cooling shade. We arrive in Monjo before lunch. After lunch, we’ll do our first acclimatisation walk. Our aim is to ascend to an altitude that approximates the same altitude above sea level as our next day’s overnight stop, thus allowing us to be acclimatised to that altitude. Ascend very slowly for about 2hrs to reach a high vantage point that gives us a spectacular view of Mt. Kusum Kanguru. Descend for an hour back to Monjo.
NAMCHE BAZAAR 3440m
Day 5(3hrs trekking) Today we reach Namche Bazaar, the largest Sherpa village in the Khumbu area. The trail follows the Dudh Koshi (the river that drains from Mt Everest) crossing three suspension bridges followed by a steep, arduous climb to Namche. Namche has many lodges, a bank, a post office, bakeries (serving great coffee and famous Namche apple pie), a dental clinic, internet cafes and many shops selling local goods, tourist souvenirs and trekking clothing and equipment. Our lodge is above the village and is a short walk from the National Park headquarters and museum.
ACCLIMATISATION DAY IN NAMCHE BAZAAR
Day 6Today is used to help us acclimatise for the higher altitudes. We set out on a half-day trek to visit the Everest View Hotel (3880m), set high on a ridge, for stunning panoramic views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and other majestic peaks. From Namche onward, the trek becomes a true mountain experience combined with a fascinating insight into Sherpa life and culture.
Day 7(5hrs trekking) The trail ascends steeply past the last houses of Namche then traverses high above the Dudh Kosi Valley. We get impressive mountain views along this section of trail before descending to a bridge that crosses the Dudh Kosi at the village of Phunki Tenga. A dusty trail winds up through alpine forest to a large clearing atop a ridge at 3860m. Here we find the most important Buddhist monastery in the Everest area, Tengboche. There is ample time to rest here and visit the monastery. The trail then descends through rhododendron and juniper forest to the lovely hamlet of Deboche where we stay overnight.
ACCLIMATISATION DAY IN DEBOCHE
Day 8As part of our acclimatisation, we plan to ascend a ridge overlooking Tengboche Monastery. We expect to reach an altitude of 4,500m which will provide essential acclimatisation for the days to follow. The views from today’s walk are outstanding and include Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse plus dramatic views of Ama Dablam. We reach the highpoint late in the morning and return to Deboche for lunch. Following the morning’s exertions, the afternoon can be spent relaxing.
Day 9(4hrs trekking) A shorter day to assist in acclimatisation. Descend on a gentle slope through a rhododendron forest passing numerous mani walls. Be alert for wildlife; you may see Nepal’s National Bird, the Danphe pheasant plus musk deer. The trail crosses over the deep, narrow gorge of the Imja Khola before commencing the long, gradual incline to the villages of Lower Pangboche and Upper Pangboche. To the right, on the other side of the valley, looms the distinct, towering shape of Ama Dablam (6860m). The gradient eases and the vegetation thins out as we approach Dingboche.
ACCLIMATISATION DAY IN DINGBOCHE 4350m
Day 10Another acclimatization day gives us the opportunity for further exploration. A trail leading north from the village will allow us to ascend to over 5000m and give us outstanding views of the planet’s 5th highest mountain, Makalu (8485m). If time and weather conditions allow, we may continue ascending and reach Nagkar Tshang (5616m).
Day 11(4hrs trekking) The trail follows a long shelf of land on the Eastern side of the Khumbu Valley then cross a stream coming from the snout of the Khumbu Glacier. It’s then a short ascent on the main trail to Dughla (4600m) where we stop for lunch. The trail then climbs steeply through boulders to reach a group of rock cairns bedecked with prayer flags – memorials to climbers who lost their lives on Mt Everest. From here the elevation eases and crosses to the west side of the valley between a high ridge and the moraine wall of the Khumbu Glacier. Reach our overnight stop at Lobuche by mid-afternoon.
GORAK SHEP 5170m & EVEREST BASE CAMP 5360m
Day 12(8hrs trekking) From Lobuche we trek for 2 hours on a rough, rock-strewn trail to Gorak Shep. We’ll have lunch here and a short rest before crossing over the Khumbu Glacier on the 3 hour trek to Everest Base Camp (5360). There are no views of Everest’s summit from Base Camp but there are fine views of the Khumbu Ice Fall and the large seracs of ice on the glacier beside base camp. We retrace our steps to our lodge at Gorak Shep.
PHERICHE 4240m via KALA PATTAR 5545m
Day 13(9hrs trekking) Our goal today is the highest point of the trek, Kala Pattar, 5545 meters. Kala Pattar is the ideal place to view the dark, menacing South Face of Everest. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers, the breathtaking scenery will truly make you feel ‘On Top of the World’. Making it to the top of Kala Pattar is a tremendous accomplishment, and for most, a once in a lifetime experience. We depart Gorak Shep well before dawn, walking by the beam of our headlamps. The return walk, plus rest times from Gorak Shep to the top of Kala Pattar is about 3 hours. After returning to Gorak Shep for breakfast, we then retrace our steps past Lobuje descending to our lodge on the wide plain at Pheriche village.
Day 14(3hrs trekking) A shorter day after the previous day’s exertions. We follow the main trail to Deboche just below Tengboche. The views down the trail ahead are magnificent – Ama Dablam, Kangtega, Thamserku and other snow peaks are arrayed before us. We stop for lunch and the night at the pleasant settlement of Deboche. Reaching Deboche before lunch means we can relax or take an afternoon stroll to visit the impressive Tengboche monastery.
NAMCHE BAZAAR 3440m
Day 15(4hrs trekking) Due to the lower altitudes, today’s walk should be pleasant and enjoyable. The trail passes through Tengboche before descending through a forested path to cross the Dudh Kosi at Phunki Tenga. There’s a long but gentle ascent through small villages to reach a high section on the west side of the river. The spectacular mountain views continue as the foot traffic increases. We stop for the night at our favourite lodge above Namche Bazaar.
Day 16(2.5hrs trekking) This is the last day of trekking and it’s quite easy. The trail is mostly along the floor of the valley before a gradual climb to Lukla. Expect to arrive here by late afternoon. In the evening there will be a special celebration dinner followed by a ceremony to farewell our Nepali trekking crew.
Day 17(35mins flying time) At the completion of the trek we fly from Lukla, a shelf of land situated high above the Dudh Kosi. For most, this flight has proved to be a major highlight and an extremely rewarding experience. The mountain views from the plane are unequalled anywhere else in the world. You’ll see Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Gauri Shankar, Melungtse and many more. (B)
Day 18Free day to explore Kathmandu. This exciting, vibrant city is a favourite destination of travellers from all over the world. Kathmandu is a giant, living museum of Hindu and Buddhist art with more shrines and temples than anywhere else in the world. Our hotel is located a short walk from the narrow, winding streets of the old city. There are many things to do. You can visit ancient towns in the Kathmandu Valley, poke around the bazaars and discover real bargains in artwork and souvenirs; or sit by a temple and just soak up the atmosphere as you watch the world go by. (B)
- Trek crew consisting of local guides and porters
- Flights in Nepal
- All accommodation – 4 nights in comfortable hotel with breakfast daily plus 14 nights in Lodges on the trek
- Walking tour of Kathmandu
- Kathmandu Airport transfers
- First night welcome dinner (food only) in Kathmandu
- All land and air transport for trek
- Down sleeping bag & kit bag for use on trek
- All fees & permits
- International flights
- Visa and any passport costs
- Personal clothing
- Medical expenses
- Meals other than those shown on the itinerary
- Travel insurance (compulsory)
- All items of a personal nature
- Tips for trekking crew